Is there a Peacock herl substitute?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by generic, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. generic

    generic Active Member

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    Thanks David. I've "sort of" done that, but do it separately (herl then wire wrap) - which I guess is different altogether. As I read your instructions, I realized that I had missed the "obvious", when it came to why my herl is getting chewed up so easy. The other "obvious" thing I noticed...my herl is about 25 yrs old!!!

    It's kind of hard to get a good wrap, when your material is crap! (insert icon that beats head against wall) It does okay for bigger flys, but tends to fall apart on those small ones. Thanks again for the tips David!

    Hey Eunan, all of my flies turn out as good as your avatar.... not really :rolleyes: I've tried that stuff for big flies, but the real small ones...well, I suck at dubbing.
     
  2. generic

    generic Active Member

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    By the way, Tim and GAT are spot on about the properties of natural peacock in the water (which I'm sure everyone knows). However, it is worth repeating.

    It's funny how you learn things by accident. Many moons ago, I pulled one of my flies out of the water to change to a different size. The fly looked copper in color, and I simply thought that the peacock had faded or gone bad. I wasn't really paying attention when I tied it on, to notice if it was already that color. The next trip out, and it had a chance to dry, I noticed that it was that green color again.

    That may explain why my piece of crap flies catch fish. Maybe they magically change into something completely different once they are in the water. Okay, that may be stretching it a bit. Well it's either that, or I'm just lucky enough to catch the stupid fish all the time.
     
  3. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Dave
    When you replace your 25 yr old peacock. Be sure to buy whole feathers or the last foot or two of the end where the eye is. Much of the prepackaged herl is serious crap. Buying feathers (herl on a stick) you get to choose the color, length, and fullness of the herl as appropriate for the fly you're currently tying and perhaps the most important part is you get learn more about herl and its different properties and uses.

    Sometimes you can find decent herl on a stick at craft shops. Ebay usually has tons. Even if you have to cull a bunch of it, its still cheaper.

    TC
     
  4. generic

    generic Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips TC.
     
  5. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    agreed
    what is the problem ?
     
  6. Brandon4455

    Brandon4455 Bobber Down!

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    x2
     
  7. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Well, that's what I was thinking. Simply tie more patterns.... sheeesh :)

    Ice Dub looks like peacock herl but doesn't have the odd ability to change color tints as does actual peacock. I use both but for some patterns, genuine peacock herl works best.
     
  8. generic

    generic Active Member

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    I know, but when you suck at tying as much as I do, it just takes longer. Besides, I do tie several in each pattern, just wish I could get longer life out of them. With those helpful tips from earlier posts, I think it will help.

    I did tie one bug and "encased it" it Super Glue. Worked great, then a fish thought it would go and snap it off! That's what you get when you forget to check your tippet/knot after 6 fish in 15 min. It was one of those "frenzy" moments, where I could barely keep up with them....then it was over.
     
  9. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    The weird thing is that the now mangled herl bodied fly generally continues to catch fish like it did when you first tied it on.....if you change out...you're doing it for yourself...not the fish.
     
  10. Camo Clad Warrior

    Camo Clad Warrior Member

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    When I was first learning to tie I was told there is simply no heel substitute because it indeed has magical powers and it is simply a part of all trouts diet. When it gets mangled keep fishing it till the fish simply won't touch it, then save it. If nothing else the mangled flies will make awesome stories for you grand kids.
     
  11. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    After re-reading this thread, I can't help but ponder why we would even think of wanting to replace one of the greatest fly tying materials known to man? Dubbing is good, sure, but why not use the real thing????????
    Jack:confused:
     
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  12. generic

    generic Active Member

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    Now that I know how to tie it properly (thanks to advice from here), I probably won't! :)
     
  13. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    Dave,
    This photo is an example of a peacock herl body made by twisting the herl and wire together then wrapping. Sometimes we can go too far with the twisting part of the process and the herl or the wire will break but after doing it a few times we get a feel for how much twisting is too much. This process makes for a very nice body. I try and get away with the smallest diameter wire I can.
    Jack


    IMG_0033.JPG
     
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  14. generic

    generic Active Member

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    Nice!

    Yeah, mine don't look like that. Hopefully (as I get better) they will. Thanks for sharing!
     
  15. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    I like to tie in the herl then wrap the herl around the thread in tight turns after about 6 to 8 wraps take a turn around the hook to prevent the herl from breaking at the tie in point then continue to wrap the herl around the thread until you think you have enough to complete the fly this makes for a practically indestructible body or collar it's herl chenille