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Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:33 am
by major257
Do you guys use calf tail or body hair for your wings on your Wulffs?

Matt

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:04 am
by mikevalla
I've always used calf tail for Wulffs. Never could get used to using Lee's favorite--bucktail.

Wulff himself, who experimented with different kinds of hair "decided that bucktail gave the best flotation and durability to flies." He admitted that calf tail was easier to work with but he didn't try it out in his early days of testing. He gave tiers the option of either hair in his instructions. Wulff liked scraggly styles. He said that if calf tail was used "there is no need to use a stacker."

Somewhere along the line, tiers started using neatly stacked calf body hair for hair wing flies. It's easier to work with, but detracts from the somewhat unkempt original Wulff pattern wings. I don't use it on Wulff patterns.

-

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:43 am
by major257
Thanks Mike. I never use a stacker on the calf tail and that is what I use. They do look scruffy so I wanted to see if I was doing something wrong.

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:27 am
by catskilljohn
mikevalla wrote:He admitted that calf tail was easier to work with but he didn't try it out in his early days of testing. He gave tiers the option of either hair in his instructions. Wulff liked scraggly styles.
I like bucktail for the wings, and actually think that its easier to use than calf tail. Its much easier to align the tips by hand, its got some kink but not nearly as much as calf tail, and it hold it's shape longer in the water.

The other thing about calftails are their consistency, you really have to dig around for a good one when shopping, bucktails are all the same. CJ

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:51 pm
by major257
I will take that to note CJ. I only have a small piece of buck tail here with me but I will try it on the next batch when I am state side.

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:15 pm
by Bud
catskilljohn wrote: bucktails are all the same
Don't tell that to the people who tie big saltwater flies, such as Dan Blanton's Whistler. They see vast and subtle differences in length, kinkiness or straightness, suppleness . . . whatever. Everything gets technical if you get really into it. :lol:

--Bud

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:35 pm
by Jerry G
CJ I have no idea what I was thinking a while ago when I picked a bucktail off the rack. To make matters even worse I looked at a few other tails before grabbing the one I bought. It has every bit the kinky curles or worse than what one would find in a calf tail. A stacker does no good. I wanted it for some smaller bucktail streamers and I'll use it but not for flies to be given to others. I did have to laugh though as thoughts of a young deer making contact with a cattle hot wire crossed my mind.

Regards, Jerry

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:59 pm
by mikevalla
Maybe it's just me but in an entire bin of Bucktails--natural and dyed-- that I have here--not a one is exactly the same.

-Hair quality varies; some bucktails have mostly fine hair, others have a dominance of very coarse hair that tend to flare on tying in. Other examples have fine and straight hair but the ends are curled. I have to pick and sort, depending on what I'm tying. Some bucktails I have exhibit very crinkly hair throughout the entire tail. Good for some types of flies but I don't like it for Mickey Finns.

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:45 pm
by catskilljohn
I dont have a bunch of them, but I can tell you that the ones I have are all the same, they have straight hair on the side of the tail, and crinkly hair on the top center. There is obviously a transition going from the top to the side, but they are whitetail deer tails, and like squirrel tails, all the same. Maybe the store bought ones come from various species? I have seen deer on the side of the road [thats where I get most of my tails] and seen them on the back of pickups and I never gave a thought to the fact that the tails would differ. I have to pay more attention to this, glad you brought it up. CJ

Re: Wulff wings?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:04 pm
by catskilljohn
I just went up and pulled them out, and out of the 13 that I have, aside from the dyed colors, I cant tell a difference in any of them. It could be they are all harvested from the same area [here], and all from mature deer. I will start looking at this more closely, or maybe if I tyed with hair more I would already know. CJ