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Registered: 04-2010
Location: Alabama
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for those who hunt and fish


Spinning Deer Hair
written by Jason Akl

Learn how to spin and trim deer hair for bass bugs, hoppers, and terrestrials with these step-by-step instructions.

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Spinning Deer Hair
Simple deer hair popper created by spinning and trimming deer hair.

Of all the techniques involved in fly tying, spinning deer hair is one of the most challenging. Patterns that use this technique tend to be large and involved, often scaring away newly initiated tiers and the faint of heart. Don't be frightened. With a little practice and a few specialized tools, you, too, can create extremely cool looking flies that will flat out catch fish. Before we get into the actual step-by-step process, though, let's discuss the different types of hair that get spun, along with their unique properties.
Elk Hair

Elk hair is coarse, straight and hollow. It is normally a light color, which helps make flies more visible in the water. Elk hair is buoyant and will keep your hair patterns riding high on the water's surface. Hair length is generally between one to three inches.
Moose Hair

Moose body hair is straight, dense and approximately two to four inches in length. It is not hollow except at the base. In most cases, it is used for tails because it is stiff, durable and doesn't flare much. If a better alternative isn't available, it can be spun, but since moose body hair doesn't flare well, it isn't ideal in patterns calling for hair spinning.
Caribou Hair

Caribou is a very fine, hollow hair that will spin very easily. This hair is a great tool for people learning how to spin hair, as well as for very small spun patterns. Caribou hair is typically a medium to dark brown color and approximately one to two inches in length. The one drawback to using Caribou hair is that it is not as straight as deer or elk. As a result, Caribou can be difficult to stack. But, if you clean the hair thoroughly from the under fur, it can be accomplished.
Deer Hair

Deer hair is the number one choice for spinning popper bodies and Muddler heads. Deer hair is hollow and ranges in texture from fine to coarse. Typically, the longer the hair, the easier it is to work with, and the ideal spinning hair is usually one-and-a-half to three inches in length. Deer hair varies in color from light to medium-dark tan.

As we start the tying process, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be sure to buy quality deer hair. The hair should be clean and long enough to spin. High quality deer hair will spin much more evenly than short, stiff hair. Second, be sure to use a strong thread. Weak thread will break off as spinning tends to require some torque. However, thread that's too thick or rigid can make controlling the hair difficult. Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread is generally considered one of the best for spinning hair. Finally, people often confuse spinning and flaring, which are two separate techniques. When hair is "spun" it goes around the hook shank; when hair is "flared" it stays in place.

Materials List
Hook: White River Fly Shop Curved Shank Fly Hook
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread (Black)
Hackle: Natural Deer Hair
Special Tools Deer Hair Packing Tool
Step-by-Step Instructions for Spinning Deer Hair
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Deer Hair Spinning Step 1
Place your hook into the vice and secure it tightly in place.
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 Deer Hair Spinning Step 2
Attach the thread to the hook shank at the point above the barb.
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Deer Hair Spinning Step 3
Collect a small bunch of deer hair (about the diameter of a straw) and clip it from the hide.
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 Deer Hair Spinning Step 4
Clean the hair using a fine-tooth comb or toothbrush to make sure that none of the under fur is left at the base.
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 Deer Hair Spinning Step 5
Place the hair on top of the hook shank and cover with two thread wraps in the middle of the hair.
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 Deer Hair Spinning Step 6
Slowly increase the tension on the thread allowing the hair to spin and flare.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 7
Pull the flared hair towards the rear of the hook and take one or two thread wraps in front of the hair to keep it in place.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 8
Using a hair packer tool, push the hair toward the rear of the fly, and then place one more thread wrap in front of the hair to hold it in place. Remember: the tighter you compress the hair, the denser the body of the fly will be.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 9
Repeat this process of tying the hair down, flaring it, packing it and tying it in place. Keep doing this until you reach the back of the hook eye.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 10
Once you have the hook full of compressed hair, whip finish the thread, and then cut off the excess thread.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 11
Invert the fly in your vice (or rotate your vice if you have a rotary model) and clip the bottom of the fly straight off. You can use scissors (more work) or a razor to do this.
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 Spinning Deer Hair Step 12
Depending on the type of fly you are making, clip the deer hair in the desired shape. (Here we are making a popper style body.) Comb through the fly one final time with your bodkin just to make sure that no hairs were missed in the shaping process. Give one final trim and you are finished.
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 Deer Hair Popper Step 13
If you repeat the steps above, except this time on a hook that has a tail and hackle tied in, you will have a simple deer hair popper that's ready to tempt a few hungry bass.

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Just cause there's a wiggle in the water don't mean the fish's on the hook.
Aug/31/2010, 8:26 pm Link to this post Email bamawormshaker   PM bamawormshaker
 
NITROZ9 Profile
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Re: for those who hunt and fish


Great find Bama Very good find emoticon emoticon

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Aug/31/2010, 8:37 pm Link to this post Email NITROZ9   PM NITROZ9
 
bonsaibp Profile
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Registered: 04-2010
Posts: 947
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Re: for those who hunt and fish


My grandfather used to use deer hair jigs that he made himself. This brought back some cool memories.

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bonsaibp
I AM NOT SAYING THERE SHOULD BE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR STUPIDITY,
BUT, WHY DON'T WE JUST TAKE THE SAFETY LABELS OFF OF EVERYTHING
AND LET THE PROBLEM SOLVE ITSELF?"
blkdog812
Aug/31/2010, 11:07 pm Link to this post Email bonsaibp   PM bonsaibp
 


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