Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute? - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 03-31-2011, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

Hey gang,

I just started to tie a month ago and have already spent too many late nights in the basement!

I am trying a few variations of the basic Pheasant Tail Nymph and I was wondering if there is a more durable material I can use for the legs. It seems the pheasant fibers don't hold up very long. I thought about rubber legs but I think they look really fake.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a substitute?

Thank you.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

I use superhair from Spirit River as a substitute.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

for a little flash try dun or brown flouro fibre/organza.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

I use DNA Frosty Fish Fiber from Orvis, which is a little stiffer than Superhair. I've tied all of my pheasant tials this way for the reasons you've mentioned. I first started using it for RS2's where the shrimp color worked great for the tails and the wings. I do like way pheasant tail fibers look as legs though. If you want them to be more durable, paint them with fingernail polish topcoat (like Hard as Nails) or even head cement.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

They have both been mentioned already but I like Hen Hackle, or Flouro-Fiber in dark Brown.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

Boy, I don't even put 'legs' on some of my most recent ones. I'm in for Fluoro Fibre though - looks awesome under UV, which fish can see. Tough stuff for as fine as it is too.

It's nice to keep materials to a minimum, but pheasant tail isn't the toughest stuff in the world- try a synthetic. However, you can try the super fine centipede legs as well from Montana Fly. Anybody ever try Ultra Hair?

Now that I think about it, a pinch of rabbit hair, snipped off the skin, might work too. Just don't know how long that would hold up.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I stopped by Front Range Anglers after work yesterday and picked up a pack of super-fine centipede legs. I tied up a few late last night. They look pretty good, I will upload a photo soon.

I plan on "testing" them out tomorrow on the lower Blue. Is anyone going to be up that way?
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

I am going to take a bit different approach to the question, since you are a newer tyer. I would suggest using the pheasant tail because it is such a nice material... If you catch a half dozen flies on the fly, it is because it looks so good and who cares if it fell apart, it is a short re-tie...

I love natural pheasant tail and after you start finding good feathers and tying with a little glue or sally's hard as nails, you can make them durable enough and a notch above synthetics IMO. My single most productive fly uses natural pheasant tail feathers, and I would put that fly up against anything in CO for trout.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pheasant Tail Fiber Substitute?

Yeh my preference is for a natural material as well. Partridge, I find is easier to form small nymph legs out of and tends to stand up better to trout teeth.
Also the barring on the fibers tends to stand out more.

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