Re: Steve Farrars Flash Blend alternative

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Posted by Jonny King on 2013-04-24 08:32:45 in reply to Steve Farrars Flash Blend alternative posted by JC Smith on 2013-04-22 17:39:03

Hi JC -- All good answers below. SF Flash Blend minus Angel Hair (the fine flash blended in ) is sold as "Slinky Fiber" or "Slinky Blend" (the latter is just a blend of different colors). I use all three, but would just note that the flash blended in not only changes the appearance, but the texture of the material. You can get a tighter head with the SF material, because the flash makes the texture softer and finer, permitting a denser head. It's not better or worse, but just a mechanical difference in tying.
Wig hair/Kanekelon is also good stuff, but I find that it varies a lot in texture. When it's too straight, without the crimp, it makes for a messier fly and a tougher job of sculping the head of the fly. Also doesn't swim as well. When it's sufficiently crinkly, it works great. Sometimes it feels just like Slinky Fiber, but sometimes it feels a little more coarse (meaning the individual fibers are thicker). But that's even true of the stuff sold as fly tying material -- it's not the same from pack to pack or color to color.
There are lots of other similar materials -- Synthetic Yak hair (from Cascade Crest) and the Bear's Den in MA sells "Syn Yak." All of them make good Kinky Muddlers, but all of them are also inconsistent in texture. There are also several British suppliers that sell "Gliss n Glint" or "Funky Fiber" -- all pretty similar. I'd just get packs of different material and see what's best. I have some wig hair that makes a great squid -- it's rusty brown. But then I have some that's just too straight for me to get on with. I think the safest bet is just to buy some Slinky Fiber -- which is probably the most consistent -- and play with it. If you can get the 12" packs, it's more economical. Good luck.

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