Synthetic Peacock Herl
Tied by: Bill Trublubug Southeastern PA, US
Bill Trublubug

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Would like your opinion on my latest attempt to find a synthetic peacock herl. My purpose in this effort is simply to find something that looks and moves like peacock when used as a winging material.

In conversations with various folks here at FlyFlasher (my latest with Patrik Herlet), I’ve been (once again) motivated to find a “tougher, more resilient “ substitute for the natural herl. This isn’t about winding herl around the hook shank but solely as a winging material for various streamer patterns.

The material on top is my latest attempt compared to the natural herl on the bottom. I’d really like your feedback on this latest attempt and of course, if you have found some material(s) that you feel are closer to the natural herl. The main goal here is to attain the look without sacrificing the “breathability” to get a tougher material. All thoughts welcome

Brandon Fobes
2 months ago

I personally use hardline peacock uv ice dubbing

mark schwartz
2 months ago

It is close Bill bit it still lacks that hairy effect of the natural material. Not sure how much of a difference the hairy part play when not using it as a winding material. My feeling is that the more resistance in the water the more effect it has.

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Thanks for your thoughts @Brandon Fobes and @flywheels.

Thomas Hanson
2 months ago

Love peacock herl and not sure how to replicate all those colors. But it does look very close. What is price difference between those two piles.

Michael Scarpino
2 months ago

In most flies that use peacock herl for thorax, I use peacock ice dubbing. Some other flies that is mostly peacock hurl, I will do a dubbing loop with the herl. The thread makes it sturdier. Her is a YouTube video that helps get the idea.... https://youtu.be/5F1QobMzgOA

Michael Scarpino
2 months ago

Sorry I miss spelled here, got to typing to fast!

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Thanks Michael. Always glad to have your thoughts. I’m not sure you understood my posting. I’m not looking to use the herl as a material to wrap “around” the hook shank as a dubbing. There are several ways to enhance herl when it’s wrapped. I’ve used several methods that have all been successful. I’m looking to enhance the strength/durability of herl when it is used as a wing on streamer flies. Not wrapped “around” but laid “along” the shank as a top layer. Check out Patrik Herlet’s sand eel fly recently posted to see where this thread started. I’d like your ideas on increasing the durability of longer strands of herl used as the “dark back” of a baitfish imitation. Alternately, if you have any synthetic materials that mimic natural herl, I’d be glad to know what you like.

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Patrik’s SFB sandeel is the post I’m referring to Michael. Take a look and give me your thoughts please.

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

@Scarpino Michael, have you tried twisting herl into a rope before wrapping it “around” the hook shank? Do you enhance natural herl by wrapping it together with a fine wire? Lately, my favorite way to enhance wrapped herl (as in a Prince nymph for example) is to twist several strands of herl into a rope, give the hook shank a light coat of superglue, then wrap the “rope” around the shank to get the desired effect. Doesn’t seem to change the fly’s appearance but does make the thing damn near indestructible.

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Just another comment to everyone. I’ve no absolute evidence that natural herl (used as a wing) is more effective than any of the synthetics I have used. Mark Schwartz made a comment above that I hadn’t given a lot of thought to, namely, that natural herl has more resistance and thus has better effect. Have to mull this one over but it might be a correct notion.

Michael Scarpino
2 months ago

I have done the twist rope for wrapping around the hook and also with glue but I find the glue soaking through more than I like. For streamers I would use the above picture of tinsel. Streamers get abused. I have used ostrich herl along with tinsel next to it. Seems to hold up better

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

Thanks so much again for your thoughts Michael. I’ve an insatiable curiosity when it comes to other folks tying techniques, especially those (like yourself) who demonstrate high levels of skill.

Michael Scarpino
2 months ago

Thank you Bill! I try to learn every day for others on here. Your ideas and thoughts go along ways for me. And I’m sure for a lot of people on here too. You know that I was close to being in Pennsylvania this week? Plans fell through but I was hoping.

Michael Scarpino
2 months ago

Another thought for peacock herl would be a bit of silicone. Just like you would for feather wing casing on a caddis or hopper.

Travis Fisher
2 months ago

Bill I think it will work. Remove the flashy material and it looks very close; however flash could is always optional in all ties. I like it.

Lucas Ace Poltorak
2 months ago

What fly shop do you go to

Bill Trublubug
2 months ago

@infinity flies Hi Lucas. Usually use the internet for tying materials but occasionally also go to Angler’s Pro Shop in Souderton when I have an immediate need for something. Have also rarely used Orvis at Plymouth Meeting and Sport Fishin’ Outlet in East Norriton. Is this what you wanted to know ? Do you want to know what internet vendors I use most often?

Mitchell Jacob
1 month ago

I rarely use peacock herl as a winging material, but I can say if wrapping as a body, peacock colored ice dub is hard to beat

Bill Trublubug
1 month ago

Thanks Mitchell. I agree with your comment on the ice dub. Wrapped around not tied over the hook shank, ice dub seems to fool ‘em every time. I’m not a purist when it comes to any aspect of fly tying. Every so often I go off on a tangent though. This was one of those times. I really appreciate any response from the folks here. Lots of great ideas and opinions. Thanks again. @mitchell @jacob

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