Fly-Tying Hair & Fur

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Synthetic Zonker - BLACK Synthetic Zonker - OLIVE Synthetic Zonker - TAN Synthetic Zonker - Synthetic Zonker - RUST
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Bass Bug Spinning Hair - FLUORESCENT CHARTREUSE Bass Bug Spinning Hair - GREY
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The key difference between deer and elk hair is that elk hair is coarser and flares less, so it’s better suited as wing material for bigger dries or as the tail of hare’s ear nymphs or green drakes. Marabou is the downy underbelly feathers of common turkeys, and has myriad applications for fly tying because it moves beautifully in water.

Fortunately, many recipes tell you which fur and hair to use for that specific fly pattern, so selecting the right one is only a matter of purchasing what’s listed in the recipe. A good rule of thumb is to use dense fur/hair with a lot of movement for streamers (think rabbit strips or goat fur) but less dense, lighter fur or hair for dries (like elk hair, deer belly hair, or calf body fur).

The main advantages of using synthetic fur or hair over natural materials for fly tying are that synthetics absorb less water, offer bulk without much extra weight, and don’t encourage mold or insects the way natural fibers do. And synthetic fur or hair tends to be more durable than natural materials because it’s not as prone to absorbing water, natural decomposition processes, or being torn up by a toothy fish.

Yes, high-quality synthetic hair and fur of the types we offer in our collection effectively imitate the movement and appearance of their natural counterparts.

Craftfur, chenille, and synthetic zonker strips are better for streamers, while synthetic bucktail and polar fiber craft fur are better for dries when tying in tails and wings. Fly-tying expert Tim Flagler offers expert advice for using Craftfur effectively.

Yes, fly tyers often find themselves using a combination of synthetic and natural fur or hair on the same pattern. For example, in a standard Woolly Bugger pattern, you may use natural marabou for the tail and add synthetic Krystal flash.

High-Quality Natural & Synthetic Hair & Fur for Fly Tying

Find the best collection of hair and fur materials for tying lifelike flies at Orvis. Discover premium choices among real animal fur and hair, including prime selections of rabbit, elk hair, goat, and calf, to create irresistible dry and wet flies as well as streamers and zonkers. Our options in high-quality synthetics give fly tyers the lifelike movement they seek as well as a variety of colors to convince even the spookiest of fish. From faux bucktail to real deer belly hair, stock your station with the exact fibers you need to cook up lifelike bass bugs, hoppers, terrestrials, midges, caddis, and mayflies. Our hair and fur fly-tying materials are ideal for creating patterns that target a range of species, and you’ll find fur and brush strips in various sizes for small to large streamer patterns for attracting big gamefish. For the best selection of body and wing fly-tying materials, browse our full Hair & Fur collection.