Viking Lars | Saturday, 12 March 2016
Although there are excellent, synthetic alternatives, I do like real seal's fur for some flies. Wets, for instance - traditional wets - just look better with real seal's fur, and the material does have some properties that are, if not impossible, then very hard to replicate in a synthetic material.
So is seal's fur just seal's fur? Well, yes, of course it is, but you can get absolutely wonderful, fine, easy-to-dub seal's fur and then sometimes, you get stuff that dubs like pianowire in small pieces.
I have a couple of friends who'll soon be launching their website, where they sell the best seal's fur you can possibly imagine. And in an unbelieveable range of colours, so many in fact, that there are shades that are hard to tell apart :-).
Claus Damsgaard (they're both named Claus) who does all the dying and preparation says the quality is mostly achieved through the preparation process (which he of course keeps to himself), and to top that, Claus is a genuine expert when it comes to the dyeing process.
On a lot dyed flytying materials, you'll experience that colours bleed into other materials as the fly dries, which really sucks when you've spent time tying a fly with a specific colour scheme. I haven't had that happen with Thoft & Kjaer Seal's Fur at all, even the black stays black, and the black stays *in* the black, if you know what I mean.
I use seal's fur regularly - some wets, as mentioned above, and certainly for some saltwater flies as well. In particular, my Super Sexy Scruffy Seal's Fur Shrimp (or the SSSS Shrimp) and a mysis imitation. Mysis are very small crusteceans, common prey for sea trout, and especially on calm water, clear water, a small (size 12 or 14) mysis imitation often outfishes anything else.
On the above picture, on the SSSS Shrimp (as you can see, they're tied in almost the same way) the seal's fur is spun in a loop to get as scruffy and almost "hackle-like" appearance as possible. On the mysis, it's simply dubbed and then brushed out a little.
If you've used seal's fur - and not liked it, you really should get some of this! As you can see in the picture, there are plenty of colours to choose from (there are some 40-odd colours in total, I think). It's not the cheapest seal's fur on the planet, but as far I have tried, by far the best.
Have a great weekend!