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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Just looking for a bit of advice. If i was to get a hold of some grey squirrels, would the tail be useable for squirrel hair in the wings of all the flies we know? If so, what would be the best way of going about preparing them?

would appreciate any advice,

thanks

Jamie
 

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Just wash them well in shampoo or fairy liquid. I usually rinse them and wash through with conditioner afterwards.

If dying;
- they take dye well as long as they have been well washed.
- if your going to bleach them before dying, I put half a dozen in a ziplock bag, add nice 'n easy blond hair bleach and give them a massage a few times a day. Keep and eye on them until they are as bleached as you like them. Bleaching can take a couple of days but they will not get burnt, which can happen with more harse bleaching products.
 

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I used to wash them but in recent years, I've just tied a bit of cloth or kitchen roll around the base of the tail, and hung them up in the corner of the garage....I then forget about them for 6 months until they dry out. They are definitely usable for fly tying.
Tight Lines
Aled
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice kgm and aled. I half expected some people to suggest freezing them to kill anything off or using borax or some other type of dehydrating mix ?

I only really use black dyed tail so would it be better to bleach it first then dye it or just dye it straight from natural ?

thanks again,

Jamie
 

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No experience of dyeing them, or what preparations might be needed for that, but for use 'au naturel' (in Ally's Shrimps, Blue Charms etc.), I just put them in a freezer bag with about 3-4 tablespoons of ordinary kitchen salt and shake it up. This seems to dry them out very effectively, and it works for wings as well. I've never had any trouble with moths or beetles using this method; I suspect the salty environment would be pretty inhospitable to them.
 

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Thanks for the advice kgm and aled. I half expected some people to suggest freezing them to kill anything off or using borax or some other type of dehydrating mix ?

I only really use black dyed tail so would it be better to bleach it first then dye it or just dye it straight from natural ?

thanks again,

Jamie
you will still have to bleach them before dyeing black or any colour. when you bleach
a grey squirrel tail it will all go ginger/goldy colour then it will take any colour. Watch the
bleaching process as you can ruin them very easily by leaving it too long, burning the hair
which will frizz it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks midgydug, as for dying it, do i just put the dye in a pot with water then heat it up and let the tail simmer away in it ? I've done that for other feathers before but would appreciate any other tips :)

thank again

jamie
 

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there is a bit of fat and flesh at the base of the tail i would advise borax if you need to use some sort of agent but have had bad results with salt in the past unless your air is dry then salt will absorb moisture from the air and keep the skins wet some fungi can live on that ruined several pheasant skins a few year ago with salt

you may actually be able to pull the whole tail and bone structure out of the tail if you use 2 pairs of pliers and then there will be nothing up the middle of it to rot
 

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squirrel tails

Hi there,you can cure any of the skins etc for fly tying with aluminum sulphate (alum powder)can be bought in any vets shop, it wont damage the materials like some other products,you just need to rub it into the exposed skin,its not expensive a few quid for a tub.
 

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Thanks midgydug, as for dying it, do i just put the dye in a pot with water then heat it up and let the tail simmer away in it ? I've done that for other feathers before but would appreciate any other tips :)

thank again

jamie
if you ask a hairdresser for advice on dyeing hair blonde or buy a blonde hair dyeing mix,then you can mix the peroxide ingredients. Mix together into a paste and work
the paste through the tail. It will give you a guide for time to leave it on the box, wash thoroughly
under the tap and let dry or use hairdryer. a bit trial and error, if you leave the bleaching
process on for too long it will burn and frizz the tail, all is not lost however as it can still be used
and has the kind of the same feel as calf tail.
 

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Hi there,you can cure any of the skins etc for fly tying with aluminum sulphate (alum powder)can be bought in any vets shop, it wont damage the materials like some other products,you just need to rub it into the exposed skin,its not expensive a few quid for a tub.
did you know that prostitutes used to use that stuff to tighten themselves back up when they got a bit loose talking hundred years or so ago like but another useless piece of trivia
 

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Similar - but "opposite" to one of above posts.
Fresh tail, in a poly bag/freezer bag with table salt, good shake and make sure well covered in salt on fleshy tail base. Leave bag on top of the boiler/heater and open for 2-3 days.
Dries it out and kills bugs.
Good to go.
 

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there is a bit of fat and flesh at the base of the tail i would advise borax if you need to use some sort of agent but have had bad results with salt in the past unless your air is dry then salt will absorb moisture from the air and keep the skins wet some fungi can live on that ruined several pheasant skins a few year ago with salt

you may actually be able to pull the whole tail and bone structure out of the tail if you use 2 pairs of pliers and then there will be nothing up the middle of it to rot
It's actually pretty easy to pull out with a bit of practice. I just let them dry. If it gets a bit manly just shoot another squirrel! They are quite good to eat too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi again folks, thanks for all the helpful replies. I now have two tails. Just cleaned them up, gave them a wash and hung them up to dry. Starting to think i should freezer them or salt them or borax or alum sulphate haha! Decisions.

Interesting you say that loxie, i wasnt going to mention it but i gutted one of them wnd have it in the fridge. Was thinking about bbqing it tomorrow.

Jamie

Hand Natural material Fur Wood Animal feed

Gesture Grass Natural material Thumb Soil
 

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Hi again folks, thanks for all the helpful replies. I now have two tails. Just cleaned them up, gave them a wash and hung them up to dry. Starting to think i should freezer them or salt them or borax or alum sulphate haha! Decisions.

Interesting you say that loxie, i wasnt going to mention it but i gutted one of them wnd have it in the fridge. Was thinking about bbqing it tomorrow.

Jamie

View attachment 21754
View attachment 21755
Don't overcook it or it can be a bit dry!
 
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