Find Out More About Fly Tying Marabou - Ideal For Lures & Streamers
The Marabou (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) is a large African stork and the marabou feathers indeed used to come from this bird, the marabou feathers of today come almost exclusively from farmed white turkey is on the CITES list of protected Species and feathers from this bird should not be traded or used for fly-tying or anything else. Chickabout is from Chickens and come in barred, grizzly and other colours. This is because Chickabou is was introduced by Whitings Farms (probably as a way of using some of their female chickens not making the grades!). Chickabout is from the lower rear part of Juvenille Chickens, as a result Chickabou is much smaller feathers than Marabou.
When we are fly-tying we generally use turkey feathers. Marabou is unlike many other feathers like body or coverts as they do more merge or marry. They are highly mobile, soft and until treated with a sinkant like Xink seperate easily. Unlike hackle feathers the marabou feather is very soft and downy which is why so many streamers and lures use marabou for mobile tails and wings.
Many fly patterns use marabou in their tying for wings or tails including:
- Woolly Buggers
- Fritz flies and
- Nomad fly patterns and
- Many Marabou patterns
There are different types of Marabou used by the fly tyer. Plumes which are large feathers with their barbs coming out at 90 degrees to the stem. Normally these feathers are used with the loose barbs removed from the stems and are most often used for wings.
Marabou Quills or Blood Marabou
Marabou Bloods or Quills are often used because the feathers have a series of barbs that end parallel giving a nice flat end to wings or tails. Marabou Quills are often strung , woven together with string.