Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

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Old Hat
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by Old Hat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:29 am

I didn't care for the Ephemera (Dean's Street) silk at first. It is not the smoothest silk thread and yes the wood spool which look cool do not work smoothly. With that being said though, everything silk gets compared to the fine quality of Pearsall's. I love Pearsall's for tying. It is strong, smooth, shiny and well "silky". It is traditional and great for tying. When I compared a couple of the threads wet, the Ephemera's somewhat rough texture had a very nice effect. It wasn't as smooth to tie with as Pearsall's. The body was surrounded in a veil of fine silk fibers. Not too unlike a fine dusting of touch dubbing. This caused the silk color to go a bit darker than the others, but had a great translucent film over the body and when submerged a lively glistening effect from the mobility of tiny silk fibers. It was difficult to photograph. I'm going to do it over someday, but if you look behind the hackle on the fly to the far right you can see what I am talking about. I like the effect, and I think for thread bodied flies, I may like it more than the other brands including Pearsall's. The point I am trying to make and this goes for more than just silk is that it is so easy to be blinded by traditional methods and materials that we find it so hard and often times refuse to accept what is not a standard within the traditions. (Now this is all outside of tying a historic pattern to historic specifications for materials). We are so quick to knock anything that is not traditionally normal instead of questioning "may it be a better option." I think Morus silk is taking advantage of this. Not in a bad way, that's just good business and I'm sure their product will be the best copy of Pearsall's. But, if we all just jump over to their product at twice the cost of the original and the other silks already out there at half the cost (this happens often with other products as well), then we have no one to blame for the deep increasing costs in the price of fly tying materials through out the sport but ourselves as consumers. It's hard to say "no" when something looks so good and especially when it is what we are so used to. The manufacturer's will cry increasing costs. Fair enough for the same products. But, until consumers start to say "no" that is too expensive find a different option the manufacturers will continue crying and not put any effort into other options. Pearsall's fell. They had a good run and I was really bummed to see the company finally close doors. But, what we started to see was companies working on quality replacements (Ephemera) or tiers finding quality replacements out of necessity that were already available. I see this as a good thing. Then comes along a company that does nothing other than copy what was the standard, charge twice the cost for it, and hope no one bats an eye because so many of us are blinded by what we are so accustomed to. I'm not against Morus silks. I do think $8.50 for 50 yards of tying silk is ridiculous. Without knowing their actual cost to produce, I understand that "may" be what they need to make the product viable. What I am afraid of is this "copy" with no historical significance, at almost $10+ per spool (by the time you include shipping) will just willy nilly become the new standard because it is the closest thing thing we have available to what we are used to. Even though it may not be the best option for tying.

Left to right
Kimono...Pearsall's...Ephemera
reduxSilk Comparison Wet1.jpg
reduxSilk Comparison Wet1.jpg (181.14 KiB) Viewed 389 times
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by letumgo » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:37 am

Carl - I am really enjoying reading thru this thread. Excellent, thought-provoking discussion.

Your comment about "Ephemera's somewhat rough texture" reminded my of a similar observation I had on some of the Krinek silks I use. The silk has a somewhat fuzzy quality, which at first bugged me, but I've grown to like it in my fishing flies. I have played around with several different types of silk floss (Pearsall's Marabou, Japanese Embroidery Center/JEC silk, and the Kreinek "Sole Platte" silk floss). The JEC silk is in my opinion, the finest quality silk for floss bodies, but is too pricey for my budget. Pearsall's Marabou is excellent ("smoooooth" with few stray fibers). The Kreinek silk floss is not nearly as smooth as either the JEC or Marabou options, but I have found that it works very well in fishing flies. Perhaps, even better than the finer silks (open for debate).

Image

I did not want to divert the discussion into silk floss, but wanted to provide supporting discussion about the use of fuzzy silk in fishing flies. One could argue, that the fuzzy silk may offer some advantages, in terms of ease of dubbing (the stray fibers may get twisted into the dubbing and hold things in place better) and in the appearance of the fly (halo).

Anyway, interesting discussion.
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by DUBBN » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:13 am

Morus is doing a good job promoting their product.
Bring in a product under the guise of limited amount.
Offer that product in limited amount at a higher price than the predecessor.
Get enough of the product in to the consumers hands that a few claim it is as good as the product it is replacing. This product will be around for a long time. Many tyers will be on the Morus bandwagon in no time.
Tiemco sells hooks for 5 to 8 dollars per 25 hooks. Nobody bats an eye.

I do not have a dog in the fight as I do not use silk. Just an observation.
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by wsbailey » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:52 am

Regarding silk threads; they generally come in two types: reeled and spun. Reeled silk is drawn off the cocoons in long, continuous filaments. Spun is made from damaged cocoons. So while reeled or filament silk thread is lustrous; spun silk thread is fuzzy. Old Hat’s comment reminded me of a story that I read. In the past; Irish fishermen would rough up the silk bodies on their flies for greater fish appeal.
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by daringduffer » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:14 pm

wsbailey wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:52 am
Regarding silk threads; they generally come in two types: reeled and spun. Reeled silk is drawn off the cocoons in long, continuous filaments. Spun is made from damaged cocoons. So while reeled or filament silk thread is lustrous; spun silk thread is fuzzy. Old Hat’s comment reminded me of a story that I read. In the past; Irish fishermen would rough up the silk bodies on their flies for greater fish appeal.
I have also read about tiers roughing up silk bodies and swearing by it. Personally, I haven't yet tied with anything but Perarsall's and silk from old sewing baskets. I found a brown silk of double diameter compared to gossamer that made wonderful Black Spiders. I remember that Mark Libertone wanted a beefier silk body on his flies.

(Ray, some of your photos don't show. Just 'Image'. This one here and likewise some in the leader topic).

dd
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by letumgo » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:18 pm

Thanks Stefan. I will fix the images. ;)
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by Roadkill » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:06 pm

DUBBN wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:13 am
Tiemco sells hooks for 5 to 8 dollars per 25 hooks. Nobody bats an eye.
I do! ;) Tiemco hooks probably make up less than o.o7% of my hook supply, and those are mostly in #18-32's :lol:

I agree with Carl and will do just fine with my Kimono and Kinkame threads when my Pearsall's is gone.
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by Theroe » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:53 am

Ron Eagle Elk wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:47 am
Good, so I'm not the only one who didn't like the course wood spools of 54 Dean Street. I also found the thread lacked the fine finish and sheen of the Pearsall's It appeared "lifeless" if that makes sense.
+1 Absolutely......they had the right idea, but didnt cross the finish line.....
Soft and wet - the only way....
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by Theroe » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:17 am

Roadkill wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:06 pm
DUBBN wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:13 am
Tiemco sells hooks for 5 to 8 dollars per 25 hooks. Nobody bats an eye.
I do! ;) Tiemco hooks probably make up less than o.o7% of my hook supply, and those are mostly in #18-32's :lol:

I agree with Carl and will do just fine with my Kimono and Kinkame threads when my Pearsall's is gone.
++1
just cant see it......I will NOT pay $6-8 for 20/25 hooks. For vintage hooks, there are PLENTY of old Mustads around, very inexpensive. If you want new, go to Wholesale fly hooks: they are sharper and stronger than ANY of the big names, and reasonably priced. Lest I be accused of being cheap with the most important component of a fly, let me be clear: this is not the point (no pun intended). Too much of society revolves around overpayment of "things", just to have them............
Dana
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Re: Devil’s Advocate and Morus Silk

Post by driftless » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:43 am

Well said, Dana.
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