Saturday, July 25, 2009

Razor Foam - a under used dubbing subsitute

I have been playing with Razor foam in place of dubbing on dry flies for a while. Razor foam is a unique body material for dry flies. With razor foam in place of dubbing on the body, flies seem to float a little longer. Razor foam unlike dubbing dose not seem to soak up as much water as dubbing.What is razor foam? It is closed cell foam sliced into thinner thickness. The two thickness available is .5mm and 1mm.
There are two supplies of razor foam I have found. Waspi's Razor foam and Raniey's Cross link foam.

There are a couple of differences between the two foams. First the Wapsi razor foam has more stretch to it. With more stretch it enables you to work with smaller flies. Also Wapsi Razor foam comes in a opaque colors and translucent colors.

Below is a size 20 parachute Adams tied with the translucent grey razor foam from Wapsi

Tying with Razor foam is simple. Here I will go over the steps to tie a simple body with Razor Foam. General rule of thumb for thickness of foam to the size of fly. 1mm thickness size 12 fly and larger. .5mm thickness size 14 fly and smaller.

Notice the grain in the razor foam, always cut with the grain of the foam.

First cut a narrow strip of foam. The width of the strip depends on size of fly. This strip is about 1/8" wide, this is going to be tied on a size 14 hook. You also need to taper the tie in point.

Next step is to tie in the strip of foam to the fly. Tie in the strip of foam with taper facing up.

Next step is to wrap the foam around the hook. I wrap just like dubbing. You can vary the tension on the foam to create a nicely tapered body.

Go ahead and finish of the fly. The front half of the body is still dubbing. Here is the finished parachute Razor foam Adams.

Here are some samples of other flies you can tie.

Razor Foam Caddies

Razor Foam Caddies with Sharpie marker at the trailing edge.
This is my DH Hopper, tied in orange and black. This pattern can be tied in many different color combinations.