Using Imitation Porky Guard Hair Tips
Imitation Porky guard hair has recently been “invented” to respond to the dwindling supply and high cost of the real porcupine guard hair, especially the longer, most desired hair. This substiture is made of a synthetic fiber, colored and tapered at the tip and bottom end like real porky hair.
Besides cost, there are other advantages to using imitation porcupine hair:
- It all comes 9-3/4 inches long
- It doesn’t have to be cleaned or sorted
- To get the shorter lengths for the back of the roach, you simply trim it to the desired length.
Porky Roach Making Process
In general, the roach making process is still the same as described in our “The Making of a Porky Roach”, DVD. The change is that you now can always size the front of the roach’s hair length to 9 inches.
There are some differences in working with this material compared to genuine porky hair. The tips below address changes you may want to make in using this imitation porky guard hair vs. genuine hair for roach making.
1. Tying up the Hair Bundles
- Unlike real hair where you soak the base of the hair to soften it before tying it, these fibers stay stiff while using them. To compensate for this you need to tie bundles of only 10 to 12 hair strands rather than 15 to 20 used in real hair.
- To increase tying strength, we suggest you use single strand sinew for tying. Before bending the bottom of each group around the base cord, at 1/2 inch from the fiber’s bottom, spread the them along the cord. Now bend the bundle at that point over the base cord, holding them tightly downward with your left hand and thumb. Crimp the fibers at the cord tightly with your right fingernails.
- A pair of roundnose jewelry pliers can also be used to crimp the fibers sharply at this spot. Wrap the cord around this bundle pulling the bundle at the cord together with a strong pull and tie the same knot as used with real hair.
- As you tie this knot, hold the full bundle straight down so it doesn’t bend sideways and keep tapping the top of the bundle down onto the cord.
2. Sizing Hair Lengths
- Instead of sorting for the varying lengths needed, with this material you will cut them in the lengths needed. Remember that you need to cut them in lengths 1/2 inch longer then how they will end up in the roach to account for the part to be folded over the base cord.
- Always trim the imitation hair from the bottom up, as you need to preserve the tip color and tapered points. Because the longer hair for the front is now guaranteed, you can plan a wider full length measurement in the front of the roach than we have available in most real hair bundle sources.
- We suggest that the bundles used in the tail lengths not be shorter than 5 inches plus the 1/2 inch fold over. That will allow the dark brown color to show over the top of the deer hair row.
3. Shaping and storing your Porky Roach.
- The best way to shape and store this roach using imitation hair is the same as for the real hair except that wetting the hair won’t help form it as it does with genuine guard hair.
- Rather than wetting, warm it with a hot hair dryer after you have it wrapped over the stick and before covering the tail area with the cloth.
- You may need to adjust your roach spreader front diameter to shape the front as desired when you wear it (adjust the ‘flare’).
- See our article, Porcupine Roach Care & Storage Article for more information.
4. How much hair is needed?
- Twice what you would allow for a porky roach made with genuine guard hair. This is because imitation porky hair fibers are heavier than genuine hair, it appears that you will need at least twice the weight of imitation hair than what you used in real hair.
- As more roach makers work with this material, we will get a better idea of what is needed for optimum results, but we would suggest buying an ounce more than twice the real hair weight. Having slightly more will allow you to plan a wider front half row than you would have before this much less expensive material became available.