You've got your krystal flash chenille, cactus chenille, pearl chenille (which is NOT the color pearl), and estaz! So, I've dedicated this blogpost to sort out all the problems as I have had problems discovering what is what! I will be comparing each product side by side in great detail comparing the actual thread base and the length of the fibers and show you which material looks like in a simple Crystal Bugger example. I hope that makes sense! If not, just read on and, hopefully, it will! This is definitely NOT perfect! I know there will be flaws but I hope this helps you determine what you want to use this material for so you don't have to spend money on something that you cannot use or don't want to use and return.
|5, yes, five different types of "chenille"! Lots to talk about! Yes, there are 6 packs of material but there's medium krystal flash and just krystal flash. Just to clarify.|
|Showing the different fiber characteristics with the names....|
|Close up of the fibers.....|
Second thing I researched was the fiber length of each piece of material. Estaz came in first with the length of all the fibers being the longest. With that being said, the ice chenille, cactus chenille, krystal flash/pearl chenille all matched in size. Theoretically, there really is no size difference between any of these materials and the size is so miniscule that it almost doesn't matter.
Third on the list of characteristics I was looking at was the actual fiber thickness NOT the core thickness which is what I'll get to next. The fiber thickness of each material was the same. There was no difference between the width of any of the fibers as I could tell. They all looked uniform.
Fourth, I looked at the actual core thickness or thread thickness that was used to make these materials. I found that estaz and cactus had the same thickness, which makes them the most durable, which I will get to in the final part of the comparison before they go on a hook. The ice chenille, pearl chenille/krystal flash chenille all came in at the same thickness which was less durable and thinner than the estaz and cactus.
Finally, I wanted to look at the durability of the material I was working with. I determined that the most tightly woven or wrapped material was the estaz as well as the cactus chenille although the estaz is just slightly more durable. I pulled on the fibers at the end of each material to see if I could pull the fibers out with ease. These were the toughest to get out and can really take a beating not just from fish but also from the elements. The ice and pearl/krystal flash chenille were very delicate and the fibers came out with ease.
This has just been talking about what the materials look like when they aren't on a hook! Let's compare them to each other while they're on a hook!
|5 different materials. Using 3.2mm copper bead and #8 TMC 5262 hook.|
|Krystal flash medium bugger.|
|Cactus chenille medium bugger.|
|Pearl chenille bugger.|
|Ice chenille medium bugger.|
I hope this has been informative and not long winded. I put a lot of work into this but it's ultimately up to you as the individual to discover what materials are right for you! Experiment! Fly fishing is confusing but it's also fun! Just remember you can always return material you don't use. : ) Good thing!