Antron vs. Zelon

The age old question

These two terms are mistakenly used by tiers. The fact is, antron and zelon are entirely different materials and should not be confused with each other.

Antron is a synthetic fiber that imitates the natural characteristics of silk and is best thought of in this manner. It has a fuzzy feel and it subtly adds sparkle and sheen to your flies because of this silky nature. It’s primarily used for wet flies and nymphs, as the individual fibers tend to stick to one another and mat when wet. Antron makes excellent wet fly wings and bodies when you want to add some motion and sheen; in a more limited use it can be used on dry flies in conjunction with other materials that will float the fly.

Zelon is a synthetic fiber that is made to hold its shape. The individual fibers do not mat when wet, retaining translucency and luster. The fibers also have a tendency to crinkle, making zelon the best material to use for natural looking shucks and wings. It’s a great dry fly material when tied loosely on the hook, and, it’s a great wet fly material when a tightly wound, segmented body is desired. Check out the Micro Zelon for small flies.

In short, think antron when you tie bodies and wet fly wings. Think zelon when you tie shucks, dry fly wings, wet fly wings, or bodies. A final note: Zelon can only be obtained from Blue Ribbon Flies or Umpqua.  See our Zelon page for the full story.