What Does CDC Stand For In Fly Fishing

June 26, 2019 Fishing Guides Views: 7011

CDC is an abbreviation for a term used in fly tying, Cul De Canard. Amidst the most beautiful natural features a fisherman uses is the CDC feathers. Continue reading this article to understand more about CDC in fly fishing.   

Understanding CDC 

 CDC feathers are exceptionally fluffy and have special features that make them suitable for fly fishing. You can find these feathers in shops in almost every color: white, slate dun, light dun, black, light brown, dark brown, rust, yellow, dark olive, and pale, just to name a few.   

These feathers are extracted from ducks. The feathers are located close to the preen gland, the oil production gland, hence they are also known as oil gland feathers. The unique location of the feathers facilitates oil absorption. The feathers have two important features- water resistance and buoyancy.   The fact that the feathers are located near the oil-producing glands makes the CDC water repellant. The feathers are able to resist becoming saturated with water. This is perhaps the reason why ducks do not drown. 

Additionally, other than the waterproofing abilities, duck feathers have the ability to trap air in them. Their system of bulbs and the tight interlocking pattern is the one that holds air, leading to buoyancy.   

Fly fishers rely on the structure of CDC feathers to keep their flies above the water.   

Gathering and cleaning CDC  Basically, an average healthy duck will give you 70 to 100 CDC feathers. Of the total feathers, 2 to 3 of them are long 4.5 to 8 cm hence are ideal for catching salmon and trout. When cleaning, take a hot water solution, dip the CDC feathers and use a mild detergent to clean them. Rinse and dry them gently to avoid destroying them.  

Once they are washed and dried, the CDC feathers may as well be seen as useless. They need to be treated with oils and float. Petitjean CDC oil and veniards CDC oil helps restore the natural oils lost during washing and drying. Note that it is only natural CDC oils that can be used as float to treat feathers because other oils could clog the feathers.   

Tying with CDC  

When tying with CDC, the first thing you need to do hold the feather from the back with fingers of your left hand then draw it between the index finger and thumb of your right hand. Next, tie in the bunch with the back side pointing towards the hook bend. You then need to tie your CDC feather with tight threads to keep it in place. Its then time to get your fly into place. Complete the fly using a whip finish under the stubs. CDC feathers can be used with a variety of fish flying patterns. The most common patterns are when using caddis wings, parachute flies, and looping for emerge wings. CDC feathers are also of great value when used for both wet and dry fly patterns.   


 When you start fly fishing, get the CDC fly tying feathers. They will make your fishing experience successful and memorable.

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