Fly Tying Tip of the Day

Fun with fur and feathers

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:47 pm

While at hobby lobby the other day I was looking at their feather selection. They have a large packaged color assortment of goose biots that they sell for only 2 bucks. They come in black, white, green, blue, and red. They also sell black and white in individual packages, that is large enought to keep you bussy tying for years (also for $2). Dig threw them and find the best ones. They also have whole peacock swords in a couple of diffrent sizes, and many other feathers. Along with died ostrich plumes.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:15 pm

In my quest to make a fly that looks and acts like a soft plastic. I have finally come up with a winner. I used synthetic fibers to make the body and added in some red flash. For the tail I used a piece of mono that I threaded threw some black braided material and tied on a fluff of marabou.

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LabRat
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Post by LabRat » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:33 am

Hey Alan, that looks great. Have you had a chance to try it?

I bet if you made that fly with a bendback style hook, it would be even more weedless.
Mark Dillow

Jimbo Roberts
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Post by Jimbo Roberts » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:01 pm

How did you make the body of the Trout Killer?

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:30 pm

I havent had a chance to fish it yet, but was casting it in the pool and I think its going to work great. Just gota see what the fish think about it now! I have tied up several in diffrent colors, a few weedless. If I tie it as a bendback im scared it will foul the fibers and tail more easily.

I started off making the tail section, which is just some mono threaded threw some braided tinsel. Before you tie on the marabou fluff crimp down the mono to give it something to hold onto (like in a previous tip). Do the same to the other end when tying it to the hook. Tie in the tail just before the bend and add a little bit of flash.

For the body I used EP ultimate fibers, but you can substitute just about any synthetic or natural hair. Tie in a long clump of fibers for the tail section. Next tie in a smaller length of fibers, tie it in at the middle of the clump. Bend the fibers back, make two loose wraps and spread the fibers out around the hook shank, then tie them in. This will give you twice the bulk in one step. Dont use alot of fibers, a little goes a long way. Keep the fly sparce so it will shead water easily.Repeat this step untill you reach the eye. Adding in a little bit of flash between each set. There should only be 3 sets of fibers from the tail to the hook eye.

When you reach the eye tie in a painted lead eye. If you want the fly to be weedless tie in the weedgaurd. Taper the thread into a point. After tying off take the fly out of the vise and trim the fibers untill you get the shape desired. If the fly is to be weedless use several coats of gloss coat. If you want it to sink faster use epoxy to finish the fly.

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Last edited by AlanKulcak on Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:20 pm

I learned this next tip from Lefty. To clean out the wet glue that has made its way into the hook eye, take a scrap piece of feather and run it threw the eye. Run the feather back and forth untill all the glue has been cleaned out. For smaller hooks this may not be possible, you can use a deer tail fiber instead.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:12 pm

When buying new materials dont just grab the first one off the shelf.. Look threw all of them and select the best one for your fly. Try to visualize what you want out of your fly and what kind of characteristics are needed. Spend time researching exactly what you need. Many packages come with a easy to open ziplock style seal, dont be afraid to open up the package to examine it thoroughly. Every natural hair or feather is diffrent in some way, selecting the right one can mean the difference in tying a great looking fly and tying a fly you cut apart to salvage the hook..

When selecting feathers first try to gauge what size you need and whether you need a neck or saddles skin. Look threw out the package and see if there are any defects and if the colors are true. When a worker restocks the shelf they are told to put the new ones in the back so the older ones up front so they will sell. Often times the best one is stuffed far in the back and hard to find.

When selecting any kind of natural hairs check for straitness, thinkness, and how coarse the hair is. Rember what kind of fly you are going to use it on and select the characteristics that best suit that fly. Look at the back side of the hide and try to find one that has dried flat and is not bent or kinked up. Check the tips of the hiars make sure they are healthy looking and not broken.

For more research on selecting the correct materials here is an excelent article http://flyfisherman.com/ftb/ssmaterials/index.html

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:22 am

Keep a tissue box next to your tying area. They come in handy when you spill glue all over your table or when you need to dab off a little bit of extra glue off your fly. You can also use them as a small table cloth when your painting or using a permanent marker on your fly materials (a slip of large post-it notes works good for this to). When the box is empty it makes a good trash can for your tying table.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:53 pm

Tie off a couple of times when you are tying a fly with complicated steps. Especially if you are spinning deer hair, always throw in a couple of half hitches after every set you spin. Nothing is more frustraiting when spinning deer hair than reaching the eye and hearing the sound of your thread SNAP, knowing that you havent tied off once...:evil: Whip finish tools work great for tying threads 6/0 or smaller, but you also need to learn how to whip finish with your bair hands to make quick tie offs. If you are tying with mono thread always tie off twice and make about 5-6 turns in each whip finish. When you are pulling the thread tight try not to press against it with your finger nail, this will often break the thread. But that can be a plus sometimes, like when your starting off your thread and always having to cut off the tag end. Just pull on it and gently press against it with your fingure nail, then slide your nail across the thread and snap it off.

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Post by LabRat » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:03 pm

Here's one I found really useful if you use Zap a Gap or other super glues, and are tired of the lid adhering to the nozzle.

(1) Make the opening as small as possible (i.e. use a needle to open the nozzle instead of snipping the end off if possible)
(2) After the first use, put some fly floatant or flyline dressing on your finger and thumb, and "dress" the nozzle with the compound. Any residual glue will not adhere to the now slick nozzle. I usually re-apply the compound after each session on the bench.

Props to Bob Clouser for this one.
Mark Dillow

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:42 pm

When you are going to palmer a peacock herl always tie the shiny side away from you with the dull underside toward you. This will make for a more dense and nicer looking finish. I got this one from "fly tyer" magazine.

- Nice tip about the zap-a-gap, I use that stuff almost every day and I'll definitely have to try that out.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:52 am

Tying with mylar tubing. The best way to work with it and not have it unravel on you is to cut it with a hot blade. Like the kind they use to cut rope at the hardware store, this melts the end slightly so the strands stick together. You can achieve the same results by heating up a razor blade, just make sure you hold it with some pliers while its hot. You can also put a drop of head cement around the area that you going to cut, this will help hold the strands together after it has been cut. Make sure you use a sharp pair of scissors. If you are using the cord style keep the inner rope part in, remove it after you have cut it to size. Always tie in the more ragged end first so you have a clean side to work with. Dont slide your fingers along the strand of tubing, this will unravel it if you are pulling on the end. After the fly has been tied coat it with a gloss coat or a thin layer of 5-min epoxy to make for a more durable finish. Mylar tubing works great for holding rattles, making flashy tails, or covering the head of a surf candy type fly.



* going down to sargent for the weekend to fish with a few buddies.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:28 pm

Learn to tie more realistic flies by studying pictures of the bugs you see on the river. The web is a great place to search for pictures, by doing a simple yahoo search and selecting images you can find hundreds pictures within a click away. It is also important to learn their behavior along with their diffrent stages of life. There also are alot of books available on the subject. A little homework on researching these things can greatly improve your time on the water and what exactly it is you are aiming to tie at the vise.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:36 pm

When tying new fly patterns always tie more than one and leave one of them at home so if you losse the one your fishing you will remember exactly how you tied it.

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AlanKulcak
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Post by AlanKulcak » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:11 pm

Jimbo Roberts wrote:Yeap, there's nothing like tying a beautiful fly, which takes about 20 minutes for me, and then mashing down the barb and having the point of the hook break off. I thought that it was a freak occurance the first time it happened, but the second time it happened I was embarrassed. I had two prefectly tied flys that could not be fished. I learned my lesson and mash those barbs down first and then tie the fly. Jimbo
This is a good tip!

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