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Kirk Dietrich

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Everything posted by Kirk Dietrich

  1. Dart, I start weedguarding at size 6 and I don't tie to far down into the bend. NJ, I use a makeup applicator sponge to dapple the paint line edge. That will be my next tutorial but not until maybe next week or so - and don't tell me you're putting a paint brush on your right angle grinder to try and spray the paint on just to get my sympathy to post painting pics sooner. Oatka & Tyer14, thanks for the compliments. Tyer14, as for tailing, feathers are only one material I use for a tail. As suggested by a reply in your post, I also use squirrel and other hairs including synthetic. EP fibers are great for tailing as they have a really compressed small tie in point. Tufts of rabbit, fox and marabou are also good on the small sizes. Glad ya'll can get some tips, I like sharing tying information as a way to give back all that I've picked up from other tiers over the years. Kirk
  2. Mark, see my post here on tying a popper tail. http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=51249 Kirk
  3. Again, probably more pictures than you want to look at but I actually left some out. I photographed almost every step. I'll say, this is the way I do it. This is certainly not the only way to tie a popper tail but it is the way I do it and what I'm comfortable with. I really have an insecurity about tying in splayed feather tails. I found that making a wide base with a piece of mono on each side of the shank gives me the most consistent results in not twisting the feathers. Any other suggestions are more than welcome. Kirk 1) Start thread behind body and wind back to above the hook point. Select a piece of hard mason approx. the dia. of your hook, this is .017 for a #6 hook. It is a little light but I'd rather it on the light side than to stiff. Tie in the mono and wrap it down approx one third into the hook bend. If you tie it to far down, it will impede the hook set by not being able to bend out of the way, not tied down into the bend enough and the guard won't stay in line with the hook point and deter weeds. 2) Wrap the tag end of the mono up along the side of the hook shank towards the body. When a little from the body, bend the tag end back towards the hook bend on the opposite side of the shank. Make a few wraps and cut tag end near the bend, it isn't cut in this pic but this is where/when to trim. 3) If necessary, manipulate the mono so that each piece is on each side of the shank creating a flat platform across the top of the hook shank. Place a drop of super thin penetrating Zap-a-Gap super glue on top to anchor the mono to the hook and prevent twisting when tying in the tail. 4) Select 2 - 4 feathers from approx the same spot on each side of a quality rooster neck to get feathers of the same size and curvature. 5) Pluck them from the neck and roughly even up the tips on each set of feathers. Cut the thick end of the stems off with the fluff, which will allow for easier evening of the tips. Even up the tips to prepare for measuring the tail length. 6) Laying one set of feathers across your fingertips with the bunch curving down toward the ground. Lay the other set of feathers on top but curving upward and line up the tips. 7) When the tips of each set are lined up with each other, hold the two sets together and next to your hook. Cut the butt ends off of the sets so that the feathers are approx one and a half times the length of the hook. For this picture I inadvertently cut the tail feathers a little longer than I personally prefer. 8) Separate the sets and put one on the side, strip some of the barbs from the ends of the stem butts. This allows you to hold the set between your index finger and thumb to ensure the feather lay together as one. Re-align the tips and place the set on top of the hook with the curve facing away or towards you. The thread should be above the hook barb, place several loose wraps of thread around the feather butts and hook trapping the barbs down. Check the set of feathers to make sure none have twisted out of alignment, if all looks good, advance the thread towards the body with several snug wraps. 9) Repeat stripping and aligning for the second set and place it on top of the first set/hook shank with the curve pointing opposite the first set so that half the tail splays toward you and the other half splays away from you; tie in as done for the first set. Holding the tail up, make a couple wraps of thread under the tail pulling the thread forward to lock in the feathers. Finished tail, somewhat symmetrical. For the skirt, select two saddle feathers with barbs from one to two times the hook gape. Line up the tips of the feathers and while holding them together, run your index and thumb along the stem to make the barbs stick out from the stem. Strip the fluff from the fat end of the stem, this part of the feather is usually to thick to have enough room on the shank to wrap it anyway. Trim approximately a quarter to half inch of the barbs from the stem tip for tying in. Tie in the two feathers at the same time by the trimmed stem. Palmer the two feathers forward making the stems wrap right up against each other. Note, I have since begun palmering the hackle through the silicone legs in which case, I would now go tie in the legs before palmering the hackle. When you reach the back of the popper head, tie of the stems with four or five wraps, trim feather stems and make several more wraps of thread. With the thread hanging, fold two strands of rubber or silicone leg material in half around the thread. Holding the four tips of strands in one hand, pull the thread down tight against the hook shank, which pulls the legs down at their midpoint. Pull the set of legs towards you to the upper side of the hook shank. Holding pressure on the thread, release the legs and make one or two wraps around the midpoint. Repeat for the legs on the opposite side of the hook shank and make four or five wraps over each other across the midpoints of the leg sets. Place a half hitch at this point and then take the thread forward between the legs and back of popper head and whip finish. Start thread at hook eye to tie off the weeguard. Slip the tip of the weeguard up through the hook eye and make two or three loose wraps of thread. Adjust the length of the weedguard so that there is a half to one hook gape distance between the bottom of the hook point and the weedguard. If the mono is to long and there is to much space between the hook and mono, it will be floppy and not deter weeds, if it is to tight and close to the hook point, there will not be enough slack to fold out of the way to get a good hook set. When adjusted to your satisfaction, secure with a few tight wraps. Pull the tag end of the mono back toward the popper face and place a thread wrap over it. Make sure to push the mono into the face to pull it tight inside the hook eye so you will have room pass the tippet through the hook eye when tying fly on your leader to fish. Make a few tight wraps of thread and trim the tag end of mono. Finish with several more wraps and whip finish. Finished popper. I place head cement on all of the thread wraps at the back of the popper head, weedguard tie off point. Also, I place some cement at the base of the feather tail where the hackle tips for the skirt are tied in. To do that, you have to stroke the hackle skirt barbs forward a little - I like working the cement in to the barbs a little to help ensure the stem stays put if it breaks off after fish eat it. Fishes view.
  4. I like the kinked shank Mustad 33903 for most applications. I like the Gamakatsu B10s stinger hook is good as is the 3366 although they have a regular, smooth shank and are standard to short in shank length, which doesn't leave much room for a tail but are good hooks. I also use the Mustad 34007 and 340011 for bugs that I'll fish in brackish or saltwater. Almost any hook will work as long as you use the body size as a guideline. You want the body to be from the back of the hook eye to no longer than the hook point. If you're tying a weedguard, the body should be a little back from the hook eye; look back at the pics I posted of glueing the cork to the hook. The hook you used will work but you would have to cut the body shorter either off the larger front end or the rear smaller end depending on the best proportion. Don't know if all that makes any sense. Kirk
  5. You're off to a great start. Not bad for your first attempts; look like mine did 25 years ago. I'd say it will catch some fish. Just keep working with it, fishing them and you will develop a good feel and find ways that are easy for you. I'd try to find a longer hook for that sized body, you're going to drive yourself crazy trying to thread the eye of that hook inside the cupped face while bass are smashing the surface around you. This is a real subtle point and one I don't always get right but if you cut the face on a slope you can actually cup the face kind of vertical or even follow the sloped face so that when you pick up, it will dig in less making for an easier pickup/backcast yet will still chug and pop with the little twitch. Kirk
  6. Tyer14, I'm gonna second Stippled comments. However, I routinely set my body a little back from the hook eye on size 6 and above as I'm usually putting a weedguard on and I don't find it effects the orientation in the water but I do always try to glue the hook as close to the bottom edge of the body. For the tail, I try to use materials that will grab the water and help pull the ass end down a little. Nice start though. Kirk
  7. That is a beauty, I really like the colors. Proportions look fine to me but I'm no expert; I am part fish though and I'd certainly eat that! Kirk
  8. NJ, you got balls man! holding a little bottle stopper cork and making a slit with a dremel cut-off wheel! Shit, I better find some down time fast or we're going to have a casualty on our hands. You can find the saw I was talking about at Michael's too. I think it is made by X-acto, so, try to find the X-acto stuff or just ask someone for a hobby saw. You may see a little miter box too. I bought one but don't find it as useful as I imagined I would. I still find I have to draw a line down the bottom and up the face in order to get a good straight cut and one that doesn't go off askew. Kirk
  9. Harold, thanks for the interest and work in copying the posts, appreciate it. Paints: I use the cheap acrylic paints from Michael's Craft Store, they go for about 89 cents and on sale for 50 cents. I then top coat with 2-ton epoxy. NJ, I use a hobby saw, some call a razor saw, the teeth are in line as opposed to being alternately bent to the left or right like a regular hand saw. I've also used a hacksaw blade in one of those plastic blade holders intended for tight work on cutting pipe; I'll take a file and file alongside the blade and file down the points sticking out. I plan on doing some pics of the process. I've been wanting to do it; with so much interest, I may have to get to it some time this weekend or during the week. I have to work tonight and not sure what's going on tomorrow. I did do some photos of tying a splayed feather tail on a popper with silicone legs tied in between the skirt and back of head. When I process those pics, I'll post that, I think they came out okay. Kirk
  10. Harold, I take the leg material and fold it over the thread making five or six wraps around that center point to secure it to the hook, if I'm doing legs to splay off the side, I secure them to each side, usually two legs to a side which makes four legs. If I'm doing a tail like on the hula popper, I attach them to the top of the hook and then take the half of bunch facing forward and pull them back and make additional wraps over the bunch. Flytire, don't see why a needle wouldn't work if you did something to the shank to prevent the body from spinning such as the trilobal sharpening or perhaps roughening the shank with a file??? Plus, the needle is more tapered fat to thing, the mandrel is more of the same diameter, I think with that cone shape, the cetrifugal force could walk the body off the needle - it happens sometimes to the mandrel I have pictured but not often. I may give it a try, I have some of those big needles. Also, I like the consistent diameter of the nail shaft to go into the chuck for a pretty secure fit. NJ FlyMan, I get my bottle stoppers from Jann's Net Craft but I may have to check out that ebay site. I cut a slot in the cork and super glue the hook in the slot after wrapping the shank with thread or not if using a kink shank hook. I'll have to do some pics on the above leg tying and cork glueing. Kirk
  11. I like the little yellow one. What is the tail? No eyes? Looks like four eyes, at least, to me. Good looking bug, fish catcher for sure. Kirk
  12. Devin, my general rule of thumb for head length is to use a head that goes no farther back on the hook shank than a point above the hook point, basically, you're trying to avoid impeding on the hook gape and consequentially hook setting. For diameter, I try to keep it near the size of the hook gap, smaller is no problem and a little larger is okay but if the diamter of the head is to much larger than the hook gap, the fly tends to look misproportioned; think about how a dry fly is proportioned. Not sure if it effects hook setting or not, but that could be an issue, not sure. I get bottle stopper cork bodies from Jann's Net Craft supplies and shape and cup my own. See my tutorial under the The Fly Tying Bench forum titled: "Making a mandrel for turning cork, foam and balso bodies". http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=51163 For a beginner, even experienced hard bug makers, the pre-shaped hard foam bodies are an excellent option these days, they have a nice shape, take paint well and hold up good to fish. The soft foam for poppers/divers/sliders is a good starting point as well. Kirk
  13. Thanks Dart and Flytyer. Hard bodied bugs are the first things I tied twenty five years ago when I began tying and then I got into other flies as well, lost everything in Katrina and just did, this winter, get back to my roots of hard bodied bugs. I love fly tying and tying foam bugs for surface fishing but hard bodied bugs hold a special place. The raised eyes are pins with little plastic ball heads, a friend of mine calls them map pins but I think map pins have larger plastic ball head. I find these in the sewing section of Wal-Mart in two sizes. I clip most of the pin off leaving only about an eight of an inch attached to the plastic ball, which is used to stick into the body after which a drop of super glue is placed where the pin head contacts the body. I don't know that the fish really care, but they do look cool, espcially with frog legs on the back. I'll have to post a pic of one of those guys. Kirk
  14. Brian, the mandrel is not very large so the hole is minimal, it basically "heals" itself, but I've never noticed a hole needing filling. I haven't actually tried it with balsa, being harder and less giving, balsa may need filling. I would fill it like I do the cork bodies. I fill the natural holes and imperfections in the cork with Elmer's interior/exterior wood filler, which is water based. I put a little in a snap lid jar and mix with a little water to the consistency of loose mashed potatoes. I then use the cheap platic bristled brushes and brush it into the holes and hook slot. When dry, sand smooth. Kirk
  15. Here is how I made a mandrel for my dremel. Takes about 5 - 10 minutes. I have a keyless chuck, which I picked up from Home Depot for about $15 and love it; one less wrench to have to keep track of and it lets you chuck different diameter shafts just like your hand drill. You know, I was thinking about the needle thing mentioned later on in someone's reply and I realized that leather makers use a trilobal needle for a lot of their work. I used to use them when I did taxidermy - guess you could go somewhere like Tandy Co or another leather goods place to find them??? Kirk Start with 3d finishing nail, 1 1/4" long. Chuck it in the dremel with the head out. Turn dremel on and holding a steel file, move the spinning nail back and forth to file down the head to the nail's shaft diameter. Turn nail around and chuck it point out. Turn dremel on and holding the steel file, move the spinning nail back and forth to file down the nail to approximately half the original diameter, the original nail is to fat to go smoothly into cork and foam. Use a medium diamond sharpening pad or similar to put a triangular point on the mandrel. This creates three cutting edges, which facilitates impaling the foam or cork onto the mandrel and I think helps keep it from spinning. Impale your foam piece, cork bottle stopper or balsa onto the mandrel and turn it on medium speed. Lightly touch the popper material on a medium grit sandpaper. Putting to much pressure can cause the material to grab and spin around the mandrel and fly off. Sand to desired taper. To make the narrow waist for a hula popper, fold the sand paper so there is a rounded bend to the fold. Run the body on the rounded fold of the paper to sand a waist in the body. Any questions, feel free to ask. You can see some of my finished Hula Poppers in my Hula Poppers post under The Fly Tying Bench forum. http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?sho...mp;#entry409104 The following is being posted so NJ won't cut off his fingers - I'll follow up with words later on, like about putting the weedguard on to give the glue more to hold on to in the slotted body. I hope it is okay to post so many pictures, I may just get kicked off this forum for bogging it down??
  16. Hackle tips on that small of a fly will not add much unless you tie them in on each side of the hair plume. Likely they will not splay and have less bulk than the hair. Although you could get them to splay by crisscrossing some thread in between them to separate them a bit. For me, hackles are challenging enough to tie in splayed without twisting on a #6; I gave up on tying them on smaller heads years ago. I'm sure there are more talented tiers that can do it but its not me babe. Kirk
  17. Dart, that Stonefly is awesome; looks like you've been tying them for years! That Bottle Imp, while simple looking, looks like a real killer fly that bluegill would suck up like candy. Kirk
  18. My first "New Topic" on this board, I hope I get the picture thing right. These are some hula popper style poppers I put together from bottle stopper shaped corks and put on a Gmakatsu B10s stinger size 6 hook. Kirk
  19. Those look good. I like a simple hair or synthetic tail with hackle. The paint job is great, looks like Stippled has a protegee on his hands! I prefer tying my legs in behind the head as you did on the green/yellow one with the deer hair collar. Kirk
  20. I'll join the fishing camp and give up tying although if left leg were a choice like oatka says, it would be that. I wonder though, with all us tiers giving up tying and going to fishing, who the hell will be left to tie flies for me to fish with!!!??? Maybe we can cut off oatka's leg so he can tie flies, let him tie for us and take him fishing occassionally?? Kirk
  21. Smallie, while a rating system may discourage some, it would make some strive to improve. Perhaps in that vein, a rating should be accompanied by a constructive critique or compliment. As ratings are always subjective, I would think you would have to assemble a panel of experienced tiers from the site that would be responsible for rating the flies so that you would have some consistency in the rating system. Consistency would be critical in having an accurate rating from fly to fly. If a rating system were employed, to be most effectively sorted, there could be different categories to be rated (which may actually negate a comment being required and be easier to sort on) such as: Aesthetics, Would I fish this, Would I tie this, etc. I've seen many flies that look really good but the way they are tied, they have no hook gap left and you just know that you would have a hard time hooking a fish. So, if I rated that fly as Great looking, I'd like to be able to express that I would not fish it or point out that it needed to have more clearance betweeen the hook point and body. Then again another way for sorting would be similar to what HairStacker said about Prototype vs. Tested, Top vs. Bottom vs. In-between, etc. where the tier would enter the data before being allowed to upload. Personally, a feature I'd like to see - it may be there already as I am new here and have not played around much with the data base - Search by tier so when I am interested in a person's fly, I can search on their name and see all the flies they have submitted. Also, I did notice the categories as a sorting filter by fish species; is there one for "type fly" such as Dry Fly, Hard Bodied Bug, Deer Hair bug, nymph, etc? I did notice that some people classified their flies as something they really are not. I was viewing the "Panfish" data base and came across large salmon flies and other large bugs that should not have been there. Is it possible people are entering catergories that are appropriate and then putting extra tags in irrelevant categories just to get extra exposure? While I voted yes, it is more of a yes vote for desiring expanded sorting fields more than a yes vote for an actual rating of fly system. Great site here, great job. Kirk
  22. Good point and that is a sad reality, I remember milk prices jumping up because they said with the cost of fuel, their operations including delivery were increased. The funny/sad thing is that when fuel prices fluctuate and lower, that milk is still the same price. As for the flu thing, that could be a reality and as everyone that shops at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, etc. can attest to, things made in other countries are much cheaper. Look in the fly catalogs at "Chinese Cock Necks", they retail for under $10; you should be able to find an on-line store that has hen necks for less than $17. Orvis picked up a couple of my flies and they can retail them cheaper than I can wholesale them for and that is when I tie them myself and try to equate my price based on what I think I should make per hour. We here in the U.S. have a higher cost of living and anything we labor for will cost the consumer many more times the amount than 3rd world producers. Kirk
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