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Fly Tying


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About Philly

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    Smallmouth Bass
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    Philadelphia, PA SE PA

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  1. A couple of bass foam patterns, one I just learned yesterday First is Meade's Gutless Frog. Never heard of it until yesterday. So this is my first attempt at tying it. The body of the fly is 2 1/2" long hook - Ahrex Trout Predator Long- 2/0 thread - White 3/0(only used to secure the body to the hook behind the eye. Thread color to match foam color Body- 6 mm wide strip of 6 mm craft foam legs- Silicone spinner bait skirt layers eyes- your choice Next Tony's Froggie. I learned this pattern from the originator(Tony Spezio) about 20 years ago. I used it as a panfish bug usually tied on a on a size 6 or 8 2xl hook. Decided to supersize it to a bass bug The body of the fly is 2" long hook - Mustad 3777BR, size 30. It's a weird hook. Next batch I'll use either a 1/0 2xl streamer hook, probably a Daihichi 2461 thread - yellow 3/0 Thread color to match foam color Body- 6 mm wide strip of 6 mm craft foam Shank wrap- small sparkle or ice chenille, color to match foam tail- Yellow marabou. Tail matches foam color legs- Silicone spinner bait skirt layers eyes- your choice
  2. These are the heretical flies. I tied these when I still had a yearning for those lures I fished for so many years before turning away from the dark side. I refurbished them changing out the eyes, touching up faded colors and giving them a fresh coat of UV resin. These are guaranteed to send any purist who stumbles onto this thread to run screaming from the "room" that I should be burned at the stake. I call it thinking outside the box. The ones in the last picture are panfish size.
  3. Us folks north of the Mason-Dixon Line need to be more subtle, unlike the heat crazed fish you deal with, the cold up here makes the fish more sensitive to flash and sometimes they shy away from flashy flies 🙂. I disagree with rubber legs though. I've never had a silicone skirt layer melt or stick to other flies like the rubber skirts did/do. I see you've got a pack or two of "Crazy Legs" in the background. Spinnerbait skirts and skirt layers do come in "fine" and" "regular" maybe Hareline is packing the "fine" as "Crazy Legs". Also round silicone spinner bait skirts are available. Time to get off my soap box. Are those popper bodies hard foam or balsa wood? When I first started tying poppers that's all that was available. Once soft foam popper bodies became available I switched over to them. I started this to post some flies. First up is Meade's "Gutless Frog" I'd never heard of the pattern until today when it came up on another board. The guy who started the thread had ordered one I think from Feather-Craft, so he could dissect it and then tie his own. At $5.95, I figured I could dissect with my eyes and do a bit of research on line. This is what I came up with for a first try. Next up is Tony's Froggie". I learned it about 20 years ago from the originator and tied them for panfish on size 6 to 10 hooks. This one is tied on a 2/0 hook, bass size
  4. There are no 12 step programs available for fly tyers. Welcome to the addiction. Welcome to the site
  5. I've been doing it for 30 years. I've been known to tie in public. I also have other bad habits. Let's check off where I'm at on this list. 1. A small clean head is the sign of a professional. ✓ I'm not a professional. Most of the time on small flies. 2. Learning to whip finish by hand was a game changer. Still haven't learned to use the tool, let alone whip finish by hand. 3. If a step looks wrong, unwrap it and do over. Always! ✓ Most of the time. Sometimes I don't notice till I'm finish the fly. Razor time. 4. Use ceramic bobbins and sharp scissors. You need a reliable vise. ✓ 5. A pinch wrap is probably the most important skill you will learn. Missed this one in the tying classes I've taken 6. You don't get faster by moving faster. You get faster by eliminating pauses and knowing where stuff is. I like to pause, and the stuff is never where I put it. 7. Pre-sorting, measuring and working in batches helps a lot in tying faster and more consistently. ✓ 8. Proportion, based on the hook as a measuring guide, is how you get correct, consistent flies. ✓ 9. Compare your fly to the picture you are trying to emulate.. Sometimes 10. Crappy materials = crappy flies. ✓ 11. Sparse flies may not look as good to you, but they catch more fish.✓ Not sure they catch more fish 12. Use the smallest threads you can get by with. Use the same brand so that you learn how strong it is and how much strength it takes to break it.✓ 13. If you can tie it on a size 12, you can go down to smaller sizes. Same basic skills. What you can do on a 10 or larger, may not "miniaturize". A 12 requires the same "small fly skills" as a 14-20, IMHO. Big flies require different skills, not less skills. Not sure I agree with this 14. Davie McPhail is not a normal human. Expecting to tie like him is like expecting to pitch like Clayton Kershaw. But you will improve with good instruction and practice. ✓ I agree with the last sentence. I have no idea who Clayton Kershaw is and Davie McPhail is just a name associated with fly tying. 15. Simple flies are elegant and they work. I.e., Clouser Minnows, Woolly Buggers, Bob's Bangers, PT nymphs, Zebra Midges, Klinkenhammer Specials, Partridge and Orange, and on and on. But they can be deceptive with a lot of subtle differences to get right. I thought I had a Clouser Minnow down pat until I saw Bob Clouser tie one and heard him explain each step. ✓ I had the same epiphany when Clouser did a presentation for a fly fishing club I belong to. I brought a couple of my Clousers to show him. He took one look at them and told me "Nice bucktail jigs". He proceeded to show me how to tie a proper Clouser Minnow. Most people when they tie the Clouser Minnow violate #11, It is a sparse fly and most people use too much material when tying it.
  6. Mine's beyond maintenance. It rotates, the jaws hold flies. Since this is my second Danvise, I'll occasionally swap jaws with the first one.
  7. I probably have got you beat on being messy. This is a picture of my tying area in one of it's more orderly moments. I have a trash bag stapled to my desk. That takes care of most of the trash I produce when I'm tying. There's a sticky roller next to my thread. I use the roller mainly to clean my pants and shirt of any debris that I've gather while tying. When I'm cleaning the desk top, I pull a sheet off the roller, fold it and use it to pick up the bits and pieces I can't get when I use it in the roller mode. I sweep the floor with a magnet, probably not often enough, to pick up dropped hooks and other metal pieces. I still find hooks in my bathroom, on the stairs to the first floor and living room rug. I don't vacuum the tying area but do sweep it with a broom, and carefully exam the the dust pan to see if I swept up anything useful. The trash can is a couple of feet away from my desk. When the trash bag on my desk get's full, I just dump it into the trash can and replace it with a new one.
  8. There's a difference between glitter and the transfer foil. It's literally a film that transfers to the popper and doesn't weigh anything. Those flies aren't that heavy. The silver and gold ones are 5 1/2 inches long including the tail. The fire tiger one is 5 inches long. According to my postage scale, all three of them weigh 4 grams or .1 oz. Light enough but a bit bulky to cast with my 6 wgt. My 8 wgt handles them fine
  9. Ever since I figured how to make it, I've been using "loco" foam for the flies I make out of sticky back foam sheets. For poppers and other pre-formed bodies, I coat the bodies with a craft glue that dries clear and tacky then apply the transfer foil, depending on what I'm trying to do, either before or after I color the bodies. Mother of Pearl is the one I use the most. It comes in holographic metallic colors, silver, gold and copper. Not sure how well it will it show up in the pictures. First picture, silver body, Second one, Mother of Pearl body, Third is a gold body
  10. I working on making some fly boxes using the clear plastic photo storage boxes that you can pick up in craft stores with 6 mm foam as the liner. Just about finished updating some old patterns with new eyes and UV resin. Still need to update the foam heads on my floating mop flies. Did tie up a bass size Tony's Froggie last night. If I get some tied over the weekend I'll take pictures and post them.
  11. Generally, I try to keep my legs short. The rear ones no longer than the length of the marabou tail, which is usually the length of the hook shank and the front legs just past the eye of the hook. I was looking for some pictures of small poppers, size 10. I found these two. I don't fish them anymore and have given most of them away. These days I don't fish anything smaller than a size 8, and most of the time size 6, for sunfish/bluegills. Once I get up to bass size anything goes.
  12. You can make your own Loco Foam. All you need is sticky back craft foam sheet and Art Deco Foil or Transfer foil, that's applied to a sticky surface. I think flytire got it right, evazote is what your looking for
  13. I've been through 5 minute epoxy, Liquid Fusion and a couple of other coatings. Now I just use UV resin. Since I use mostly pre-made soft foam popper bodies and craft foam for my poppers I have taken to using the Solarez Flex Resin to finish the poppers off. The one thing I never liked about epoxy and the hard UV resins is that with the soft foam bodies if you squeeze them the hard coatings tend to crack.
  14. I just checked Jann's Netcraft and Barlow's catalogs, and the smallest they carry is size 10. Like denduke, I haven't used that type of hook in years. I prefer a round bend, 2xl hook for my poppers, size 8 to 3/0. I just wrap the shank where the popper body will sit with thread till it's a tight fit when I slide the body on the shank. Coat the thread with superglue and slide body back on. Once the glue sets, the body's not going anywhere.
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