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Shad imitations

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Okay, if you think eyes aren't necessary, please skip responding to this particular question.

 

Here's the thing: I'm trying some new patterns and ask- Jungle Cock or big ol' 3d eyes? I believe the primary points of a Shad imitation to be flash, deep body and eyes, not absolutely in that order. I have success witht he stick-on eyes, but just enjoy using J-C. Enjoyment goes out the window though when the question is more fish or less!

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Big Ol' 3-D,

I'm playing with braided

mylar tubing right now and was just

thinking I've gotta order some of the

really big stuff 'cuz it would make a

great shad. As long as you're epoxying

over them I like these little prizmatic

stickers 'cuz you get about a million

of 'em for a couple bucks. I've never

messed with jungle cock, (insert

jungle cock joke here) but have

seen eyes made with it-very pretty,

but just doesn't catch the eye like

synthetic bling.

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Definitely go with the 3-D or Mirage eyes(a bit flatter). Jungle Cock's nice for display flies, but not on a shad pattern. I tend to call them wide body flies. Flash, eyes, and most shad have the black eye spot. Also, check out patterns for Peanut Bunker. One thing I've noticed in shad/bunker patterns, is a tendency to make them to dark on top, or make half the fly dark. Just a thin dark line on the back, other wise, a light olive or bronze mixed with light purples, blues. Also, try running a pale pink stripe down the sides.

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If price isn't an issue go with the Jungle Cock eyes.

 

They have a subtle glow to them in the water and it you have ever stood in a school of bait at night you see how they have a bluish shimmer as they swirl around your feet...its cool.

 

One other point to consider is "feel", with many predatory fish having strong lateral lines how a fly vibrates in the water may well be one of its most important characteristics.

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I agree the jungle cock is a classier, more ture look to the fly. It tends to have this great irredesence that can only be seen around dusk and dawn. The price is bit of a drawback--but what the heck buy 1 nice neck and it will last forever (just think of it as 2 nice hackle necks from whiting)

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I agree with the J.C. it can bee seen from a long distance.It gives off more shine and shimmer than anything. Try bowth types of eyes and see what works the best. When you are done and have put the plastics away you can tell us how grand J.C. realy is.

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I've got to go with the synthetic eye. I use domed, 3-D, prismatic, stick-on eyes. I attach them with Sticks-on-Contact. Water proof, holds like iron, dries clear & flexible. Best of all $1.95 at Wally World.

 

BTW, think about why a shad has it's false eye. It was an evolutionary defense mechanism. If the predator takes too long trying to figure out which eye is the right one the shad has a better chance of escape. The same for a Redfish in saltwater. The false eye on shad immitations has done nothing to help my success in catching fish. Actually, I think at times it may have actually hurt my success. I now leave the false eye off, but use stick ons for the real eye. Gold has been my most productive color eye.

post-2-1116283058.jpg

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i've got to go with the synthetic eye. Jungle cock is nice, but doesn't match the shad. the most prominent notable features on a shad are the wide body shape, the large prominent eye and the false eye spot. JC usually just doesn't have the size needed to give the right impression of a shad eye. The false eye spot issue was dealt nicely with above. On my shad patterns I use a yellow black-pupilled eye. I like the 3D eyes best but I've used the flat prismatic ones as well (just depends what i can dig up out the materials at hand at the time).

 

Mark Delaney

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I've never really bothered with the eye spot because I figured I want my imitations to be as useful as possible and to cross over to some of those silvery baitfish that don't have them anyway.

 

I do like the domed eyes and keep a bunch of them. They are what I use on my Zonkers and a few other patterns. This one I'm making with Sparkle Hair. I wanted Angel Hair but the shop was sold out when I got there. (I definitely plan on getting more though.) The boy is Pearl and the back stripe Emerald/Rainbow. (I would've used Olive but they didn't have any and I really want to see how effective it can be composed of the one type of material.) I added a small Silver Conehead to some of them for weight. I hope to get out soon and try them. I hear the Hybrid Stripers are hitting finally on *coughcoughhackcough* and you know I'm looking forward to that! smile.gif

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The eye spot is there to confuse predators....but not all predators are fish.

 

I believe the eye spot is meant to confuse birds - lets face it if a fish like a bass wants a shad he opens his mouth and takes the whole thing in - doesn't matter which end is which - his days be done. If a bird grabs a shad by the tail he has a much better chance of surviving than if grabbed by the head.

 

Evolution only works on winners.

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I’ve noticed on the local lakes birds that eat fish on land, like herons, drop the fish on the ground and make sure it is swallowed head first so the dorsal fin spines don’t get caught in the throat. Herons like to target shad. Birds like cormorants that eat out on the water need to swallow the fish right away without dropping it and for some reason they don’t key in on the shad as much as herons do. Maybe it’s the confusing spot?

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Graham, That is an iinteresting observation. Maybe with herons the distance they are from the water when deciding to take the bird takes the false eye out of play, they are probably keying in on the motion of the whole body. With aquatic birds the difraction between the air and water is lower allowing a more clear vision of what is in the water and probably visulaize the false eye of the shad and have a lower chance of taking the fish as food and maybe take other fish that are less confusing?

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Okay, here we go: two with JC eye and two with dome eyes. One of each has a cone head, one of each is unweighted. If they work I'll put them in the d-base. If they don't catch fish, well... we're gonna pretend this whole conversation never happened. smile.gif

post-2-1117134706.jpg

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