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fowlmood77

legs?

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This question begs a few more. How realistic do you want to go ? What size are the ants ? Are these fishables, or pure tying exercises ?

 

A few potential answers; stripped and clipped hackle stalks, very fine black brush fibres - can be cauterized with extreme care, these can also be "bound" with thread for shape. If it's for fishables, then try "shirring" rubber, as it will allow the fly to be "sucked in " easier than the other two and can be knotted for joints.

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You could try Paul Whillock in the UK. He ties realistic flies' legs using a material from a Japanese model maker. They are pretty robust too. To shape them, you simply warm up your dubbing needle and place it where you want the bend - and they simply move.

 

Tales a little practice, but the effects can be great. Take a look...

www.paulwhillock.com

 

Good luck, Dave.

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You could just use tying thread to make the leg, superglue to make it stiff enough to hold it's position and a hot needle or bodkin to form the bends in the legs.

 

See http://www1.odn.ne.jp/bambriarsilk/myfly2003.htm (you can click cancel for installing language pack) for pictures of Takeshi's ants and http://www1.odn.ne.jp/bambriarsilk/tips2k3.htm (scroll down about 4/5 of the page) for a fairly brief step by step. Put your cursor over the picture and it switches to a more detailed step by step.

 

I've tried it - my only realistic to date - and I think it comes out surprisingly lifelike.

 

Take the time to go through the rest of his site. Amazing photography (including fish caught on his ants). Be sure to put your curser over each photo. Some reveal a new photo, some don't.

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Thanks guys

It will be fishable but I wanted to go as realistic as possble

Its on a size 14

What about using peacock herl? Would it be durable enough with the fibers stripped?

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I wouldn't go for stripped peacock herl - too fragile - a superb body material though.

 

Just one other thought...

 

You could try cock pheasant tail fibres. When you strip them away form the stem they leave a curved tip where they were joined - like the bend in a leg and it proves very realistic. Not sure how useful this is for an ant imitation, but works well for caddis etc.

 

Try it, and if you can't see what I mean, I'll post some pictures. Good luck.

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Further to what Dave mentioned above, the first fibres used for this technique were from a golden pheas. There is no reason why you couldn't try a melanistic or Japanese pheas, as well - these are the blackish ones with a blue green sheen to them.

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