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NHMatt

Streamer head - awful

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I'm not happy with the way my streamer heads are coming out. I can't get a good conical, tapered shape. They all come out elongated, and not what all the books, videos and other flies look like. Mine also taper back down at the back end, which I'm pretty sure is not what you want.

 

 

This is mine (awful)....

 

photo_zpsahnqtqsm.jpg

 

 

This is what I want it to look like (good).....

 

photo_zpsgojhq0sl.jpg

 

 

I'm sure I have a number of issues going on here, so any other comments would be appreciated. I'm using black 6/0 thread.

 

Driving me nuts.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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Its not too bad at all. I got my heads on hair wing flies allot smaller when I started to tie in the tinsel right up to the hook eye and focused on using the fewest possible thread wraps to hold the stuff in place.

 

There may be some master tier that says that the heads have to or should be some particular shape but I don't subscribe to this opinion. I think heads should be as small as possible, unless of course you want to paint on eyes and I do not do this either so I cant help you there. My advise is to focus on small like on the one below If I had to make a guess I would say that the shape of the head is achieved from a bit of black head cement like Loon Hard Head. I attached a picture of one of mine as well its certainly not master work but its a fishing fly that will catch fish and that is the point I didn't finish the head, I don't always because its messy but I do like to some times.

 

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Matt... I have the same problem making heads but I figure that's from lack of practice. There isn't anything wrong with your fly's head if you're tying it to fish with. If you feel it's not pretty enough to enter in a contest, and that's your goal, then "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". And like others have suggested, if you don't like those flies you tied, PM me and I'll send you my mailing address. Be glad to take them off your hands. So nice of me don'tcha think?

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I got my heads on hair wing flies allot smaller when I started to tie in the tinsel right up to the hook eye and focused on using the fewest possible thread wraps to hold the stuff in place.

 

I'll give that a shot. Thanks.

 

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

It's a good thing my wife subscribes to the same philosophy! I plan on fishing these for sure - that's all I'm really concerned with at this point - so thanks.

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Talking with the guys who tie the most amazing classic salmon flies, they told me they use wax to stop the thread from slipping when they build the heads. They even have special wax for this purpose.

 

The other thing is take all the twist out of your thread before building the head. That and keeping the thread turns to a minimum should see you right.

 

Cheers,

C.

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The other thing is take all the twist out of your thread before building the head. That and keeping the thread turns to a minimum should see you right.

 

That makes sense. I'll give it a shot. What thread are people using for hair wing streamers? 6/0, 8/0? Waxed / unwaxed? Flat waxed? Something else?

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Watch some of Davie McPhail's videos. He subscribes to always have that taper in mind as you build the fly, same with tapered bodies towards the tail.. Cut your materials at an angle when you trim, wrap forward to the eye or with tails towards the bend and back after each tie in. Then when you go to build the head the shape is already there, all you do is cover that shape with final wraps.

 

I've started doing things his way and it does work better. At first I kept nipping off my thread LOL, but I'm starting to get it now. Some day before i die I might get near as good as he is but I doubt it because my flies mostly are for fishing.

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You should have seen the heads on my flies when I first started tying. I was using thread that was about half the size of parachord and they were uuuugly. They got a lot better when I got some smaller thread which was still not like the thread of today. Your heads look fine to me.

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You should have seen the heads on my flies when I first started tying. I was using thread that was about half the size of parachord and they were uuuugly. They got a lot better when I got some smaller thread which was still not like the thread of today. Your heads look fine to me.

Me too, my first streamers were tied using sewing thread...

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Crack how do they use wax? Apply it to the thread before wrapping? is it hard or soft... like paraffin, beeswax, moustache wax, Vaseline, or what?

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Many tiers make their own. Stack Scovil once gave me a small wafer of what he makes. It's a combination of bee's wax, powdered rosin and, I think, some Vaseline. I made some myself with just candle wax (paraffin in the US) and Vaseline. Pure bee's wax could be used, but is a little dry. Cobbler's wax, which is hard to find, works. Commercial dubbing wax, or tacky wax, could be used as well.

 

Actually, almost any wax you can think of could be used. :D

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Cut your materials at an angle when you trim, wrap forward to the eye or with tails towards the bend and back after each tie in. Then when you go to build the head the shape is already there, all you do is cover that shape with final wraps.

 

Dave, I've seen a couple methods and I wanted your take: do you pre-trim (angled) the buck tail before mounting with a pinch wrap, or do you mount then trim (at the angle)?

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In that circle the recipes for different waxes are a closely guarded secret. They are hard but sticky. A mix of paraffin wax, bee's wax, turpentine, and rosin. More than that I do not know. It is used when building the head, just run it up and down the thread before wrapping.

 

Something else comes to mind with hair wing flies. Using a locking turn to secure the wing means you can tie it with many less turns and it will be more secure. This can only be done with hair that can be compressed. Set the wing with two turns of thread, Lift the butts and take one turn around the wing butts only, not around the shank. Draw it tight. Take a few, three or four at most, around the hook shank and wing root, covering the locking turn. Trim out the butts. Done correctly this will give a very secure wing.

 

Cheers,

C.

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Set the wing with two turns of thread, Lift the butts and take one turn around the wing butts only, not around the shank. Draw it tight. Take a few, three or four at most, around the hook shank and wing root, covering the locking turn. Trim out the butts. Done correctly this will give a very secure wing.

 

That sounds do-able. I'll give it a shot - thanks.

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Thanks Crack and PHG. I've made my own moustache wax by melting together beeswax and Vaseline. Don't think I'd use turpentine for that purpose though. Basically they're just slightly softening the wax. Adding rosin would stickify it.

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