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I have  serendipitously discovered a new way of creating mottled rubber legs. I have never seen anyone do this on a video or any other way so I will show youse guys how I did it. It is quite simple and saves a lot of money buying them from an online outlet or fly shop. If anyone has seen this done, I'm sure you will let me know.

I bought some stretch cord from a fabric store. It is very cheap and you can find it at craft stores too. I think this was about 50 yards. That will make a lot of silli legs.

spacer.png1. Get a turkey truss or use your bodkin (if you can affix it in your vise) or even a very large darning needle. Get it affixed horizontally in your vise.

2. Cut of about 10-12 inches of the stretch cord and start it on the end of the needle just like you start a thread on a hook by wrapping over itself. (Fig1)

3. Start twisting the cord clockwise in your fingers and start wrapping the twisted cord around the needle. Your turns should be touching and the tension should not be too tight. Attach your hackle clamp when you get close to the end so you can finish the last turns. It should look like photo #3 when you are finished.

4. Now get your permanent markers and make straight marks horizontally down the length of the twisted cord. (photo #4) You may use multiple colors if you wish as I have done here. You can let go of the hackle pliers at this point. Have fun!

5 release the hackle pliers and you will end up with something like these. (photo #5)spacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.png

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Anyone who says, "youse guys" is AOK in my book

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Good idea.  I've used the clear stretch cord  for bodies on some nymphs and large soft hackles.  Never thought to use it for legs.  Since I have a life time supply of "sili legs", aka spinner bait skirts, I'll leave this with "youse guys" to play with this idea.  So are any of youse guys gonna down da shore this weekend?

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That a pretty good idea, @shoebop.  I usually do it the same as in flytire's links, but your way looks like its easier to get a more consistent result.  

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27 minutes ago, niveker said:

That a pretty good idea, @shoebop.  I usually do it the same as in flytire's links, but your way looks like its easier to get a more consistent result.  

Plus! you can add several different colors 

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Sheer genius! You can do the same by running a Sharpie across the mono on your reel to give it a "broken" camo look.

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45 minutes ago, skeet3t said:

"broken" camo look

TACTICAL!  That's marketing genius, right there. 

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Only one drawback to using rubber in any pattern is that it doesn't age well... Those sili legs last forever -but not so with rubber (another of those "ask me how I know" propositions... ).

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How does the stretch cord hold up in aging?  Does it get brittle over time?

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4 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

Only one drawback to using rubber in any pattern is that it doesn't age well... Those sili legs last forever -but not so with rubber (another of those "ask me how I know" propositions... ).

Capt Bob, I'm looking  at a small spool, called "Stretch Magic" that I picked up as body material.  It doesn't appear to be rubber, at least I've never seen clear rubber.  It might be silicone or a polymer.  I I looked this up.   "Stretch Magic is a strong elastic-like beading and jewelry making cord. It is made of a unique proprietary polyurethane. It is constructed of a mixture of polyester and polyurethane."  Sounds like it would be pretty durable.   I doubt that it would deteriorate, melt or react with the bodies of other flies like rubber does.  If you stretch silicone skirt pieces they will break, this stuff just stretches.   I was using clear mono to tie my bait fish patterns.  I stumbled on some clear polyester thread in the craft store.  Not only is it cheaper, 400 meter spool for around $2 but it's stronger than the mono.  It's a large spool but if you have and old bobbin around you can stretch the legs so the spool will fit.

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On 7/27/2021 at 10:16 AM, dave said:

How does the stretch cord hold up in aging?  Does it get brittle over time?

Well dang, I didn't read Capt. Bobs reply very well.

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Years ago, before Silli-legs came along, all we had was rubber - and it just didn't age very well at all.  I know nothing about stretch magic (or whether it's rubber or not) so I'm only speaking about plain rubber legs... That technique of wrapping around a form or mandrel then marking looks like a great idea.

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8 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

Years ago, before Silli-legs came along, all we had was rubber - and it just didn't age very well at all.  I know nothing about stretch magic (or whether it's rubber or not) so I'm only speaking about plain rubber legs... That technique of wrapping around a form or mandrel then marking looks like a great idea.

I 've lost more than a few warm water poppers/sliders to rubber legs, not only they didn't age well, but they, if I wasn't careful, "melted" into the coating of my other bugs or melded with other rubber legs..  I was very happy when I stumbled on spinner bait skirts and skirt layers while thumbing through a Barlow's catalog looking for hooks for my bass bugs.  I have a small spool of 1 mm "stretch magic" and it seems to be a bit heavier than a similar length of "sili legs"  though I am planning to use the wrapping method to make up some perch colored and fire tiger legs to go with some sliders.  I'll probably just use one strand rather than the two strands of "sili legs" I'm using for the others.

You can still buy rubber legs from Barlow's and Jann's Netcraft.  Maybe the newer versions have a different composition and don't melt or age as quickly. 

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What Philly describes is exactly what I found with rubber legs... all those years ago - so I just quit using them.  When Sili-legs came along they were exactly what I needed.  Yes, they'll tear and break - but they won't cause the problems that rubber did.   Here's a pic of one pattern I do that uses the Sili-legs - my version of Mathews Turneffe crab... 

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