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To Bead Or Not To Bead?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 xvigauge

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:29 PM

I'm just wondering how many of you folks use a bead when tying nymphs. On all my nymphs, I have developed a habit of installing a bead (usually tungsten) of some kind on the hook next to the hook eye. Here in the GSMNP, you have to get your nymph to the bottom of the stream to have any fish catching success. If the nymph is going to have some kind of bulky body, such as the hares ear, I will also wrap the hook with lead wire before tying. Even then, we sometimes have to apply a small split shot the the leader. So, do most tiers use beads? BTW, I fish with nymphs almost exclusively. Since I started nymph fishing, my catch rate has gone way up.

Joe



#2 Flicted

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:49 PM

If I need weight, I use a bead or wire.  If I want a slow sink or natural presentation in shallower water, no weight other than the heavier wire of many nymph style hooks.



#3 tjm

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 04:23 PM

I prefer lead wire or no weight, depending on where it's fished. Beads add a nice shape to some nymphs but make them head heavy and jig like. Under the body wire can be placed fore, aft or centered to give the swim/crawl action better than just head-standing.



#4 whatfly

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 06:16 PM

More beaded nymphs than not.  Never found tungsten to be worth additional cost.  Always pays to have a few unweighted nymphs as well.



#5 mikechell

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 07:21 PM

Didn't we just have a thread about this? 

I don't put weight/beads on most of my flies, since the places I fish are either still water or shallow, or both.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#6 phg

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 07:42 PM

Most southern Appalachian streams are fairly high gradient with swift runs and plunge pools.  Those conditions call for a fair amount of weight, so bead heads and lead wraps are the norm.  I use a variety of beads, including black nickle, where I want the weight, but no flash.  Generally, though, I can't say as I've ever noticed the color of the bead making much difference.  A little extra sparkle doesn't seem to hurt. 

 

I also have to agree with whatfly.  In most instances, especially on smaller nymphs, the use of tungsten doesn't seem to make much difference, and is probably not worth the cost.  On larger flies, say size 12, the extra density of tungsten may help. 



#7 NohackleHS

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 08:06 PM

According to the "Little Red Book of Fly Fishing" Kirk Deeter states "Use this simple gauge:  if the current is slower than one foot per second, forget about the beads."



#8 Philly

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:11 AM

I use bead heads on all my nymphs.   The gradients on all the streams around here are minimal.  I used lead wire when I first started tying but moved away from it over the years.  I don't use weight on my soft hackles most of the time.   


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#9 tjm

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 10:57 AM

 

Appalachian streams are fairly high gradient with swift runs

I'm not sure beads help sinking much in swifter water, upstream maybe but they don't seem to sink on the down/across or on the swing. At least not for me, even cone heads on buggers swim at the top much of the time in the runs, unless loaded with the normal amount of lead.

Haven't tried tungsten, so, don't know if it helps or not, I was disappointed with the beads I tried with no added lead. 



#10 mvendon

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 12:10 PM

Didn't we just have a thread about this? 

I don't put weight/beads on most of my flies, since the places I fish are either still water or shallow, or both.

Sure did, and it was here for a very long time before it was finally moved to the cold water forum. The link

 

Regards,

                Mark



#11 chugbug27

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 08:12 PM

@tjm the tungsten beads will sink your flies faster than lead. $11/100 from wholesalefly
cb27

#12 Edward Snowden

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 08:19 AM

You might want to check your tungsten beads with a magnet.  I have found that some "tungsten" beads have magnetic properties.



#13 xvigauge

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 02:53 PM

Didn't we just have a thread about this? 

I don't put weight/beads on most of my flies, since the places I fish are either still water or shallow, or both.

Yes, I guess we did have a similar thread fairly recently. But that thread had a poll also and I usually don't look at threads with polls. Besides, my thread was as much about adding weight to the fly/leader as it was about beads. I really don't see a problem with threads that are similar being posted as one will always get new perspectives. Being that this is a fly tying forum, I think that there will be lots of threads about about tying And I can for see many topics being inadvertently created. No one really cares if similar threads are created anyway.

Joe



#14 phg

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:15 PM

 

 

Appalachian streams are fairly high gradient with swift runs

I'm not sure beads help sinking much in swifter water, upstream maybe but they don't seem to sink on the down/across or on the swing. At least not for me, even cone heads on buggers swim at the top much of the time in the runs, unless loaded with the normal amount of lead.

Haven't tried tungsten, so, don't know if it helps or not, I was disappointed with the beads I tried with no added lead. 

 

Yes, you have to cast upstream, and you should try to lift your line off the water.   We used to call it "High sticking", but now it's called by other names, as if it were something new.



#15 mikechell

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:37 PM

Don't take offense, Joe, I was just curious.  I couldn't find the other thread, but I thought I remembered seeing it.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis