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Tennis Racket Wings


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Fotwin

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:20 AM

You can make your own wing material using cling film.

Cling film is very thin but is very strong when you try to stretch it , or try to tear it.
It is also very flexible.

I form wings using cling film which I call Tennis Racket wings.
If you look at the structure of a real insect wing you have a thin central membrane spanning
between an outside frame , which is similiar to the structure of a Tennis Racket, with its rigid frame
and internal gut stretching across.

I take a piece of cling film , say 12''x6'' , fold it over , one side on top of the other to form a double
layer of cling film around 6''x6'' .
I then place it between a piece of heatproof baking paper, ( it's used to line baking trays )
and then place it on a piece of flat cardboard or wood, and using an iron,at the lowest temperature
I run the iron over the baking paper with the cling film inside , which fuses the two sheets together .
This will give you enough material for most of your flies for a season.

If you have one you can pass it through a laminate machine, where the roller flattens the cling film taking out any bubbles and the heater fusing the two sheets together.

You then cut a piece of cling film, from the sheet you have made and using a wing burner, trim the cling film around the burner and then using a cigarette lighter burn and form your wings.

The melted cling film forms the frame of your wing , holding its shape but giving you a gossamer thin wing which is flexible from side to side , but is very strong longitudinally.

You can colour the cling film prior to doubling for caddis and mayflies and if you go to your local supermarket and find the fruit and vegetable counter , you can find very thin silvery bags which you can prepare in the exact same way as the cling film and will give you that slightly smokey colour needed for many mayfliy wings.

Fotwin

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#2 Crackaig

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 08:13 AM

If you want exactly paired wings like this you can fold the material in half in the wing burner. Put a piece of cigarette paper in between and that will stop them sticking together.

 

Cheers,

C.


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minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
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#3 Fotwin

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 10:38 AM

Hi Crackaig

Great to hear from you again.
It's always good to have ideas from such an innovative and respected tier such as yourself.

I originally tried to form wings from a single sheet of cling film but it did not work.
The 'frame' was not sufficiently thick or strong enough to hold shape and it did not have sufficient strength to be tied in without the thread cutting it.

Making the material two sheets thick overcomes those problems.
In some cases if the cling film you use is very thin then you can fuse together three sheets thick to give a strong material that will not break up when casting.

For my flies ,I prefer to make the wings and tie them in as two separate wings, not the folded roof style wings that you often see being used for caddis flies.

I think, for me, they tie in much better and look more natural.
They also do not shroud and cover any hackle you may use ,in the way a roofed fly does.

I find with roofed flies they tend to rotate when cast as the air hits the underside of the 'roof'.

With individual wings which are flexible this does not happen.
With mayfly wings what happens is , they flex and come together turning the fly upright into the correct vertical position to land in the water upright.

That was not part of the 'design' , it was something that I had not intended but simply resulted/happened from using this flexible material.
They land upright more often than not ( provided you do not over dress the hackle if you use one)

I like the idea of producing exactly paired wings as you suggest.
I had not thought of that one.

As always, thanks again for your advice ,


Fotwin

#4 Crackaig

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 01:19 PM

No problem. I've used the paper trick with burners of all kinds. By making the wings as pairs you get around the problem of getting them onto the hook the same length/position. The usual technique for mayfly wings is to put heavy thread or floss in between and pull to gather up the fold, before tying in.

 

Well done with the article BTW. I saw it in FF&FT. I thin you are the first to get a post in their forum into the magazine as an article.

 

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#5 justcameslabdaddy

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 08:09 PM

Were can a guy get this cling film I would like to try it & can you color with any marker?



#6 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 08:43 PM

Were can a guy get this cling film I would like to try it & can you color with any marker?



It's plastic wrap. Like you put on containers to keep food fresh or wrap food with. One box is more than 100 tiers could use in a lifetime.
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#7 justcameslabdaddy

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:51 AM

Hay thank buddy! I am new so may be calling again on how to do this !



#8 justcameslabdaddy

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:56 AM

One more thing how do you get the tennis rack pattern?



#9 mikechell

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 09:00 AM

Here's a perfect image of a wing burner in action.


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