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Parahopper legs

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9 replies to this topic

#1 tomcraw



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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:07 PM

Trying to tie some parahoppers and they have the pheasant tail legs with the knot on them.  They are...frustrating to tie.  It took me probably 10 minutes to get them in a knot and I'm not happy with how they look.  Lost too many strands getting them on.


Wandering if anyone has had success substituting rubber legs for the pheasant.  If so, did you keep a front leg for four total or stay with the traditional patter of only two back legs.


Really didn't want to buy a specialty tool just for this one fly on a pretty durable pattern.

#2 BobHRAH


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:37 PM

If you Google 'knotted pheasant tail legs' you will find lots of sources on directions for doing this.  And you will find retail products available that are pre-tied; probably a good choice if you are doing only a small amount.


Good Luck and have fun.


Thanks, Bob H

#3 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:27 PM

I have tried substituting rubber legs for the pheasant. They are much easier to tie in a knot--not least because you can just pull off a long strand, tie your knot wherever, and then cut them to length. However, they do not look as natural as the pheasant, and they (the rubber legs) require some finesse with thread tension to keep them from splaying out too far from the body of the fly. Of course, we all know that sometimes flies that look anything but natural end up catching the most fish, so, I suppose, that shouldn't necessarily be a deterrent to you using the rubber legs.


If you really want to do the pheasant legs, and IF this is to be your one-and-only time tying this pattern, then I would second BobHRAH's suggestion of just buying some pre-knotted pheasant legs. It will save you a lot of frustration. If you really want the pheasant legs AND you want to knot them yourself, you really need to buy the tool that's made for the job. It's basically just a tiny latch hook tool; I imagine you could find one that would suffice at a craft/sewing store like Jo-Ann Fabrics or similar.


Good luck!



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"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman

#4 chugbug27


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

Stabgnid posted this back in December.... Don't give up just yet...


#5 Sandan


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:54 PM

I picked up a latch hook tool at Jo-Annes. Ground down the business end to make it really small. It works like a charm. Think it cost about 5-6 bucks.

#6 Mike West

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:09 PM

Pick your poison.

The paper clip works really well...it takes a few tries to get the tool made just right and then the procedure down.
Once you have it figured out you can really crank them out or you just buy them already made.

#7 Poopdeck


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:36 PM

The latch hook tool is called a knit picker and can be bought for a couple dollars at any store that has sewing stuff. I paid less then 2 bucks for mine. Not only do they help in tying knots in pheasant tail fibers but they are also very handy when furling leaders. They are for pulling knits back into a sweater.

#8 Al Beatty

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 06:19 PM

Hi tomcraw,


I'll offer two options. Other members have talked about the hook/latch tool so I'll not repeat that information. We have a YouTube video on the Knotted Hopper Leg at https://www.youtube....h?v=0JGNkrCqyf0. It will give instructions on tying a knot in pheasant tail fibers. 


Your other option is rubber legs and you've already gotten information on the knotted version of that but I'll offer another method. Tie the rubber legs on the fly without a knot in the leg then "bend" the leg after it's installed on the fly using the "crazy glue method" (we learned about it from Roy Powell). To bend a rubber leg, place a small "dot" of crazy glue on the rubber leg on the OPPOSITE side of the leg that you want to bend DOWN. Let the glue set for 3 or 4 seconds then slowly stretch the leg out a short distance then let the rubber leg material "snap" back to its original position. The leg will now angle down. The trick to this method is a consistent stretch of the rubber leg material before allowing it to snap back in position. We'll do a YouTube video on this method in the next few days and post information on the site when it's done. Take care & ... 

Tight Lines - Gretchen & Al Beatty

#9 Poopdeck


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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:45 PM

Nice video Al. Here's what I use.


#10 flytire


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Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:08 PM

more overkill







Fly tyers sure do have a way at making things complicated


Beware of the negativity being displayed