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Eyes and Heads

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4 replies to this topic

#1 DFix


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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:42 AM

A number of us use bead chain or weighted heads. Here are some suggestions, depending on fly style.

Christmas Tree Garland: The many colors and sizes of plastic bead garland are perfect for those floating or slightly submerged attractor patterns we might put together. Nothing says Clouser style patterns MUST be weighted - a fish will take a crippled baitfish pattern anywhere in the water column, so why just do them so they sink? Another plus - the plastic eyes won't smash into and damage the tips of our fragile graphite flailing sticks like metal beads will!

Single plastic beads: Generally more available from the local craft or discount department store, these single beads can be made into whole bodies, as well as being used to head nymphs, attractor patterns, or by marrying together to create custom eye sets. An easy way to marry a set of beads together is by melting a mono stalk end, sliding the beads on, then snipping and melting the other end tightly to the bead.

Single beads can also be used as head-weighting, as I'm sure we all know, by sliding a bead up to the hook eye and then building the body behind.

Metal bead chain: A hardware store or craft section item again. Craft stores tend to have plated steel chain, whether it be brass-plated or chrome-plated. Steel, a ferrous metal, isn't the very best material for bead chain, but we sometimes make do with what we can get. When you go to the store, try to take a magnet with you to test the material - if the material is plated steel, there will obviously be an attraction to the magnet.

Solid Brass or Plated Brass: Brass is non-ferrous (won't attract the magnet) and holds up to fresh or salt applications way better than steel. Chrome plated brass may have a slight magnetic attraction, but not in the way steel does. You'll recognize the difference.

Monofilament: Melted mono eyes; mono eye stalks, like one would use on shrimp or crab patterns can be done in jig time - using an alcohol lamp, a cigarette lighter, a torch of some sort - (disclaimer) ANYONE WHO IS OF AGE TO REQUIRE PARENTAL GUIDANCE OR PERMISSION SHOULD!!! either ask to have done for them or be allowed to do with proper supervision - because, regardless of 'abilities', it should be assumed that an adolescent screwing around with a lighter or fuel lamp or torch would need adult permission.

Now, to avoid most, if not all, that - Go wander around the hair styling section of your friendly local emporium. Search for styling brushes with the appropriate type of bristle for a majority of your mono eye needs - which won't be more than four or five bucks - and when you get it home, snip them off or drag them out with a pair of needlenose pliers and save them in one of those hundreds of empty 35mm film canisters you've got hanging around, wondering what to do with... biggrin.gif

(p.s.) If you're looking for empty 35mm film canisters - try asking the people in the Photo Section of your local 'Enormous Blue' Emporium - they may have a ton of them just waiting to be thrown away! cool.gif

#2 SpentWing


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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:50 AM

Metal bead chain - I like to cut these apart inside of a gallon size ziploc bag. Keeps them from flying all over the place. smile.gif


#3 SmallieHunter


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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:53 AM

Never heard of the hair brush idea, that's a good idea. Since we are speaking eyes Jim gave me a tip yesterday to use the sewing needles with the bulky head and they can be painted to any color desired.


#4 DFix


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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:57 AM

that's a good idea, but they are plated steel, so all caveats remain in place. Which just reminded me - another Tip of the Day for Tomorrow!!!

#5 chemprof2001


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Posted 19 December 2003 - 07:21 PM

If you search hard enough you can find bead chain that is made out of brass, and not just brass colored. You'll pay quite a bit more for it though. The true brass bead chain usually is available only in the larger sizes. Try some of the local hardware stores and not the big chains, you might be surprised by what they carry.

Mark Delaney
So much water, so little time!!