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Bead chain eyes


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41 replies to this topic

#1 Blackwater Virgil

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:47 PM

I've used bead chain eyes on my shad flies for a long, long time now, but along the way, came to use them on some of my streamers for bass and my little bugs for bream.  They've always seemed to add a little something to many of my ties.  They help sink a fly, of course, but those bulging eyes have a simple "magic" about them that I think may help as well.  It's always conjecture to talk about what fish think, but what they do is observable, and it's always seemed that most wildlife, aquatic or otherwise, often seem to kill the genetic anomalies that sometimes appear.  Those big, bulging eyes could be seen as a genetic mutation that needs to be eliminated, and with fish, having no arms or legs, he only way to eliminate them is to bite (and usually swallow) them.  That's my theory, anyway, and I guess I'll stick with it 'till something better comes to mind.  

 

With nymphs, it seems to enhance their performance as well.  I also like them on small crayfish/scud type flies for small species.  I usually weight them at the rear, like a shrimp fly, but sometimes in front. They tend to work well both ways.  I've wondered if a fish's brain is too small to notice the difference, at least at times.  The placement of any weight, like bead chain eyes, affects the fly's balance, and therefore its action in the water, and that's what I use to guide my instincts in creating flies with BC eyes - always asking "what do I want the action and fall to look like?"

 

Do any of you do something similar?



#2 agn54

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:20 PM

I love bead chain eyes, use them a ton.  One thing I really think helps make them effective is that they make a fly sink slowly, on some flies it's almost like a suspending plug.  They also don't plunk the water when they land.  In clear water, they can add a flash as well when the sun hits them



#3 mikechell

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 09:07 PM

I like them better than melted nylon because of the hole where the link was.  I think that little hole creates the impression of a pupil and makes it more "eye like".

All of my fishing is done in water too shallow for heavy weight. As you say, Virgil, I think they sink a fly just fast enough to draw attention, without dropping the bug into the silt.


Barbed hooks rule!
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#4 ditz2

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 09:15 AM

I also like bead chain and use a lot of it. Don't forget that there are at least 3 different sizes of it. On bigger flies or if I want to get a little deeper or a faster sink I use the ' plumber chain "........I only use lead when I ablsolutely must.



#5 agn54

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 09:31 AM

Yea the larger size is great for extra weight and the appearance of bigger eyes.  For medium bead chain, you can large quantities cheap at the hardware store in the lighting section. I use both medium and large quite a bit.  While were on the topic of eyes, I also have come to prefer brass eyes to lead.  They can be larger than lead without as much weight



#6 Blackwater Virgil

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 07:23 PM

I forgot.  One theory I've wondered about, but have never really looked into, is the question of whether those little holes in the bead chain that kinda' look like pupils, COULD, at least theoretically, produce sounds in water apart from the rush of water over the fly itself. If you've ever blown over the mouth of a jug and made a sound, you know what I'm talking about.  Since water carries sound over 4 times as fast as air, and much more efficiently, and it has always seemed to me that it might also create sounds of that type more efficiently.  Since a fish's lateral line is much more efficient in water than our ears are in air, it seems to me that it stands to reason that even lower frequency sounds, such as might be created by those little holes having water rush over them, might just create enough sound to give flies tied with bead chain a little something "extra" - a signature sound if you will - that could be an asset to the fisherman, especially if he's hungry.  I love fishing, but I like CATCHING even better, even if I throw them back.  I tend to at least TRY to pay attention to little things more than most, but of course, we all miss stuff.  This is one thing I've wondered about for a long time but have never looked into, really.  Has anyone here got the knowledge/training to opine on this with any authority???



#7 mikechell

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 08:35 PM

Good observation, Virgil,  but I doubt water flow over or through the hole is creating any kind of whistling.  Since you brought it up, though, I'll bet those little ends of the connectors that fall in when you cut the eyes apart are acting like tiny rattles.


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#8 Blackwater Virgil

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 01:25 PM

I think so too, but it's probably very subtle, but fishing more or less sheltered waters often, subtle rattles are plenty, usually.  I know I catch fewer fish with plugs that rattle loudly than I do with much more subtle sounding ones, or those without any dedicated rattles at all.  I'm sure the swiveling of the hooks as a plug wiggles makes at least some sound.  All these questions, and no real way to definitively KNOW the answers.  Sure keeps things interesting, doesn't it?



#9 Piker20

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 03:53 AM

Like the idea of the snipped ends having a tiny rattle effect. Don't use a lot of bead eyes on trout flies but think I might review that.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

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#10 Blackwater Virgil

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 09:19 AM

It's funny, but my impression has been that, in general at least, fish take flies with bead chain eyes, and I've often wondered just why.  That's what got me wondering if it was the genetic misfit bug-eyed look, the rattles, the creation of sound by water rushing over those little holes, or what?  I guess that I'm just the type who's never quite satisfied unless I'm stumped, and trying to find answers?  Anyway, I've had few opportunities to pose this question to any who'd take it seriously, and thought I'd pose the question here, where many seem to take such matters more seriously than most folks do.  Thanks for the input.  I still don't know the answer, and likely never will, but thought some input might help.  Physics and fishing DO connect at some points, as does the behavioral "sciences," and many other fields.  It's a darn shame we don't live long enough to really be able to study all these things, and still have time left to tie and fish, isn't it?



#11 ditz2

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:20 AM

that is why we lie... to make up for the lack of time to catch the big ones



#12 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 12:02 PM

I love bead chain eyes, use them a ton.  One thing I really think helps make them effective is that they make a fly sink slowly, on some flies it's almost like a suspending plug.  They also don't plunk the water when they land.  In clear water, they can add a flash as well when the sun hits them

You know, this has got me thinking. Back when I first started tying and was on a shoestring budget for materials, I used bead chain for eyes on all my streamers, especially woolly buggers. I caught quite a few fish, including some big brown trout and large smallmouth, on those bead-chain-eyed buggers. I used the bead chain not because I thought it was the best material for the job, but because, as someone already mentioned, you can get huge quantities of the stuff for a few bucks. Once I got a little older and was able to flush out the fly tying budget somewhat, I started buying brass, lead and tungsten dumbbell eyes or coneheads, mainly because that's what I saw on all the weighted streamers in fly shops or catalogs. I have, of course, caught some good fish on those flies, too, but I don't know that they've outfished my early efforts that had the bead chain for eyes and/or weight. In fact, I couldn't even swear that the "fancier" eyes/weights have done as well.

I think I am going to tie up a box of buggers with bead chain eyes and start my trout season with them this year.

Thanks to all who've contributed to this thread for the discussion and the inspiration. :)


"... 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


#13 elderbarry

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 09:56 AM

It is not the "sound" that attracts fish, it's what "sound" is. " Vibration "in the water at whatever depth, whatever light condition, it always attracts fish (and sharks)!



#14 mikechell

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 10:40 AM

Sound ... vibration

 

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Barbed hooks rule!
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#15 artimus001

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 01:30 PM

i'm a bead chain guy, due to cost. if i want extra weight i'll add a wrap or two of wire, or a keel (this technique is one that has become very popular for me).


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