Recently West Water Products home of the Thingamabobber located in Pleasant Grove, Utah came out with a new product they call the Thingamabody. This product is simply a small piece of enclosed tubing that allows a fly tier to attach an air bubble to a hook making a fly virtually unsinkable. This product is rather costly, but what if there was a way to accomplish the same methodology with a more inexpensive product? Just think a fly riding on air.
With this thought in mind several years ago I stumbled onto such a concept while using Heat Shrink to repair an electrical cord that had been damaged. The idea was simple just take a small section of Heat Shrink and use a low wattage soldering iron to reduce the size of the ends and then crimp, plug, or seal by crimping the ends – Walla, you have an unsinkable air bubble to attach to a hook. (Examples) 2_Picture.jpg 77.12KB 0 downloads
Since I tied the first Heat Shrink fly, I have found better Heat Shrink materials and developed tying techniques that have allowed me to produce unsinkable Heat Shrink flies that look and act on the water very much like the natural insects. This material and methods allow a fly tier to modify the patterns he or she ties in such a way that they can look like traditional flies or something entirely different. By different we mean more life-like because there is no longer a need to provide lots of foams, hair or hackle to achieve floatation and maintain buoyancy (Examples). Salmon 3-1-1.jpg 78.99KB 0 downloads Salmon 1-1-2.jpg 82.26KB 0 downloads Rated-X Damsel+1.jpg 74.65KB 0 downloads Skwala2.jpg 83.98KB 0 downloads Syn Wulf.jpg 94.67KB 0 downloads Hybrid Imitator Silhouette.JPG 91.14KB 0 downloads Dave's Bubble Emerger-2.jpg 69.39KB 0 downloads PMD-1.jpg 7.92KB 0 downloads Newmorea.jpg 4.5KB 0 downloads Chrnoblyl Ant-1.jpg 8.29KB 0 downloads
Could this method of fly tying have the ability to revolutionize how dry flies are tied? Possibly, because Heat Shrink tubing allows a tier to attach an air bubble applied to the hook which then makes the fly unsinkable. This air bubble provides unsurpassed floatation in any type of water, and if properly tied makes a fly that has the characteristics of real insects. We created a blog (http://unsinkableflies.blogspot.com/) to keep tiers informed of new and different techniques as well as products that have been found to be useful in tying flies using Heat Shrink to make them ride on air.