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WYKnot

Tying Small Flies

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when i tie those small flies i really like to use a pair of rotating hackle pliers for the hackle and body of the fly if it is something like peacock

I have never been able to get the hang of the rotating hackle pliers. Do rotating pliers give you more maneuver space on a small hook? I obviously need to practice with them a bit more.

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I have tried many types of Hackle pliers, but I have recently tied the C&F Hackle Pliers. They are really, really good! A rubber ring that is large enough to fit most fingers and the rubber joins the ring to the clamp. This acts as a soft "hinge" with a little bit of give so makes it ideal for smaller, more delicate hackles. They're not cheap, here in the UK they retail at £16, but like all things - you get what you pay for...

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I like fishing small stuff. Two of what I feel are the most important keys to tying small have been mentioned. I try to make as few wraps of thread as possible and as little dubbing as possible. When I first started tying I was told to take half of the amount of dubbing you think you need and then take half of what's left over. Even then .. that may be too much. I have both of the Engle books and agree. They are great reads.

 

 

Mike

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Some more ideas on tying micropatterns (#18s and smaller):

 

1. Darrel Martin's Micropatterns book. Much more technical than Engle's book, but there are many accessible passages and great ideas/patterns.

 

2. Despite the heat, I prefer 100-Watt halogen bulbs.

 

3. More so than tools, the selection of quality and suitable materials is the name of the game here (CDC, snowshoe hare foot fur, mole fur, muskrat fur, silk dubbing, fine synthetic (antron & poly) dubbings, micro tinsels, ultra-fine gauge wire, micro lead and tungsten wire, micro-flashes, Whiting Farms' cape & (midge) saddle hackles, stripped (and dyed) peacock herl, etc., etc.). In the end it's all about the right materials here, and anyway, you can only get so much stuff on a tiny hook.

 

4. Threads: Benecchi 12/0; Gudebrod 10/0 which Engle declares "changed his life". Without being a smart a$$, and with all due respect, nicking thread on the hook point is not the thread's fault. Tying Small Flies also has great notes and a comparison list of fine threads -- pp. 22-24. Benecchi 12/0 is strong enough to flare deer hair on, say, small comparaduns. Gel spun threads, with possibly the exception of Benecchi's Ultra Strong Thread, may be too bulky. There are also two threads (I know this is obscure, but they are excellent and can be available over here) from the Czech Republic: Hyperfine Thread (Jan Siman Products) and Synton (Hends Products). Both are two stranded monofilament threads and are excellent for twisting dubbing loops to use on small patterns -- you just feed the dubbing material between the two strands and twist the bobbin (not unlike the 'split-thread' dubbing loop method where flat, floss-like threads, often made of nylon, such as the Wapsi UTC 70) are separated into divided 'strands'.

 

5. Hooks: For the most part, I prefer straight-eye, wide-gaped hooks such as the TMC 2488 & 2488H, TMC 518 (down to #32), Daiichi 1270 (long-shank curved hook), Daiichi 1480 with a limerick bend, Daiichi 1640; and TMC 501, TMC 103BL, TMC 900BL, TMC 206BL, Partridge K14ST (Oliver Edwards' silver-plated emerger hook -- down to #20); Gamakatsu also has a number of excellent small hooks. Some of those are uncommon but are out there.

 

6. Hackle Pliers were mentioned. I prefer the small 'tear-drop' model of John Dorin pliers. The are extremely light-weighted, thereby putting very little tension and avoiding breakage on hackle, herl, pheasant tail fiber, or biot as you wrap it around the hook shank. Matarelli Midge bobbins. C&F Midge Bobbin. Renzetti mini hair stacker (which has two different size brass 'stackers' in the same tool). And perhaps most important: excellent, sharp, fine-tipped scissors. Scissors would be an interesting thread in itself. There are even micro whip finishers (Wasatch and Griffin, for example); and small brass half-hitch tools (Edgin) help me tremendously with small parachute patterns.

 

"...small flies are often successful due to the particular requirements of tying and trouting. As patterns become smaller, so do the defects in color, proportion, and silhouette. Instead of creating more realistic imitations for fastidious fish, a tyer merely ties small. Micropatterns simply reduce, minimize the inherent deficiencies of imitative tying..." -- Darrel Martin, Micropatterns.

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i like to use the the uni thread trico (17/0) white

i love that stuff its as fine as hair and very unforgiving :D

 

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17/0 thread? Yikes!

 

Interesting stuff... I don't think my vice is up to holding such small hooks. It's a challenge I've decided to put off 'til winter.

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Madkasel

have you considered "midge jaws"? They are tiny collet style jaws that slip into the regular jaws of your vice - sort of a vice holding a vice:) They come in 2 different sizes and certainly aren't expensive.

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Without being a smart a$$, and with all due respect, nicking thread on the hook point is not the thread's fault.

You are absolutely right, usually happens to me when I am trying to hurry, get distracted by other thoughts, or need a break from the bench.

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1. Darrel Martin's Micropatterns book. Much more technical than Engle's book, but there are many accessible passages and great ideas/patterns.

I particularly liked the sections on hook strength and the photomicrographs of tying materials.

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Guest

 

Tip on tying tiny parachutes...

Take the hackle you want to use in a hackle pliers at each end of hackle.

Holding the pliers, wind the pliers 5 - 8 times around a piece of tippet

Take a double overhand knot in the tippet and pull tight

Voila!- you now have an instant paraloop in any size, ready to tie in anywhere you want on the hook.

 

You heard it here first?

:D

 

Roy

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Guest

Nope those are tied in a trapped loop system.

The one I described above is a method for making instant parachute and parasol flies, on the run

 

Roy

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