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Articulated & Shank Flies


Tom L
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As of late, I've been playing around with these flies. Have the Fish Skull Articulated Shanks sitting around the tying table forever. The bodies are combo of bucktails and craftfurs (reverse tied); the heads are deer hairs; and the eyes are brass dumpbells.

 

Planning to tie these same flies on tubes.

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Jonn, I stacked the deer hair head. The tricky part is to stack around the dumpbell eyes. I used 2 figure 8's, one on the top and the other on the bottom (see my Loomudclousky post).

 

Yes, Jim. These flies are about 5" long. I'd tied some up to 8-9" long. I took the 5" flies out for a test drive on the Fox today. It was light enough to cast with my 6wt and had great actions.

 

Mike, I figured if I could tied these flies on shanks I could tied them on tubes also. With about $25 add'l investment, I tube fly needles and tubes are on their ways.

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Those are beautiful looking flies. I would like to learn how to tie like that!

Sam - If you live in the Chicago area, come out to tye with us sometimes @ the 4th Monday tying event or attend one of the tying events host by the northwest and central regions in Rockford and Bloomington (check the calendar) . We have many great tyers in the ISA.

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Hey Tom, good looking flies. How did the larger 8"-9" flies turn out? Also, just curious, what brand are the barred hackle feathers youre using, Im looking for good barred feathers for streamers. Thanks, Ryan

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Hey Tom, good looking flies. How did the larger 8"-9" flies turn out? Also, just curious, what brand are the barred hackle feathers youre using, Im looking for good barred feathers for streamers. Thanks, Ryan

Ryan, the 8"-9" flies are pretty much the same as the smaller articulated ones. haven't test cast them yet. Probably need a 9wt to cast them.

 

I got my barred hackles from Orvis. Here is the link: http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=1Y5M

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  • 1 month later...

I'll be darned, if they don't work after all. Several good fish today in the 16-18" slot made me a believer. Excellent action on these things and my flies aren't half as pretty as Tom's.

 

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Oh yea, and maybe Terry or Jude can help me out with this that I found along the river, I think it's a .......................................

 

 

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I used beading wire that I found at Meijers for these flies but this morning I'm tying some up using Spiderwire to connect the two hooks and will fish them this afternoon and will see if they increase the action as some say or will they just foul up more. Btw, since we're talking schlappen flies here, is it that they "fowl" up more?

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Well, the Spiderwire articulated flies were a let down. Maybe it's just the manner in which I tied mine but they didn't have near the action that the flies using the beading wire had. The Spiderwire is so flexible, the rear hook simply trails or follows the front hook where as with the wire loop, you really get a hinge-like action and the rear portion of the fly will swing from side to side if you strip it and animate the fly with your rod tip. Oh well, worth an attempt.

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Rob, do you have a pic of your flies? Like to see the diff betw the two.

 

I did notice that my fly get more actions if I put the hook up front and the shack behind.

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Tom,

I used two full Mustad 3366 size 4 hooks and they didn't (fowl) up much at all so I will probably continue with 2 hooks. Some fish were hooked by the front hook and others by the rear hook but none with both. When I get home tonight I will take some photos with hooks dressed and undressed.

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First the undressed hooks, using Cord Basics .45mm coated beading wire, couple bucks for a lifetime supply (40 ft). The biggest thing is make sure both wires, to and from, remain on the top of the shank of the hook, since you want to make sure your loop is vertical, or in the same plane as the hook itself, otherwise the eye of the rear hook won't be able to swing freely side to side, which is what creates the excellent action. Now I did not coat the wire/shank with super glue or UV glue and have yet to have the rear hook pull out but if I were steelheading, I would likely take that precaution or at least tie my wire in with a "U" up front to ensure it didn't slip.

 

And the Spiderwire version just tied in some line on top of the shank just like the bead wire, but again, it didn't give me the swinging action I was looking for.

 

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The next photo is the fully dressed front and rear hooks using 4 or more pieces of schlappen and some marabou for the tail. I really like this fly and it's going to get some serious use this season. Btw, I'm casting this using a 5 wt. rod so it's not a wet sock you have to deal with all day long but yet gives a fairly big silhouette.

 

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Nice work Rob.

 

And thanks for reporting on your disappointment with superline for the loop. Lesser men would have done a coverup. Maybe it is too limp and does not hold a loop shape well enough. The null hypothesis is our friend even though what we tried did not work.

 

Now I should report that In have tried single strand stainless wire and a couple of multistrand coated wires for that articulation loop. The solid wire does the job, but its stiffness makes it hard to work with. The multistrand coated SS wires like Surflon fishing wire and Beadalon beading wire are suspiciously similar. Both come in 7, 19, and 49 strand and the same diameters. They get more flexible and more expensive as the number of strands increase. I have used the extremes 7 and 49 strand. Both are like working with heavier mono. The wire is toothproof, however; so I prefer it over mono. The 7 is easy enough to work with, and the slightly extra stiffness may be an advantage in forming and holding the loop shape. I go the extra step of folding the ends of the loop wire back and tying it down since it will not show under a bulky body anyway.

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  • 1 month later...

Update:


was fishing yesterday when I brought in a dink and found that there was no longer a posterior hook attached, apparently the beading wire had broken at the loop releasing the rear hook. Both wires were still firmly attached to the shank of the anterior hook. Not sure when it happened but that same fly had accounted for about 35 smallies over two outings with 7 fish 16" and larger with one pig at 18.5" (unlike the pair of 17's that were torpedo shaped).



Thinking about a little heavier or stronger wire, any suggestions, I would like to keep the 7 strand stiffness if possible so as it doesn't get to be too flexible such as those of the higher strand varieties?



Often times when you have some current and you're working your fly back quickly, Mr. smallie will jump out from under a rock and nail it without taking even a moment to scrutinize your fly, in those cases, I'm not sure that most any fly won't suffice but it's when you get that slower clear water and you see him come out after your fly but yet he trails it, almost putting his nose on that fly, watching its every move trying to decide if this is the real thing, if he then belatedly smashes the thing, you know you have a winner and I've seen this happen enough times with this fly that it's quickly becoming a fan favorite.



Thanks for your input.


Rob


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