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Help with Weed Guard Fly

Tom L

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Hi folks. I have been tying some bass bugs and pike/muskie flies using 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 hooks. I have been using 40lbs mono lines as weed guards, but they don't work as well as I like. I know a piano wire can be a good weed gaurd. Just don't know what size works best for these hook sizes.

  • Size 0: .009"
  • Size 1: .010"
  • Size 2: .011"
  • Size 3: .012"
  • Size 4: .013"
  • Size 5: .014"
  • Size 6: .016"
  • Size 7: .018"
  • Size 8: .020"
  • Size 9: .022"
  • Size 10: .024"
  • Size 11: .026"
  • Size 12: .029"
  • Size 12.5: .030"
  • Size 13: .031"
  • Size 13.5: .032"
  • Size 14: .033"
  • Size 14.5: .034"
  • Size 15: .035"
  • Size 15.5: .036"
  • Size 16: .037"
  • Size 16.5: .038"
  • Size 17: .039"
  • Size 17.5: .040"
  • Size 18: .041"
  • Size 18.5: .042"
  • Size 19: .043"
  • Size 19.5: .044"
  • Size 20: .045"
  • Size 20.5: .046"
  • Size 21: .047"



I am also open to any other alternative wire solutions. Thanks.

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You sound confused. I will be writing an article for the next ISA Bulletin about brush guards. That will include diameters and banjo string equivalents.

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I got my piano wire in the mail several days ago. I didn't know what size wire to use for the 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 hooks. So I ordered a size #2 piano wire to start with. After examining the wire, I felt that it was too small for the big hook sizes that I had originally planed for. So for a test drive, I tried on hooks size #2 (Mustad 3407DT). This size# 2 wire probably is good for hook size 2, 1, and 1/0.


The piano wire came in a package like this, 10' length, and costed $7 included S&H.post-1339-0-72818000-1333305272_thumb.jpg


I cut the wire into 4" pieces and bended them double with fingers.post-1339-0-14481800-1333305275_thumb.jpgpost-1339-0-71127600-1333305277_thumb.jpg


I measured the wire on the hook and marked the length with a marker.post-1339-0-26148600-1333305279_thumb.jpg


I bended the wire at the marked point and secured it onto the hook. Placed a drop of Thin ZAP A Gap on the thread and wire to lock it into place.post-1339-0-98876100-1333305280_thumb.jpg


The rest is pretty much standard tying process.



Here is another fly (a Half & Half) with a piano wire weed guard.post-1339-0-16945400-1333305290_thumb.jpg


These flies are about 4" long.


The next step is to test them in a local FP lake choked with weeds.

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  • 2 months later...

I know this violates some copyright laws, but it is pretty useful and right on topic. See attached PDF for a 2-page color article on different weed guard styles from the latest issue of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine.

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Tom, nice looking flies!

Tim, thanks for the video and articles, all good stuff.


I'm interested in hearing from those that use a lot of weed guards, do you feel you miss a lot more fish when setting it home? I've always been afraid that a weedless hook is more likely to be a fishless hook.

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Tim - Very good article. Thanks.


I came across a flly called "HPU Weedless Fly". It looks very interesting, so I tied one up this morning. Here is my first attempt.




Here is the intructions:

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The HPU looks a lot like rich's Shannon Streamer in a weedless model. That means it will catch fish. It will be interesting to hear how well it keeps the weeds off. That half hour video is a challenge to watch but worth it in the end. Having read the Beattys' book on rotary tying, it always amazes me that tyers, who have high bucks rotary vises like the one in the video, do not use the rotary feature for simple things like wrapping thread and chenille. My only complaint.

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