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SBS: Inshore Crossover

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Anyone who knows me also knows I try to spend some time fishing the salt each season, and my fly-tying style is heavily influenced by salty trends. In this post I am demonstrating how to tie one of my favorite flies for shallow water saltwater--especially around docks, mangroves, sod banks, and grass flats--but will also work in freshwater lakes and rivers for bass. This particular color pattern makes a great imitation of both certain inshore minnow species and shrimp, so it looks like food no matter how the fish see it. It is bound to be a smallmouth killer if you give it a shot on your favorite waters.



Hook: Dai-Riki 930 Stainless, Mustad 3407 or the like, #4-1/0 (here #2)

Thread: UTC 140 denier, brown

Tail: Extra Select Craft Fur, tan / barred with Prismacolor marker dark brown

Flash: Gold Krystal Flash

Body: Ice Dub, rusty brown

Eye: Pearl 3D stick-on, 3/8", attached with Goop & CCG

Weedguard: 40# Berkley Big Game mono


We're aiming for something like this:



Step 1: Secure hook, thread the shank and splay a few bucktail fibers matching tail color (this will serve anti-fouling purpose)



Step 2: Clip 1-2 tufts of craft fur, pull out short hairs, lash to hook above bend & bar with marker. Add a pair of strands of gold krystal flash (or your favorite) to each side. The tail should be about 1.5x the hook length.



Step 3: Make a long (~8") dubbing loop and fill with ice dub. Leave an inch nearest you without any material, insert loop spinner tool, and pinch off with thumb/forefinger at the end of the dubbed part. Now give your spinner a good, fast free-spin.


Release your pinched fingers and the spins will transfer up the loop and look like this:



Step 4: Make sure thread on the bobbin is close to hook eye. Palmer the dubbing loop forward, stroking fibers back as you go, wrapping over itself if you need to for bulk/profile. Secure with bobbin thread.



Step 5: In my process, I make the weedguard here. I use Enrico Puglisi's approach, which you can see on my post here: http://illinoissmall...t=0



Step 6: Take a toothpick and spread Goop on the back of eyes. Secure one eye on each side directly over area between dubbing and weedguard (may overlap either or both of these). Once the Goop sets, you can fill the remaining gap with an LCA such as CCG:



Step 7: Finally, coat the eyes and acrylic filler with a clear nail polish such as Sally's HAN. Let dry overnight (just to be sure, and so that smell can go away a bit). While it dries, use a bodkin or dubbing comb to pull out some ice dub fibers all around the shank--focus on the area near the tail to help smooth this transition. Stroke the fibers back a few times with fingers.




That's it! I hope you have as much fun tying and fishing this action-packed fly as I do.



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From time - time I coat half of the butt section(the half nearest the rod grip) of a cupl of my old flyrods with a light coat of Sally H's Hard As Nails.Over time the tip/butt sections loosen requiring frequent alignment of the guides which this application prevents.It dries in just a few minutes & can be reapplied as often as needed.

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Thanks, Rich. Ron, interesting use of Sally's. I'm always learning of new uses for that stuff. I agree---a single layer usually dries in under 10-15 minutes. I only said to let it dry overnight because the smell tends to lessen over time.


I also meant to mention that epoxy can be used instead of light-cured acrylic for filling eye gap.

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