Raspberryfisher's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Streamer’ Category

James Green 10′ 7wt Update

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After a couple of seasons, I have migrated away from the more aggressive tapers of OPST Skagits and migrated to Airflo Rage and Switch for my short two handed rods. For the James Green 7wt 10′ below, my preference is

  • Airflo Streamer 360 gr
  • OPST Micro Skagt Commando Tip – 50 gr, 10ft with a short 12# tippet


This is my tool for small rivers and with my back into the trees.  I have no issue launching my flies across the river, and it just feels so right for me.

It was a slow journey to go from good to fantastic, but I am there now and learnt a lot on the way there.

…. Answering Johns Qs, with much more detail on the setup, but now as an update to the original blog.

James recommendation was 300 to 400 grains, but his focus on the low end. I found that I had to work hard to get the full power at the lower end, but lets add a little more detail. The 360 grain + tip is my fit for Scandi or any waterborne Spey Casts such as the double spey.  In these casts, the head is out or nearly out.

I would also suggest aggressive setups using a Snap-Ts is better suited for a faster-recovery tip rod, but setups using a Circle C and Snake Roll are great.

When I am using this line for overhead casting, the head comes by 6′ to 10′.

If I was matching this rod for overhead casting primary, I would suggest 330 to 360 grains, but my focus is Two-Handed Casts first.

The picture above is old (recycled) and does not show the Airflo Streamer on the reel.

The reel setup is a little complex, reflecting I will use this reel for change ups – heads or lines. So, starting from the reel to the tip …

  • Danielsson (Loop) 3W Traditional Reel – 20+ Years Old. It is light, has great capacity and enables a recover from a fast run.
  • 20m of Orange 30# 3M Dacron Backing used as a signal to me, I am in trouble of being spooled.
  • 50+m of Green 20# 3M Dacron Backing
  • ~28m of Orange ELF Shooting Head Line (from Ballistics)
  • ~26m of Airflo Streamer Line
  • ~3m of Tip
  • Leader from 1.5 to 3m, depending on fly using Maxima Chameleon 12# or Seaquar 8 or 12#

This gives the fish more than 100m+ (a football pitch away) to run before I starting thinking I am in trouble. Typically the fish (bass, trout and steelhead) and or rivers I will fish with this, will not take me into the oh-no Orange Backing. Yes, a steelhead running back to open water may consume this and more, but the river bends, boulders, et cetera that I will typically will force me to break off before I am out of line.

I do have 1 steelhead pool that I enjoy that would benefit from a short rod and lots of backing and this case, I am willing in this case move to a larger rod and backing.

I also have an unused Danielsson 2W Traditional Spool, which would also be a fne answer.

Of course, you could eliminate the thicker running line and use 100m+ of Dacron and put a loop in the Dacron backing, which I may eventually do in the off-season.  Alternative is a mono-filament running line, but I have not like handling “mono” with heads.

I like the questions and comments, as I makes me think why I am doing what I am doing, As I articulate my reasons, I solidify my thought process, et cetera … which is the purpose of this blog, to help me to be better.  I do wish, others do gain from my experience.



Written by raspberryfisher

2019/06/16 at 05:42

Posted in Rod-Building, Spey, Streamer

Leader and Tippet Material – IMHO

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As an (fly) fishing enthusiast, engineer, experimenter who fishes many waters, I have developed …

  • Preference for making my own leaders
  • Preference for specific materials

Why I tie leaders?

🙂 I now can make a good blood knot – consistently – so it is not a frustrating endeavour. Yes, I can make a Uni to Uni knot, but I prefer the blood knot.

Many commercial leaders fall short of what I believe is important. Examples:

  1. The bonefish standard 9′ leader is too long for very windy days and too short for all other days, so I make my own.
  2. The standard 3′ tippet on a pre-made leader is too weak to turn a heavy bass fly, and if you are fishing for pike, you need to add a bite tippet. Typically, I am looking for a fast 7.5′ stiff leader.

In summary, there are no waters or conditions where a standard mono-filament commercial leader is better than a hand tied leader?  Maybe equal, but never better.

When do I use (buy) commercially made leaders?

  1. Airflo Polyleaders for Scandi spey lines – intermediate or sinking versions. I will typically tied on Seaquar Blue 12# or Maxima Chameleon 12# as the final leg (tippet) to the fly.
  2. For trout, uni-thread furled leaders form Streamside.  I have meant to try one of these leaders for bonefish, but have not yet done so.  I will either use a fine Seaquar Blue# or RIO PowerFlex 5x for my final tippet.
    I really like to build a board and try my hand as long spey leader, but that will be another time, when my project list is much smaller.
  3. Hand tied French Leader from FishOn with a fine Seaquar Blue tippet added. This or the Hends Camo French Leader maybe the exception, where the leader is better than what I currently can tie.
  4. If you are looking for a floating Spey Leader, I would also recommend the hand tied leaders from Doaks of New Brunswick.

So tying my own leaders is no righteous cause, it is just that I make a better leader, than commercial brands available today.

Materials that I use

RIO Hard Saltwater

Makes for a fine stiff butt and (for me) easier to knot that Mason. Here I will make a plug for Deneki’s Bruce Chard Video (on YouTube) for hints on tying and cinching down on the knot.

My collection is just to build the stiff butt and mid-sections of leaders, though I will use this line also to build mono-filament eyes for flytying,

Other tips:

  • If you use Mason, buy it in the large loose coils.
  • For making eyes:
      • EP is using a hard 0.024 monofilament, which can also accept a seed bead, but
      • I have updated my preference to RIO Hard 12# 0.015 is my preference for a seed bead eye, but this is linked to my preference for a fine eye stalk with a small black pupil that does not hinder the sead bead from shining through.

Hard Eye_DSC5553

flats fiend polar DSC5554

flats fiend polar_DSC5560

A Flats Fiend Fly, using Polar Bear.

Seaguar Blue

I ran through several competitors fluorocarbon material before I settle on Seaquar Blue Fluorocarbon as being reliable. I will use their material from butt to fine tippet and my kit reflects this.

As recently reported (blogged) for Bonefishing, a long tippet may be necessary, but rarely is a fine tippet needed (or helpful). There is a valid argument a fine tippet may be harmful for turn-over, so my Bonefish flies will typically terminate at 12#.

I have found for most bass flies, tube flies for salmon and traditional flies for steelhead, that a 12# tippet is ‘just right’.  I may have finer Seaquar in my kit for trout fishing (dry flies, nymphs and wet flies), but as of today, 12# is my default tippet.

If I had to reduce and simplify my kit, I would focus on keeping Seaquar Blue, and eliminate the hard nylon.

I also use the finer lines to create segments in fly bodies, when I am tying flies.

Maxima Chameleon

Abrasion tolerance, a slickness great for tying knots and nice stiff line that helps to present the fly makes this is my other goto tippet (for spey fishing).

I do * really * like Maxima Chameleon at greater than 10#, and if I was to expand my kit to build leaders for spey casting – I would add 30#, 25#, 20#, and 15#.

Conversely, I am not fond of Maxima’s product at a weight listing of 10# or less, as I have observe break-off rate is high, as we progress to tippets below 10#.

As noted in my blog, and may other reviewers, you find that Maxima understates its actualy diameter. Maxima is typically “bigger” than posted.

Hint: If you are tying a lot, consider buying large spools (200 yards/m), versus smaller tippet spools.

z hook _DSC0103

RIO Powerflex

When I want monofilament tippet, typically the tippet onto a furled leader, I will use RIO’s PowerFlex. 5x is sufficient to keep, and if I need heavier I will revert back to Seaquar.

I rarely travel to water where finer than 5x is required, and if the occasion comes up, I will buy a spool of 6x locally.

Sunset Amnesia Red

As a sighter, built into a leader, especially if you are nymphing, I will use 12# (or 15#) and 25#. Not easy to locate, but it is a good line to have in your kit – it is easy to sight, stiff, knots well and presents itself  straight.

If is recognized as a good monofilament shooting line, and I expect a clear version would build excellent leaders.

If you are looking for an alternative, you could consider Siglon F Fluorescent. Many of the lines focus on CenterPin fishing are high quality products.

Beadalon 49 Strand 0.024 Bead Stringing Wire

Just right – flexible, stiff and strong enough a musky will not bite through. This material is also used in my fly-tying for extended bodies, trailers, et cetera.

tail 1_DSC4333

I have in my kit, Knot 2 Kinky Wire, but I have not tested it.

For extended flies, such as the Scuplzilla, where the stiffness of Beadalon is “too stiff”, I will use SpiderWire 30#. But this spool remains indoors and never ventures out onto the water.

Reference Table of my Kit

And the table of material I keep on hand, listed in accordance to the published diameter. I would note Maxima is usually larger than stated, while the differential between 25# and 20# Seaquar Blue is greater than 0.001″, but this tight grounding is a function of rounding.


Diameter RIO Hard Seaquar B Maxima C RIO Pflex
0.028 50#
0.027 30#
0.024 25# 40#
0.021 20#
0.020 30#
0.018 16#
0.017 25#
0.016 20#
0.015 12#
0.013 15# 12#
0.011 0x 12#
0.010 1x
0.009 2x 10#
0.008 3x 8#
0.007 4x 6#
0.006 5x 4# 5#


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/05/26 at 02:10

Tube Bunny Shape

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In continuation of my previous tube bunny SBS  here are some supporting notes.

One > I start with a quick trim of Pro Sportfisher Flexitube to 1″ on rear and 1″ on front (or 25mm and 25mm).
The front trim is to allow simple access to secure and whip-finish (knot) the rabbit, flash and feathers to the top head. The final trim is done after the final disk or cone is in place.
The back trim represents the maximum fowling length I will support. Once the hook is placed, the rabbit hide should not reach beyond the end of the hook.



Two > I tie the trimming on the hide, in the round with a minimum of wraps, whip finish and set with Cellire varnish – two coats. I have appreciate Cellire ability to penetrate the threads and material, and as such, will take the time to set-cement the head and delay the final head assembly.

Once the head is set, I will use Zap-A-Gel to place thr final head – cone, disk one.


Three > I will trim the magnum rabbit hide to a point, to allow for a taper of the fly.
.tube bottom

Profile, illustrating the tapering of the shape of the fly.
.tube profile

From top.
.tube top

After it has been soaked and pulled under.
.tube profile wet


Another finished fly, illustrating the tapered form.

red head_DSC5401


If I go for a longer tail, I will transition to a regular zonker tail; and in the event, the fly wing exceeds 3″, then I am going to migrate to a hair.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/03/26 at 02:21

Posted in Fly-Tying, Streamer

Mouse – small – for fly fishing

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Using a Mustad C52SBLN Size 2., for a smaller mouse versus the previous tie.

small mouse side 3_DSC4699

.small mouse top_DSC4705

.34 front small mouse_DSC4696


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/17 at 22:46

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Streamer

Lambroughton Skater

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With Moose Hair on a short shank size 6 hook.  Much smaller than the previously posted Mouse, but it will cut a large wake in the water.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/01/17 at 06:00

Mouse (for fly fishing)

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I have update my Mouse pattern, reflecting from a more natural (less sculpted) body taking in inspiration from Andreas Andersson (great youtube video available > Andersson Deer Hair Hair Mouse).


  • The head is my fuller, reflecting my preference for Muddlers to. Now, this does increase its wind resistance, so I am looking to use a 9wt rod).
  • I experimented with eyes and ears, but I after some playing, I think these features catch only fishermen.
  • First time, I trimmed with razor blades and yes, I will keep doing this. Be prepared to go to the next blade before your fourth fly. I was using Japanese Feather double edge razor blades, and will continue to do so.
  • I used the Veevus GSP 150 and it is strong and do recommend this for lager deer flies.  On smaller flies, I may try 100, but the 150 was awesome.
  • I really like the Ahrex Predator Stinger Hook PR320.  Much stronger than the old Mustad, great shape leading to a definite recommend.

mouse 8_dsc4672

.mouse 7_dsc4668

.mouse 6_dsc4664

.mouse 5_dsc4661

.mouse 4_dsc4656

.mouse 3_dsc4653

.mouse 2_dsc4652

.mouse 1_dsc4642




Written by raspberryfisher

2019/01/13 at 02:38

Hollow Fleye

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Lately, my tying has been focus on skills and not quantity, as I have enough flies for 2019.

Focusing on Pike and Smallmouth Bass, my first attempt of the Hollow Fleye with Deer Hair. Staring off is a damp Pike Fly with Red, Orange, Yellow to White.  The same fly is then shown dry, and thenclose in.

popfly 1_DSC4599


popfly 1c-1

and then the shad fly

popfly 3_DSC4604

popfly 3b_DSC4597

popfly3c _DSC4603


In time, I may create a couple of other versions for barracuda (green) and consider what would be good for steelhead.




Written by raspberryfisher

2018/12/27 at 22:27