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Archive for the ‘Streamer’ Category

Hollow Fly Update

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As earlier posted, I started building large flies for saltwater and pike and my early results was a pleasant surprise.

I used one of the most under-used tools to correct the lateral line, the surgical scalpel and with respect to using tab eyes from China (eBay: lifefly-outdoor) and the UK (Funky Eye Tying) – just do it!. The UK supplier has greater diversity, but the eyes from China seem fantastic as well at a great price.

I used for the first time, the video feature in my camera and hopefully this video will provide a sense of the form of the fly.

And yes, if you are tying hollow flies, please go with tab eyes. No they are not common or easy to find, but they do not crush the body you just created.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/29 at 06:23

Hollow Flies

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Early Review – as earlier stated, I do not like doing reviews until I have an extended time with the product or experience, et cetera.  In this case, I am impressed enough to provide some feedback before the usual year has gone.

    1. Gunnar Brammer Flies – Excellent!  I have really enjoyed fishing his Catnip and Jerk Jr.  90+% of the flies I fish with I tie, but I have, will and continue to use well-tied flies by others.
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    2. Gunnar Brammer Fly Tying Video – Excellent. The information provided is not just to tie a fly, but how to improve as a tyer.
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    3. Steve Farrar Fiber Blend – Excellent for Hollow-Point Flies.

So here is my first hollow fly (preparing for Pike Season for next spring), and even though this was an experiment (with some errors and improvements are required (see notes below)), it is an excellent and fishable pike 6″ (150cm) long fly.

 

hollow 1_DSC1490

hollow 2_DSC1484

Notes:

  • Hook – Mustad 34007 1/0 (some of my spares), but probably would goto the Ahrex Aberdeen Predator PR330 (once all of my 34007 are gone) or Partridge ACS/E Attitude Hook.
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  • Tail – Old Standby – White Deer.  This is a fine choice, but if you want a really long tail, consider some robust (saltwater) rooster saddles.
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  • Top Body – Steve Farrar Flash Blend – Olive. Until this week, I have not had a good word for artificial winging hairs, but I have changed my view. These “hairs” are light, do no absorb water and with the wave pattern you can build bulk-shape easily. I have a limited selection of colours (as illustrate above), but I will be investing more.
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    Like EP fibers, SF Blend is not cheap, but this material allows you to build a large fly that will not be heavy!
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  • Under Body – Steve Farrar Flash Blend – Off-White.  Of the starting 5 colours I have, this one did not have the same pattern and does not build up as well. I will be looking at other light colours that have the same “volume” as the Olive.
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    These materials are not available to me locally, so I have to mail order them, and sometimes you are disappointed.
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  • Top Wing – Steve Farrar Flash Blend – Bleeding Black. Excellent.
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  • Tie in Technique – The fibers were tied to the back and given the body of the SF Hairs, this worked well. Never-the-less, traditionally Hollow Point flies are tied points forward, then push back and held in place by a thread dam. I will need try this on test 2.
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  • Lateral Scale – I should been more careful on the placement, length and clipped off the curl. My bad and I got sloppy as I was so focus on the artificial hair.
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  • Eyes – And though not illustrated, my initial experiments with traditional eyes was not satisfactory. Yes, compressing flies to the head is great for “jerk” flies, but destroys the body for a hollow fly.  So either go with no eyes or tab eyes.
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    I have some tab eyes on order, and will experiment with them.

So, some experiments are still outstanding, but if you are looking to some large flies for Pike or the Salt, look at Gunnar’s site and give Steve Farrar Flash Blend a try.

If you want to get some additional pointers from youtube, then search for ” aswfstevefarrar  “, and my intent is still stick with this, and improve.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/08 at 23:45

Scott Meridian 8wt

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I have not posted for some time, with the rain this summer and the deer eating my garden, I have little to post on the usual subjects. Never-the-less there are some updates, which I like to share.

I bought the Scott Meridian 8wt last winter as a backup rod for bonefishing, and now it is my preferred rod for Saltwater, Pike and Bass. It has displaced a 20+ year favoured Loomis GL3 and a more current Winston BL5.

Why has it gain such favour? It is light, responsive and I can really feel the bend in the rod, allowing me to time my cast well. It is fun!

It does not have the stiff body as my older Sage RPLXi, where you need to over-line the rod to feel it, but feels alive with the designated line weight. Beinf responsive, you can apply some complex setups with ease,

Like my new Meiser 13668 (previous post), and I suspect the Guideline in the picture below, it has exploited the new fast recovery graphite’s available to the rod designers.

Unlike other reviewers, I get no gain or advantage et cetera with any posting. I just share my thoughts, just as a individual with no pressure t produce and maybe help a person or two.

I do recommend (like the many fly fishing pundits), if you are looking for a 8wt, fresh or saltwater, get a Scott Meridan.

I did buy a second rod, for Judy and I.

 

rods_DSC0437

Is there any concern? Small one, maybe as a result of the mass of the flies, maybe an error in production or my cast, my sections do come lose after a few hours. You can use the standard spey two-hand long-rod technique of some wax, a little tape. or keep an eye on your rod.

meridan_DSC0440

scott_DSC0439

It is a light rod, so I encourage you to look for a light reel.  As I self declared earlier this spring, I prefer the engineering and supply stability from Danielsson, so on my rod is a L5W 8twelve, suited for the salt and any other other challenge I can put on her.

Right now, I am using the Airflo Beach 8wt for Bass and Pike. Once you get the head to the tip, the line just flies over the water.

airflo

And yes, I am using a Streamside Furled Leader. In some of the forums, I see debate (often not so kind and focus on the flotation issue) from several of the furled leader manufacturers, but Mike Moline at Streamside lays low and just delivers a very nice leader MADE TO ORDER, and suitable for a 8wt.

Judy more than I likes how these leaders cast too and presents a fly.

So another set of recommendations for my Meridian 8 wt – Airflo Beach and Streamside Furled Leaders

On furled leaders, if dry fly fishing, may I suggest you use the Phoenix Braided Leader and use a little Red Muclin to support it if you feel it is necessary. I would also contend, a leader that is under the surface and NOT dragging your dry fly under is better than a mono-leader on top when fishing slick water for trout. Maybe I have not spent enough time dry fishing on slick water to get annoy about leaders not floating and prefer the subtle look of a furled leader in the water.

All of these recommendations-comments has been based on months to years of use, so hopefully this helps, if you are searching for a new rod for Bonefish, Bass or Pike.  It is a great rod, for fresh or saltwater.

Oh yes, the 11wt Guideline RSi Rod in the above picture is new, and has not seen the same usage as the Meridian. I like it, but it has not seen the same level of punishment as the 8wt, so I reserve any recommendation until it has seen a season or two.

Last comment for today and to close up the opening message. It has been a cool and wet year, so it has been a banner year for our local tree frogs.  I scared this one our of my Lemongrass pot on the deck, in the back.

tree frog_DSC0446

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/09/20 at 02:17

my extended tube fly rigging

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In continuation from the last post, in greater detail, given the additional complexity associated with it, here is a SBS of my extended tube flies. For interest, I return to my old Canon G11 (ASA 400) under an LED light to see image quality.

The materials, with the tippet and the pink seed bead threaded.  You can user larger beads, but as this is a thin fly, I prefer the fine seed bead.

As noted in my previous post, I prefer a stiffer tippet, such as Maxima Chameleon 12# or heavier Seaguar Blue Fluorocarbon.

As you are working with multiple small parts, this is not a procedure you want to execute when in the river with cold hands and a wind in your face. Get comfortable, then relax and proceed.

2a IMG_1996

Yes, the seed bead is there.  If you use larger beads, ensure the hole is not too larger and will allow the knot to pass through, or be prepared to stack small to large beads.

1a IMG_1993

Apply the hook, and as illustrated I wrap the shank to provide for a strong tippet, but also a stiffer tippet.

3b IMG_1998 2

3c IMG_1998

Create an open loop knot, I use the Rapala Knot, and thus why I started before the hook wrap with a loop. If the final loop is large enough, you can add the loop after you thread on the hook as the hook is easy to manipulate.

Oh yes, I have yet to do this, but I intend to keep scrap cuttings off my tube flies to protect the hook point from digging into me.

4a IMG_2000

Knot secured, trimmed and pulled in.

5 IMG_2001

My on the river box of beads and hooks.

6a IMG_2002

And a guide to the Rapala know, with the modification that I wrap the tippet around the hook shank on a Up-Eye Hook.

Rapala-knotdb

Oh yes, if you are keeping to ProTube, I recommend looking at the new MicroTubes that allow for the inclusion of a silicon hook holder – medium or large.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/06 at 22:07

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Spey, Streamer

Tube Bunnies – Supporting Notes

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z Olive_DSC9939

z Chatreuse_DSC9948

Note that I am using white Lady Amherst as my lateral line.

z Black_DSC9957

Supplier – ProTube.  The system provided by Protube is fine, but I wish the same could be said for their supply change.  The broad discussions with retailers in the US and Canada would indicate the faults of supply and availability are up the supply chain – distributor and-or company itself.

I have not found supply to be better in Sweden either, and ProTube’s head office is in neighbouring Denmark.

If I was starting fresh, I would look to Canadian Tube Fly Company .  I would call Stuart and have him to create a kit for the species you want to target.  He also has some great feathers to.

Rigging – I been working with two distinct approaches – trailer and in the tube.

For long flies that are always under tension on a swing, I will extend the hook back using an open loop knot that wraps around the hook eye (like a Turle knot). The beads are used to prevent the knot coming into the tube, and thus defines the length of the trailer.  The tippet should be stiff, and my preferred tippet is Chameleon 12 lb or if I am using 16-20 lb, then will transition to Seaguar Blue Fluorocarbon and be prepared to use a size 4 hook.

The hooks I use are Black or Read Up-Eye Hooks – Gamakatsu Octopus 2306 Sizes 8 and 6, Mustad 92568 BLN Size 6, 4.  or Owner SSW 5115-073 Size 4

The challenge is defining the open loop length, which in the following image is too small.  (I bought this fly out of the UK, so see how they (he) ties flies for a reference).

z hook _DSC0103

And for small flies, put the hook eye into the tube (after you have tied on the tippet).  And which hook do I use for this? – Gamakatsu C14S, size 8 and 6.

z hook _DSC0114

Above is an alternate tie that I like to for black tube bunnies – silicon legs and guinea collar.  I have also done dark purple under bellies to.

Rod – I will use my tube flies to chase trout, but you do not want to use a traditional single-hand 4-5wt to throw my tube bunnies, as the fly is too heavy after it absorbs water. Thus,  if I have my dry fly rod in my hand, and want to move to a streamer, I will change over to a muddler or change my rod – either a two-hand Meiser 12’6 4wt (1264S) or my single hand Scott Arc 10′ 7wt.

Please note the AFTM rating for a single hand 5wt rod is 140 grains, but the line weight of the shooting head for the “Trout” 4wt Meiser is 324gr – much more than single weight rod and can handle the smaller tube bunnies. This illustrates, where traditional line rating for “spey” rods does not transpose to the single-hand family of rod.

I would also caution, if you want to throw larger tube flies on the Meiser 1264 than my previously posted tube bunnies, I would suggest you change materials (Arctic Fox) or get a heavier rod!

What heavier (stronger) Spey rods, do I have

  • Meiser – 1305S – 5 piece (it can travel with me) – with a 411 grain head
  • Burkheimer 7134 – 520 grain head.  Makes a great steelhead rod, but a little too much for most trout.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/06 at 01:18

Mono Eyes

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A relative basic fly-tying step over the past 3 weeks, making eyes for shrimp and crabs. While black is the standard, I do keep and will use a few atypical colour eyes, such as green for mantis or grass shrimp patterns.

My procedure:

  1. Cut 100 to 125mm length of 16lb Mason Hard Filament.
  2. Melt with lighter to form a ball.
  3. Optional: Add see bead(s) (see red pupil black eye below).
  4. Use UV Resin to form a ball to desire size (also binds the glass bead).
  5. Paint with Sally Hansen’s Nail Polish.
  6. Seal with 2 coats of gel-coat.

MONO EYES DSC_7250

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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/01/12 at 02:48

mini Tube-Bunnies

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With the warm fall, Judy and I have been fishing for Smallmouth Bass and I have been using this time to improve in a couple of areas – spey casting and developing my preferences (or not) for tube flies.

I have been using a Meiser 12’6″ 4wt Scandi and found my larger tube bunnies too heavy when wet, so I just created a fast set of small (mini) tube bunnies. Key attributes:

  • Colour Pattern to represent Smallmouth Bass or Brown Trout.
  • The fly from head to end of tail is less than 2″ (5.1cm).
  • To get the Amherst tail to flair, apply full (thick) dubbing for the underbelly. The top red metal head fly at the top has no dubbing on the belly and the accents Amherst are slim and along the length of the tube, but the flies in front have the dubbing and the Amherst flairs out. I prefer the latter.
  • To get the head tight in …. a scalpel is your best friend. When you secure the front of rabbit to the tube, bind tightly with 5 overlapping flat wraps of thread. Trim off the rabbit with a surgical scalpel right beside thread wraps.

mbunnies IMG_1972

The recipe is simple:

  • Protube – your choice of colour.
  • Start thread at the tube junction – small to large – and create a smooth transition, and then cement.
  • Tie in rabbit hanging back – 70% hanging back – on the larger section of the tube. Wetting head will make passing thread over easier.
  • Use a “thick” dub for the under belly.
  • Pull rabbit over to the head, secure with 5 wraps and trim tightly with a scalpel.
  • Add in Amherst tail around the tube, then knot, tie off.
  • Add head of choice.

tube IMG_1977

Last, my Nikon is in for repair and using my old Canon G11 and the difference in sharpness is very noticale to my eyes.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2015/09/22 at 22:53

Posted in Fly-Tying, Streamer