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Old 09-11-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default New method to fly tying

So I'm sure this has been done before at some point but I'd like to think I reinvented it on my own. I was sitting at my vice the other day, thinking of ways to make flies with just trailer hooks, when I came up with a way to make a spineless fly that will have uninhibited motion in the water. The flies can bend fluidly in any direction, and still have the advantage of having the hook at the tail (where most fish strike). I have always liked the action of rabbit zonkers, but the hook has to be at the front to get the full action of the material and I miss a lot of strikes from fish nipping at the tail.

What I came up with is the use 20lb dacron backing as the spine, with a trailer hook at the back, and a short piece of hook shank at the other end with an eye to tie the tippet (and any weight) to. I found marabou an easy material to test this with at first. To the trailer hook, I added what would be the tail material to the fly. I then tied marabout directly onto the backing in between the eye and trailer hook. This requires a bit of finagling but its not actually too bad. Some dumbbell eyes and head material right behind the eye caps off the fly and you have an essentially spineless fly with a full 360 degree range of motion in the water.

I have made two patterns so far, the first being a rough crayfish imitation and the second a general fish imitation (probably bream). I took the pictures of the flies in different positions (including me holding the eye and the hook bend between the same two fingers) to show you the range of motion they have. I plan on taking them out for a test drive today, and experimenting with more patterns soon.

What do you guys think?


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Old 09-11-2013, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

I really like that! Let us know how the fish like it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Usually, at some point in our tying we start to think about new ways to do things. Good job on getting creative to solve a problem!

However, what you may have reinvented is very similar to what is known as a M.O.A.L. fly. (Mother Of All Leeches). The style calls for a rabbit strip wrapped along the core which is some type of braid. Dacron is less expensive so that should be good. Will be interesting how the marabou works with this style.

Initially intended to be a Salmon or Steelhead pattern, they work great on all kinds of predatory fishes!
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Usually, at some point in our tying we start to think about new ways to do things. Good job on getting creative to solve a problem!

However, what you may have reinvented is very similar to what is known as a M.O.A.L. fly. (Mother Of All Leeches). The style calls for a rabbit strip wrapped along the core which is some type of braid. Dacron is less expensive so that should be good. Will be interesting how the marabou works with this style.

Initially intended to be a Salmon or Steelhead pattern, they work great on all kinds of predatory fishes!
Very interesting. I took a look at some MOAL pics online, seems like a killer pattern. One advantage I think mine might have over these is more sideways movement, as rabbit strips by their nature have a leather spine and adding that to a braided core (and possibly a rabbit strip on the bottom as well) might limit their sideways play.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

I think the somewhat limited movement of the moal is actually a good/natural thing. When you are stripping a fly or letting it swing in any sort of current, there is a limit to how much movement exists anyways thank to drag created by the water. So even with a free flowing spineless fly, the movement will be limited.

I also think that have a spineless fly could be a PITA to cast - especially with a tail hook. A spine acts as a buffer to the hook tangling on the rest of the fly or the fly line. Without that spine, I can see tangles being a real problem.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookfieldangler View Post
I think the somewhat limited movement of the moal is actually a good/natural thing. When you are stripping a fly or letting it swing in any sort of current, there is a limit to how much movement exists anyways thank to drag created by the water. So even with a free flowing spineless fly, the movement will be limited.

I also think that have a spineless fly could be a PITA to cast - especially with a tail hook. A spine acts as a buffer to the hook tangling on the rest of the fly or the fly line. Without that spine, I can see tangles being a real problem.
True. I guess we will find out today when I give them a shot after work.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Usually, at some point in our tying we start to think about new ways to do things. Good job on getting creative to solve a problem!

However, what you may have reinvented is very similar to what is known as a M.O.A.L. fly. (Mother Of All Leeches). The style calls for a rabbit strip wrapped along the core which is some type of braid. Dacron is less expensive so that should be good. Will be interesting how the marabou works with this style.

Initially intended to be a Salmon or Steelhead pattern, they work great on all kinds of predatory fishes!
Indeed, a very common type of tie for Steelhead fishing here in the PNW. The hook arrangement is called a 'Stinger Hook.' Steelhead have habit of being 'short strikers' so with larger patterns the hook has to ride well back.

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Yes. The MOAL is the first thought that came to mind. The fact that you came up with this without knowing about the MOAL says something about your creativity I also agree with the comment above regarding a fly this supple possibly having a problem with fouling during casting.

I am the farthest thing from a purist so I LOVE innovation. Love new ideas! I have a very hard time ever tying two identicle flies in a row. They are constantly evolving.

Great job! Let us know how she works!
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Thanks for the comments guys. I will make sure to give a full report if I can indeed get out fishing tonight.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: New method to fly tying

Nick, I first became aware of MOAL flies when I spotted a picture in a catalog. Since then, I've investigated other flies I've seen, such as Intruders. I've never fished for Salmon or Steelheads & may not likely ever get the opportunity. But, I will take note of flies that I feel bass will like. Those Salmon/ Steelhead guys are all nuts when it comes to new styles, and they come up with some great bass flies without even knowing it.

When I first started tying, I came up with a new fly tied with a palmered hackle body & a long hackle tail. It looked killer, and I was real proud of myself. Back then exposure to tying & fly patterns was pretty much restricted to magazines & a few books. Then I received a copy of an Orvis catalog. They were prized for the nice pages of flies they contained, and I discovered that my new fly had been around for some years. I was a little bummed that I had not invented something new, but at the same time happy that I had tied a known productive pattern on my own without being aware of that pattern. Made me feel like I was thinking as other tiers, with more experience might.

That fly turned out to be a Seaducer or Hackle Streamer, a fly that I've now been using with great success for many, many years & one of my all time favorites.

I have some similar flies that are tied with marabou, purchased from a guy who sells flies on Ebay. Cannot be sure how they compare to what you've tied, but I've not had any casting problems or fouling issue with them. If you do have some issues, might be that you'll only need to tweak them a bit.

I'll be looking forward to hearing the results if you get the chance to use it.
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