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Old 12-13-2008, 10:00 AM
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Default Articulated Flies

Good Day,

I have been tying for years & have tied numerous Articulated Flies in that time. But my question to anyone who ties these flies is this : What do you use to connect the two flies ? ( Most patterns I tie, the back fly is tied /finished first & then there is a connection material slipped/tied thru the eye of the back fly & tied down tight to the shank of the front hook.)

Do you use Mono ? Do you use wire ? Do you use backing ? Do you leave the front fly hook in place, or snip it off ? Do you have a particular hook that you like to use for front & back hook ? Or do you use different sizes for each hook ?

Hope to hear your thoughts,
Tie One On
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Articulated Flies

You might want to check out the following articles -- in Fall 2008 issue of Hatches there is Tying the Rump Shaker by Will Mullis -- in Fly Fusion (vol. 5, issue 4) there is Wiggle Butts by John R. Gantner

From Wiggle Butts comes this:

"Junctions can be constructed from Mono, braided line, piano wire, Kevlar thread, "o"-rings, split rings, and other couplers I haven't thought of yet. So, it appears we need to make individual decisions regarding hinging for each pattern we design."
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Articulated Flies

A good portion of Doug Swisher and Carl Richard's book Emergers dealt with 'swimming' or 'wiggle' nymphs.
As I remember, with their patterns it didn't much matter what material was used for the 'hinge'.
What they emphasized was that the abdomen section should be tied lighter weight than the thorax section
This gave the fly the proper swimming action

In the book they recommended light wire dry fly hooks (clipped) for the abdomen, but I seem to remember a magazine article where a piece of toothpick was called for instead.
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Articulated Flies

That's a lot of questions. It depends on what you are fishing for and where. Are you saltwater fishing or freshwater? Offshore or inshore? Lake or stream? The first thing to check is local regulations about multiple hooks. You can tie a tube fly and/ or half of a fly and then tie a second fly or the back half of the fly on the hook shank if you are using a single hook. That is much better then using a leading hook and cutting off the bend. You can use mono or fluorcarbon instead or heavy lb. braid. I don't know enough about the conditions and species you are after but I don't mess with that pattern too much anymore. If I need more action at the tail, I put some bladed material on the tail. How you work the bait is much more important then anything else, but you know that of course. I don't get much time to spend on any one fly so I tie fast patterns that take me about five minutes or less and move on to another. If I need 30 or 40 flies in one or two patterns, well you see what I mean. If you use mono you can make a hinge with a loop to loop section. That's fast, strong and works very well. I have used that for crab legs to get swimming action on dollar crabs. I hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Articulated Flies

Hi Tie One On,

I fooled with this a bit in Alaska. The connection material is according to how much movement you want between the two flies. If you use a braided material the back fly collapses if you pause the fly. I liked mono that would hold the rear fly back but still give movement. I used a turned up eye on the rear hook. I would Snell the rear hook so the mono went through the eye. Then tie the rear fly incorporating the Snell as part of the body. Next take the mono and lay it along the top of the front fly and wrap with wire or thread. Soak the whole thing with super glue and then tie the front fly.

I used this method for tandem streamers and the built up bodies work fine. This was before we had Super Braid lines. I bet you could take a super braid and put a piece of mono down the center. The Braid would give strength and the mono may add a little stiffness. The problem is you may have to use too large of mono to get the stiffness. In that case you might just as well use mono.

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Old 12-14-2008, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Articulated Flies

I’ve tied articulated flies, mostly streamers and larger nymphs, for quite some time. I was never completely satisfied with the movement of the abdomen of the fly until I read the tying instructions from Lloyd Gonzales in his book “Fishing For Pressured Trout”,

His method is to use heavy mono, mono slightly smaller in diameter than the eye of the rear hook. But the real secret to allowing freedom of movement to the attached abdomen, is to not bind down the both ends of the mono to itself, tie a spacer of thread or dubbing between the mono before binding it down. The mono loop should form an open C, rather than being compressed and thus binding down on the eye of the rear hook. This allows the abdomen to swing freely in the water. HTH.
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