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Old 03-15-2010, 12:00 PM
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Default Fly tying Materials?????

I'm just getting back (after 35 years) into fly tying and I need some advice. As a kid I used to make my own fresh water flys out of necessity and I can't believe how far things have improved. I used to make my flies out of whatever I could find laying around. I even used thread from my mom's sewing box. Now I see fly tying is an art form! I still have all my old tools (vise, bobbin, etc) but I don't have much else. I'm interested in making saltwater flies, mainly for Striped Bass. Do you folks have a suggestions on materials? Such as tread type, size, colors etc., What about hooks? Should I use stainless steel?

You input is appreciated!
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Fly tying Materials?????

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Originally Posted by beerbrewer View Post
I'm just getting back (after 35 years) into fly tying and I need some advice. As a kid I used to make my own fresh water flys out of necessity and I can't believe how far things have improved. I used to make my flies out of whatever I could find laying around. I even used thread from my mom's sewing box. Now I see fly tying is an art form! I still have all my old tools (vise, bobbin, etc) but I don't have much else. I'm interested in making saltwater flies, mainly for Striped Bass. Do you folks have a suggestions on materials? Such as tread type, size, colors etc., What about hooks? Should I use stainless steel?

You input is appreciated!
If I was going to have just three materials for striper flies they would be bucktail. saddle hackle, and krystal flash. That would cover 50-60% of what I do. After that I like craft fur, rug yarn, marabou, foam for gurglers and poppers, maybe some mallard flank, deer body hair, and halloween wigs.
If you just start off with white strung saddle hackle, pearl krystal flash, some hourglass eyes, and the bucktail grab bag from Cabela's you can tie a year's worth of deceivers, Clousers, and blondes (all you really need). Add a few other materials, you won't get bored for a long time.
Use the Uni-floss thread,.... three or four colors will do it, (white yellow black chartreuse)
Rather than the stainless hooks (Mustad 34007) I like the plated version (3407) they will rust (tarnish ?) after a while, but they're easier to sharpen and keep sharp....very important. The Eagle Claw plated hooks work for me too
For 'head cement'.... Krazy Glue
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Last edited by Rip Tide; 03-15-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Fly tying Materials?????

Beerbrewer-

Edit: Ooops i see Rip Tide got here first ... but I see we pretty much agree on materials and patterns.

Welcome back to tying- the good news is that you can get yourself in striped bass fly heaven pretty easily with some basic materials, and get a great basic box that will cover most of the situations you'll run into.

Let us know where will you be fishing and what rod weight/s will you be using since it will influence the choice of patterns you'll be tying a bit.

I fish for them here in the northeast, and based on that, here's some specific suggestions that might just need a tweak or two depending on where you are. The bait around here will vary during the course of the season from small stuff like grass shrimp on up to big menhaden and herring. But having some 3 1/2" long flies that will imitate sand eels and silver sides, and some bigger 6" flies that cover bigger baitfish like mullet, "peanut bunker" (juvenile menhaden), small herring and tinker mackerel will cover a lot of situations.

For someone starting out or just getting back into it, I'd suggest an inexpensive but decent hook like a Mustad 3407 (same shape and style less expensive, and sharpens easier than the stainless steel Mustad 34007). I'd probably start with a pack of size 2 and size 2/0 to be able to imitate a wide variety of bait sizes.

Thread- Danvilles Flat Waxed Nylon is strong with a breaking strength of around 5 lbs so you can get some good tension to hold materials like bucktail and wraps without creating too much bulk. I'd get a few spools each of Chartreuse, Black, and White about 2 bucks a spool.

Bucktail: Look for "Saltwater" bucktail which has longer hair than "regular" bucktail for a bit more. Good colors to start would be White, Chartreuse, Olive and Yellow. Add Black, Pink when you can, and then other colors as you get going about 5 bucks each

Strung peacock herl 1/8 2.50 or or 1/4 oz 4 bucks

Krystal Flash- Pearl 4.00 Pearl goes with everything and will add some extra bling. Add other colors as you see fit down the road.

Flashabou- silver and gold 4.00 each (optional)

Body Braid- pearl (silver and gold optional) 2.50 each

Strung "Salt Water length" Saddle Hackle 6-7" long- white to start, add other colors down the road chartreuse, black, etc. 3.00 each

Lead or nontoxic "dumbell" eyes for clousers 30 for 3.50 or so

Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails to use as head cement

Some basic fly patterns to start on:

Ray's Fly (dynamite silver sides pattern, google it to see specific steps to tying it. ) size 2 and 1/0 or 2/0

Clouser minnow size 2 in all chartreuse and all white

Bucktail Deceiver (this just has a bucktail tail instead of saddle hackle tail) size 1/0 or 2/0 olive over white, all chartreuse, all yellow, all black (especially if you fish at night)

(Standard) Deceiver size 1/0 or 2/0 olive over white

Half and Half size 2/0 all white especially if you fish deep holes from a boat.

There are a ton of other patterns you can add, but crank out some of those basics first say 6-12 in assorted colors and sizes of each style.

Not only are they good "go to" patterns on their own and will cover a lot of bases for you, but tying them will give you some good skills for when you move on to some more difficult patterns or specialized stuff for situations that don't occur very often like marine worm hatches etc. when stripers can be pretty fussy.

Keep asking questions-- we have a lot of folks that fish for stripers like Rip Tide, so you'll get a ton of advice.
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