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Old 09-30-2011, 12:24 PM
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Default Tying with foam

I havenít been tying in some time but with more time on my hands I wanted to start again with some foam, tying some ants, hoppers and gurglers. What materials, glues, cements, and hooks for these types of flies should I be looking into? What kind of pit falls might I fall into? Iíve got a couple of books on the subject on the way but wanted to hear from some of the members here, any input would be greatly appreciated.

Rick
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Rick,

I love tying with foam, though I still have a ton to learn. I've found these foam cylinders to be great for tying beetles and ants
River Road Foam Cylinders Hareline Dubbin // FREE SHIPPING // River Road Foam Cylinders [CY] - $2.50 : Casters Online Fly Shop, Premiere online Fly Fishing Source They've been great for me in Colorado these past couple months. I use head cement and superglue and like the beetles about size 14 curved hooks. I cut them in half (lengthwise) and trim them down to do small ants.

I've wanted to get some of the body cutters, River Road Creations Home but haven't spent the money yet. I think they'd help get consistent bodies for hoppers.

I'm sure others will have great suggestions, but wanted to mention the foam cylinders. One fly shop I went into just sold them as parachute post material and they were surprised at the idea of using them for beetles and ants, but I've found them to work really well.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Thanks williamhj!

The cutters at river road are a good price.

Rick
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Yeah, I'm going to bite the bullet and buy them, probably this Fall to do some tying over the winter.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Try Michael's .. they have sheets of foam for about $1, lots of colors too
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Thanks for the tip Dave!

Rick
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by oarfish View Post
Thanks for the tip Dave!

Rick
Yes, he is right on! You will pay 50x the price if you buy your foam from a fly-tying distributor! And that is no exaggeration. You can get a multi-pack (20 colors) of 5"x8" sheets of foam for 2.99, or you can buy it one color at a time from the tying distributors for 2.99 and you will get a couple of 2"x4" pieces. The craft stores also sell 11"x15" (or so) sheets; that is what I get for my black and I think it was 99 cents per sheet. I've tied at least 200 beetles and ants and I've got half of it left.

I've done some experimenting with the foam trying to get good mayfly bodies etc., but mostly terrestrial ( hoppers, beetles, and ants). I have used foam on several patterns as a post to ensure flotation in faster waters.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
I've wanted to get some of the body cutters, River Road Creations Home but haven't spent the money yet. I think they'd help get consistent bodies for hoppers.
I actually like the beavertail shape for hopper type stuff-

Click the image to open in full size.

You can leave them simple like that, or easily tie in a wing made with KF or antron yarn and use a small piece of foam to hold it down.

I like to use 3M's Super 77 adhesive to glue foam layers together for a thicker body that stays together. You can due a muted color for the bug's underbody, and then something bright on top for visibility.

I call it the "Geezer Bug" because anybody can see them on the water. I tied up this batch for a hopper swap-

Click the image to open in full size.

Another tip on what Michael's has- you can get foam with silver or pearl glitter already on it. It makes sparkly Crease flies REAL easy.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

Yea ausablebrown I'll need to pick up my materials for less were ever I can get them, I ordered some yesterday 15 collors 3"x4 1/2" for 93 cents a piece and now I know thats high priced.

BigCliff those hoppers are look great, did you cut the legs or buy a bag and what size, also did the cookie cutters come from River Road?

Thanks for the help guys.

Rick

P.S. The hopper eyes, magic marker or a stick on?

Last edited by oarfish; 09-30-2011 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Needed to add content
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Tying with foam

I also use the the foam from craft stores-- the packs of multicolored foam about 20 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11" because it is so inexpensive. Just so you know when you can compare to recipes you see online or elsewhere, these foam sheets are about 2 mm thick

To cut I use a straight edge and a razor (you could use a craft knife).

For many simple patterns like Ants Beetles, Madam X, Gurglers etc, a good rule of thumb is to cut the width about a hook gape wide. I line the shank of the hook up with the edge of the foam and use the point of a hook to make little punctures along an edge of the foam as a guide, then align the ruler with the punctures and cut a long stripe with the razor by running it against the ruler.

Once you have cut a strip of foam the right width, you can cut it to length for several flies of the same hook size.

I don't tie a lot of the more complicated foam patterns using shaped foam cutters-- but I will make and save templates out of heavy oaktag or laminated stock to use as a guide for cutting shapes out of foam for gurglers etc. with an Exacto knife.
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