09-08-2010, 07:15 PM
Re: Dumbbell eyes
It might be better to think in terms of sink rate and “splash down” rather than trying to match up dumbbell size to just hook size for chasing fish in Florida.
You’ll want some stuff that lands gently and sinks slowly for spooky fish in feeding skinny water. Unweighted flies, and flies lightly weighted with medium size bead chain like Gotchas, Mini Puffs would be a good choice.
For fish feeding and milling around in a little deeper water, you’ll want to throw a fly that can land near them without spooking them and settle quickly, some stuff with medium bead chain or x small dumbbells.
And for fast moving cruising fish and getting to the bottom in deeper water, you’ll want flies that will get to depth quickly with small and medium dumbbells.
Because flies with dumb bells can easily shatter a graphite rod if they whack the blank, I would stay away from the large sizes dumbbells at least for now. Eventually you may want to use them on fly patterns like size 2/0 and larger Half and Halfs, and stuff tied with Rabbit strips etc used for deepwater dredging over deepwater humps and channel edges. And casting clousers can be a bit dangerous—so pinch down barbs, wear sunglasses for eye protection and keep your hat on.
Here’s a something to compare labels of dumb bell sizes, and some suggestions for flies to use with them (but not gospel-- feel free to experiment and use what you have on hand):
X small = 5/32” diameter, if made of lead the weight is approximately 1/50 oz (kwan size 1, or 2, clouser size 4)
Small = 3/16” if lead weight approx. 1/36 oz (clouser, copperhead size 2)
Medium = 7/32” if lead weight approx. 1/24 oz Generally for sizes 2-1/0 (clouser size 1/0)
Large = ¼” if lead weight approx. 1/16 oz . Generally for fly sizes 2/0 and up. ones.
Keep in mind that dumbbell eyes are also made in brass (approx 30% lighter than lead), and tungsten (approx 30% heavier than lead) making it confusing when trying to compare between metals.
To get some different sink rates, you might want to tied up some stuff like this:
Kwans size 2 with Medium Beadchain and/or size 1 in x small dumbell
Clousers size 4 x small dumbbell, size 2 small dumbbell, and size 1/0 medium dumbbell
And bead chain, much lighter than dumb bell eyes, can be purchased at a hardware store for much less than in a fly shop. Get a couple feet of size medium (1/8”) Cut it into pairs of “eyes with the cutting edge of needle nosed pliers.
Some good flies with using medium bead chain are Kwans size 1 or 2, Gotchas and Mini Puffs size 4, and flies like Whistlers size 2/0-4/0
Hope this helps--