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Old 09-22-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Need help with my sculpin

First off I'm new to the forum and this is my first post I hope it is in the right place....

I need some constructive criticism on my sculpin. Im trying to make them for Erie Steelhead.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Does anyone have any opinion about it? Im just looking for some insight, tips, pointers. If there is a way to improve it?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Welcome to the forum NRP.

Weekends can be a difficult time for advice, with fishing and home chores many members are off the air. I am not a sculpin tyer so my opinion doesn't count. I will watch and keep your post near the top until you get some good answers.

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Hi,

It looks like it will catch fish; what is the head made from? If it is weight you better tie a bunch because the bottom will have some of those from you. Are the waters where you plan to fish real deep and swift? If not I would probably go with something other than the head on this fly. By different I mean spun deer hair or wool and maybe a thin strip of olive bunny fur Zonker style to make them interesting.

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

It's hard to tell. A few more pictures from different angles would help. The only glaring issue I have is the hook with the turned down eye. For myself, I much prefer straight eye hooks for big flies such as this, and tie a lot on straight shank worm hooks used for plastic baits. If it's your intention to have the hook point up, I can agree with that. I tie many flies that way too.

Otherwise, I like the materials you've used. Looks like a bit of flash & marabou. I like the look of the Fish Skulls too, but have yet to try them. Should have a decent profile with loads of action to it. Add some eyes. The fish may not care, but I feel it helps sometimes & makes the fly look "complete", particularly since the space in the Fish Skulls is there.

A little general advise. Try what you have, & keep things simple. I've been tying for about 47 years, and have learned in that time, that trying to "improve" flies doesn't always work for me. Most of the flies I've had the greatest success with, meaning they consistently catch fish over many years time, have been simple, basic patterns that incorporate as few materials as possible. I primarily fish for LM/SM bass & Striped bass, and use a lot of older patterns such as Clousers, Decievers, Seaducers, all of which are fairly simple & have been around a long time. There's a reason for this, they still work very well! I like using many different materials, but not necessarily in the same fly.

It's cool to see patterns that use a variety of materials, but frankly, in most cases it's not necessary. K.I.S.S., keeping it simple works!
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

The tale is just olive marabou, Body is olive chenile underneath the really shaggy dyed UV Polar Chenile (olive/brown). A little red flashabou on the underbody and the fish skull. pretty simple. I see some people with these amazing flies and i wonder if thats what mine should look like.

And the water ill be fishing with these is pretty deep and can be swift depending on when the rain comes. The Lake Erie tributaries in PA.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Welcome to the forum.

I agree with the others, that will probably catch fish as is. I like the choice of materials. Looks like marabou, Flash and some long estaz of sorts. I often tie my flash in overlaying the marabou and then will sometimes repeat in the front of the fly after you've wrapped the body. Is that thread above the Sculpin Helmet? If so, you need to work on tying in the materials behind the helmet.

I also agree that adding eyes on the fly would help you and you might want to think about tying in feathers from an India Hen or your bird of choice near the front as fins if you're going for a more realistic looking fly. Not necessary, but an idea to play around with.

When I'm working on a new to me fly or free styling of sorts, I will often tie up several different variations of a pattern before I get one dialed in where I want it. A tweak or two between one fly and the next is all it takes sometimes.

I haven't tried the Sculpin Helmets but I hear they add some significant weight. Joni had a post about them where she posted some of the finished product. Killer looking ties. You should have a read:

Skulpins

If you are hitting really fast water and some of the deeper pools this would probably work well to get yourself down. I would also tie some of these up without the sculpin head and maybe go with wool or even dubbing tied in and folded backwards, then brushed. Throw some non lead wire on the body to add some weight to the fly itself and add shot as needed. If you're fishing those tribs you know all too well of the low and clear conditions and in times like that less weight is sometimes helpful. Fish that thing and the others you tie and see how they perform. All of the advice given in this thread could end up being nothing more than hogwash. Flies often seem to attract the fishermen/women more than the fish, so that's always your best test.

Here's are some shots of one of the ones I've tied to give you an idea on the head.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

The thread infront of the helmet is a "dam" to hold the helmet on. Thanks for all the advice guys
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Here is an update with a version without the helmet...

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

I feel like sculpins are essentially olive wolly buggers...
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Need help with my sculpin

Those should work too, I really like the olive zonker strip for the tail. Please take this as constructive criticism: you need to work on the head of the newest flies--as in fill it out more if you are going for a sculpin. Try teasing out the dubbing on the ones you have spun up so they add bulk.

On the next ones, if you're going for a similar look to the one I posted, take the dubbing and separate it so that clumps are all even from end to end and the length of it matches up closely. When you put that on the fly, make sure you have the material evenly distributed around the shank of the hook. Your tie in point for the dubbing is roughly in the middle of the length of the dubbing. Once you tie that in and secure it, fold it backwards and check your distance between the dubbing and the eye of the hook. If you need to, feel free to add another layer. Think spinning deer hair. If after your tie in, you are close enough, then throw in some half hitches, add some head cement to the thread and cinch it down.

If you're not going for the look I have on the head, well then pay no attention to what I just said

That flash body you've been using is killer. I have some of a similar material, it's a nice way to add shape to the body, keep it sparse and give some flash to it.

Nice work.
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