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  1. Default Tapering bodies ??'s

    I have a terrible time tapering the body of a fly when I wrap with lead wire. It always winds up bulky and simply never looks right.

    I want to tie some brassie style flies with embroidery floss I picked up. The colors are awesome but as I said, I can not get a good taper.

    Here is what i plan to use if it helps solve my issues:
    Embroidery floss over lead wire wraps for the body
    Some sort of tail on some of them, pheasant or other
    Peacock herl heads
    Maybe some pheasant or biots for legs/wings on a few of them
    Don't care what style hook, I have many styles and more on the way.

    Most will be plain without tails or legs but want to tie a few just in case the fish seem to be picky and want something more realistic.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    taper each end of the lead with some tying thread, tie your materials in at the front of the fly, then tie over them back to the back of the fly and wrap them forward. this helps to keep the fly and tapers more even.

    ex·pe·ri·ence noun \ik-ˈspir-ē-ən(t)s\

    1. the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation

    2. that thing you get just moments after you needed it.

  3. Likes fish_4_all liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    The lead wire you choose to use should be no larger in diameter than the diameter of the hook shank.
    You can also "mold" the lead to shape with a squeeze of some pliers. Just don't get too aggressive as the lead will fracture
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Philadelphia Pa

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    buy flat lead tape. much easier to get a taper

    Addicted To Vise Flies

  7. #5

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    Lead wire can be used to get a taper.

    The trick is to flatten one end of the the lead wire. Get a pair of needle nose pliers with a flat sections just before the cutters.

    Start at the back of the hook and wrap the flat end of the lead and you will get a taper up to the thicker round lead.

    The second trick is to use the right tying thread and for tapered lead bodies, I have found nothing better than Uni-Stretch. It is a nylon tying thread/floss that stretches with tension. Plus you can unwind it a bit and it lies flat. So you can wind thin flat stretch layers or thicker round layers.

    For the initial over wraps of the lead wire, wrap across the lead wire or the thread will fall into the grooves between the lead wire and not over-wrap the lead. You'll see what I mean when you begin wrapping over the wire.

    Any material like copper wire that is placed on the hook before the lead should extend all the way up the body of the hook. If you just tie it in at the end of the hook, it will create a "bump" at the end of the hook that destroys the natural taper of the body. The lead goes over this consistent diameter from tail to head.

    Although it is recommended that the diameter of the lead wire be about the diameter of the hook, what is more important, IMHO, is that the fly look realistic. For the fly above I used wire that is much thicker than the hook because the natural nymphs are plump.

    Some flies call for lead wire tied along both sides of the hook to get a flat shape for stonefly nymphs. The rear edge of lead wire should be flattened to create the taper of a natural.

    Heres another tip about wrapping lead wire behind bead head nymphs. Most modern beads are countersunk so the rear hole is larger than the front hole. Most often the directions will tell you to coat wrap the bare hook with tying thread and then wind the lead wire. If you do that you cannot slide the lead wraps into countersunk space of the bead. For my first fly, I will try wrapping the lead on the bare hook and see if it will fit into that space. It makes for much more stable bead that cannot slide back and it add a bit of extra weight without changing the shape of the fly.
    Last edited by silver creek; 03-30-2012 at 03:30 PM.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  9. Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    Might be that my lead wire is way too small. I am using the lead wire out of some old lead sinking fishing line I got some years ago on sale. The stuff is really small and really soft but also pretty strong. Maybe I need larger lead wire?

    Maybe I need to build the taper a lot closer to what I need with thread before wrapping?

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s


    You got great tips from the guys already.

    Just to give you a place to start, for wire diameter for lead (or "non toxic" wire used to replace lead due to environmental concerns and required on some waters) here's a chart you can use:

    As a practical matter, I just buy and use either .025" or .030" for bigger flies (buggers streamers and large stonefly nymphs) and .015" for smaller flies ( weighted and beadhead nymphs.)

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    Lead fuse wire is what I use. I buy it in bulk rolls.



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  13. Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    Okay, maybe taper is the wrong term but those tips will help me with my sharp drop off at the tail.

    I guess it comes do to how important is that the body of some flies like brassies and other nymphs to have a cone shaped body? I can build a nice shaped cone no matter how hard I try. Just one of those things that seems to be a block for me. Crocheted, laced, woven, sure but not a nice cone.

    ---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:08 PM ----------

    Where do you find the wire silvercreek?

  14. #10

    Default Re: Tapering bodies ??'s

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_4_all View Post
    Where do you find the wire silvercreek?
    I bought the bulk wire in several places. One was mail order from Hook and Hackle and the other was at Bob Jacklin's Fly Shop in West Yellowstone Montana. I think it was $7.50 a spool back then which tells you how long ago that was. It is 10 times more expensive now.

    Now it costs way too much and is hard to find.

    Bussmann BFW-2 buss Fuse Wire .025 Dia for Sale.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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