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Classic weedless saltwater pattern- a must learn if you fish the salt
Published by peregrines
Default Bendback

Bendback Click the image to open in full size.
Type of fly saltwater weedless baitfish imitation
Originator of pattern if known An old pattern popularized by Chico Fernandez
Tied and Submitted by peregrines
Level of tying experience needed to tie this pattern Beginner, a fairly simple pattern using basic tying skills Feel free to experiment with materials and colors This example demonstrates blending colors of bucktail for the wing and a mono overwrap covering the body braid
Materials listed in order of tie in:
Hook Standard saltwater hook, size 4 to 3/0. Mustad 34007 size 2 here. Note the front ¼ of the shank of the hook is bent slightly upwards with a pair of needle nosed pliers. (See picture below). The fly is tied inverted and the combination of the bent hook and wing keep the fly riding hook point up and relatively weedless.
Comparison of standard and bent hook Click the image to open in full size.
Thread Your choice. Orange Danvilles Flat Waxed here.
Tail None
Overbody Optional. Versions with D-rib, monofilament fishing line, or omitted entirely are common. 20lb Ande mono here.
Body Your choice. Many versions are tied with chenille, or body braid. Gold body braid here. The body is formed on the straight part of the shank, leaving room for the attachment of the wing (on the bent front 1/4 of the shank)
Wing Your choice of materials. The hook is inverted in the vise. The wing is tied on the top of the inverted shank on the bent portion. Wing can be bucktail, marabou, kip tail (calf tail), synthetics etc. In this example, there are 2 layers of mixed colors of bucktail, each about 2x the length of the shank (bottom layer is a mix of yellow, chartreuse, orange and light blue under top layer of mixed red, brown, olive, dark blue and purple).
Flash Optional. Strands of Flashabou or Krystal Flash are commonly added on each side of wing.
Topping Optional. Peacock herl is common. Omitted here.
Head Thread
Eyes Optional. Stick on prismatic, or painted eyes are common. Acrylic paint yellow with black pupil here.
Special tying notes Think of this as a style of tying rather than as a specific pattern. If you fish saltwater, this is a “must have” pattern in your box because it is effective on a wide range of species. And it’s a “must learn” style of tying because many styles of flies are based on similar winging techniques on inverted shanks. Feel free to experiment and imitate the colors and sizes of your local baitfish, as well as any attractor patterns you want to try. Most important points- don’t over do the bend of the hook, don’t bend and rebend to get a perfect angle—this greatly weakens the metal of the hook. Tie the material for the wing directly on top of the inverted shank.
Target species redfish, tarpon, striped bass, weakfish, snook
Fishing notes Because this pattern is unweighted and relatively weedless it can be fished in very shallow water with a relatively quiet splashdown. It is a good choice for redfish in the grass, stripers over shallow oyster bars etc.
Simple flies like this actually work too. This one was retired after a brief swim and a meeting with a large tarpon many years ago Click the image to open in full size.
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