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Thread: Brass vs Tungsten or both

  1. #1
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    Default Brass vs Tungsten or both

    I am realtively new to fly tying so need input.

    1) do you all tie the same patterns with tungsten and brass beads. Example do you carry Hares Ear's with both types of beads and use different ones based off depth needed ? This is what I am leaning towards but with my OCD requiring me to carry a dozen of every pattern and size I can see myself needing a little red wagon to carry all my fly boxes on the river

    2) Do you use Tungsten on smaller flies and Brass on the size 14's and bigger. I find anything 14 and bigger a Tungsten bead sinks so deep I snag and lose tons of flies. Obviously alot of midges need to be just under the surface so a brass one is fine.

    I just dont want to go pay 3x the price for Tungsten when I might not need it.
    "The fish you're gonna find up here, you're gonna find; Rainbow,Cuttbow,CuttBrowns,Brownbows,RainBrowns,
    CuttyRainbrowns, Pike ,Perch"

    "Snap it" Hank Patterson

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    I can't believe no one saw and answered this thread............ You may find this shocking but since I have never made a bead head nymph or a cone head fly, I can not be of any help with this question. The bead & cone head thing came along after I had been set into motion. I still make flies the same way that I learned many years ago and they still work so I never went to the weighted heads. I used to put those zinc eyes on Bunny Fur Comets but got way tired of getting snagged on the bottom so I have not used them for years now.

    Sorry, next question

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3

    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    If your using your nymph as a trailer, it doesn't have to have a bead, that's optional depending on flow and personal preference.
    Okiemountaineer

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    comeonavs: I use both brass and tungsten and once on the stream decide which to use depending on the speed of the current and depth you are fishing. You just need to figure out a method that works for YOU so you can identify which patterns are tied with brass and which are tied with tungsten (I do it by color). For me at least, it has nothing to do with the size of the nymph......I rarely use anything larger than a size 16 anyway. As jcw355 stated, if you are doing a two nymph rig, I usually put the BH pattern on first and then an unweighted or very lightly weighted patten on second. The idea being that you want the first nymph to ride very close to the bottom and the second nymph floating up off the bottom. I never carry a dozen of any pattern in my sling pack. I might have six at the most of any one pattern and that has to be a REAL favorite, otherwise I might carry 2 or 4 of each pattern. In the sling, I carry one small fly box of dries (contents change with the season, lately I have been using a lot of beetles and ants), one small box of nymphs/emerger/midge patterns and a month ago I was carrying a small plastic container with hopper/chernobyl ant patterns. Lately, I haven't seen much action with the hoppers so that container has been replaced. I've switched from fishing hopper/droppers vs dry/droppers, but this past couple days haven't had much success on top so I have switched to a traditional two nymph rig using "OMG" an indicator. LOL! Now I'm getting ready to switching over to carrying a small container of steamers since the browns are starting to stage. Hope that helps.

    Larry
    Larry


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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    Personally, I use almost all tungsten, but I also rarely use weight outside the flies themselves. I often use double-tung stoneflies and hare's ears with extra-large tungsten thoraxes as a heavy fly, paired with another lighter (but still tungsten-beaded) fly. My most common set-up lately has been a tunghead hare's ear with a frenchie dropper. For me, snags are sporadic fact of life in nymphing, but I'd rather be where the fish are and do so without needing to add extra weight.
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    I hate casting heavy nymphs....so I use brass(max 3.3 mm)... and tungsten only with very small beads(1mm)...

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    Thanks everyone sounds like

    1) I need to see a shrink to get over my OCD with carrying a dozen of every size, style and color of each pattern

    2) Accept the fact I will snag up and be thankful I can tie a Tungsten nymph for $.40 instead of buying for $2.00


    This forum is awesome for learning, getting informatin about the sport we all love.

    Looks like I am off to get some Tungsten beads.
    "The fish you're gonna find up here, you're gonna find; Rainbow,Cuttbow,CuttBrowns,Brownbows,RainBrowns,
    CuttyRainbrowns, Pike ,Perch"

    "Snap it" Hank Patterson

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    As an option, you can tie your nymphs w/o beads and then slide the bead on the leader prior to tying on the nymph. The bead will slide down and essentially seat itself ahead of the nymph- the action isn't the same as when the bead is an integral part of the fly, but it's close. In areas where the water is extremely clear of the fish are very picky it might make a difference, but if the fish are sucking in beaded flies, you're probably pretty safe.

    The big difference (as others have said) is how quick the flies sink... tungsten beaded flies drop REAL fast!

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    Quote Originally Posted by comeonavs View Post
    Thanks everyone sounds like

    1) I need to see a shrink to get over my OCD with carrying a dozen of every size, style and color of each pattern

    2) Accept the fact I will snag up and be thankful I can tie a Tungsten nymph for $.40 instead of buying for $2.00


    This forum is awesome for learning, getting informatin about the sport we all love.

    Looks like I am off to get some Tungsten beads.
    Your welcome!

    Just think about it for a minute, when was the last time you actually used a dozen flies of one style while out on the water. Lately I have been working with my girlfriend and her sister and a few others, all new to fly fishing......they all lose flies at an alarming rate, but still I never need a dozen of any one fly.

    Larry
    Larry


  12. #10
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    Default Re: Brass vs Tungsten or both

    Quote Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
    Your welcome!

    Just think about it for a minute, when was the last time you actually used a dozen flies of one style while out on the water. Lately I have been working with my girlfriend and her sister and a few others, all new to fly fishing......they all lose flies at an alarming rate, but still I never need a dozen of any one fly.

    Larry
    Embarrased to admit it but I went through 8 Parachute Adams the other day in 4 hours. I catch a lot of trees in these small streams I like to fish and they tend to have a decent amount of deadfall in them strategically placed so as to snag me like clockwork.

    I have had days where I lose none and other days where I loose tons....plan for the worst and hope for the best ( I also carry 4 spare leaders in 5,6,7x spare gink, spare tippet, spare nippers I've dropped plenty in the river).


    Anyone know a good therapist, I apparently have an issue with preparedness. My wife calls it anal retentive, I prefer to think of it as thorough preparedness.
    "The fish you're gonna find up here, you're gonna find; Rainbow,Cuttbow,CuttBrowns,Brownbows,RainBrowns,
    CuttyRainbrowns, Pike ,Perch"

    "Snap it" Hank Patterson

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