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  1. #1

    Default Problem tying slumpbusters

    I am having a problem with the last step in tying Barrís Slumpbuster (sort of a version of a Zonker tied with pine squirrel strips).

    The last step involves tying a squirrel strip in at the head and then winding it forward to form a collar in back of a cone head.

    It looks perfectly simple on all of the instructional videos, but about 90 percent of mine either have lumps from the hide or bulge out when wrapping or just donít tie off properly. When I get a good one, I can see the difference, but I donít know why it happened.

    Maybe like so many steps in tying it is a matter of feel that will come with more practice, but I thought I would post this here and see if anyone has a trick or a tactic that I might not have tried. Iím having this problem with size 8 so on 10s and 12s I am not even trying to use the fur collar and just substituting hen hackle.

    If you have any suggestions I will give them a try.

    Thanks for any thoughts about this.

    Best wishes,

    Don

  2. #2

    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    Bummer, sorry to hear that. Slumpbuster is one of my favorite flies for bass, pike, and trout.

    I just tied up a bunch for some warmwater fishing in Wisconsin. I had a few thoughts regarding your question:

    1. You're right about practice. A lot of fly tying does just come down to that.
    2. The cone can cover A LOT of mistakes. For many of mine I just make as many turns as I can with the squirrel zonker and when I tie off there's some of the hide sticking up. I use the thread to force that bit down into the cone and whip finish. If you don't have room in the cone, maybe size up? The weight probably wouldn't hurt anyway.
    3. Some just look messy. Not satisfying as a fly tier, but fish don't care. Though I get it, a nice looking fly is satisfying to tie.

    For guidance on specific issues if you can record your tie and post it (youtube link?) I'm sure folks could weigh in with specific thoughts.

    wm
    - William

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    are you following charlie craven instructions?

    https://charliesflyboxinc.com/portfo...x-template-17/
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

    Norm

    http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    are you following charlie craven instructions?

    Slumpbuster - Charlie's Fly Box
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

    Norm

    http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    Thanks guys,

    I tied some more last night and had somewhat more success by choosing the thinnest strips in the package to use for the collar.

    Then this morning I used the link to Charlie Craven’s techniques and found that he ties the collar piece in somewhat differently than Tim Flagler and others I have been copying. Craven ties the strip in so the fur points toward the back of the fly. The other guys tie it in with the hide flat on the hook and a bit of bare hide pushed under the cone, just like the wing piece.

    I have run out of the cones, but will get some more later today and try Craven’s method. I will report back on what difference his method makes.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Incidentally, the local shops sell the Wapsi packs of strips in regular and Micro sizes. I’m thinking of getting matching colors of both sizes and using the Micro size for the collar.

    Best wishes,

    Don

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    I saw this post yesterday Don and remained silent, I don't know why but I don't say much anymore... But, I would recommend slicing wide strips of fur in half (I use an Exacto Kinfe) then determine which way the hair wants to flow and tie in the corresponding end. Another trick to reduce bulk with fur strips is to trim the end you tie in to a very sharp angle then catch the point of the hide with your thread. Once there wet your fingers and smooth the fur backward so you can see each wound lap of hide land and not trap fur under successive wraps.

    When you reach the end of the wraps, be sure the fur is wet and stroke it directionally to expose bare hide then trap that bare hide with the thread. Now carefully trin the hide strip to produce another sharp angle and lash in down. I could have said that a day ago but figured someone would point to a video soon enough. The cutting of the ends to form pointed start and stop points really helps me when I tie my big fat bunny fur sculpins so I'm sure it'll work for you.

    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

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    Thanks for adding your tips, Ard. By using suggestions from all three responders, I am now producing Slumpbusters without weird lumps and bumps.

    The only problem with this new found success is that I am now producing flies that I am willing to give to other people. Before I would only show them to fish when there were no witnesses. That will cost me some money in cones and hooks, but it is worth it if some of my friends can catch fish on flies I have tied.

    It seems that folks like you three are always there to answer questions on this forum. You would think after doing this for 55+ years that I would have more answers and fewer questions.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Don

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    Hi Don,

    I think that all of us face certain challenges when we get into a new streamer pattern and leave our comfort zone. I tied and fished classic feather wing streamers ever since I was a kid but over the past dozen years or so evolved into many different tying styles. Tubes were the biggest change for me and now I tie everything imaginable on a tube as well as on a hook or shank. The business of finding ways to decrease bulk when I get near the front of a fly came from tying classic streamers and salmon flies and carried over into all other patterns.

    People should appreciate the flies you gift them

    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

  14. #9
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    Default Re: Problem tying slumpbusters

    First thing is, where did you get the pattern instruction? Book? YouTube? I'm guessing they showed this pattern on the largest hook possible, which is typical as it is much easier to show how to tie on the larger hooks. Not a gimmick, just much easier when giving instruction for the student to be able to see proportion, layering, etc. The problems lies herein. They never show you how they tie them on smaller hooks. Have you ever seen a video or book with pics show you how to tie a Parachute Adams or a Baetis Dry on a #24? Me neither. Usually on a #18. You either have to get hands on with a more experienced fly tier, or find a video with someone exclusively showing techniques to "shrink" the fly (good luck with that one). Trimming the material is a good start as suggested. I don't. It does take practice. One thing I do is to cut a taper on the starting end to lessen the bulk in the beginning. Also, make sure you're wrapping as tight as you can and stacking. If it starts to slip then unwrap and start over. Cut the tag as close as possible to the thread. You'll probably knick the thread a few times getting this right. Your whip finish will cover up any minor leftover material. Again, it's all about practice. I just use scissors to cut the taper. If you want to thin the strips I'd suggest using a craft knife. If you don't have one get one. It's a very handy tool for fly tying. I use it on material for my smaller slim profile flies. Much easier than trying to cut small material with scissors.
    Kevin
    "Fight like you're the 3rd monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark"
    "Not every day is filled with sunshine. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue"
    "If God had intended for man to only fish on weekends, He never would have created the other 5 days of the week."

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