Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Salmo_g, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,470
    Your City ,State
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    I've been tying for years, decades really. But I haven't tied many weighted flies until recently. I thought I was going to like these coneheads on some steelhead flies, but I've got a problem. I slip a good size conehead, maybe 1/4", on a 4x longshank hook and put a bunch of thread wraps behind it to hold it in place. But the conehead is concave inside the bullet, and I can't get the thread wound up tight and close. I've had several of the coneheads slip down the hook shank when casting and fishing, shoving all the body materials to the hook bend. Is there a secret I should have learned? Maybe 5 minute epoxy behind the conehead to glue it near the eye of the hook? What do y'all do?


    Salmo g.
  2. Wayne Jordan Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
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    I use a few wraps of wire to hold it in place and then add a bit of zap-a-gap. It works for me, but I'm curious to see how other people do it too.
  3. Jake Bannon nymphs for steelhead....

    Posts: 667
    puget sound
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I just tie my flies pretending its not even really there until the end. Once almost finished with my fly I will wrapp, palmer, ....ect all they way up to the conehead until borderline touching it and then tie whatever material Im using off. Make a few wraps to make sure its secure followed by half hitches then head cement. My flies come out perfect and they dont slide at all.

  4. Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    Posts: 517
    Poulsbo, Washington
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  5. Wayne Jordan Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
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    I guess I'm just picky and don't like the cone spinning around the shank. I also like the fact it adds a little weight to the fly...
  6. Cruncher -

    Posts: 214
    Marquette Park Lagoon
    Ratings: +3 / 3
    - me too on that method.
  7. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    you can also insert a bead inside the open end of the conehead to fill in the space
  8. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    I'll use a small bead also. You can use brass, tungsten or plastic, depending how much weight you want on the pattern. As others have mention, a few wraps of lead will do the trick also.
  9. Big Tuna Member

    Posts: 1,958
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    I wrap .25 lead wire around the shank 8-10 times and slide it up the shank into the concave end nice and snug. Tie in thread right behind the lead wire and wrap up to the conehead and back down and you have a snug fit. I don't like the cone to spin and I like my chenille to be even w/ the edge of the cone for aesthetic reasons.
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,395
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    I have seen tyers use epoxy, wire and beads. I think the bead idea fits my plans best because I have some in various sizes and weights. They were quite inexpensive, easy to work with and I think with some more reps I will get a pretty nice looking product.

    Does anyone have preferences in colors, I like using black ones on the dark patterns to keep it looking leech like but I do have some of the hot colors that reportedly look like eggs.
  11. elkhair New Member

    Posts: 1
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hi All,

    I'm new to this forum and have been finding a lot of really good info, in tying as well as the many areas of our piscatorial passion... thanks to Dame Judith so many centuries ago!

    I've just started using coneheads to not only weight my flies, but to help protect the fly collars bouncing along the bottom.... similar to a thread shield or epoxy on saltwater flies. However, I haven't a clue on how to decide (other than aesthetics alone) what size conehead, either standard brass or tungsten, to use with what size hook.

    I typically use 3x or 4x streamer hooks to tie the patterns on which I want to now start using coneheads, but am just going through the "by-guess-and-by-golly" approach. There are several charts on matching bead sizes.weights to hook sizes, but I'm unsuccessful finding such info on coneheads. Any body know where/if such a chart exists?

    Thanks in advance for any help on this.


    Bill aka elkhair
  12. TrevorH Active Member

    Posts: 428
    Bellingham, WA, US.
    Ratings: +32 / 0
    Salmo- The only flies I tie with cones are a muddler variation, so I don't know if this will adapt to your application, but I put in a tight, well-anchored dubbing ball immediately behind the cone before I do collars, spin deer hair, etc... The dubbing ball causes all material tie-ins and subsequent thread wraps to shove forward into the void. I like building up aggressively behind the cone, as the flies are intended to have a large head profile. That said, I use lead eyes 3:1 over cones. I make an effort to tie the majority of my weighted flies to ride hook point up, to reduce hang-ups and maintain a sharp point. Most straight-shanked 4x streamer hooks will roll pretty reliably.
  13. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
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    this is a case where being a "gorilla" on the vise can help rather than hurt. I find with cones, over and above the lead and beads already mentioned, that thicker threads wound tightly, with a tight underbase of thread and reinforced bodies go a long way towards preventing the rearward shift of materials you've been experiencing.
    the only flies I use coneheads on anymore are meant for abuse anyway, so that's what I tie up to.
  14. Matt Burke Active Member

    Posts: 3,642
    Ratings: +56 / 0
    I set it up like a production line. Set up a couple dozen mustad’s size 6 to 1/0 or whatever. Size of the cone is determined by if I can get it by the barb without burring it up. Knowing full well I may pinch it later. I’ve already lit my candle earlier and now there is a big puddle of hot wax near the wick. All coneheads are jammed down to the eye and are now dipped in the wax, eye down. I then poke them into a piece of Styrofoam all in a row, eye down until the several dozen are an inch apart so that the cavity at the back of the cone forms a miniature cup with the shank of the hook coming out skyward. Mix up enough 5 min epoxy to fill the 24 heads with it. Put a drop in each cup, right in a row, you’re done. The wax prevents the epoxy from flowing on to the eye. Then, after it’s cured, I tie in like normal with it spinning in the Nor-vise. Usually just hare and marabou. So I’ve built up to the ass of the cone nice and flush where just a couple thread wrap are visible, past the cone, back to the hook end. If I’ve dipped my wax right where it’s covered still from eye tip, to the very rim on the ass of the cone, except just enough of the rim is left open, about the width of the couple thread wraps next to it. I spin the head and with red finger nail polish with the applicator provided. Layer up a smooth ring over the of thread and fraction of bare metal on the head so it looks like head, red gill ring, flowing hare back to the business end.

    As for durability, I’ve stated before, I do a lot of OMJ’s on my back cast, bashing my flies on the rocks. Usually they can endure 10 to 20 impacts, if the line doesn’t break, before the cone head will start spinning. But, before then the point is gone and you grab another outta yer wallet long before the head moves.
  15. bfic Member

    Posts: 212
    Marysville, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Hot glue - cut off a small chunk of hot glue, drop it in the cone hook eye down, heat it with a lighter until the glue melts and flows around the inside of the cone. This is obviously not for painted cones.
  16. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    that's kickass tying, Matt.
    where'd you learn the wax dipping trick? that's cool
  17. Mr.E He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron

    Posts: 688
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I use the bead method or while tying up the wings, I leave extra material and a drop of hardhat or head cement onto the material then shove the cone over it. Make a few turns of the thread in front of the cone to anchor it down.
  18. s2ary Member

    Posts: 43
    Berwick, Maine
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    I like the hot wax/epoxy method Matt.:thumb:

    Can you post a picture of the fingernail polish, I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing that.
  19. Matt Burke Active Member

    Posts: 3,642
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    How do I come up with that crap. First, your tying area needs to consume an entire dinning room table. Over time, a ton of non-flytying crap will accumulate with the fur and hooks. The first time I did the fill the cup trick, epoxy went right through the meatus of the head, some eyes had some run off down one side or were completely occluded within five minutes. That’s painful! The candle was right there. I lit it and dipped and tried it again. Done.
  20. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,395
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    Matt said meatus of the head...:rofl: