Experimenting with tail

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by mike doughty, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. I've read some articles and i believe posts on this forum about steelheaders using plastic pink worms to catch steel so i made a marabou pattern with a pink chenille tail. I would like to make the tail a little longer for a more noticeable action, but i am afraid of short strikes. for the people who have experience with short strikes, do you think i would be o.k. adding a little more length to the tail? right now the tail is a little over an inch. also i fished it on the cowlitz when i was home a couple of weeks ago and the fly looks great in the water, but after a handful of casts the tail started to fray. the tail is made of sparkle chenille, is there anything i do to the tail to give it a little more strength or is there a better material that i can use?
  2. I personally would try to use a pink bunny strip...to stop the short strikes you might try tying it as an articulated leech...just a thought.
  3. I never thought of an articulated version and a bunny strip would be a lot more durable, i was just trying to keep it smaller in diameter, more worm like. i will probably start tying on a bunny strip anyway. would a bunny strip have as much action as a piece of chenille?
  4. What you could do Mike is buy some magnum strips, they are a little wide to begin with. Cut it in half which would make them about and 1/8" wide.

    As for movement in water...I think bunny strips have more, not only do you have the whole tail moving around in the current you'll also have the bunny hair on the strip sort of undulating with the current at the same time. I'd take a quick photo of one of mine, but the wife took the digital with her to Goldendale this weekend.
  5. hey thanks scott, i will try that.
  6. String leeches are the bomb!!! The action is simply incredible!!! I have never seen a chenille tail so I cant compare the two, but the bunny strips do provide a ton of action :thumb:
  7. I'm partial to string leeches as well [as opposed to articulated leeches] and I almost always use bunny strips. When I tie mine, I use a loop of white backing, and connect a size 2 or 4 Gamakatsu octopus hook with a loop to loop through the eye. I think they have better action than articulated leeches, they can be cheaper because you can use an inexspensive hook for the front (you're gonna cut off the hook anyway), and they have the added benefit of being able to quickly change your hook if it gets dinged or otherwise damaged.
  8. I will say either a pink bunny leech or a string leech. I use both QUITE successfully and WITHOUT a short strike that I can recall. Even with longer tails. If I do end up running a really long leech (say 4-6" long) I'll just run the string leech at that point. But pretty easy to tie, and work like a charm. I use pink zonker strip, leave a 1-2" tail, and simply NOT cut the strip and turn sideways and palmer. Work the skin so it doesn't overlap. Awesome bunny leeches and you don't waste rabbit strips.
  9. now, for the string leeches can you tie the trailing hook the same way you tie on a dropper when fishing for trout, obviously with heavier line and shorter. also would you tie the rabbit strip directly to the triling hook? I s there a site that would show step by step how to tie one of these?
  10. step by step the best I can do:

    1) put your lead hook in the vice.
    2) take a piece of backing and make a loop.
    3) Tie in the the tag ends of the loop to the shank of the lead hook leaving a loop behind the hook. Leave anywhere from an inch to X amount of inches with the loop, depending on how long you want your string leech to be when finished.
    4) tie in flash materials if wanted.
    5) tie in a bunny strip about a half inch longer than the loop.
    6) now you can tie the main shank with anything you want to give it a little more color or body. My favorite fly fly goes in this order: orange schlappen, grizzly orange bunny strips palmered forward, holographic flashabou, white schlappen.
    7) take the backing loop and push it through the eye of your stinger hook and around the hook, then pull it tight. Now hook the stinger through the bunny strip in such a fashion that the backing is tight to the bunny strip.
    8) cut the hook at the bend off the leading hook.

    you can also tie in with bead heads, chenille heads, or whatever. But that is the basic steps I take to tie my strings. Not sayin its the correct way, just my way :thumb:
  11. Well hell, i'll try and tie some of those up as well. i had to read the steps a couple of times to picture the steps in my head. i think i got it.
  12. hey Mike...I sent you a pm....just an fyi
  13. articulated leech

    View this link then see directions below for more info.


    The lead hook is a big Mustad (3/0) salmon iron. With this hook in the vise, attach your thread to the hook then the stinger assembly (J-Rig). Double-over the tag end of the mono, lash it to the shank very tightly, trim the excess and coat with Zap-A-Gap or head cement. At the bend of the hook, tie on a 4 or 5" piece (or longer) of straight-cut zonker strip for the tail. Next, attach a piece of cross-cut rabbit, advance the thread then "hackle" the shank to the eye with the fur strip. Tie off, trim, form a head and cement. Cut the bend off the Mustad and go fish.
  14. Actually, I tie my string leech with one hook usually. Just let it dangle, or tie it in low. Have a step by step on how I tie it if you want to email me for the link. Can use it either way successfully.
  15. for the end of the tail, try using some 4 or 5x tippet material to tie off the end from fraying. Tie a few overhand knots and that should do it.
  16. Been cutting some strips of Pink craft fur into strips as a sub for the rabbit. The hair is longer and seemed to work well in the salt. I can not wait to try it out on some Steelhead this winter. I get at least the same amount of movement from the craft fur as I do the rabbit and it seems to sink better once the material backing gets water logged then the rabbit skin does. Got a large piece of it from my local fly shop for under $3.
  17. Another experiment trying to imitate a pink worm.

    Attached Files:

  18. ...just a word of caution. Whenever expirementing with new tail, one should use protection. :rofl:
  19. Here is my creation. The tail shrinks down really thin. I have been using this pattern for years. Works for steelhead, lagoon silvers and dollies.

    edit: sorry the picture sucks, I have a ghetto video camera and had to make a still off of it. Sorry.

    Attached Files:

  20. If you can find it, and you will have a hard time finding it, there is a varigated pink and orange chennile that is very dense and wont come apart easy. if you burn the ends of it prior to tying it into your fly, it wont come apart at all.

    in the water this sucker wiggles like noones buisness, tied with small dumbells under an indicator it does GREAT in stacked fish suituations where others only snag, both for steel, and dollies, and salmon for that matter.
    i could be prusuaded to sending a pic, if i could figgure out how to take one of a fly with my POS camera. :rolleyes:

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