Lead underbody substitute

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chad Lewis, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    I wanna tie this fly for October Caddis pupa, but not with the lead underbody. What would you folks use as a substitute to build up the bulk and shape? I'm thinking about some large copper wire.

  2. tinman207

    tinman207 Active Member

    Depends on what your goal is by not using lead. Is it to reduce weight or just not use lead?
  3. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Lead wire substitute. Sold by many fly shops. Last place I saw it was at an Orvis shop but many others carry it. Same spool sizes, same wire gauge choices as lead wire.

  4. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Why do you want wire? Looks like Davie has it dialed in with the foil.
    He has built a nice body with it. Looks easy enough to me, but then again, what the heck do I know.

    Lead substitute wire is out there, but I do not care for it as much as the real Mccoy. But as I said, what the heck do I know.
  5. Eyejuggler

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

  6. tinman207

    tinman207 Active Member

    If you are looking for a substitute for flat lead because you don't have any, just hit some normal lead with smooth jawed pliers. I do that all the time when I want that flat wrap effect.
  7. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Thanks for all the good advice. I do have lead wire substitute and I've tried using it to build an underbody but haven't liked the looks round wire give. It's hard to get the tapers smooth with round wire at the tie-in points. I tied up three using large Larva Lace clear tubing for the underbody because it's hollow and flattens out when stretched. It made a nice smooth taper. It's hollow so that might mean a tad bit of floatation for an emerger pattern. I went a different route with the abdomen and covered the body with orange floss and wrapped it with the clear larva lace, then wrapped orange dyed peacock herl and wire in the gaps. Nice effect and I got the hairy looking abdomen, but lost some of the taper using the large Larva Lace. Gonna try again with smaller tubing for the abdomen and see if the taper shows up better.
  8. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    I just remembered something. Rolls of self adhesive flat lead and hopefully lead substitute can be found in golf pro shops. It is used for tuning the balance of golf clubs. Its easy to cut to whatever size and shape you want.
    Hope this helps
  9. riseform

    riseform Active Member

    I believe Oliver Edwards uses the heavy foil from the top of a wine bottle as weight on many of his flies. He can cut and taper the strips as desired for a given pattern. Seems like a good excuse to open a bottle of wine while tying to give it a try.
  10. silvercreek

    silvercreek Active Member

    Flatten the lead wire at the end, at the tie-in and tie-off, before you wrap the wire and you will get a tapered under body.
  11. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    Haha, and that could produce some new and innovative flies.
  12. Skyler Evans

    Skyler Evans Active Member

    They also sell this in walmart in the tennis section, they use it to re balance the weight of the tennis racket and it is easily molded and cut to shape i would give this a shot.
  13. Norm Frechette

    Norm Frechette Googlemeister

    bingo! simple solution!
  14. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    As a rule I don't use lead in my tying. Plus I want this pattern to easily rise to the surface on the swing. Here's what I've got so far: Hook: Daiichi 1120 size 8. Underbody: larva lace clear "body material" size. Over body: Uni-floss orange. Abdomen: Larva lace clear nymph rib, palmered dyed orange peacock herl, x-small black wire rib. Body hackle: light dun CDC. Legs: black dyed hen cape fibers. Wing case: gadwall flank feather dyed heron gray. Head: dubbing blend of orange dyed hare's mask and slate colored Fine Natural Dubbing from Spirit River.
    NCL likes this.
  15. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    But crap we have to buy real wine :)
  16. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    If you want the tapered shape, but not the weight of the lead, why not just use dubbing? You can use your cheapest and most abundant as it wont show anyway?


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