Using Bead Heads

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Tom Grobelny, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Tom Grobelny

    Tom Grobelny Member

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    What is the advantage of using bead heads on trout nymphs / buggers over weighting with wire?

    Before I started tying, I liked the idea of bead heads as I knew that the fly had some weight to help get it down. Now I think that it is almost as easy to add a few wraps of heavy wire for the weight and the fly will have a more natural appearance. I have little experience in tying and even less with CATCHING fish, so do you think that adding a bead head to trout flys (i.e. a ribbed hare’s ear, or price nymph) will make it more effective over weighting with wire?


    Tom G
     
  2. Monk

    Monk Redneck

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    Well, this may be a stab in the dark, but in certain kinds of fishing I like the motion that using a bead head provides. Also, the extra bit of flash might do perk some interest in the fish. I usually tie 50/50 bead head and just use whatever works. The whole science of it is beyond me. :confused:
     
  3. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    A size 16 tungsten gold beadhead olive hare's ear nymph scored me a very nice rainbow at Pass Lake last year. I saw some bug activity by the shore and some swirling of fish. A long cast paid off big.
     
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Here is some more usless info. I think that by using a shiny bead it looks like the bug is rising and it represents a air bubble on the bugs head. Like I said more usless info.

    Jim
     
  5. DLoop

    DLoop Creating memories one cast at a time

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    Hardly useless. I very much concur with Jim.

    I will often use a small bead on soft hackles for the very reason Jim states. At the tail end swing, as the fly starts to rise, that little pretend air bubble is very much part of the bug lifecycle a trout sees during the day.
     
  6. Monk

    Monk Redneck

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    The only thing that gets me here is that the way it would fish wouldn't look like an air bubble rising the insect but rather pulling it down. I have made fake airbubbles on emrgers with antron.

    I would be hard pressed to think taht a fish would think that a BHPN is an emerging nymph with an airbubble because of the way it fishes.

    My $.02
     
  7. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    Along with the other replies it prevents you from having to apply head cement to close to the eye of the hook and clogging it up, which is a problem i run into sometimes on really small flies if i don't use a bead head.
     
  8. Tom Grobelny

    Tom Grobelny Member

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    Great replies, even if the consensus is “clear as mud”. I guess the only thing to do is to tie some of both, and run an experiment. Of course the sample size will have to be significant and several rivers, lakes and conditions will have to be factored…..

    I guess it is part of the allure of the sport. Things are not straight forward, factors (both obvious and imperceptible) are always changing. The real education that I need is learning to “read” the river and adjust to the ever changing conditions.

    For now, I think that the bead (especially brass) does not look like it belongs on a fly. It is just not natural, but neither is a flasher on a salmon trolling gear rig (and that seems to work). I reserve the right to change my mind, but for now maybe I will just work on getting a reasonable hair wing tied.

    Thanks for your replies and patience with one that is new to the sport.
     
  9. Monk

    Monk Redneck

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    "For now, I think that the bead (especially brass) does not look like it belongs on a fly. "

    iagree

    but it shure does work! :)
     
  10. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member

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    I agree with both Old Man and Dloop...at the end of your swing whether your nymphs are weighted or not they will start to rise, how fast depends on how much your willing to mend, but at the end the nymphs do rise and the bead head does imitate an air bubble.

    Now during the time in the water before that your guess is as good as mine... :confused:
     
  11. Curtis King

    Curtis King Fish Magnet

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    I have to chime in here because I use both weighting techniques. Over the last few years I have landed hundreds of trout and steelhead, and I definitely prefer bead heads. I'll start with the obvious...bead heads make identification of weighted flies automatic. You don't have to mark the head or tail with a color code. I find them easier to tie as well and you don't need that ever so hazardous lead. As mentioned in earlier replies, beads can simulate an air bubble which is a natural phenomenon with rising larva. The last reason I offer up is far fetched, but when you consistently land fish, who can argue. My theory is that because beads weight the head, when the bug moves it naturally makes a head-first motion (of course this is greatly influenced by the type of knot used).

    This of course could be totally unfounded, but I keep a fishing journal and the photo's don't lie. Best of luck to all.
    :ray1:
     

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