What size bead?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by bitterroot, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. I bought some Spirit River beads in size 7/64" (2.8mm) for tying bead head soft hackles on a size 14 hook. They seem too big to me. What size beads are you guys using in this application? Help out the rookie!
  2. sometimes the bead size depends on the bend of the hook. Sproats are different then Perfect and Limerick. My data sheet says 7/64th is good for 14 and 16 hooks. Next size larger is for 14 and 12.
  3. TMC 3761, sz 14, sproat bend. Damn, even good on a 16? Guess I'm wrong about it being too big!
  4. A Sproat is a tighter bend than a Perfect so 7/64th may be the smallest bead you can "thread" on.
  5. The hole in these beads is cone shaped so it allows it to make the bend pretty easily. I might experiment with something smaller.
  6. NCL likes this.
  7. When using a bead on a soft hackled fly consider wrapping the hackle just in front of the bead as opposed to bead in front of hackle. Putting the bead behind the hackle will help hold the hackle out making the hackle a bit more lively as opposed to collapsing against the hook when moving through the water. IMHO it also makes a much better looking fly.

  8. Thanks ya'll for the thoughtful responses. Much appreciated!
  9. I sometimes use tiny Cyclops beads on my soft hackles. They have a large hole so a small bead fits on a bigger hook and the small bead helps it get just below the film without sinking as fast as the bigger beads.

    The biggest benefit is that since I am a crappy tier, the tiny beads give the fly the appearance of a very neat head vs my usual hack job, lol!
  10. The advent of the counter sunk metal beads was great. Spirit River had a different plan in mind when they started selling Bright Beads. The original idea was to first slip the bead onto your tippet through the smaller hole, then tie on a fly and slide the larger hole side of the bead down over the hook eye. In this way, you could turn any non-bead wet fly into a bead head.

    Of course no one actually used them that way. But the extra large hole on one side of the bead certainly made it easier to thread the bead on a number of different hook bend style of hooks.

    Before the counter sunk metal beads, only specific style of hooks would work to for adding a bead... it was a pain in the butt! Glass beads still require the use of specific hook styles with a hook bend that allows the bead to slide to the hook eye.
  11. I got a bead onto a 200R once.
  12. So have I but I had to use pliers and a hammer :)
  13. I didn't use a hammer, but pliers were definitely essential. The vise, and maybe some gloves, also came into play. In retrospect, safety glasses may have been a good idea. The fire extinguisher was probably overkill though.
    Thom Collins and GAT like this.
  14. If memory serves me, I think the Spirit River beads slip onto a 200R like Barbara Streisand's legs....2 sticks o' butter.
  15. ha h ahhahahhahahha h :D

    The counter sunk beads will work on some 200Rs... it depends on the size of the hook and the size of the bead.

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