SBS Alien Bead Fry


Howdy! This is my first SBS...just in time for Chum Fry season ;)
I have been working on something for the beach but glass beads and cobblestones do not mix.
I tried several methods from epoxy to wrapping with clear shell back, but they were huge failures aesthetically and practically. I needed something strong and nearly invisible.
While welding loops are the shop, it dawned on me...use clear poly shrink tubing over the beads.
The total length of the fly, nose to tail is 2 inches.

Do this in an Estaz Rootbeer theme, with a heavier collar and its "InstaSculpinĀ®"

Some basic materials, ez tie

- 1/16th OD HMH tubing + softer hook holding tubing
- A strong monofilament thread ( I use Danville's)
- 6/0 glass beads from Michaels or any craft store. For this pattern I use one clear red bead for the gills and 4 clear beads with blue cores.
- 1/8th Clear poly shrink tubing. Use the 1/16th shrink tubing if you are using tiny seed beads.
- Fish Skull Masks #4 with corresponding stick on 4mm eyes.
- Clear Cure Goo or what ever resin you use in non UV if you can find it.
- Zap a Gap
- Estaz Grande in Pearlescent
- Polar Chenille in Pearl

Start by threading the beads onto the tube, the fit may vary as colour lined beads are more narrow, so you'll just have to try beads until one fits. Wrap and lock some thread right behind the last bead.

Tie in an wrap about 3 or four turns of Polar Chenille and tie it off, keeping the material closely butted up againsed the last bead. Add a tiny drop of Zap to the wraps to lock them down.

Cut a section of shrink tubing to cover from the wrapped material base to the red bead. The shrink wrap will keep the Polar Chenille connected to the fly when fish start chewing on it.

Spread some UV Goo on the beads to act as a bit of lube. Keep the use of Goo to minimal or it will all goop out the other end and look terrible :)

The goods!
With one hand, grasp the tail and hold the material in place while you slide the tubing over the beads from the right. A small piece of paper towel will keep your hand in place on the tubing to allow quick installation. If it binds, just back it off and try again. Once seated properly, the tubing will cover the wraps in back and to the front of the red bead.

Just like this, clean and smooth, adjust for any bumps or dips in the tail transition...when done...

Apply some heat (Gently!!), no flame contact and use your fingers to cover the delicate Polar fibers at the rear. Rotate the piece and move the flame around to avoid melting the tying tube or other delicate bits.

Then pop a UV light on it to lock that whole thing down!
At this point the whole bead/shrink tubing assembly can be slid OFF the tying tube and re purposed on another tube...or mix and match. I have several shorter lengths of various colours that I can build a custom tube with.

Tie in some Estaz Grande and do about 1.5 wraps...sparse, not a big clump.

Tie it off, Zap a Gap it and remove the whole think from the tying pin. Slip a #4 Fish Mask head (add eyes first or last, your call) over the front of the tubing (concave side towards the red bead. ;) )
Place a bit of Zap a Gap on the front of the wrapped Estaz and push the Fish Mask onto it, holding in place for 30 seconds.

At this point, after the glue has dried, remove the fly and trim tubing in the front of the fly to about 2mm or so and apply a little heat from a lighter to it (sparingly!), rotating as you go it should melt into a perfect little mushroom that locks the head in place.
At the rear of the fly, shield the Polar Chenille from the flame, but make a small melted mushroom on the back end to help hold the hook holding tubing on.
Hook wise I like either:
Daiichi 1650 #8, Gama C14s Glo-Bug #6, or Ahrex Gammarrus NS 172 #12

I hope ya'll enjoy, this is a fun pattern to tie and works well! Any feedback regarding the pattern or SBS questions are welcome.
Thanks to the Mods for a great resource!!
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Active Member
Awesome and unique pattern Dave! And beautiful photo as well. It does look very alien, wouldn't want to let it get near my ears it might burrow its way into my brain hahaha

I was lucky enough to get one of these in a recent fly swap and I can say for certain that it works! I got out for a quick session on Sunday evening and the coho were hitting this fly hard.

Edit- It's durable as hell, too. I blasted it off the cobble beach in my back cast a few times hard enough to knock off one of the eyes, but didn't lose a bead.

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