Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Needle Butt Mayfly

Tied on an acupuncture needle stretched between two vises.
The needle has an open loop bent and shaped (with tiny jeweler's needle nose pliers)
in one end. One vise is a rotary.

The other vise is fixed, but it has a swivel in its jaws. The open loop
in the acupuncture needle hooks into the swivel. The straight end of
the acupuncture needle pinches into the jaws of the rotary. So, when you turn
the rotary, the length of the needle turns too.

Needle is coated with soft wax. Then skewered into a thin square cylinder
of gray-dyed open cell foam before mounting in the vises.

Thread is started on the needle, and then up onto the foam. Tie an overhand
knot around the front end of the foam. Then snip off the starter thread in front of
the overhand knot. Now spin the lathe to pinch the foam down to nothing, from
end-to-end around the acupuncture needle. Add fibetts tails. Spin on a stripped peacock
abdomen. Add wings. Loosely lash on a #22 Daiichi 1130 hook, underneath the wings.
Loosely lash on a Zelon hackle-like cross bar, under the wings, under the shank.
At this point the assembly looks like a fly. But the hook and the Zelon hackles
are not securely fastened. In other words the hook and the hackle would not
easily come off. But they are both lashed on loosely, so they can rotate slightly,
and lose their right-angle orientation to the upright wing.

Make an overhand knot at the front end of the fly to secure the tag end of
the thread. Slide the fly off the acupuncture needle. Groom it. Trim it.
The hook and hackle-like crossbar are still too loosely lashed on
to stay put. So now add a nearly microscopic dot of ultra-thin CA glue at the
junction of the hook and body. Be careful. Don't use too much glue.

To dispense micro-dots of thin CA glue, cut the top off the bottle. Push
30 guage Teflon tubing (available at Action Electronics on the web, for instance) all
the way down to the bottom of the bottle. Caulk the ultra-thin tubing
in place with a hot melt glue gun. Now you have a "wash bottle" that
dispenses nearly microscopic pin points of ultra-thin CA glue.
Ah. At the Action Electronics website, 28 guage Teflon tubing is the thinnest
diameter they show. But you call their 800 number and ask for 30 guage.
And get it. $40 USA dollars, or so, for 100' roll. Smaller amounts are available too.
I bought a 100 foot roll ten years ago, and still have about 50 feet of it.
Most of what is gone was given away.

16 guage tubing is about right for some thicker CA glues, like Zap-A-Gap,
which is widely distributed among USA fly shops. 30 guage is best for
ultra-thin CA glues.

This technique is probably better suited to medium to large size mayflies, rather than tiny ones.
But I wanted to cut straight to the hard part, just to see if it was possible.
Looks like a promising technique. The needle lathe works well for big streamers (with wire).
Now it also looks like a good way to make complex itty bitties too (with an acupuncture needle instead of wire).

1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.