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A tip worth its weight!

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"This idea is so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a fox" "This idea is so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a fox"

FDG Instructor Dr Paul Davis has a 'cunning plan'. Have you ever looked at your fly box and wondered which of your nymph patterns are weighted and which are unweighted yet look identical?

As I was tying a batch of North country spiders that had wire ribs the other day the following came to me – and although this may be well known by some of you and written about elsewhere I though it was worth of passing on because I have not heard it mentioned before, and, in the words of Blackadder, "this idea is so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a fox."

It is easy to spot weighted flies that have bead heads or super heavy lead underbodies (such as Czech nymphs) – however if you tie patterns that can be both unweighted and also moderately weighted with an underbody of wire then it is difficult, if not impossible to tell them apart when you look in your fly box on the bankside.

As depth is one of the critical factors in catching fish how can you then select the correctly weighted version of a fly?

Well I now use the following rule.  If one of my flies is tied unweighted then the rib is tied in clockwise – so if you look at the body of the fly it will look like this -     =/=/=/=/

However if you have put a weighted underbody on the fly then the rib is tied in anticlockwise and the body of the fly will look like this -    =\=\=\=\

This is from my perspective as a right hander but of course if you’re left handed it will be the other way around.

Now at a quick glance it is simple to see which is the heavier fly and appropriate for getting down to the correct feeding depth of the fish.

Paul Davis







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Comments (9 posted):

shpeil on 13/07/2010 12:44:03
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Hmm. The drawback with this method is that it is customary to wind the rib in the opposite direction to the windings of a dubbed body so that the rib doesn't disappear into the windings of the dubbed body...
steve collyer on 13/07/2010 12:46:17
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Yeah - better to use a different colour tying thread. ie brown = unweighted, black = weighted.
silversedge on 13/07/2010 14:47:23
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Or a tiny wee dab of red varnish on the head.
capbrown on 14/07/2010 17:13:07
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I also use the red varnish trick, ...nicked the wife's best scarlet nail polish!!
corky on 14/07/2010 20:00:30
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Glad I looked in here,red varnish eh :cool:might end some tangles for me.Thanks lads. Corky
bbamboo on 15/07/2010 06:35:51
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Colour code the head. Black= heavy brown =med light =yellow
ispy968 on 16/07/2010 06:21:18
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Clear varnish for Unweighted, Orange thread on Med weighted, Red thread whip finish on X Heavy weighted.
bbamboo on 16/07/2010 15:05:31
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Clear varnish for Unweighted, Orange thread on Med weighted, Red thread whip finish on X Heavy weighted. NO NO my way is better :)
ispy968 on 16/07/2010 17:44:53
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Funny how Fulling Mill use Red at the head to identify a weighted fly, it seems to be a universal adopted system.
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