Catgut eyes for Salmon flies

wynne

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I'm getting back into salmon flies & am looking at tying up some blind hooks, with a catgut eye.
I have bought some eye material, but am quite disappointed at the quality & content of a pack.
As the flies are going to be for 'show' rather than practical use, are there any suggestions out there for a substitute that will look the part.
I have got some old gut violin string that might be suitable, but any suggestions for alternatives would be appreciated.
 

shinegrog

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Mar 4, 2012
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Kent.
Best people to ask on here would be Wingman or S fontinalis, they are the top dogs on the classics.

For my part having spoken to some of the classic dressers at the IFISH they said Steve Cooper had Silk gut that was quality.

Cookshill Fly Tying Materials

Hope it helps.
 

fredaevans

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White City, Oregon, USA.
Real silk gut is very expensive (for good reason); use same if these are presentation flies. If for 'real fishing' just use braided Dacron. Comes in many different sizes, etc., and very inexpensive.
 

wingman

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I have a contact in the states Wynne, don't know if he still has any but I got the 4 lb breaking strain silk gut for about £10 for 10 yards untwisted which is a really good price but you obviously have to twist it yourself useing a powerdrill, if you need info on how to do that or for contact info just pm me, it's dead easy. This is really good stuff aswell none of that cheapo tat and you'll get alot of flies out of a good 30 feet of it, I actually bought two lots off him becos it won't last forever as its really hard to get hold of, postage is around £6 though I think. If you buy it pr-twisted I've seen it at around £9 for a 1 foot length, work that out and you'll see what you can save. Good to hear you're getting back into it.:)


Meant to add that you can use ordinary monofilament but you have to heat it up in the oven abit before you twist it but not enuff that it melts if you know wot I mean.:( Just depends how true you want to be to the craft or for that more authentic classic look...
 
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wingman

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Remember Wynne catgut and silkgut are two completely different things, catgut is from sheep intestines (nothing to do with cats) and silkgut is made by the silkworm, silkgut is what is used for the gut eyes on salmon flies. I think catgut might have been used at some point in time for tying onto the end of hooks but in tying the classics twisted silk gut is the norm although braided nylon/dacron could be used if you're not fussy about useing silk gut.
 

wynne

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Jan 5, 2010
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751
Location
Caerphilly
Thanks Mark - yes, agreed, catgut is a bit of a misnomer & there are so many variants available.
All I'm looking for is something that is more 'cosmetic' & looks the part of a vintage type creation - however, I'm conscious of the fact that I may want to wet a creation, which will be no blo*dy use at all if the eye don't work !!!!
:thumbs:
 

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