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I have been reading about using backing instead of intruder wire, and decided to give it a go. Weather permitting we will see how this swings in MI. At Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters I found a midnight dub that was black with blue strands that I thought could be cool for the head.
 

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Nice fly. Looks like you used braided Spectra.
This can work good but it tends to get limp in the water and can hang well below the materials of the fly in softer water or when the fly is sparse and the materials aren’t able to keep the hook in position. For this reason, I mainly use wire but I used to tie a lot with braided!
I mostly fish irons now.
If you leave extra shank, you can use a pro tube hook holder, too. It works well and gives a bit of color to the back of the fly.
 

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Great looking fly. One downside to backing that I’ve encountered is the limpness as well. Not only does it hang lower, but the hook can wrap around the tippet coming into the tube at the top of the fly. Probably do to my casting ability...or lack thereof.

Jake
 

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I have used backing, but you will get a fowled hook time to time (stinger wrapped over the top of fly) The only time I use it now is if I sinch a rabbit strip to the stinger, that will aid in the fowling of the hook depending on how long of backing to trailer you are using.
 

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Great looking fly. One downside to backing that I’ve encountered is the limpness as well. Not only does it hang lower, but the hook can wrap around the tippet coming into the tube at the top of the fly. Probably do to my casting ability...or lack thereof.

Jake
Try Aqua Flies Ultra Rig Aqua Flies: Fly Tying Materials, Hooks, Shanks, Eyes. They work great! A little harder to replace a bent, broken or dull hook but worth the effort. You can also find similar tubing material at a craft store. Get one Ultra Rig kit to see what it's actually is then go from there. Here's a video with Jerry French tying a fly with the Ultra Rig:
 

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Back in the old days (and even now) many guides and anglers who live off catching fish used such materials . I've heard of anglers i really respect just let their hook dangle completely on a string leach and dirty hoh's like jon hazlett .This avoids any weight on the tail. You also see it alot in gear and trolling ( though i don't know the specifics) where they long use long dangling bead chains with a dangling hook or mulitple spacers behind a spoon hook ( obviously its a factor thhat the lure has action and/or buoyancy specifics that are different from our realm). Sometimes i think we worry about this alittle too much (myself very much included)..

Fusion dub is very cool stuff. They throw in some blue flash with their midnight , it seems to have the perfect amount of presence
.
 

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Lots of good thoughts from everyone and I appreciate the feedback. I will tie some more with wire and try them both on the river.

The idea for backing material came from guide Kevin Feenstra in MI. I have never fished with him, but his flies always look amazing and I have heard good reports via word of mouth.
 

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Try Pline CXX 40lb. It’s a copolymer nylon. Holds your hook perfectly straight, and is ultra strong and abrasion resistant. It will never go limp, kink, rust, etc etc. Just cut want you want from the spool, place it in hot water until it ‘relaxes’, then stretch it and store it hanging. Best part, for $15 you can get a lifetime supply! I’ve tried all the other methods, this is far and above the easiest, strongest, and best way I’ve found
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How do you think it would work as shooting line?
Absolutely terrible Bud! I can’t even believe they sell it as a fishing line to be honest!!
For shooting line the Berkeley Pro Spec seems to be the cat’s pajamas
 
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Lots of good thoughts from everyone and I appreciate the feedback. I will tie some more with wire and try them both on the river.

The idea for backing material came from guide Kevin Feenstra in MI. I have never fished with him, but his flies always look amazing and I have heard good reports via word of mouth.
Kevin is one of biggest Spey legends in Great Lakes, so I’d feel comfortable following in his footsteps. He’s a perfect example of the people I was referring too.. I avoid using stiff wire on dumbbell eyes patterns. The wire allows the fish to throw the weighted eyes around during head shakes. Helping it come free. with backing,stiff braid ( 40 lb fire line my preferred, done with special hitches to make it more stiff) there’s more slack. Well, this maybe being a hypocrite as I’m sure lots of people use it just fine..
Though I have had it happen and I heard when ward, jerry French etc were guiding in Alaska for chinooks. They’d see this problem and the entire trailer loop failing on commercial patterns often. I assume the Tyers from Philippines probably don’t double over +security glue. When mass produced the extra step eats time. While steelhead might not expose the flaw , a silver wild sea run chinook will
 

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The material I’m using was first introduced to me by a guide on the Skeena system. They have used this material without fail on the worlds strongest steelhead and salmon. It’s been tested thouroughly which is why I love it. No need to double it back either. Just put some big boy wraps into it and super glue it. You snap a leader or bend a hook before it comes undone
 

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Try Pline CXX 40lb. It’s a copolymer nylon. Holds your hook perfectly straight, and is ultra strong and abrasion resistant. It will never go limp, kink, rust, etc etc. Just cut want you want from the spool, place it in hot water until it ‘relaxes’, then stretch it and store it hanging. Best part, for $15 you can get a lifetime supply! I’ve tried all the other methods, this is far and above the easiest, strongest, and best way I’ve found
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Very interested in this! I have tried the OPST wire and I’m just not impressed, it kinks to easily and it’s silly expensive for what you get. I’ve switched to 60# braid but it needs junction tubing to keep it straight. I’m using size 2 and 4 OPST hooks currently. When doubled over, what size hook will the 40# CXX fit through?
 

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Very interested in this! I have tried the OPST wire and I’m just not impressed, it kinks to easily and it’s silly expensive for what you get. I’ve switched to 60# braid but it needs junction tubing to keep it straight. I’m using size 2 and 4 OPST hooks currently. When doubled over, what size hook will the 40# CXX fit through?
That’s a good question. #2’s are doable, #4’s may be harder
 

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Try Pline CXX 40lb. It’s a copolymer nylon. Holds your hook perfectly straight, and is ultra strong and abrasion resistant. It will never go limp, kink, rust, etc etc. Just cut want you want from the spool, place it in hot water until it ‘relaxes’, then stretch it and store it hanging. Best part, for $15 you can get a lifetime supply! I’ve tried all the other methods, this is far and above the easiest, strongest, and best way I’ve found
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This looks awesome. Just ordered a 370 yd roll to try it out. I like the idea of it. If it works as good as you say then I can save a bunch of money not having to buy the Aqua Flies Ultra Rig. Thanks!
 

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This looks awesome. Just ordered a 370 yd roll to try it out. I like the idea of it. If it works as good as you say then I can save a bunch of money not having to buy the Aqua Flies Ultra Rig. Thanks!
I was testing it today just to see if I could pull it apart. When you put any fly in a vice and clamp down with some pliers you can make them all break! My suggestion is to make sure you really crank on it and add some glue! I broke 25lb maxima on it without folding it back. If you are going to fold it back, I think the best way is to go through the eye of a waddington since it is a little bit thicker
 
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I was testing it today just to see if I could pull it apart. When you put any fly in a vice and clamp down with some pliers you can make them all break! My suggestion is to make sure you really crank on it and add some glue! I broke 25lb maxima on it without folding it back. If you are going to fold it back, I think the best way is to go through the eye of a waddington since it is a little bit thicker
I don't use Waddington Hooks but I have Aqua Talon and OPST Swing hooks. Do you know if it'll fit through the eye of either of those doubled up. That's how I rig the 40# Fireline I've been using with the Ultra Rig.
 

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For a lot of years I used wire but guys were coming back with flies where the wire was kinked from getting hooked by a fish or bottom ruining the fly from further use. On advice from a couple guides I settled on the same solution as Yooper but use 20lb Chameleon Maxima. Since it is doubled it is plenty strong. When attaching it to the shank I run it all the way through the eye and back a half inch and put good solid wraps on it and it will never come loose.

But, For the benefit of ease of changing hooks and placement of the hook (therefore the solution of having the hook too far back for the safety of the fish) I'd consider suggesting to you to tie that good looking pattern on tubes. It's a good looking fly! Good work.
 

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Typically I am tying with #6 and #8 hooks. I use 30 lb Fire line. If it's a longer fly with a longer run of Fireline I may put a scrap of tube on the fireline loop to give it some more stiffness but usually it works fine just by itself. My hooks are lighter though.
 
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