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Spey Is The Way
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What can one use as a fly substitute when casting if they don't want to technically be fishing? A fly with the hook cut off or do you need anything on your leader?
 

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Yarn

A short piece of yarn (glo bug) or a hook with the point cut off works fine. Even some backing folded a couple of times and attached with a clinch knot works fine. You do need something to act like a fly and keep the end of the leader from splitting.
 

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A short piece of pipe cleaner also works very well as it has a little weight and the bulk to approximate a fly.
 

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I use the pipe cleaner one myself, very effective and more like the weight of a fly. Just snip 20mm and fold in half, then secure with a clinch knot at the fold.
 

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Flats Rat
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I use a "practice fly". Just a short length of paperclip wire with a loop for the eye. I tie in a hackle fibre tail and wind several turns behind the eye. A drop of superglue and its done. Takes about a minute and actually behaves just like the real thing.
 

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t_richerzhagen said:
A short piece of yarn (glo bug) or a hook with the point cut off works fine. Even some backing folded a couple of times and attached with a clinch knot works fine. You do need something to act like a fly and keep the end of the leader from splitting.
I'll just add a tad to Ted's comment. Personal opn here only, but just a bit of yarn is 'enough' to help with surface water loading ... but most flies we (or at least I) use have far more 'heft' to them. I use a standard 'fly' I'd normally use and snip off the hook just below the bend.

This gives me a good approximation of a sunk fly, actual fishing/casting equipment you'll be using in "real life." (There is a "real life" isn't there?:chuckle: )
Fred
 

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Safety Fly

When I started reading this thread, I kept seeing images of the round nose scissors they give you in kindergarden. I would have lost an eye or two without those ;-) I like a weighted practice fly also. I attatch a tail to the hook and then wrap lead wire around the shank. I then wrap a nice thick layer of chennile, rabbit or "heavy dubbin" too cushion the fly and protect the rod blank from impacts. Remove the hook from the vise and clip off the at the end of the shank, just below tail tie in point. An alternate method I have used is to bind a small loop of 20 lb mono to the shank of the hook that extends off in front of the hook eye about 1/2" and then wrap the lead wire. Cut off hook bend. I then cut a small block of foam and punch a hole in it big enough for the shank/wire. I coat the shank w/ aquaseal and insert into foam so that the hook shank/eye is completely hidden in the foam with only the mono and the tail protruding from the foam. No hard bits to whack you in the back/front/side of the head, chin, elbow, shoulder blade (that one had big lead eyes and it really hurt) I used this second fly to learn how to throw huge poppers and other saltwater flies and did not hurt myself once, even though I took some pretty good hits. You can also scale it up with a bigger tail, longer mono loop and bigger piece of foam.
 

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Flats Rat
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A heavier practice fly is also a lot less forgiving of tailing loops:lildevl:
 

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Hooks without a hook

I am not a perfect caster and occasionally break the hook off at the bend by hitting rocks behind me. I keep these for practice.

-Vinnie in Juneau
 
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