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· Premium Member
746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ran into some Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated wire in 20lb strength and am wondering if anyone is using this material for construction of intruder type trailing hook flies? To me it looks just like the specific ones on the fly tying market for that purpose. (2.75 for 30 yds)
Strength? shows 20lb

· Undertaker
1,554 Posts
buy it and try it

Heck, at that price, buy two. I have used both wire and braided line (firewire) to make articulated flies. I like braided wire much better - it holds the hook more in line with the fly. The only issue I have run into is that with hooks smaller than size 2, I can't get doubled-over wire through the hook eye. For 1/0 and larger, plastic coated braided wire works great. As regards 20 pound test, I'd bet its strong enough to break your rod and you don't need it stronger than that.:saeek:

· Dedicated Fisherman
3,454 Posts
I've been using Power Pro Braided line that the owner of Three Rivers Fly Shop in Wasilla gave me. I was going to buy some but he knew what I wanted it for and so just pulled a bunch from a bulk spool. It is 65 pound and seems to work very well.

I've used the wire sold for use on Intruders and have tried various strengths of backing for trailers. The Power Pro doesn't wear out, at least I haven't found it to weaken before the flies are so torn up that I make new ones. The 65 pound thing isn't about breaking strength, it's about longevity and strength both. Backing was a bad choice because it became week with use.

As far as liking wire because it keeps the hook in line with the shank and materials........ I think it's possible that we want them to look that way when we have them in the vise. In fishing I find that the hook, when attached with a more supple but strong material, flows behind the materials just about perfectly. I prefer that over a stiff connection because many times I feel fish tapping the fly many times before they actually give a firm pull which signals me that they are possibly getting hooked. Anything stiff or sharp will turn off the curiosity levels and the tapping stops.

I might as well go on and say a little more about what I've found using articulated flies. I have been catching all species here using them. I only get to fish for actual Pacific Steelhead in very early spring but the results are very much the same as when fishing rainbows here near home. When that fly is swinging, I don't care whether its a Sculpin or an attractor type intruder style, don't strike back when you feel a tap or light tug. I find that about 99% of the time when you react before a fish actually has the hook that they won't come right back. Sometimes they won't come after the fly even if you rest them for an hour. No matter what you are using to trail the hook you've got to have a strong will when you feel a tap. I let a fish play with the fly until it has the hook and I feel a genuine pull on the swinging fly. Even then I fail to hook maybe 20% of them. It's those 20% or so that I'll never know what they were........ There are some rainbows here which will rival a sea run steelhead and so alarming one by ripping the fly away from the fish can turn them off.

If you are swinging Intruders I would suggest that you also make up some Sculpin patterns in the same style. Every place I have fished has Sculpin minnows and I can tell you that steelhead will grab one just like any other rainbow will. Just remember, don't react when you feel the first hint of a fish. If you try the Power Pro type line you can find it in many colors. What I have is a dark green and I use it on almost every articulated fly I fish with.

I hope that business about not striking at a fish who is messing with a fly will prove helpful to some who may read this. I try only to reply whit thoughts or suggestions that are founded in quite a few experiences.


· Recreational User
225 Posts
I ran into some Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated wire in 20lb strength and am wondering if anyone is using this material for construction of intruder type trailing hook flies?
Yes, and my advice to you is - Don't do it.

Braided wire has a tendency to kink when looped around the shank of an octopus hook. If you are only planning on catching one, maybe two fish with your fly, then by all means use #20 wire. After a couple of fish (or a couple of hangups), the wire will break where it loops around the trailer hook shank. Even small fish, even light hangups, even accidentally whacking your fly on the rocks during a cast - all will stress the wire, and the wire will break, sooner than later.

I found this out several years ago after buying a spool of #20 steelon and proceeding to tie a couple hundred client flies. To my horror, every single fly I tied with that trailer material had some sort of wire failure after only a few fish (some after only a few bad casts), and on all of them the wire broke or frayed in the exact same spot - where the loop of wire goes around the shaft of the trailer hook (octopus style).

I have since moved on to 25#-40# mono, depending on hook size. I used to use fireline, but the coating frays after awhile and as the now-uncoated fiber frays, the floppiness will cause a fella to miss fish as well as lose hooks off the trailer loop by it slipping thru the eye gap.
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