Spey Pages banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a segue off of the "Who's really using a single" thread, which touched on the subject of weighting flies with lead eyes, a subject it seems of some division amongst the flyfishing fraternity.

I am curious as to who does and doesn't use them, and the reasons for why or why not. Personally, they are a mainstay of my approach to flyfishing, an "attitude" arrived at through much deliberation and time, and anymore it is pretty rare for me not to use them if I am fishing a sunk-fly.

Here is my reason for using lead eyes -
- allows me to expand the opportunities of my flyfishing, simple as that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I use them (well, actually weighted flies in general) as they allow me to better fine tune my presentation, without having to resort to switching out the sink tip. Swapping flies is much more expedient.

I also feel that lead eyes in particular impart an action to the fly, which I dig.

Pretty much it, I guess. Oh, and I just think they look cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
Simple. I don't use them because they're not allowed on any rivers I primarily fish — on the Gaspé, in New Brunswick, or the North Umpqua. I rely on sink tips, full sinkers and technique when I need to get down.
 
G

·
Two of the most effective flies around for steelhead these days are the Intruder and the string leech. The former almost requires the lead dumbbell eyes in order to get the correct action, and the latter works far better with the eyes than it does with other means of weighting. I do make a few with coneheads for water that isn't as deep or fast. If you choose to use these flies then you have to get past the leadeye hangup. Believe me, I'd much rather fish an unweighted Mack's Canyon or something similar, but it usually isn't a profitable way to go, at least here in the Great Lakes area. I still think that Intruders and string leeches are miles ahead of the chuck 'n duck/indicator approach, even though you won't usually catch as many fish overall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I use weighted eye flies because I don't like to switch out tips and I like the way some weighted flies are very fishy in the water. They look cool and catch fish too. (Some look kind of narly but hasn't stopped me from using them either and catching many fish.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Leadeye Hangup...

...when I first started flyfishing for steelhead in the PNW many moons ago, I had a definite hangup with lead-eyed flies. This was an opinion that I aquired not through any experience on my own, but rather because it was the general consensus amongst steelheaders of the time, much of it relayed through popular literature, in other words, peer pressure. Even though the use of lead-eyes was generally considered taboo, the use of flies tied "low-water" style to achieve depth - sparse body on a large hook - was quite acceptable for fishing a sunk fly, in other words,the "only" way to be able to consider one's self as being "truly flyfishing". This is a path that I traveled for a while until I found that the injury/mortality rate that I was experiencing with this approach was higher than I could personally justify. So, I next, as a matter of compromise, went back to more traditionally proportioned fly/hook ratio's, but started wrapping the underbodies with lead wire, a method that is still more widely accepted than using lead-eyes. This tactic dropped my injury/mortality rate back to within personally acceptable limits, at which point I began to question what the hell the difference was between using lead wire wraps or lead-eyes, excepting possibly for aesthetics? Absolutely nothing! In fact, whether it is the use of a sinking line, large hook/sparse body dressing, lead wire underwraps, lead-eyes, coneheads, or any combination of them, I have concluded for myself that they are all technically the same - methods implemented to achieve the same purpose, gain depth. So, being as they are all "methods" aimed at achieving the same objective, what justifiable reasons are there for considering any method more acceptable than another?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree...

...switching different weight flies to make minor depth adjustments is nice
...how a lead-eyed fly swims is HUGE!

another point I like about 'em -
- if eyes are tied to keep the hook point riding up = less snags

Ryan,
You're funny!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Illegally Weighting Flies

wrke said:
Simple. I don't use them because they're not allowed on any rivers I primarily fish — on the Gaspé, in New Brunswick, or the North Umpqua. I rely on sink tips, full sinkers and technique when I need to get down.
Typically,(I hope), tackle restrictions imposed by fisheries managers are based on some sort of biological justification, ie. no bait in C&R areas. What is the purported justification behind not allowing weighted flies in those waters that are managed in that manner?
 

·
Relapsed Speyaholic
Joined
·
5,533 Posts
I travelled that same path for a long time and still on occasion do so. I do use them though for Skagit work because they get down, I like the way they fish including the less snag property and they allow a smaller better holding hook to be used. A skagit system will cast them nicely but I can't stand casting them on a mid or long bellied line. Also, even though I use them, I guess I still have a toe on that other path as to my eye, they are nowhere near as attractive as a traditionally tied pattern. To a fish's eye though, I don't think they care.
 

·
#&%*@^# Caster
Joined
·
3,058 Posts
I tried them but never liked them. For me I felt it was not the traditional approach I wanted to take with how I fish for steelhead. Hate to say the word 'jig' but that is what I felt I was fishing. Most everyone I fished with in the PNW uses them to great effect, intruders really are superb fish catchers. I do not put near the amount of fish on the beach with my methods and flies.

I really do not care what people use and try not to be preachy about it (usually depends on how much whiskey is in me). They are just not for me. I do not fish weighted flies for stripers out here on the east coast either.
-sean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
saltsprey said:
Typically,(I hope), tackle restrictions imposed by fisheries managers are based on some sort of biological justification, ie. no bait in C&R areas. What is the purported justification behind not allowing weighted flies in those waters that are managed in that manner?
Pretty simple: Weighted flies are more deadly, i.e. more fish are caught. It's the way that a limited resource is limited.
 

·
loco alto!
Joined
·
3,109 Posts
saltsprey said:
Typically,(I hope), tackle restrictions imposed by fisheries managers are based on some sort of biological justification, ie. no bait in C&R areas. What is the purported justification behind not allowing weighted flies in those waters that are managed in that manner?
I feel that tackle restrictions imposed for the sake of restrictions are just fine - like bow hunting seasons with deer and elk. Some anglers wish to use less killing methods, and it is nice for those anglers to have some waters to ply their trade.

Sure, I can use unweighted flies anywhere, but they're scarcely effective when a river has been thoroughly dredged to the bottom.

In Oregon, the North Umqpua is the only steelhead river where weighted flies are illegal (and for only part of the season). Yet, anglers from all around the world flock to fish her waters. Go figure, masochists. :cool:

-------------------

to the point of this thread, I prefer jig eyes to adding weight underneath. In addition to points raised above, jig eyes make it easier to discern the weight of a fly at a glance when buried in my box. I use either hollow bead chain eyes, or a medium-small solid eye, and these two seem to cover the bases when matched to appropriate tips.
 

·
Degenerate caster
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
As of late,I've been tossing a lot of brass cone head tubes and a friends sculpin pattern,the Excasperator,with lead eyes.
I have no problems with it.
 

·
Pullin' Thread
Joined
·
4,694 Posts
I don't use them for two very simple reasons: 1) I don't like the way they cast on the mid- and long-belly lines I fish with; and 2) I much prefer to fish with spey, G.P., featherwing (married and simple strip), Irish Shrimp style, and Ally's Shrimp style flies which don't look or swim well when lead eyes are added to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
When I fish weighted flies it's almost always a cone or single bead. I've felt that too many fish grab Clouser type eyes, feel the lead eyes, and blow the fly out right away. Cones or beads help the hook turn in the fishes mouth a bit better. It's just my opinion or preference.

In Eastern Canada the law is "no lead" which is interpreted as no weight. That's the spirit of the law and we all adhere to it. Most of us don't even use weighted tubes and frown on those who do. Honestly, my best success is in high, cold water of spring swinging a muddler through a pool as fast as it will go. Lead just gets in the way of that technique.

There's some history there of folks "lifting" fish in those small clear waters and that's why the rule was put into effect. I hear there are some skilled "anglers" who can still lift fish with unweighted #12's but the law is the law.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this last point but some of the lead-eye flies I've seen out West could be cast with a spinning rod. It's up to the individual but how much mass is enough?

-Chris
 

·
not as gullible as most
Joined
·
47 Posts
wilson said:
In Eastern Canada the law is "no lead" which is interpreted as no weight. That's the spirit of the law and we all adhere to it. Most of us don't even use weighted tubes and frown on those who do. Honestly, my best success is in high, cold water of spring swinging a muddler through a pool as fast as it will go. Lead just gets in the way of that technique.
Holy freakin' crap! Who do I bribe so I can emigrate? Y'all have fish back there that actually fight? Sign me up. OK, what's the catch? This is too good to be true.

wilson said:
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this last point but some of the lead-eye flies I've seen out West could be cast with a spinning rod. It's up to the individual but how much mass is enough?

-Chris
Why stop at a spinning rod? Why not cut to the chase and see just how far we can go in this thinking outside the box stuff.... and just get a Penn Squidder? That reminds me, didn't Penn used to make a reel called the..wait for it....Jigmaster? :saevilw:

Or is that a little too far outside the box?

Zo2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
'Tis true...

...some of us out here on the left coast have flies that are heavy enough to be cast on a spinning rod. But to clarify, it would take an ultra-light spinning outfit to do it, a Penn Squidder would not work. And, though those flies feel may feel outlandishly heavy to the uninitiated, the fact is we cast them on a flyrod, using the weight of the line to make the cast, in other words we FLYCAST them. AND, I would dare venture to say that the guys that are proficient at this game can cast these flies with more precision, consistency and efficiency than most other anglers can cast a more traditional fly rig. One other point to set forth - the weight should be in proportion to the size of the fly. The anglers "in the know", their heaviest flies are also their largest flies as the goal is not to make the fly plummet like a rock, but rather to use just enough weight to make the fly REACT AGAINST THE CURRENT and thus SWIM IN A LIFELIKE MANNER.

Are lead-eyed flies more effective than standard flies? They can be, when in the right hands. Contrary to many oft presented opinions, catching more fish on a weighted flies takes knowledge and experience, just like any other aspect of flyfishing. It is not just a matter of lashing on some weight and then chucking it out with a guarantee of "instant fish on". Heck, before you can fish them, you first have to learn how to CAST them. But, believe it or not, with the right system casting weighted flies can be not just a pleasant endeavor, but also a very satisfying one. When you can deliver a lead-eyed fly to your target area with precision, consistency, and power it's a farhookin' total kick!

One last point. The use of weighted flies is for me, not absolutely about catching more fish. The whole approach allows me to fish CONFIDENTLY in places and circumstances that have proven to be very low odds with conventional flyfishing systems. And, some of the takes I experience on weighted flies are of a nature, and come from parts of the fly's swing, that are SELDOM experienced on a traditional swung-fly approach. All of this just makes my flyfishing that much more multi-faceted and thus for me, more interesting and satisfying.

Oh yeah - one of the biggest misconceptions made is to assume that someone is "dredging" just because they have lead-eyes on their flies. In many cases nothing could be further from the truth, and that's all I'm ever going to say about that!
 

·
not as gullible as most
Joined
·
47 Posts
...

Riveraddict said:
...some of us out here on the left coast have flies that are heavy enough to be cast on a spinning rod. But to clarify, it would take an ultra-light spinning outfit to do it, a Penn Squidder would not work. And, though those flies feel may feel outlandishly heavy to the uninitiated, the fact is we cast them on a flyrod, using the weight of the line to make the cast, in other words we FLYCAST them.
Riveraddict,

I agree that a Penn Squidder may be a *little* difficult but I disagree on the ultralight spin tackle.

Let's just try to look at a couple points of this objectively for a minute.

1) Bare handed, I can throw a 35 grain rabbitstrip pin leech at least 45'. That is with my left hand --- I'm right handed. Dry pin leech. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that once it gets wet and heavier with a slimmer profile it is going to be flying just a little bit farther than 45'.

I know that you Intruder guys don't always use heavier flies than that, but sometimes up to maybe 50-60-70 grains? Although I am not 100% certain, I am fairly confident that I could throw one of those to normal fly fishing distances, say, 75-80', with 6-8lb test medium-weight (not ultra-light) freshwater spin tackle similar to that which I used as a kid back in the mid-60s. And if I could do that, who knows, maybe I could even catch a fish on one.

2) Now, as far as the line systems go I have no doubt that I could take a Skagit line, maybe even without modification, and have no problem figuring out how to throw that a country mile with some sort of fixed or revolving spool gear. Might need a few swivels though.

Thanks for reading.

Zo2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
different strokes....different folks. i will split the difference and say that i use weighted flies and a sink tip but make touch and go casts. there is certainly more than one way to skin a catt.;) i also prefer flies with a baitfish theme as our fish really do continue to chase bait as they move upstream. in fact i have probably caught more lake run fish with a clouser minnow (gasp) than anything else or something with bunny. i also appreciate having the hook point up.

in example


these type of flies have all kinds of issues with tradition. i usualy turn the hook point up but they are easier to photograph this way. btw these are brass eyes. how does everyone feel about them? :saevilw:
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top