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I just recently purchased my first shanks and have a couple of questions:

1. What plastic, or any other material, do you use as a hook holder on the end of the fly.

2. How do you put these securely in your vise.

Thanks,

Cody
 

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From, Progressive Fly Fishing for Salmon by Alexander Baird Keachie.
Hooks can be attached before the dressing or after.
Before dressing,
1. Using Nylon 20lb nylon is whipped to shank and hook,
2. Using heat Shrink tubing.
3.Using Silicone rubber tubing.
4.Using Amalgamating tape.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages.
1. If the hook is damaged the fly is scrap.
2. The shrink tubing can trap water leading to corrosion.
3. The tubing can slip allowing the hook to move out of alignment
4. Probably the best method.

After dressing
The nylon leader is passed through each eye then a piece of silicone tubing then tied to a hook similar to a tube fly. I do not like this method as it spoils the appearance of the fly, the salmon do not seem to mind.

I have a Dyna King vice and just pop in the shank the rotate to the horizontal.
I hope this is of some help.
 

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I use Keachie's method 1, and he's wrong to suggest you have to scrap the fly if the hook is damaged, although it may not be a riverbank repair.

If you use commercial shanks (which I do, but think Malcolm/Willie may not), simply tie the fly in the usual way, but making sure the body dressing doesn't extend over the rear eye of the shank. Make a separate short whipping across the neck of the rear eye to provide a level base, and then whip the nylon down onto this, finishing with a dab of varnish or superglue. This whipping can be done in any colour if you like a butt on your flies. I find that 20lb nylon is too stiff and can sometimes make the hook stick out at an unnatural angle - 12-15lb works best for larger sizes, 8lb for small shanks. Remember that it doesn't take any strain, so the b/s doesn't matter.

If the hook is damaged, simply take a scalpel and cut the whipping on the neck of the rear eye. Open up the eye and remove the old hook. Replace with a hook to which you have already fixed a piece of nylon, and rewhip and varnish as before. A small bulldog clip holds the wing out of the way while you do this and the varnish or superglue dries. Because the fly's body is tied slightly short, it isn't disrupted by this procedure.

It's just occurred to me that you could probably just superglue the nylon in place without bothering with the whipping. This would make the repair even quicker, and you could do it on the riverbank.

I find that this method gives maximum articulation to the hook which reduces leverage, but still makes it swim straight. It also preserves the slim silhouette that I like in these flies, and which (particularly on smaller shanks) you lose with rubber tubing.
 

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Jack Cook
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Shanks

I have tied hundreds of prawns and Intruders and will gladly share what I have learned.

I let the trailer hook dangle. I use materials for the fly which will not tangle and foul the hook. I also analyze the way materials work in the wwater on the fly and usee tie in techniques which make it all work. Tying these patterns is fun and challenging due to the amount of variation in materials, techniques, and results.
Eyes, no eyes, marabou, yak hair, rhea, cree. So many feathers, so little time.

I connect the hook to the shank with 25# fireline. The fireline is lashed to the shank, pushed through the eye and pulled back to the lashing, then wrapped around the shank 2 or 3 times. This procedure is repated for the other side. If the material is lashed over but rests in the groove it will pull out. If it is lashed to the ouside edge of the shank youu have a chance but putting it through the shank I have never had a failure. Eventually the trailer material wears out and at the point I attach the hook directly to the end of the shank with a loop of 15# mono.

If you want to rig it like a tube then lash a plastic tube the entire length of the shank. If you simply put the mono through the eye of the hook and to the rear then the mono will rub thye fly apart and you will have a mess. Go with the trailer method or the tube method and you will be happy.

I put the shanks directly into the business end of my Regal vise. The only thing is to remember that the top of the shank is really toward me or away from me and not on top.

Waddingtons are fun to tie on, fun to fish, and the catch fish.

Aaron and I have developed a variety of effective patterns for Steelhead and Trout using Waddingtons this year. Stop by and play.

In fact the October Spey Roundtable will be devoted to Waddington Prawns.
 

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Tite fisted Waddy's

Almost all of my Waddingtons are tied hookless ,and then leader threaded thru both eyes and then a length of Silicone tube ,(colours vary from fluro orange and green thru clear and black even gray ) then the hook is tied on and all snugged up ,doesnt look guite as nice as the hook dressed on the fish dont seem to care ,I dont have problems with bodys being damaged ,and if the hook gets damaged its a doddle to exchange .
Also you need less hoooks ,more money to spend on the overpriced rivers over here .
 
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