I’ve seen a lot of ways to secure lead to the hook. Many of them use super glue, which is an unnecessary step, and most use the same thin thread that’s used to tie the rest of the fly. Both of these methods waste time. And although I enjoy tying, I enjoy fishing a whole lot more.
My primary reason for tying all my own flies is because I like my patterns tied a specific way. In particular, I like to know exactly how much each nymph or streamer weighs. But I’ve also fished my go-to patterns for so long that if I don’t have a copper rib and a red collar on my Bead Head Pheasant Tail, for example, my confidence gets shaky. Point is, that at the vise (just as on the stream) I aim to be as efficient as possible.
If you add weight to your flies in the form of beads and/or lead, try it this way . . .
I tie almost everything with 8/0 Uni-Thread, but I always have a second bobbin threaded with 210 denier, flat, waxed nylon, and that’s what I use for securing the lead wire to the hook, covering it, and quickly building a tapered body. I like waxed nylon for this because it doesn’t slip while I’m laying the wraps, and the flat, 210 denier lays out wide making the job so much quicker than if you are using a thinner or rounder thread.
It’s pretty simple, really. Just wrap the appropriately sized lead (or tin) around the hook, break it off and slide the lead up under the bead. On slotted hooks, the lead should butt up against the bead.
Finally, wrap over the lead and build a nice smooth taper. The 210 denier is wide enough that it won’t dig down between the cracks of the lead, and since those lead wraps can’t slide apart, the wide thread lays on top of the cracks and fills them in, easily covering the lead.
From here, I don’t even half hitch anything, I just pick up my bobbin threaded with 8/0 Uni Thread, tie off the 210, clip it, and start tying materials on the fly.
Incidentally, a nymph weighted in this manner rides hook point up, without the need for a jig hook.
Fish hard, friends.
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