A couple of people asked me how I tie the sliders I posted about a week ago. Since I wanted to tie a couple of albino versions, this seemed like a good moment to take some pictures and make a tutorial.
Personally, I hardly ever tie something exactly the same way as somebody else. So if you want to use other materials, go ahead. But this is what I use:
-Thread: Technitrax 400. This is a super strong floss (one of our own products) which I use on practically all of my pike flies. I can highly recommend it.
-Hook: PFF Longshank 4/0. I know hooks can be very personal. I use these for this pattern because I like the shape of them; they are strong, sharp and cheap.
-White bucktail. Some medium quality will do, because the hairs don’t have to be long.
-White Keough Saltwater hackles, but any long strung hackle will do too.
-Red PFF Hackle Flash Chenille.
-White deer belly hair.
-8mm red 3D eyes.
-optional: some pearl flat tinsel, I found the stuff I use here in the Christmas sales.
So here we go… (click on any picture to enlarge)
After flattening the barb of the hook, put some thread on your hook.
Tie in a clump of bucktail (don’t exaggerate) around the bottom half of your hook shaft.
Do the same around the top half of your hook shaft. Cut of the excess and put some lacquer or glue on.
Pick 3 times 2 feathers, in 3 lengths, and get rid of most of the fluffy stuff. Leave some on, because this makes the positioning of the feathers a lot easier.
Tie in the shortest feathers on both sides like this,
the next two in the middle,
and the longest ones, a bit higher. Cut of the excess and put some lacquer or glue on.
This step is optional (I just like some sparkle in the tail). Tie in 1 strand of flash like this. Half of it should be the length of the tail.
Fold back the other half and tie it in. this half should be about a cm shorter. And repeat this on the other side.
Tie in a clump of bucktail around the bottom and top half of your hook shaft, like you did on the first steps. Cut of the excess and put some lacquer or glue on.
Tie in the hackle flash chenille.
Hackle it forwards while pulling the material backwards. Tie it in, cut of the excess and put some lacquer or glue on.
Tie in a clump of bucktail around the bottom and top half of your hook, like you did before. Cut of the excess and put some lacquer or glue on. As you can see I made a conical shape with my tying thread from the bucktail to the hook eye. This will make the building of the head a lot easier.
Take a reasonably large clump of deerhair and put it on the bottom half of the hook with two loose wraps.
Do the same on the top half of the hook.
Now, what I do, is tighten it a bit (not completely yet) while holding the deerhair so it doesn’t spin. Spinning wouldn’t matter much in this case, but if you use different colours for the top and the bottom, it will certainly do.
Now I use a part of a ballpoint pen (standard equipment of every fly tier) to push everything backwards and then I pull everything tight.
When you pull your thread trough the deerhair to get in front of it, do it zigzag-wise.
The ballpoint pen is a little too wide for the next step, so I use a cut off head of a silicone tube and another one for the last deerhair I tie in.
I use these hair clips to hold everything back which makes the next step a lot easier.
Now repeat the last step (a clump of deerhair on the top and bottom half of the hook shank).
And again, repeat the last step. When you use the hair clips it should be easy to tie off and put some lacquer on.
Now we have this, an ugly looking creature in desperate need of a hair cut. And that’s the fun part (for me it is). Some people use a razor blade the cut, but I like a good pair of scissors.
I always start with cutting two angles. The angle of the bottom, is close to the hook shaft, to have as much as possible of the hook gap free (I don’t like missing a fish).
And an upwards angle on the top, which will let your fly dive. The rest is going from bottom to top along the sides (or vice versa if that suits you better).
If you want your fly to be more like a Dahlberg Diver (and make your fly dive even more), leave a collar, like you see in the picture.
But that’s not what I’m after, so I cut it this way.
And after sticking some eyes on, you should have something like this.
I hope that was helpful, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask…