Brass-wire-Brush-Baitfish (by Stefaan)

That’s quite a mouthful, I know, so let’s just call it a BBB. I’ve been working on several types of flies the last couple of weeks, but most of them are still in an experimental phase. This one however has been tested and approved (by myself anyway), so I wanted to share it.

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It doesn’t look very unusual, and I assure you, …it isn’t. I just tied it a bit differently. Let me show you…

I start off with a medium sized plastic rattle. If you don’t want it, just let it out.

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I cut off a piece at the end to have a better transition towards the hook shank, and to improve that further I use a bit of hard tube, cut into a point…

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to have a conical shape, like this, once they’re attached to the hook. That makes the rest of the fly a lot easier.

Then I make three brass wire brushes with EP Fibre and Polar Flash. You could make one big brush as well but with this size of fly (17cm), the brush is too long to handle properly.

The first one is White EP with pink Polar Flash,

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The other two, are pink EP with Pink Polar Flash.

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Tie in the brush like this, and wind it forward, while pilling all the material backwords.

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And the second and third, the same way.

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Until you have this.

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Then cut everything into shape. And I mean everything, the tail as well. A lot of people tie baitfish patterns and pull the material nicely to the back on their vice to show what a nice profile the fly has, but once you throw it in the water it flairs open and the profile is much more that of a squid than that of a baitfish. Instead of pulling with your fingers, use a comb and then look what’s left of the nice profile. Then just use a good pair of scissors.

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You should have something like this, a bulky head which will push a lot of water, and a tail that has a nice profile on it’s own but with so little of material that you can look trough it (it will move a lot better).

And then glue on some eyes.

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But how? If you have a head like this, where the eyes are a long way from the hook shank, there are several ways to glue them on.

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I used to go very deep into the tying material (whether it was wool, deer hair or something synthetic like here) with either super glue, epoxy and even a glue gun, to really hold the eyes in place so they would not be bitten off by pike teeth. Well, I don’t do that anymore. When the eyes are cemented that hard into the material, they will certainly not come off easily. But sooner or later, a pike will get in, or behind an eye anyway and will rip off half of the head (certainly with deer hair). And then you can throw your fly in the trash can. Now I just glue them on with super glue (gel), just enough so they don’t fall off by fishing the fly. They will get bitten off, that’s for sure, but it will only be the eyes. Once my fly is dry, I just glue on some others, and my fly is as good as new.

Here are some other colours; they’re all about 17cm long, tied on a Partridge Universal Predator X, size 4/0.

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And if that is too small, you can make an articulated version like this, which is 22cm long.

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Just try it out…

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