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Dynamic Dubbin Loops – Part 1

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, fly tying demonstrator and instructor, you can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/johnsatkowski/

If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to up your tying game. I first saw Jerry French construct a composite dubbing loop while browsing the internet for different dubbing techniques. It was very interesting to me the way he sectioned off the skrim and collar. I don’t tie a whole lot of steelhead or salmon flies, but I thought I might be able to adapt the methods to my warmwater patterns and add a little different light refraction and appearance to trigger more strikes. Baitfish patterns look surprisingly simple, but to get the effect of the proper translucence can be quite tricky. Constructing dynamic dubbing loops with lots of iridescence can be a strong trigger for predatory fish and add many attractive qualities to your patterns. I took Jerry French’s composite dubbing loop and loosely altered it to fit my needs for constructing solid warmwater flies with a lot of movement and presence.

I was looking through my dubbing materials one day and I had a pack of Angora goat dubbing I had bought on sale a while ago. Angora goat has a very spikey texture and works great on many types of flies. It also has a sheen that looks very natural and buggy in the water. When I am constructing my dubbing loops, I use the goat dubbing as the main material and supplement it with ice dub and a different length material such as rubber legs, Senyo’s Shaggy Dub, or Amherst pheasant tail fibers. Through this method, I can create loops with different characteristics just by altering the color and supplemental material. Below are some loops that I commonly construct for various types of flies, you can see they are all built basically the same way but by altering materials you can mimic different prey items.

Continue reading → Dynamic Dubbin Loops – Part 1

Simple Flies – Myakka Two Ways

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

The Myakka River flows approximately 72 miles southwest from the prairies of Central Florida to Charlotte Harbor on the Florida Gulf Coast. By all accounts this National Wild and Scenic River provides some pretty good fishing for bass and other warm water species in its freshwater sections and excellent Snook fishing in the lower estuarial waters. The Myakka is within easy reach to Sarasota anglers and one of the favorite freshwater destinations for Sarasota guide Steve Gibson. Steve tells the story of the genesis of his Myakka Minnow after a frustrating day on the Myakka in 2005.

“The Mighty Myakka Minnow was born out of frustration. I’m sure you’ve been there. Imagine a day on the water with fish busting minnows throughout the morning. But after several hours, you still have nothing to show for your efforts. You cast into the spray of minnows, but your offerings are ignored repeatedly. The fish are so keyed into the tiny minnows that they ignore everything else. Although the scenery is nice and weather gorgeous, it sure would be nice to feel the tug of a largemouth bass or hand-sized bluegill. This happened to me several times while fly fishing on the Myakka River near my home in Sarasota, Fla.  After one unproductive outing, I decided to try and come up with a fly which would imitate the minnows the fish were so excited about. I knew that the fly had to be no more than an inch long. It had to look like a minnow. It had to sink. It had to have large eyes. After a few hours of trial and tribulation, I came up with a workable prototype and couldn’t wait to give it a try. Next time out to the river, I had several Myakka Minnows in my box and one tied on my 4-weight fly rod. It didn’t take long to realize that I’d hit a home run. I picked up bass, bluegill, stumpknocker and tilapia while blind-casting. I kept my eyes open for scattering minnows. When I saw fish attacking minnows, I’d cast the Myakka Minnow into the fray.”

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In Depth Review of New Daiichi Scud Hooks

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @: www.instagram.com/insectinside/, www.facebook.com/pauliescustomflies

In this article J.Stockard Pro Paul Shurtleff reviews a new series of Daiichi Scud Hooks. Here are the links to each model and you can read Paul’s analysis below.

1924 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte green
1925 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte brown
1928 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte gray
1929 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte black

I’ve fully tested all of the new sample hooks sent to me. What I’ve discovered is that these hooks are VERY STRONG! They do not want to bend at all and they are NOT brittle either. They are reluctant to bend but will bend (under extreme pressure) instead of instantly breaking off. I tested 1 hook from each pack of each color and stress tested each hook color to the breaking point. What I discovered is that there is NO difference (that I detected) in strength between colors either. This is not a thorough test since each color of sample hooks received was in a different size. However, from what I could tell, comparable companies hooks in the same size ranges proved to be fairly equal as far as strength goes. I am quite impressed with the strength. What I did notice is that whatever coating Daiichi puts on these hooks makes them VERY SLICK! They’re almost dangerously slick… so much so that 2 of the sample size hooks survived the “Nano Silk” test (where I break a hook in my vise with Semperfli’s Nano Silk Thread) and I had 2 hooks slip out of the jaws of my Regal during stress testing making a horrible snap sending a cold chill down my spine! I have never had a hook pop out of the jaws of my Regal before up until stress testing these hooks, I am quite impressed with the strength to say the least. In fact, that’s one thing I’m going to caution for consumers and a recommendation for Daiichi for production packaging. These hooks are extremely slick: They can and will slip out of the jaws of vices under heavy pressure. That could be due to the stainless jaws of my Regal (which are slick anyway) but it should be something to caution anyway in my opinion.
Tying on these hooks was great. As mentioned before, scud style hooks are typically not my first choice to use but they were great to tie on. Tying on these hooks was like tying on any other hook with the exception of there being very little hook flex under thread pressure like there is on other similar hooks. I understand that these hooks are heavy wire extra strong hooks but it’s still something worthy of noting. Because of the coating and next to zero hook flex, that’s where the caution of the hook popping out of the vise comes in. Having a hook pop out of the vise can cause damage and chipping of vise jaws (not to mention a sharp projectile potentially flying across a room!) so again, something to caution. However, the slick coating of these hooks didn’t cause any issues while tying, the thread stuck on pretty good actually and I had zero material roll with a light thread base. I’m not sure whether that same thing would happen if there wasn’t a thread base, I’m just saying that I didn’t have any issues that way.

Continue reading → In Depth Review of New Daiichi Scud Hooks