Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reversed Wings

This method can solve the nagging problem of wings that loosen and rend apart with constant use. When you spend your precious time tying a fly with streamer wings you want them to stay intact, but a poorly secured wing will eventually unravel. This is quite common with a lot of beginning fly tiers and in haste, even experienced tiers are prone to faulty applications.

Normally, most heads require ten to fifteen snug wraps, varying with the size of hook. To check the wing’s tightness, simply use your thumb and forefinger to firmly pull back on the tips of the wing. If they don’t come apart, they are tied securely. If the beginning wraps are not tight, additional wraps will only build an oversize head and eventually the wing will loosen. Epoxy is another method, but this will only work if the wraps are tight to begin with.

What is the solution? The answer has to do with the type of hair and method you’re using. Bucktail, feather wings and marabou are not very difficult to attach. However, when you are tying in calf tail, squirrel tail, bear hair, polar bear and other stiff hairs, it takes a little more effort to secure it properly. One option to avoid bulkiness is to use less hair, but a reversed wing may be a better solution. Done properly, the wing will not unravel and will last almost indefinitely.  

Step 1.  Pointing forward, tie in a small bunch of squirrel tail, about 1/8 inch from the eye. Tie the butt ends down and tie them tightly with 4-6 wraps.

Step 2.  Reverse the wing by pulling the hair back over the top and secure it with tight wraps.

Step 3.  Finish the head, and make a few hard tugs to test its tightness. You’ll be hard pressed to pull it out.


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