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Tim D

Comparadun help

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So tying up some size 20 BWO and PMD comparadun and not loving it. Looking for some tips on:

  1. How do you tie in the deer hair wing on such a small fly without it completely rolling around the hook?
  2. How much deer hair should you use for the wing on a size 20?
  3. What dubbing do you use that is very fine, no guard hairs and easy to dub onto the thread?

Any tips would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

 

Thanks

Tim

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1. Pinch loop method.  Pull straight up on the thread, don't let go of the hair until it is secure.  It also helps to wax the thread that you are using for your thread base under the hair.

2. Takes a few tries to figure that out.  Surprising how much you do need, but don't put too much.  Keep it fairly sparse.  You will lose some with every fish, so don't go too sparse.  If you plan to fish fast turbid water go heavier, or use a more robust fly.

3. No dubbing on the abdomen, I tie them as an Improved Sparkle Dun.  Then sparse either Superfine or BRF Zelon dubbing on the thorax and head.

I do far more 18's than 20's, but 20's can be the key sometimes.

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Thanks Water Rat! MUCH appreciated. These are for a trip out west and anything over size 20 get too many refusals. Drop from and 18 to a 20 and it's game on!

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Timmy,

a few things that have worked for me. 

1. Use biots for the body, they float nice and don't sink... ever. 

2. For small comparadun, use GSP thread, less bulk and infinite strength. 

3. This is my best trick... After the primary wraps on the deer hair, split the wing bunch into thirds and take one wrap through the wing at each of the 1/3 points, this locks the wing, prevents spinning, and with thin thread, no binding of the hair. 

4. Second best trick... use a double edged razor and nip the butt ends of the deer hair right at the primary tie in wraps. Saves space and the bulky mess. 

5. Tie in the tail and run the butts of the tail right to the cut ends of the deer hair to create a smooth body.

6. Use the thorax wraps to get the wing pointed forward, and then with ur thumb, from the eye, push the deer hair tips back to vertical and splay them. 

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Ps. Don't go insane looking for the perfect 180 degree wing profile, I fish some that basically just have a deer hair parachute post without the hackle. They float fine and the profile works. 

 

Also, CDC can be easier to deal with then deer hair, and it is my new favorite. 

 

Send pics!  Next year i am joining. I foresee a critical client meeting in Denver in mid to late October. 

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2 hours ago, TGIF said:

3. This is my best trick... After the primary wraps on the deer hair, split the wing bunch into thirds and take one wrap through the wing at each of the 1/3 points, this locks the wing, prevents spinning, and with thin thread, no binding of the hair.  

X2 on this one, not only does it help stand the wing up, it helps keep the hair on the fly too

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Thanks Timmy! Can't wait for you to back in the states so we can do some serious fishing.

I've tried the 1/3 trick on the deer hair on the larger ones, but on 20's, I can't for the life of me separate the wing. Any tips for that...maybe a bodkin??

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Use GSP or Kevlar thread, the 1/3 rule is just a rule of thumb, two wraps through the wing hair clump and you should be good. 

At this point, you might as well just buy them ;)

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Your wings may be a little long on some, but I know we're talking about millimeters.... those biot ones are super sexy. 

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Great looking flies!  

I find one of the keys to fooling fish on mayfly imitations is having an extremely skinny abdomen. I do mine improved sparkle dun style now, basically an open spiral wrap thread body.  I find they fish significantly better than dubbing or biots. I believe it is due to the slim abdomen. I don't have a good closeup, but here is a picture of a batch I tied up this spring, I believe 18 & 20's. I go a little heavy on the wing both for visibility and so they last longer (the fish thin them out on me ;) ).

IMG_0232.JPG

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Those are very nice water rat. Agree on the thinness. So, so those are basically just thread bodies?  They float okay?  I have never done well with an Antron tail on anything... x-caddis, sparkle duns, and the like. 

I wonder if it is partially, that I am so rarely fishing a "hatch" and am often fishing egg layers. 

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Those are awesome!! I too like the slender body with the thread...then just some dubbing right in front and back of the wing for the thorax. REALLY like them tied on the caddis style hook as well. I'm going to be doing about 4 dozen in BWO and Baetis colors too and will use that style hook. 

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Timmy, on that note, I have been tying most small dries over here on a curved caddis hook, no tail, biot body, thorax and an upright CDC wing, flatter for caddis, more upright for mayflies. I guess you could call it a klinkhammer ripoff, but on a smaller hook. 

 

 A grey biot body with natural CDC seems to be able to catch fish when anything is in the air. Works well in Maine too. Not sure whether a biot or thread is "thinner" but I have a real thing for biot bodies. Mostly because i hate dubbing for small profiles. 

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Hey Timmy,

Are you using Turkey or Goose biots? I've also went to using dyed quills for bodies as well. Great segmentation and super easy to use...assuming you soak them enough. 

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Hey, I always have used turkey, because their length makes them easier to work with. However, I sometimes need to cut them in half, long ways, so I can still get the segmentstion on small flies. 

I also like the quills, but they feel expensive don't they?!?!?

they float even better than biots

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They do feel expensive. And unfortunately, don't last long with toothy fish. I find they start to unravel pretty quickly. But the slender bod profile and segmentation is awesome. 

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22 hours ago, TGIF said:

Those are very nice water rat. Agree on the thinness. So, so those are basically just thread bodies?  They float okay?

Yes, just open spiral wrap thread over the zelon down to the tail and then back to the thorax. They float really well, I usually dress the wing with either Loon Lochsa or Frog's Fanny. Important to dress only the wing, you want the abdomen and tail to settle into the film. Very surprised you haven't done well with Antron/Zelon tails, I find them to be one of those magic ingredients that improve a fly's effectiveness dramatically. 

Here is a video of Craig Mathews tying one:

 

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2 hours ago, Tim D said:

They do feel expensive. And unfortunately, don't last long with toothy fish. I find they start to unravel pretty quickly.

Put down a layer of Zap a Gap before wrapping the biot, it will greatly improve the durability. You can also coat over it with UV epoxy, but that kind of changes the look. It does, however, make it bulletproof :) 

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Good tips and good discussion. It is rare that I have a biot break, but those quills snap on me, mostly because I love using the tip, to get those initial thin segments. 

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