Wire Bodies in Bulk

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Like most tiers, I typically tie my flies from start to finish, one fly at a time. But one night when wanting to do some tying but not really having an idea of what to tie, I came across a real time-saver.

Most of my nymphs are tied with an underbody of lead wire. I thought, why not prepare a bunch of hooks by adding the lead, covering the lead wraps with tying-thread, tying off the thread, and coating the wire with nail polish? Then, when you decide what nymphs to tie, the hooks are ready for rapid nymph production!


Many tiers favor the extra step of coating the lead with head cement or nail polish because it protects the body material from becoming discolored. I had never before coated my lead wire wraps because I didnít want to wait for the coating to dry.  The problem was that I was tying one fly at a time. That night I prepared a couple dozen hooks with wire wraps and nail polish coating. I have since found that after a dozen hooks are prepared, the first hook will be a bit tacky but nevertheless dry enough to complete a fly.

hard as nails.jpg
A bottle of Sally Hansen brand Hard as Nails.  If it gets too thick, thin it with Acetone (first choice) or generic nail polish remover.  Nail polish remover is basically Acetone plus a
fragrance.  But unlike Acetone, nail polish remover comes in small bottles.

This system also helped me realize that thread size or color can be changed in mid-stream, so to speak. Thatís not exactly rocket science, but I had never thought about that before. The hooks in the images here were prepared for three sizes of fur-buggers. I will finish the fly using Danville 3/0 or 6/0 thread; but, in preparing the hooks as pictured, I used Danville Flat-Waxed because it allowed me to cover the hook shank and wire wraps quicker and more thoroughly.

danville threads.jpg

Finally, if you havenít already discovered this, the white foam trays that come from the meat department of any grocery store make great hook trays. They come in a variety of sizes and depths, and are perfect for keeping your finished flies organized until you put them away in your vest or stock box. Just stick your flies along the edges, as shown here.

foam tray.jpg
Fur-bugger sizes from L to R: TMC 3769 #10, TMC 5263 #10, Mustad 79850 #8. 


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