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Fly tying stuff


Active Member
Because @Hedgelj and @TinyTucky asked questions, here's a step by step of how I tie that almost weedless craw. My nickname for it is the Cheat Code Craw. I was tying one a few nights ago and snapped pics to show how it's put together.


-junk hook shank, I use Mustad 37187's in size 6 (you'll chop this hook up don't use anything nice)
-medium weight mono for an anti-fouling loop (I use 15lb Trilene Big Game)
-heavy mono for the tie-in tag (this needs to be something stiff like Mason Hard Mono)
-Antennae: rubber legs
-Mouth: deer body hair
-Claws: rabbit strips (hot tip them if you want)
-Body: Arizona Diamond Dub (in a dubbing loop or a brush, I make brushes)
-Shellback: Flyskinz Craw/Shrimp Bodz
-Hook #2: Owner Rig'n Hook size 1
-Weight: small lead dumbbells

Start with the hook that you will chop up. Gauge how much of this shank you need to use by comparing the hook to the Owner Rig'n hook. This first portion will be tied as an extension off the Rig'n Hook, so err on the side of not using too much shank so everything fits properly.

Tie in the 15lb mono loop out over the hook eye. This loop will slide over the Rig'n Hook point and help keep the body in line with the rest of the fly. Then add your 2 strands of rubber legs for the antennae. These can be trimmed later, make them long for now. Tie in a stub of Hard Mono off the rear of the hook. Eventually you'll trim and melt the end of this to serve as the tie-in tag.

Next, tie in a small clump of deer body hair. Spin it around the hook over the hook eye. This should extend past the mono loop slightly.

Tie in your rabbit strips on each side of the deer hair. You can hot-tip the strips by pinching them in a vise and tying in a small hot spot color of rabbit if you want. It will fish fine without this step if you choose. I make the claw strip long enough so that the hide strip ends at the tips of the deer hair.

I tie in the brush of Diamond Dub next. This color for a brown craw is called "Ice blue brown."

Color the Flyskinz Bodz with Sharpies (or however you want). I do not use every segment that comes on the tab for the Bodz. Tie in the "head" section to extend back over the deer hair. I then layer the shellback pieces up the shank so they slightly overlap. I use the "head" and two shellback segments on this size fly for this section.

Wrap the brush back between the segments. Tie it off at your stopping point on the shank, whip finish, and cut your thread. I like to brush out the Diamond Dub a little and trim it along the edges of the shellback on the sides. I trim the top a little, also, between the segments so the shellback lays down better.

Take the cheap hook out of the vise and snip it as close as you can to your tie-off point.

Trim the mono tag to around 1/4", use a lighter to melt the tag into a little ball. This step is CRITICAL. The mono ball keeps the body from being pulled free of the hook by a fish, which will destroy the fly.

Put the Rig'n Hook in the vise. Tie in the dumbbells about 1/3 the way back on the belly of the hook. Whip finish and seal the thread with cement. Adding the weight here makes the fly fall at a more natural angle in the water than tying in all the weight near the hook eye.

Reattach your thread behind the hook eye. Slide the mono loop in the deer hair over the Rig'n Hook point and tie in the body behind the hook eye by the hard mono tag/ball. Be sure this is solidly anchored. Adding cement here is a good idea. The hard mono should be stiff enough to hold the body in place, the mono loop keeps the body in line, and on a strike the body should slide down exposing the hook point.

Tie the tail segment of the Bodz to the underside of the hook.

Add one more shellback Bodz piece over the body junction, and make a small dubbing loop of Diamond Dub to wrap and finish the fly. Wrap the dubbing to the hook eye, tie it off, and whip finish. Cut the thread.

Brush out the last few wraps of Diamond Dub and trim along the same lines as the rest of the body. Done.



Active Member
This one has become my #1 small stream bass fly the past two seasons. I have no idea, honestly, what the fish think it is. Minnow? Craw? Leech? I just call it a "critter fly." It looks...alive...in the water. It has a lot of life. Fish eat it like candy.

-hook: any curved heavy nymph hook in a size 6 (preferred) or 8
-weight: small double pupil lead dumbbells
-tail: Spawn Polliwog tail and arctic fox
-body: Arizona Diamond Dub in a dubbing loop or brush
-hackle: india hen or any other hen soft hackle that works for your color choice
-legs: rubber legs
-head: more Diamond Dub

Tie in the eyes close to the hook eye. Leave about one dumbbell of space between the eyes and the hook eye.

Melt the tip end of the Polliwog with a lighter. Tie the tail in, close to full length. This tail is the real life in this bug.

Add a small clump of arctic fox to each side of the Polliwog that ends about halfway down the tail.

Either tie in a brush of Diamond Dub or use a dubbing loop loaded with it and wrap to just behind the dumbbells. Brush the dubbing back a bit to tease it out.

Tie in and wrap your soft hackle feather. I hackle it kinda heavy (3-4 wraps) and wrap my thread back over it to seal it in.

Tie in a set of rubber legs on each side (easiest to fold a single strand over the thread and double it back). Trim these to your desired length.

More Diamond Dub to finish off the head. I reattach the brush and wrap one full wrap behind the eyes, cross-cross the eyes, and one wrap in behind the hook eye. Tie off, whip finish, cut the thread. I usually trim the bottom of the fly (it rides point up) flush with the dumbbells.

The dubbing gives it a little subtle shimmer, and pretty much everything else moves with a lot of life in the water. I fish this thing like a Euro nymph for stream bass in deep runs, high sticking it, with great success. I also do well dragging it across the bottom with subtle pops.



Active Member
Hellgramites have been a good fall pattern for me on smallmouth. I'm hoping to get out soon and give these a swim. I picked up some new hellgramite bodies from FlySkinz, and they are pretty slick.


-Shank: 20mm (or junk hook cut down)
-Tail: arctic fox
-Rear body: Flyskinz Hellga Bodz
-Underbody: black Spectrablend dubbing

-Hook: Umpqua jig hook size 4
-Eyes: lead dumbbells size small
-Junction: heavy mono
-Rattle: 3mm glass rattle
-Body: Flyskinz Hellga Bodz
-Underbody: brown rabbit dubbing

I articulate this fly so first step is snipping the body into 2 pieces. You can see here where I cut these. to separate the front portion from the rear body.

Start with a 20mm shank (or cut piece of a junk hook) and add a little tuft or arctic fox, about a shank in length.

You can either dub the body heavily or use a brush. I made a brush of black Spectrablend nymph dubbing to speed up the tying process.

Tie in the body portion of the hellgramite by the tab left over from snipping the body into two pieces. It should lay forward over the shank eye.

Wrap the brush (or heavily dub the body) up to the hellgramite body and tie it off. Whip finish and cut the thread.

Brush the dubbing out rearward a little. I use Tear Mender to glue the hellgramite body down. It works great for gluing that material to the dubbed body.

The hook is a #4 60* bend jig hook. Umpqua makes this one. Tie in a set of lead eyes (these are size "small," you can go heavier) near the 60* bend.

Tie in a tag of heavy mono to the jig hook and use that to attach the rear body portion to the jig hook. Then tie in the 3mm glass rattle. I like to add a layer of Sally Hansen's (or other cement) to the rattle to make sure it stays put.

Tie in the remaining hellgramite body portion by the tag off the head, again facing forward over the jig hook eye.

Make a dubbing loop of brown rabbit dubbing, and don't skimp. With the diameter of the rattle it will take a lengthy amount of dubbing to finish the fly.

Make a couple of wraps of the dubbing at the bend of the jig hook, then fold the remaining hellgramite body down and wrap in between the segments on the hellgramite body. Tie off the dubbing loop at the head of the fly, whip finish and cut the thread. Brush out the brown dubbing a bit, and you're done.

I usually fish these deep, near the bottom, with soft pops off the bottom. Basically like tight line nymphing for smallmouth.