Floating/Darting Sand eel-FB [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Floating/Darting Sand eel-FB

05-11-2003, 07:58 PM
I am starting to experiment with Balsa wood for Poppers and have a thin guage square Balsa wood stick... carved down in tube shape and did this one...should float nicely and dart on strips. The epoxy application is about the length of the balsa body. Inside is saltwater flash covered by white and olive hackles. Got the idea about using balsa wood from Jay Horton.

05-11-2003, 07:59 PM
Close up of the head....

05-11-2003, 08:25 PM
Another great pattern comes to life... I like the idea of using balsa, though I have a feeling that some of the "purists" would scream... just goes to show you that saltwater fly tying is all about innovation. By the way, all of these patterns you've been tying, what weight rod/line are these meant to be fished on?

05-11-2003, 11:01 PM
As far as the purist go...Balsa was used for poppers long before the current composit type popper plastics were used ..so if anything it is more traditional than the usual popper of today... deerhair is the other traditional way of tying poppers. I use only sinking or intermediate lines... an intermediate for this fly... but I might use it with my sinking line if that's all I had with me and had to switch flys. Even with the fast sink ,I think with a long leader and the right retreve I will get plenty of at least slight subsurface darting.

05-12-2003, 09:28 AM

Have considered using a non-slip loop knot on this fly? The loop would promote the darting action.

John Desjardins
05-12-2003, 09:36 AM
Nice fly John. It should have a great action on the flats. How close to neutral bouyancy is it?

05-12-2003, 10:30 AM
Tyler.. I usually tie all my flys on with the Non -slip Mono loop anyway and would do so with this one. John.. I have just floated this in the sink... I have not tried using the Balsa on a fly like this yet.

05-12-2003, 10:52 AM
John - Nice tie.

When I first moved back from Seattle I used a lot of bouyant flies on sinktips for stripers with great success. The method is to pull the bouyant fly down in to the current and let it dance in the conflict between forces.

With the offset eye of this fly, it would boogie like a zara spook!

Dble Haul
05-12-2003, 11:02 AM
John- Great tie. Once again, I'll probably downsize it a bit, put it in some shiner colors, and start giving it a try on smallies once the water warms up a bit more.

05-14-2003, 08:25 AM

What materials have you used apart from the balsa and are there specific tying instructions?


05-14-2003, 10:25 AM
Phil... nothing different from the usual Feather brain sand eel ,except that the hook is imbedded into the balsa a little and the hackles are glued on like I would do a usual FB spreader... then epoxied over... the epoxy is applied over the entire length of the balsa underbody... whereas with a spreader i just epoxy a bit of the hrad... the other Feather brain eel has clouser eye as well on some and nono on others. I will do step by steps but only after the FB is published.

05-15-2003, 12:41 PM
John, what type and size hooks do you generally use for the FB patterns? I'm specifically interested in the gap, because the few FB's that I've tried to tie seem to encroach on the point too much. Granted, I was using C71-SS Circles by Mustad... would an 811S or 911S work?

05-15-2003, 02:46 PM
All sizes are usually 3/0 and bigger..and I use the Varivas or Trey Combs... the hook gap needs to be checked out no different than any spreader fly you tye.... but if you make your spreader smaller you can use smaller hooks and I never epoxy under the head..just the sides and top... so the gap is always there anyway.

05-18-2003, 07:22 AM
I see your up to your old tricks again, nice looking. Ill have to do some my self.