Weed Guards [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Weed Guards

02-07-2004, 08:21 PM
I have recently started tying some larger flies (pike flies) and have been making wire weed guards using old guitar strings given to me by a friend.

I was wondering if anyone else uses wire weed guards. If so, what kind of wire do you use to make them?


02-08-2004, 10:29 AM
Hi Jay,

Welcome to the board!

I've considered using wire but haven't tried yet, partly because I wasn't sure what type would work best.

Does your method use two strands of wire that protrude down in front of the hook point? Or is the wire an elongated loop with the end bent so that it hooks over the hook point, sort of like fastening a safety pin?

I'd be interested to know which method you use and how well it works.


02-08-2004, 11:36 AM
The type I use is more of the second scenario you described.
1. I basically take a couple inches of wire, and bend it in half to form a pretty tight loop.

2. Then I take a needle-nose pliers and bend the tip of the loop.

3. Next, I insert the "tag ends" of the wire through the bottom of the hook eye.

4. Finally, I bend the tag ends down to the top of the hook shank, and tie them in.

I've inserted a simple sketch below. I'll try to add a real photo as soon as my digital camera battery is charged :)

I've been using very thin guitar string. I haven't fished it yet, so I can't attest to its affectiveness yet. I just discovered this style of guard this winter and am itching for spring to test it out. I have no clue how much guitar string even costs. I just got it from a friend, who got it from someone else. I can't think of any other wire that would be comparable in stiffness for such a small diameter, though.

02-08-2004, 12:30 PM
Yes, your drawing is exactly what I meant. Those types of weed guards work well in non-flyfishing applications, but I wonder if the the guard would pop open when flycasting (especially with the way I cast :rolleyes: ).

It's definitely worth a try!


02-08-2004, 12:35 PM
Ah... Good point. Well, this type of guard was what Larry Dahlberg used in a "Flyfishing for Pike" video that he did for In-Fisherman sometime in the late 80s. I just recently pruchased that video, and that's where I got that idea for the weedguard from.

I'll definitely share my personal findings as soon as I can get out on the water... which is still at least a couple months away.

02-08-2004, 08:58 PM
first welcome
like quentin said i have seen them on other lures but not on flies before

02-09-2004, 11:23 AM
I fish for pike almost exclusively on still water/lakes and I have abandoned the "weed gaurd" idea altogether. It's more trouble to tie, it often fouls the tails of flies, spring type guards (like the ones you are talking about) often open while casting, other styles (looped mono etc.) often move and after all the efforts of not getting stuck in weeds, I still get stuck.
So I've not much use for guards.
Most importantly, I find my catches mostly come from areas close to weed beds but seldom from the bed itself. So casting accuracy, fly design and line selection seem to be a better investment than guards.

Dble Haul
02-09-2004, 05:02 PM
I'm in the same boat as Pete. I rarely use weed guards...instead, I tie the flies so that the hook point rides up (either clouser style with weight or Prince of Tides style without weight). I use grocery and deceiver patterns a lot, and those are tied standard without guards for the same reasons that Pete stated (although I mainly fish rivers, not stillwaters).

If I were to use guards, like I sometimes do with bass flies, I use a single mono loop.

02-09-2004, 06:29 PM
I like to use a weed guard on bass and pike flies because there are usually a lot of snags, floating weeds and gobs of algae in the places where I fish. Aside from the aggravation of botching the cast by getting hung up or getting goop all over the fly, it pretty much always spooks the fish if you get snagged on the cover that they are hiding in.

I do have trouble with the materials fouling when I use the mono loop weed guards, and they don't seem particularly weed proof to me anyway. I don't seem to have fouling problems with the super hair weed guards (a short clump of super hair stiffened with head cement), but they aren't very weed proof either. I think the wire type would offer the best weed protection if they work as well on flies as they do in non-ff applications.


Dble Haul
02-09-2004, 07:14 PM

FWIW, the super hair weed guards on those deer hair poppers seem pretty sturdy. But not so sturdy that they wouldn't collapse on the strike.

Methinks I need to start trying that approach. :)

02-10-2004, 12:43 PM
If you go for a "throat/weed gaurd" design, try some Moose Mane hair. This is long & stiff hair that can be extended beyond the hook point and collapses for a fish yet remains stiff enough to be a reasonable weed guard.
I use the stuff on my lake style Dragon flies (size 2 & larger) that dredge the bottom of a lake.

John Desjardins
02-10-2004, 01:05 PM
I've messed around with single & double loops of mono and find that I don't hook as many fish with them so like Pete & Mark I don't use them much anymore. But , I just got the book PopFlyes by Bob Popovic last night and noticed that one of the flies in the sillicone series is tied as a bendback and uses a spike of rubberized bucktail as a weed guard. Anyone tried this?