Crab Flies - What size? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Crab Flies - What size?

06-07-2002, 09:54 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm going to tie up some crab flies for my next flats fishing adventure. I looked at the archives and there are some very nice patterns to copy, but I was having a difficult time judging how big the shell part of the flies are. Dime sized? Nickel? Quarter? Bigger? The crabs I saw while I was at south beach were much larger than anything I could cast on a 9wt. Of course, I probably just couldn't see the smaller ones if they were around.


06-07-2002, 10:27 AM
Interesting question... Penguin and I were looking at some fiddler crabs last weekend and noticed how really amazing the colors of the shells are. There carapaces were about the size of a nickel.

On the flats though, I'm pretty sure they're not the main quarry of stripers, but I have seen the baby blues, greens, and calico crabs in all sizes from .5" across, to 5" across. The ones I have tied are between nickel and quarter size, but I have yet to use them.

I realize that I am not really answering your question, but just rambling. I guess, I am interested as well in the size of flies tied.:confused:

06-07-2002, 11:15 AM
You can buy the felt pre-cut, but IMHO they are too small for stripers. The target market is permit.

I like to cut the felt in varying sizes from 1.25" to 1.5" across the wide dimension.

Be quick to strike with crab flies; they use the mashers on the back of the throat to crush crabs and deep hookings are far more likely than with other patterns.

Not to sound like a broken record but this is a good use of circle hooks.

06-07-2002, 11:51 AM
I too would like to make a crab fly using circle hooks. Never checked out circle hooks before for flies. I haven't checked the pattern archive yet, perhaps the size and make is listed.

Juro -- What size and make circle hook matches up with the size crab you usually tie? Is it in the Archives?


06-07-2002, 11:56 AM
I'm waiting for the glue to dry on my first effort. The carapace is about 1.25" so it looks like I guessed about right!

I didn't use a circle hook because I don't happen to have any at the moment, but will pick some up for the next ones. If a striper should actually be fooled by this fly, and if it takes the hook deep, then I'll probably retire this fly and keep it for reference purposes.


06-07-2002, 02:46 PM
I think this is only a problem for one of the three crab techniques I use. Crabs are excellent flies for a technique I call "walking the dog", but this is the one that causes deep hookups more often than not.

I'd bet those who are fishing from boats and able to quickly set the hook as soon as the fish picks it up don't have nearly as high of a problem rate as those on shore fishing blind with them.

I don't fish blind with crabs anymore after my experiences several years ago. Therefore my circle hook experiments have not progressed despite talking about it for a couple of years now I opted to "just say no".

06-07-2002, 04:30 PM
Most women say, "size dosen't matter."

But do we reeeeely believe them?

Stripers are like women. Size DOES matter. Bigger the better. ssshhhhh.