A "weighty" issue [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A "weighty" issue

Dble Haul
12-06-2002, 12:53 PM
Okay folks, I'm open to suggestions. I'm looking for a method to weight a fly so that it will sink at a good rate and keep the hook point inverted (up). Like all of you, I'm aware of the dumbell eyes used for clouser minnows and such, but these will not work for the fly design I'm working on. Neither will coneheads, even if the materials are tied in Jiggy style.

Strapping lead or its equivalent on one side of the hook shank is cumbersome. Is there a type of weight out there that can behave like a keel sinker of sorts? I've never used lead or other heavy moldable tapes....do they still make these that are pliable and can be shaped? Or are there other options that I'm overlooking?

Thank you for any input. If I find what I'm looking for, you'll see the results soon in one of the archives.

12-06-2002, 12:58 PM
You might try cutting up an empty tooth paste tube into strips. It can be molded to where you want the weight.

12-06-2002, 01:10 PM
I've seen flat lead sheet material for tying "zonker under-bodies" in several catalogs. This stuff sounds like it could be just the ticket.

12-06-2002, 01:10 PM
Plumbers tape and wire in addition to the other items you mentioned. Need to be careful of the ecological impacts though on the fishery you know like lead split shots, lead tape etc...

12-06-2002, 01:38 PM
Look for tungsten sheets at your flyshop.
Non-toxic and easy to use.


John Desjardins
12-06-2002, 01:56 PM
Lead is available in sheet form at your local home supply store. Its used for flashing, eg sealing the junction between a chimney & roof. It is a little thick for small flies. You can also find copper flashing there as well, that would be lighter, and avoid the ecological questions.

12-06-2002, 02:06 PM
Yes... I have seen Rich Murphy use these type of lead sheets and make a type of keel...Hardware store is where I would start. I just take lead wire and fold it on it self under the hook shank...like piling logs... what it does is creat a keel shape with most of the wire toto the shank but one at the tip of this little inverted Pyramid.

12-06-2002, 03:27 PM
The angler's workshop catalog shows an oval shaped lead that fits over the hook, and appears to clamp on somewhat like a split shot. Comes in 4 sizes to fit hooks from 14-16 (micro) to size 8 (large). "Fit best on 1x or 2x long nymph hooks." They're called "Thorax body leads."

Dble Haul
12-06-2002, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. I'd forgotten about the tungsten sheets, and OC's suggestion will have me looking at empty toothpaste tubes in a new light.

Re: environmental concerns.....that's why I wrote "lead or its equivalent". :)

Fred, is that catalog online, and if so could you PM me the link?

Thanks again everyone.

12-06-2002, 05:21 PM
in your in box.

12-06-2002, 05:54 PM
DH, you might want to try tying the fly on Eagle Claw LC413 hooks. They have an elbow at the eye that makes the hook ride up right.
I'm sure you know that sparse flys sink faster than full ones.
Golf shops also sell lead tape for correcting swing weight on clubs.
Let us know how it works out, Eddie

12-07-2002, 07:35 AM
Not to put a kink into the discussion, but if you use a conehead, and bend the eye down a bit, and tie most of the floaty stuff on the point-side of the hook, there is no way that fly can ride except point up.

At least, that has been my experience.

12-07-2002, 05:37 PM
I like the bendback the idea. Been thinkin about a weighted bendback for an impressionistic flounder fly among others (all my flys end up impressionistic, sorta like a sandeel, sorta like a crippled baitfish). Lead wire would be workable for wrapping but tungsten is twice as dense and would make a nice compact keel. Just tough to work though, I would think.

Been kicking myself for about a year because I threw away a bunch of irridium wire assemblies from a defunct product during my last office move. Stuff's about as dense as dense gets and would have been ideal for mounting on the shank of a hook.

12-07-2002, 07:39 PM
Not sure what your pattern is but you can get tungsten or bismuth in sheets. Fishypete.com also has bismuth blank bodies
available for several premolded nymph bodies. I tied a sculpin pattern a few years ago that I used strips of lead wire. I would
run the wire parallel to the hook shank and secure them with thread. I was able to keep all of the weight to one side of the hook that way.