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Bee 08-15-2003 01:26 PM

cotter keys substitute for waddington shanks
I have been tying a little bit with waddington shanks purchased from JAck. As I ran out of the purchsed shanks, I visited a hardware store and looked at the cotter key selection, bought a few in various sizes and weights, took the pliers to them, and lo and behold, I have an incredible array of sizes and weights of semi-waddington shanks, or sons of waddington, or something akin to a waddington shank. Anyway, just a thought in case you run out of real waddingtons...

fredaevans 08-15-2003 01:32 PM

Know a coupe of other folks who use cotter keys rather ..
than Waddingtons. For them, initially, it was a cost/avaliability thing. They've come to a similar conclusion given all the choices in size, wt. etc. And if you fish them like a tube fly they go on the leader quite nicely.


nevada caster 08-17-2003 08:35 AM

cotter keys
To use them as Waddingtons, do you put a bend on the other end to hold the hook?
To fish them as tube flies, how do you keep them open. I find that as I progress through the tying that I ofen compress the key, which loosens all of the previous wraps and the fly falls apart.

JDJones 08-17-2003 10:11 AM

Women's hair pins
also make a good substitute for Waddington shanks. They are probably available in many colors but only one size and weight. And boy are they cheap! $1.00 for a pack of 75. :D


fredaevans 08-17-2003 11:49 AM

NC, made a call to one of the folks who
uses cotter keys. His answer is that (1) you're right, if you don't get the thing clamped down tight in the vise jaws (he uses very large jaws for this) you're in trouble from the get go. He also uses very heavy thread (kevlar?) so he can cinch down and keep the key 'closed.'

To attach the hook he runs the leader through the opening of the cotter key (apparently he will bend up the "eye" on lighter ones), leader through this, down the side of the fly, through a short section of soft plastic tubing (same stuff you'd use for fish tanks), attach hook and slide tube/leader/hook on to the straight end of the cotter key.

Jimmie noted the hair pin idea of his above. I've seen what he's looking at doing and it appears to be a very cool idea. Looking forward to seeing some of these 'converted' to flys.


Bee 08-18-2003 07:46 AM

For the cotter keys I have use, I have used wire cutter to cut a portion of the short piece of the key off by perhaps 3/8 of an inch, then I use needle nose pliers to fold the long piece back , forming a loop end in the process, Thus, it is a waddington shank except the front does not bend up at the tie in point, like a salmon hook would. I guess you could do that but I have not on the ones I have made, but I have thopught about tying in a small swivel on the fron t of these flies, ? Anybody done that? Also, I am using heavy backing for the loop for the hook, and I am tying it in along the cotter key shank, and locking it dwon so it goes through the back loop of the cotter key..thus if it bust loose elsewhere you have a safety hook of sorts(for what ever it is worth)...the thread-through the back eye with the leader, mentioned above, is perhaps a better approach. The weights available are quite interesting nd there is no question you can use some keys that are interesting casting as they can be heavy heavy if you get aggressive on the size of the cotter key..but they will get DOWN.

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