Here's a suggested approach to squid patterns I developed using a plastic tube fly tube to extend the body (step by step images to follow.)
Using a 3/0 TMC 811s hook, I cut a peice of plastic tube fly tube (Kennebec River Co. is a good local source) at a shallow angle on one end.
Using a tube fly tool, I tie a tapered clump of tan / pink fur on the end of the tube fly tube to serve as the core of the leg assembly. If you don't have a tube fly tool, just tie the tube onto the bend of the hook first and use your vise.
Over the fur, tie short hackles to serve as squid legs. The under-clump holds them out when in the water or in current and the legs 'dance' in the foil. Most squid flies have super long legs and short mantles, most squid have very short legs and long mantles. I like to go with short legs and long mantles myself, although the one in the picture has long legs (wouldn't ya know it!) <b>In any case, the tube fly tube permits the extension of the mantle beyond the bend of the hook.</b>
After you tie the legs in, try this trick - strip two hackles from the base leaving 1/2 - 3/4" of feather at the tip. Tie in the stripped hackle stems so that the two claspers extend beyond the other legs. I fished this hard and never lost the claspers, although they would not survive a bluefish they may help you con a huge picky cow someday.
After the legs are done, you now need to form the underbody and tie in the eyes. Eyes are posteriorly positioned. Featherlight aluminum Deep-sea eyes are a good choice. Squid are see thru such that you can see their innards thru their mantle. I like to tie them so there is a pink/tan, brick red, or purple color under the semi-transparent stuff to represent their innards. An easy way to go is to wrap Estaz or other hi-bulk synthetic chenille over the tube and hook shank. Stop 1/2 up the hook shank to allow for tapering and hackling near the eye.
Another choice is to use synthetic dubbing hanks on a waxed loop to control length of wrap and tapering. SLF is the best choice but make sure you get the right stuff and know how to dub a loop.
Generally, I form a layer over the red core with fly fur, marabou or some other material that is semi-opaque and drapes nicely with a trimmable edge on the leg end of the mantle. Tie in the material to taper toward the eye, then finish with a palmered SW hackle in tan, pink or white. Marabou is a good choice for a draping / palmering feather because the barbs are very long and it lays down nicely when wet.
Sorry about the vague description, lunchtime is over! More to come.
(Hope the Estes share their secret flies!)
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