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Tying some more flood tide flies been debating on a single 60-80 lb test leader as a weed guard or make it double like some of the other flies I have.

Seen both and used both, but haven't really compared them in the grass.

Which have you used and prefer and why for the grass?
 

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Haven't fished the flood tides,but i would go with 20 or 30lb double or single weed guard. I never have an issue with that and it's pretty stiff and will stay weedless. You can also use a single strand of bite wire(size 3 or 4)depending how stiff you need.60 or 80lb is way too much in my opinion.
 

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12lb. hard Mason, tied about 1/4 - 1/2 way down the hook bend, then after the fly is finished, run through the eye and whip finished. Works great for me, I fish a lot of grassy flats and lakes.
 

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12lb. hard Mason, tied about 1/4 - 1/2 way down the hook bend, then after the fly is finished, run through the eye and whip finished. Works great for me, I fish a lot of grassy flats and lakes.
You can also do that with 20lb FC, which is almost about the same dia. Definitely a smooth weedguard for sure with little hangups!


X2 with Mingo ******'s recommendation! ;)


Drew, the most I felt I needed bangin heavy flies up in the mangove roots (combat fishin) was a single strand of 50lb mono or FC. Otherwise, a single strand of 30lb or dbl strand of 20lb works just fine.
 

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I agree with glidden, loop style or as I call it bass lure style weed guard. I use 20lb cheapie mono from Walmart.

Mono seems a bit stiffer than quality stuff and works a bit better.

I tie it in at the top of the hook bend( closest to the shank) and the wrap in thread about half to 3/4 down the hook bend and superglue the the wraps, then tie it in on top of my finishing wraps of the fly and superglue in place. Once the glue is dry I cut off the tag end with a razor blade.

I have tried other weed guards and this seems to me the most effective.

Only downside is putting them into a slit foam fly box. You have to be careful or it deforms the weed guard. This goes for most weed guard flies though.
 

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I learned from someone on here to use the plastic from water bottle's. Cut a piece with a point to tie it on. I found by taking a scissor split the plastic down the middle to make it pass the hook at bite
 

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Almost all the flies I tie have a weedguard if possible (some patterns just don't work well with a weedguard like Bendbacks or ordinary popping bugs..) and just about every one is a wire weedguard. I use #5 Malins coffee colored stainless wire for any hook size #1 or larger. For hooks that are #2 or smaller I go down to #4 wire...
 

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Almost all the flies I tie have a weedguard if possible (some patterns just don't work well with a weedguard like Bendbacks or ordinary popping bugs..) and just about every one is a wire weedguard. I use #5 Malins coffee colored stainless wire for any hook size #1 or larger. For hooks that are #2 or smaller I go down to #4 wire...
I was wondering when you were going to report in on this:)
 

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I use Mason 20lb hard mono on smaller flies, 30 lb hard mono on larger flies. I've found just a single piece tied right off the hook with some wraps against it (towards the eye of the hook, bending back the guard) works best.

I've tried loops, double spikes, line tied to the bend of the hook, etc, just don't work much better. The double spike can work good depending on the fly.

I also quit tying most of my redfish flies with dumbbell eyes and use cones instead. Cones get the fly down, but push away grass and weeds, unlike dumbbells that will allow it to catch or wrap. The reds don't care about the eyes. I've actually caught more this way because I foul much less.
 

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Almost all the flies I tie have a weedguard if possible (some patterns just don't work well with a weedguard like Bendbacks or ordinary popping bugs..) and just about every one is a wire weedguard. I use #5 Malins coffee colored stainless wire for any hook size #1 or larger. For hooks that are #2 or smaller I go down to #4 wire...
Capt. Bob, I'm curious, does that wire rust? I've used one of your flies with the wire quite a few times and didn't notice it rusting (I rinse my flies off after use anyways). But I have packs of Malin wire than if not protected, will rust. However, there are people that use flies in the salt, let em dry out and then throw them back in their box. Of course, it really doesn't matter if you break out the fly out of the package from new and fish it until it's shredded, then it doesn't matter, just like it doesn't if you are using a cadmium, black chrome high carbon hook or bronze hook. Sure, you can get a few more uses if it's rinsed right away with fresh water, but in the end, will it cause problems with the fly? That is the question.

I do know the wire can be bent back if bent. I've noticed tho that the others like mono, mason and FC can bounce back well. But if it bends out of the way, can be manipulated back and even bent with you fingers, or some needle nose or chain lock pliers.

I know the wire is stiff and does well bouncing off branches and tree roots, rocks and pilings and of course I realize it keeps the grass off, but if I can see it good, aren't the fish gonna see it as well? Have you tried using mason, mono or fluorocarbon instead? I'm sure you have, but not sure if you've tried FC because the wire has been working for you all these years. I use FC nowadays and it seems to be doing a good job when and where I need it. Of course, I'm fishing areas where the fish get a lot more pressure up here in West Central and SW FL, as oppose to the Glades. Just sayin...

I don't like using weed guards on flies that I'll be throwing in open water (for the pressure thing, as well as the below reason). If there is floating grass, or I'm dredging grass flats, throwing into mangroves or up under docks, then I use flies with a weed guards. Otherwise, I just don't want to miss that opportunity where the point of the hook just barely nicks the lip of a fish on a strip set instead of bumping off the lip with the weed guard in case the fish's mouth is open. I've also had the hook stick on the outside of the mouth many times on a miss by the fish and still had the point catch and stick, instead of bumping off with the weed guard. Also, the fly in general is more stealthy without one, so I believe it equals more eats and therefore more hooked up fish.

I totally understand where you fish (Everglades mangroves) and you are fishing clients who a lot of them can be novices at it and between the floating grasses, the grass flats, underwater stumps, tree roots and branches, it's a must! But outside of the combat fishing of the Glades, what are your thoughts on the subject and my comments on the weed guards being used in areas that are possibly unnecessary?

Ted
 

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Lots of folks aren't familiar with wire weedguards or haven't had much success tying with them so stay away... They work very well, the fish never notice them - but they're not for every situation.... No they don't ever rust (at least not when you use stainless steel wire -I use Malin's coffee colored stainless trolling wire... ). The anchor point when you're tying with them is critical - you need to bend a tiny hairpin end in one end of the wire for your tie-in point (that bit of doubled wire under the tying thread keeps the weedguard from twisting side to side once you're done...). In use it's simply another component added just before you do the head end of the fly (and you'll be completing the fly with that nasty sharp bit of wire sticking straight out from the hook eye so... a few bandaids will be needed until you learn to work around that sharp point with your bobbin hand... When the fly is completed and the head finished you bend the wire down into place about 1/16" above the hook point, then trim the end with a nipper right above where the hook's barb is, then a slight bend on the end of the wire and you're in business. Here's a pic of the weedguards ready to tie in (I use #5 wire for size #1 and larger, #4 wire for #2 and smaller hooks

The weedguard only moves the fly away from things it would snag on - not the other way around so you can really toss that fly into the bushes and with a long slow steady strip slide it out and allow it to drop right where you want it next to a downed tree or right at the edge of mangrove roots... It works pretty well over grass as well (but really thick grass you'll get better results with a "mustache" style double mono weedguard... Each time the fly is hit by a fish (or you hit something solid with it....) the wire weedguard will need to be bent back into position. After two or three fish the wire will simply snap away as you're trying to put it back into position - but by then the fly is usually pretty chewed up any way.....

The real benefit of a good weedguard is only apparent when you think of all the times and situations where you miss a fish because the fly is snagged up - or you blow out fish from a good spot since you have to pole (or motor) the boat up to where your fly is snagged... (if you only hang up in two or three casts out of ten - that's a significant portion of your day spent not fishing....).
 

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I like the ss wire idea Bob. I cut the weed guards off most of the commercial flies before using them here in Texas. Of course most of the time we are not casting into mangrove roots and trees. I try to adjust the fly/line weight to the grass/oyster bed depth. Floating grass fouls pretty much everything, weed guard or not. Maybe in twenty years or so will have some nice mangrove forests here. Looking forward to exploring the ENP in a few weeks.
 

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I use Mason 20lb hard mono on smaller flies, 30 lb hard mono on larger flies. I've found just a single piece tied right off the hook with some wraps against it (towards the eye of the hook, bending back the guard) works best.

I've tried loops, double spikes, line tied to the bend of the hook, etc, just don't work much better. The double spike can work good depending on the fly.

I also quit tying most of my redfish flies with dumbbell eyes and use cones instead. Cones get the fly down, but push away grass and weeds, unlike dumbbells that will allow it to catch or wrap. The reds don't care about the eyes. I've actually caught more this way because I foul much less.
I like the cones for getting the fly down also. Esp in strong wind.
 

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I usually tie mine in a v with 20 lb mono or fluro, whatever is lying around, it always works well for medium bead chain or less.
As the weight of your bead chain or cone gets heavier you may need to go up in lb test for more stiffness. The cone weights are a great alternative as mentioned for weedless applications.
 
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