Ant pattern

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Waylonwilly, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Waylonwilly New Member

    Posts: 4
    Seattle
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Ant pattern
    Anyone know how to tie an ant pattern that has perfectly round foam rubber for the head and abdomen. I have no idea how to make the foam perfectly round. Thanks
  2. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,042
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +763 / 0
    dont bother, crooked cuts catch just as many fish.
    Kcahill likes this.
  3. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,978
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,556 / 0
    I got this idea from a flyfishing magazine long, long ago. You can, of course, just use black, plastic dumbbell eyes but they won't float all that great.

    You need to find the Styrofoam beads that they use in bean bag chairs... most likely a fabric store carries them... I don't remember where I got mine.

    You also need 20 lb, stiff mono, a burning tool (I use a Burning Point but a soldering iron will work), and oil based, black paint (I found a Sharpie oil based marking pen works well).

    Slide the mono through the beads (sometimes you'll need a sewing needle to start the holes). Cut the mono and burn each end to keep the beads from sliding off (a drop of Super Glue at each end isn't a bad idea). Then paint the white beads with the black marker... you CAN NOT use spray paint because it will melt the Styrofoam.

    That's about it.

    IMG_1072.jpg
  4. Dave Alberts Member

    Posts: 230
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Not much in nature is "perfectly" anything... close is "close enough"...
  5. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,978
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,556 / 0
    The McMurray Ant was made with shaped balsa wood instead of the styrafoam beads... it looked like crap but it still caught fish. I think the key is showing the gap between the front and year sections of the ant body.
  6. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Tacoma Red likes this.
  7. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,978
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,556 / 0
    Norm, the process sure looks good to me but do the glass beads have a tendency to sink? When I first tying flies we used poly yarn to form the front and rear section of the body and they worked fine... but I had to use a lot of floatant. I ended up making some McMurray Ants with balsa wood and they never sank.

    The Styrafoam jobs came later and while they float as well as the balsa wood, they don't last long once the trout started chewing on them.

    Nowadays.... I use the preformed closed cell foam bodies.... but to tell you the truth, the ugly McMurray Ants are still the best for floating and durability.
  8. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    not all ants need to float. fish take sunken ants. no problem

    i have no idea what a plastic/glass seed bead would weigh. as you can ee not every bead is the same size as another.
  9. Red Shed "junkyard spey"

    Posts: 517
    Peck, ID
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  10. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 330
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +84 / 1
  11. james.jimenez Active Member

    Posts: 453
    South Korea
    Ratings: +234 / 0
    I don't have a pattern, but I recently saw someone using this stuff as ant bodies..he cut two little bald off, tied it to the hook, and then a piece of hackle on the abdomen.. He said it works great..

    Attached Files:

    FinLuver and jwg like this.
  12. Ron McNeal Turtles or universes? I can't decide....

    Posts: 223
    Poulsbo, WA
    Ratings: +138 / 0


    ....brilliant!!