Winged Wet Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by zen leecher aka bill w, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Try this tying wax. I have never found a better wax for holding materials in place. This article can be found on FAOL in the Tying Tips.

    I came across a subject on the bulletin board at FAOL, regarding Wax used in tying flies. Hans Weilenmann knew the person Scott of Boulder was inquiring about. I contacted him, Marvin Nolte, and he was kind enough to share the following. ~Parnelli

    I make many waxes: tying waxes, dubbing waxes, and finger waxes, varying the formulas to fit the tier's needs. There is a definite difference between dubbing wax and tying wax, and finger wax. Though you can use my tying wax to aid dubbing procedures, it was designed for other uses. Uses for which dubbing wax is not suitable.

    Before bobbins, tiers waxed a length of thread then commenced the tying procedure. This waxing prevented the thread from unwinding if tension was released. My tying wax duplicates this old cake wax. I use it when tying in hand, and for certain salmon fly techniques that are facilitated by laying down an adhesive base. Dubbing wax, while apparently tacky, is too soft for these applications

    This is tying wax, it is easier to apply if warmed slightly. I keep it in my shirt pocket while tying. Holding it next to your tying lamp for a few seconds will also work. If you want a softer wax you can reduce the Rosin and increase the Castor Oil proportionally. Rosin is what makes this wax work. If you reduce the Rosin, do so judiciously.

    Here is the formula for my Tying Wax. The percentages are by weight.
    Formula 721C

      • 70% Rosin (ordinary violin bow, pitcher's mound, rosin)
    20% Beeswax
    10% Castor Oil

    A Dubbing Wax, should you wish to refill an empty tube. The percentages are by weight.
    Formula 514C

      • 50% Rosin
    10% Beeswax
    40% Castor Oil

    I make a Finger Wax, that has a small but enthusiastic following. Some folks don't like to put dubbing wax on their thread but do find dubbing easier if their fingers are a bit sticky. For them I make the following.
    Finger Wax

      • 15% Rosin
    30% Beeswax
    5% Castor Oil
    50% Silicone Paste Floatant

    This is poured into a small tub. A quick wipe, with the forefinger over the wax, the dubbing is easily and tightly applied to the thread. ~ Marvin
     
  2. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Tim, There must be all sorts of recipes for making tying wax. I haven't seen the ones you posted as yours have a very high rosin ratio and is basically reversed from the ones I've found. Here's one I found. I would think extra rosin would make the "wax" tacky but at the same time make it hard.

    Note your 721C against the 722 in what I've attached.

    722, 721 and 621 wax for North Country Spiders

    For the true purists, this is the wax for you! This is traditional fly tying wax used by the first North Country Spider tiers, made of a specific combination of Beeswax, Rosin and Castor Oil *(Originally lard or tallow was used as a softening agent but Castor Oil has since replaced it). Different combinations of the three ingredients were used to get different consistencies for tying during different times of the year. 722 (Winter) Wax is the softest and was used used during the Winter because there was no heating! Tiers would carry the wax in their pocket on their way to work so it would be soft and malleable and ready to use by the time they got there. 621 (Summer) Wax is the hardest and was made for the opposite reason the Winter's Wax was. Because they had no air conditioning, the tiers needed a harder wax that wouldn't melt in the hot conditions they were tying in. 721 (Medium) Wax is somewhere in the middle.
    This wax is used specifically for Pearsall's Gossamer Silk to strengthen and darken the thread while tying as well as hold material in place. The wax is made in limited batches so get it while it's around because we won't have it long!
     
  3. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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  4. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Things are bad when one quotes oneself. The above paragraph may not have the ingredients and ratios in the same order of mixture.
     
  5. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    I

    Yes there are more wax formulas than you can shake a stick at. Here is my experience with the one I posted.

    I got a small puck of Mervin Nolte's tying wax straight from Marvin. It was made to the formula I posted. It is/was about 2" diameter x 1/4" thick and you could bend it readily without breaking it. It did not need to be warmed beyond room temperature as other formulas with a high rosin content do. It did need to be kept in a small plastic bag. I cut it in half and misplaced one half. I eventually found it after it had lain exposed for about two years and it had lost a lot of its flexibility and tackiness. The half that was kept sealed was still in good shape.

    Here is thread from a previous discussion with a little info on how to make it.
    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com...ads/keeping-the-head-small.80209/#post-749528

    TC
     
  6. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I read your attachment and understand the part about not melting beeswax in any house implement that you might want to eat/cook with ever again. I make my own bullet lube and beeswax is the primary ingredient. It sure doesn't come out.

    I spent the afternoon tying quill wing wet flies to get a better understanding of proper heads.

    I also dug out my stash of seals fur to compare it to angora goat. Goat needs to be cut in half about 3 times to get down to the length of seals fur.
     
  7. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Here is some inspiration for you.

    These flies are on a plate of a dozen. Tied by the late Terry Finger. Terry made every to effort maintain historical accuracy and duplicate the flies by his friend and mentor the late Ray Smith. Ray was a fly tier, fisherman and guide on the Esopus River from 1930's into the 1970's. When fishing wet he fished winged wets almost exclusively on a cast of two or three. Terry put together a very nice article about Ray that appears in The Art of Angling Journal, Volume three, Issue one.

    The flies are tied on what Terry described as "handmades from Redditch" They are about the same size as a #12 Partridge Capt-Hamilton, YL2A. The framed plate hangs in a stair landing in my home. I've had it since 2007. Every time I stop and look at it I am amazed all over again. It seems almost impossible to conceal those wing butts under those tiny heads. When you see them life size the heads are miniscule.

    As you can see wing size, shape and placement is a regional thing. These wings come down the sides a bit and cloak the front of the fly. This of course is intentional.

    I had a hell of a hard time getting my camera to focus through the glass so the pics are not very good but here they are. I could not get a shot of the whole plate without massive reflection problems.

    P1010670.jpg

    P1010673.jpg

    P1010675.jpg

    P1010676.jpg

    TC
     
    GAT and Tony Abaloney like this.
  8. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I wonder if they tied the wings on reverse style and then folded them back at the end of the fly. I see that on steelhead flies for a neater head.
     
  9. S Fontinalis

    S Fontinalis Active Member

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  10. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I'm a fan of winged wet flies. The problem I've had is that the quill wings split quite easily if they are working and I'm hooking fish.

    I found a solution to this problem that was short lived. A few years ago, Hareline sold pre-shaped, coated, caddis adult wings. The things are tough and will not easily shred.

    I cut the coated quill to split the wing into two sections and tied them on as I would traditional quill wings. They work great and do not shred.

    401249182.jpg



    The downside is that Hareline stopped selling the pre-shaped and coated wings so once I run out of my current supply, I'm out of luck. I'll need to go back to using cut quill feathers that I've sprayed with a clear, flexible coating.
     
  11. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    And what is the clear flexible spray you used Gat?

    TC
     
  12. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    A number of companies sell clear decoupage spray that is flexable, as is artist's fleximent. Normally, I use the decoupage clear coat and it works well. You can also brush on thinned down Aqua-Seal but I don't remember which thinner you use with Aqua-Seal. You can also use Softex as-is.
     
  13. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Bill,

    Terry Finger's flies were clearly tied in the normal fashion with the wing tied in last and the wing butts going forward over the eye of the hook. The small fold of the middle-lower wing gives it away.

    If they had been tied in reverse style, there would be an obvious fold-over crimp at both the top and bottom of the wing instead of the small fold in the middle of the wing. The head would also be much higher were it touches the wing due to there being two times the amount of duck quill to cover with thread if tied in reverse style. Also, reverse style would provide a different look to the way the wing sits on the hook with the wing sitting more upright and less horizontal.

    Hairwing wets tied reverse wing style don't have these same characteristics due to the difference hair has compared to duck quill.