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Thread: The difference a bead makes to catching trout?

  1. #1

    Default The difference a bead makes to catching trout?

    Most of my ties(nymphs) involve adding a copper/brass bead at the eye.Other than adding weight does the bead make a fly catch more trout?
    In the 90's i never used beads on my wooly buggers but in the last 12 or so yrs it became popular.I still caught fish without the bead.
    Does it make a difference?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Mate, for what its worth, I reckon sometimes it does.
    I have had a few instances where a coloured bead has made a difference.
    I believe the technical term is strike trigger. Other than the obvious weight you add, you can also add a colour to the bead and this can be used as a trigger.

    Lumo or hot spots work well in discoloured water, and that bit of visibility makes it stick out.
    The same can be said for the brass or copper bead you use. Bit of sunlight reflecting off the bead works in the same way.
    I always look for a way to make my fly stick out within reason.
    Too much bling and flash can sometimes put picky fish off, and this I have seen on numerous occasions in NZ.

    Im sure other opinions will vary, but that is my observations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Cape Town


    Dogtooth you hit the nail on the head! The answer is "Sometimes"!
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Beads helps a lot to get the fly on the required depth quicker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Western Cape


    This is just some guesswork but anyway: The bead, as dogtooth said, sometimes makes a difference. I have had instances when a shiny bead spooks fish. In terms of stillwaters I think that the more important factor is the action of the fly rather than the visual factor of the bead. Using lead wire might get your fly down as fast depending on which bead you are using, but it will give a completely different action and I think that the action would be more important than the colour of the bead. Maybe I am entirely wrong. As I said: guesswork.
    An honest fisherman is a pretty uninteresting person.

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and not only is he hungry but broke for the rest of his life as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    i have noticed using different beads during the course of a days fishing can make a huge difference...

    when getting a lot of fish on a fly with a gold/orange etc bead in the river and it goes quiet, if i swap the pattern to a different coloured bead with the same fly, more often than not you get some more fish from that run/pool. so i think it does have an effect.

    using hotspots in rivers and stillwaters can make a great day with the stockies, but they do catch on and then changing the bead colour works for me. the bead also makes for a nice jigging swimming action on streamer patterns which increase effectiveness i think.

    but a lot of this comes down to personal preference as well. what works for me may not work for anyone else...

    i feel areas where the main bead is eg orange, should produce well with different coloured beads just cos it seems different...
    bushveld scalies - worth the blood, sweat and tears

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    I did a little experiment in Rhodes in April on whether bead colour makes a difference:

    Gold beads appeared to be doing better that day, so I picked a likely spot to test my theories out. I started with an orange bead and caught 4 fish in about 20 casts in a pool without moving my feet. I then immediately changed to the same fly with a brown bead and took another 2 fish in about 20 casts through the exact same area from the same position. After this, I changed to a gold bead and took a further 12 fish in about 20 casts. The test was pretty reliable, as it was exactly the same fly in all cases, with the same weighting, in the same spot, all that changed was bead colour.

    Of course the above doesn't mean gold beads always win, but it does show the value in doing some testing early on in a fishing trip where you know there are lots of fish around.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    North of the boerewors curtain


    Dont discount the jigging action that an offset tungsten bead adds to a stripped fly.
    Check your knots!


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