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Thread: Weighting Flies

  1. Default

    Hi guys

    I'm not into tying czech nymphs much, I don't really get the opportunity to fish for yellows.

    I know some tyers roll their lead flat before wrapping it onto the hook shank. I believe it allows you to get a good profile while managing to weight the fly heavily. I have tried it myself and it worked great.

    My 2c
    "We all fish for our own enjoyment - me for mine and you for yours, nobody can say what is right and what is wrong." - Jim Leisenring

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
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    Another idea that may prove useful, I've a chart at home that gives all the reletave weights of wire, beads and split shot for a variety of materials including tungsten and lead. If anyone'd like me to fax a copy lemme know with fax number - it's too detailed for a lazy turd like myself to type out. In shorthand it shows that lead splitshot and the same sized tungsten beads are approximately the same weight. Obviously you'll all know about pinching split shot onto the heads of flies for oldies such as the English 'Dog Nobbler' of the late seventies/eighties. A tip we used to use for them was to open the split shot a bit wider with your thumbnail or back of a pair of scissors or similar, and make a semi-circular groove in the split either by running a piece of wire repeatedly up and down or using a diamond file. You add a dash of superglue onto your thread wrappings on the hook and pinch the split shot on. You can also shape the split shot using the pliers. Whilst not as uniform or as symmetrical as tungsten beads, it does almost the same job. The grooved split shot thus attached seldom flies off unlike simply pinching it on. A coat of white Humbrol as a base followed by an application of any colour including metallic and/or eyes of course makes it look a bit better.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Waikato
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    Chris, I suspect that our fishing techniques differ and this accounts for our differing success using tungsten beads. I mostly use indicator nymphing so I control my depth with correct placement of the indicator. Tungsten makes sure that I get maximum depth for the given indicator placement. But what's more important is that I get deep quickly when fishing the prime lie at the head of a pool. As for flash, well the waters I fish are relatively unpressurised so flash is usually a good thing. When the water is low or I am fishing a popular stretch I will try a black tungsten bead or no bead. But NZ is beadhead country for good reason - they work.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Perth
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    715

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    Lead weighs about 11.35 Tons per cubic meter and tungsten weights 19.3 tons per cubic meter, thus tungsten is actually quiet a bit heavier than lead (70% heavier actually).

    On the smaller sizes it’s difficult to tell the difference between lead and tungsten (out hands might not be sensitive enough), but it the larger sizes it is noticeable.

    Like Kevin said, tungsten can be effective when fishing rivers, especially if you are only having a short drift and you want the flies to be at the right depth for as long as possible
    Fly-fishing surpasses the need to actually catch a fish, it becomes a mindset, and with time, an obsession.

    Lord,grant that I may catch a fish so big that even I,
    When speaking afterwards,
    May have no need to lie.
    Amen

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
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    Smile

    Hi Gael and Kevin,

    Thanks for your useful hints. I was also mystified how two weighting materials of the same diameter yet hugely differing densities could weigh the same. I think I've possibily found the answer - the split shot weighed would have been a solid sphere, either 'split' or before being split. The tungsten bead weight was obviously including the air space in the hole. The hole in the 'Lifesaver', so to speak....- the latter being an SA boiled sweet in case you didn't know, Kevin! From Gael's observations on relative densities I guess an equivalent tungsten bead over an identical sized lead bead would sink maybe 70% faster.

    I just did an amateur Mythbusters in the shallow end of my pool. I put a BB shot (diameter 5/32'') on a hook, and a same diameter tungsten bead on the same size/type of hook. The tungsten indeed did sink about 50% quicker. On comparing diameters, the split shot's had increased to as to accommodate the hook wire/tying thread, hence it was a lot more voluminous.

    So the table of weights doesn't seem to compare 'apples with apples' when the respective weights are on the hook.

    An excerpt from this table which I've seen in several US fly mags and the Benchside Reference:

    The base 100 weight is 1'' of .039 lead fuse wire

    5/32 diam - split shot 211 tungsten bead 224

    3/16 diam - split shot 306 tungsten bead 305

    However as mentioned this is comparing a bead with a solid sphere on 'dry land', not comparing the two when mounted on hooks.

    Hopefully I can now go and rest after that pre-Christmas mental exertion!

    I just got back from a little barbel expedition on the school dam down the road - managed to get one of about 5 kg's on a black Zonker. Good fun but so much rain and I had to be there at dawn's crack, about 4.30 to get them just sub-surface - very hard work.

    Kevin, I envy you and your fishing in NZ, I used to live in Melbourne in the 80's and apart from our pretty decent wild Victorian stream fishing, the odd foray to Tassie or North or South Island bank manager permitting used to be my fishing highlights!

    Cheers, guys, thanks again, I wish you good fishing and a festive restive season!

    Chris

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