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Thread: Cheap alternative to tungsten?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Originally Posted by Dogtooth

    Pardon my ignorance. It makes little difference to me as long as my flies sink as fast as I want them to. Lead may displace more water water than tungsten. The point is that my flies still sink bloody fast and there is very little if any noticable difference in the sink rates. Possibly one woolly bugger was sparser than the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by dtayl13 View Post

    There is actually a substantial difference in sink rates.
    On Monday I will find the graph of this, that I sent to Tim Rolston & post it.

    GGY, that's not my quoted words......those are from dtayl13 and his thoughts.

    Please just make that clear or correct the mistake. It's quite clear if you read through the posts.
    I know where my stance is on this discussion as I posted 12/7/11 and know for a fact my information is correct.

    This is a copy of my transcript below that I posted earlier in the piece.

    I'm sorry mate, but that information is simply not correct!

    Atomic mass has nothing to do with what an object weighs in the context of your question/statement you refer to.

    Atomic mass refers to the weight of protons, neutrons and electrons in a specific isotope. Every element on the planet has been assigned an atomic mass, and just because one is higher than the other does not mean it is neccessarily heavier.

    It is a common misconception.

    I think what you are referring to here is density as opposed to weight and which when compared would physically be attributed a greater weight measured in grams, milligrams etc.

    As has already been pointed out, tungsten is approximately 70% heavier than lead because the density of the tungsten is 1.7 times that of lead.
    It has already been suggested that gold as well as platinum are both heavier than tungsten which is true, and both are relatively easily mined.
    If you want to get super technical, rare earth elements such as Iridium can also be included.

    My only conclusion if your lead beads sink faster than your tungsten ones is that you have been duped as is evident by the article posted above.

    Get back to the supplier and get a refund, and failing that, load up those spare tungsten beads into a shotgun cartridge and give them back with interest.
    Last edited by Kevin James; 17-07-11 at 05:31 AM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    I am corrected.
    But you have to assimilate LOTS of tungsen into your body & since tungsten does not dissolve readily in anything, it is very unlikely that it would affect the normal person.
    Flytyer - Where great flytying begins

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Western Cape


    I seem to have got a lot of people very worked up with this thread. I assure you it was not intended.
    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.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Blog Entries


    If I can get hold of tungsten tippet rings I will never tie my flies with beads ever again

  5. Default

    Nice flies but regretably there is no shortcut, Tungsten is the most dense material we have available and density is the key. Tungsten is approximately 1.7 x as dense as lead Some (if not all tungsten beads) are not pure and as a result their effectiveness varies in terms of sinking the fly. You will find that some beads sold as tungsten are actually magnetic, a give away to the impurity of the iron content. One can increase sink rates by various means including removing the "fluff" from the fly, underdressing, using scud back or similar to reduce drag but at the end of the day if you are looking for sink rate you need tungsten. I have battled more than once with lead flies whilst those with tungsten out fished me. It doesn't matter how much lead you put on there it isn't going to sink faster than tungsten. Because one is trying to overcome the drag and natural bouyancy of other elements, leader, tippet, fly dressing etc the more dense the material you use as a bead the more pronounced the effect. I doubt that one needs tungsten for stillwater fishing or similar but for deep Czech style nymphing in fast water there is no real substitute. Your experience with faster sinking lead flies leads me to believe that your tungsten beads are not that pure. Put a magnet to them and find out. As to split shot, outside of competition you may as well clip them to the line and in competition I am quite sure they wouldn't be allowed because they are not beads. Not trying to burst your bubble and I am sure that the split shot flies will work fine in many applications, but they are not going to represent a real alternative to tungsten when the chips are down. I have discussed some of this at length on the Fishing Gene Blog..
    "Fishing Flies, like women tend to illicit a more passionate response when only lightly dressed".Anon

    "For flies to be of any use they should be thoughtlessly expendable" John Gierach.

    "Just because we live in a push button age doesn't mean that everyone with a finger is an expert" Anon

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