TIPS-TAILS-TAGS -IV

by Fly Fisherman

 

The “Tip” is usually tied in before the tail is installed or applied, if the fly calls for this feature. Tipping is done with tinsel or floss and is a wrap of the material down the bend of the hook for a short distance and a return to the point where the base of the tail will be located. On a few patterns the Tip extends over the tail and up the body for a short distance.

The Tail varies with the fly pattern as to the material being used. On dry flies the wisps should be measured against the hook to determine the correct length they are to protrude from the base point where fastened, which is that point where the bend of the hook starts downward. Then estimate the length of the body which will be tied later. Cut off tail wisps at that point, hold the material on top of the hook and wrap thread tightly over these butt ends up the body. The reason for this method of tying in the tail wisps is that in cases where the body is to be wound of finer materials, such as floss or quill, it eliminates the undesirable lump at the lower part of the insect’s body which is not there in nature. Thread can then be returned spirally to base of tail where most body materials are secured to start. (See Fig.)
The Tag is generally a clump, or a short section of material, tied in immediately over the tail. In some flies, such as the wooly-worm, the tag is sometimes tied in as a tail.

Affixing tail to hook

 

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