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Posted (edited)

Try adding wraps between the dumbbell eyes and the hook - see this video by Steve Adachi (his Clousers are really effective.)

*

 - this will keep the eyes from slipping to the sides and helps secure them. Also, apply resin to the wraps and let it dry fully before you tie on the body. 

Edited by TimS
You can embed YT videos here, but please don't link to commercial sites - thanks.

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I'm totally invested in one size, yellow beads. Spirit River Real-Eyes are truly the best and most durable. I won't use anything else. Stay away from any cast material they will break. Use only machine bar stock. These beads hit rocks, boats, engines, even fly rods. In my lifetime maybe lost an eye on maybe six flies. You really have to punish them to do just that. 20220813_161548.jpg.0f117fbf1ddbc980590b2fa828466e7a.jpg

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On 8/13/2022 at 4:32 PM, Capt.Castafly said:

I'm totally invested in one size, yellow beads. Spirit River Real-Eyes are truly the best and most durable. I won't use anything else. Stay away from any cast material they will break. Use only machine bar stock. These beads hit rocks, boats, engines, even fly rods. In my lifetime maybe lost an eye on maybe six flies. You really have to punish them to do just that. 20220813_161548.jpg.0f117fbf1ddbc980590b2fa828466e7a.jpg

The red ones too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Finding it hard to get the pearl ones.Any hints Ray?

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2 hours ago, theshadow said:

The red ones too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Finding it hard to get the pearl ones.Any hints Ray?

I'm sure Bear's Den must have 'um.

Before Spirit River got bought out by Hareline Dubbing I'd buy them by the 100 pkgs.

Much cheaper than the 25 pcs packs.

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On 8/13/2022 at 1:32 PM, Capt.Castafly said:

I'm totally invested in one size, yellow beads. Spirit River Real-Eyes are truly the best and most durable. I won't use anything else. Stay away from any cast material they will break. Use only machine bar stock. These beads hit rocks, boats, engines, even fly rods. In my lifetime maybe lost an eye on maybe six flies. You really have to punish them to do just that. 20220813_161548.jpg.0f117fbf1ddbc980590b2fa828466e7a.jpg


I’m a fan of the yellow as well.

I generally fish a 6 wt, so 5/32 are my go to size. I bought 500 on my last order.

SF

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I used to lose the eyes or find them barely hanging on after a session, but that ended when I switched to a two-hand setup. This tells me that my fly was hitting the rocks behind me when casting one-handed. Also--I agree about wrapping tight, soaking with thin superglue, and when done I use two coats of Sally Hansens to give a thick, clear coating.

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5 hours ago, Stonefish said:


I’m a fan of the yellow as well.

I generally fish a 6 wt, so 5/32 are my go to size. I bought 500 on my last order.

SF

All my Clouser type flies are tied with 7/32 yellow Real Eyes on a Tiemco 811S, 1/0 hook.

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Like Suave and MEB say regarding Mr. Clouser's tying instructions. But, note that the clouser residues in the photo were all tied with X-wrapped eyes. With Softex, they're the last part standing; even Spanish mackerel can't tear the eyes off! Too bad toluene is neurotoxic. I hate to think that explains my Parkinson's disease, because it was so much better than anything else I might have stubbornly used it anyway,. 

 

Not fishing (or tying) any more, but doing OK,

 

Steve

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Here's how I attach eyes. Placement is key. The results are deadly. I'm a big Spirit River fan too. Keep tying guys!! :th:

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2022 at 2:50 PM, Uncle Stu said:

I agree about wrapping tight, soaking with thin superglue, and when done I use two coats of Sally Hansens to give a thick, clear coating.

I tie maybe two hundred Frenchtown Clouser's during the winter months for an entire fishing charter season. It's a special fly I've tied and used now for 25 years. I've modified it a few time and got it to the point is so durable and catches all species and records on board, most personal best for every client who uses it. My trick to tying the eyes in place, I use liquid Super Glue too. I NEVER use any "X" Wrap. If you use that technique you have x's across the top, none on the bottom. On the bottom the thread just goes around the hook shank, not the bead. I'll start with 3 wraps the same direction, now three wraps in the opposite direction. Now you have X's on both side of the fly. This is when I apply the liquid super glue too, top and bottom. I continue to wrap in threes, one way and the other way for a series of four progressions. Wrap around the eyes in a circle to tighten it more, extend the thread to the eye hook and whip finish. The super glue gets worked into the hook, bead, and thread all at once. I also place a paper towel on my vise plate to keep that surface clear of glue splatters.

Done this on thousands of flies. None ever fail or even rotate.

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13 mins ago, Capt.Castafly said:

I tie maybe two hundred Frenchtown Clouser's during the winter months for an entire fishing charter season. It's a special fly I've tied and used now for 25 years. I've modified it a few time and got it to the point is so durable and catches all species and records on board, most personal best for every client who uses it. My trick to tying the eyes in place, I use liquid Super Glue too. I NEVER use any "X" Wrap. If you use that technique you have x's across the top, none on the bottom. On the bottom the thread just goes around the hook shank, not the bead. I'll start with 3 wraps the same direction, now three wraps in the opposite direction. Now you have X's on both side of the fly. This is when I apply the liquid super glue too, top and bottom. I continue to wrap in threes, one way and the other way for a series of four progressions. Wrap around the eyes in a circle to tighten it more, extend the thread to the eye hook and whip finish. The super glue gets worked into the hook, bead, and thread all at once. I also place a paper towel on my vise plate to keep that surface clear of glue splatters.

Done this on thousands of flies. None ever fail or even rotate.

This is actually what I've always done although I go for five wraps in each direction and do not all super glue until I've finished (something I'll do from now on). But I've always thought these were X Wraps!

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On 4/26/2019 at 10:29 AM, Mike Oliver said:

Spirit River Real Eyes are pretty tough. Bears Den sells  them.

 

I like the small 5/32 size ones the  best. Can buy in a few colours.

 

Heavy dumbell  Eyes cast badly. Unless you are tying huge bushy Clousers.

 

Lead Eyes do tend to break. Too much thread tension can see them off.

...Unless you use a proper Leader, in which case, weighted flies don't cast badly at all. 

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To the OP, Pitcherofnectar - looking at the pictures in Post#1, I think the first issue is your Leader. Refer to Leader Design Thread, Post 106. The right leader will turn a weighted fly over very easily. It's a complete misnomer that Clousers don't cast well. If you build your leader the right way, they cast with ease. Try a 7 1/2" Leader when fishing heavy flies. Use the formula's provided in the below post. 

If a Leader is turning even a weigted fly over easily, it won't tuck under the loop on your backwards (or forwards) cast. Instead, it will come straight over the top, as any other fly would. A proper leader will support the mass and weight of a fly as the flyline leg of the loop straightens out and the tension on the rod leg remains fixed. Once you have enough velocity (line speed), the fly should easily unroll. If it doesn't, make an even "beefier" Leader and shorten the Leader's length according to the Ligthning-Leader formula. If that still doesn't work - it may be time for a casting lesson because you're likely not stopping sharp enough or high enough on your back-cast and that will do a numer on flies. 

 

Also, check your backcast clearance. Are there lots of rocks directly behind your casting position? If so, use a line with a more compact Head and combine that witha short Leader. That will often minimize "spanking" rocks and other obstacles that may be behind you. 

 

Once you're sure you have enough back-cast clearance, the last issue is regarding Clouser "Construction" - there has been some good advice up to this point in the thread. I'll contribute a few extra tips. 

 

The key to a well tied Clouser platform - which we could include Half-N-Halfs, Wiggle Tails and Rubber Legged Variants and Ostritch Tails as all being related to, is taking the time to add a little protective Resin, Epoxy or Insta-Cure+, depending the level of protection you want the fly to have. Thread and Head Cement alone usually doesn't cut it, though when you get really good at tying a Clouser, the eyes should be close to perfectly locked in place without even a single drop of goop! Achieving the right thread wrap tension and pattern is really the key to the fly. 

 

The type of thread you use can help lock eyes (and bucktail fibers/sythetics) in place very nicely and as many posters have pointed out, the type of eyes you use can make a fly more durable. 

 

Here is a simple summer flats Clouser that is an all purpose pattern that fussy New England Stripers will sip without hesitation and it works equally well in the Tropics for Permit or Bonefish. The fly is actually tied with Clear Mono (.004) tying thread, which has a bit of stretch to it. As I apply tension, I'm able to lock the materials (and eyes) in place pretty securely. I go through these kinds of flies faster than I can make them, so I often skip bothering to coat the thread wraps, much less glue the eyes in place. There is hardly a need to do so, but then again, the fly is tied to be bulletproof, with every single wrap I make. Durability is always a must. If your patterns aren't durable, they'll fall apart quickly in the field. This fly would look even better with a warmed, water-thin coat of 30-minute Epoxy - But, Epoxy does yellow so if you hang onto flies for years before fishing them or don't go through flies quickly, then you'll want some type of method for non-yellowing resins. 

62fd1530bb34c_Screenshot2022-08-1712_17_56PM.png.b441611f5fa71f0c795250b4160c4b88.png

Generally, for only a few flies at a time, I don't even use resins. The flies seem to hold up fine, but obviously, it's the way I tie them. 

62fd112fe4db4_CarysUVElectricClousersPearl.jpg.1e298bd3ac0671e59cb46db35c5df24c.jpg

 

It all depends on what forage you're imitating, Clousers and their "ilk" are very all-purpose patterns that can be varried to match a ton of different critters. For example, if you have Sandeels present, you can make a Sandeel Clouser. This one is tied with the same Clear .004" Mono thread. 

62fd1cf3c8bcd_Screenshot2022-08-1712_09_54PM.png.bca32a46806fb39ee4c94041a94da8a0.png

62fd114f9dfb2_SandEelSchool1.jpg.c15728ef0f88bd2f9a8ac822610ba959.jpg62fd1c9d0f6f7_Screenshot2022-08-1712_12_08PM.png.15f357090af8ac6d63ac081bcabbd32f.png

If you want to use a little epoxy on the heads of these patterns, just make sure to warm it and get it water-thin. Epoxy helps the life of a fly sometimes, no question. Here's the same pattern above AFTER a quick coat of epoxy. Notice the difference. I tie this pattern to be fished on a D/C line and I work it off the bottom, so the way I fish the fly can subject it to a lot of abrasion - hence the added epoxy coating. 

62fd11520a4a1_CarysSandeelClouser.jpg.6158884cde24ec090296a90060a81a89.jpg

There may be times where you want to lift a fly, let it drop and then repeat, basically bouncing it all the way home. In which case, you go to heavier eyes. and then you select a material that is more condusive to undulating. Once you master the ability to lock eyes in place, Clear Mono will do the trick on just about any clouser varations you try. 

62fd1cb29d47f_Screenshot2022-08-1712_08_50PM.png.b2f9b78ba688266f1385afad413c83f7.png

62fd1c802fcae_Screenshot2022-08-1712_19_01PM.png.b15262900954f9378e3490e742db7983.png

Personally, I don't like U-V Lamps and goopy resins. They're just too pricey and I don't like the look of U-V resins once they cure, they can be finicky and tacky too, so you have to make sure your U-V game is on point. I prefer bullet proof, glass smooth, completely non-yellowing resins and I don't mind slapping a couple hundred flies on my indurstrial drying wheel and letting them cure up for 3 to 5 hours. Sometimes I'll even come back and add second or third coats. I use Amazing Clear-Cast + for flies I plan on stockpiling. I apply a water thin coat (to a couple hundred finished flies) and then hit them with a Heat-Gun to remove any minor bubbles. Then they go on the drying wheel. 

62fd17cf8735f_Screenshot2022-08-1712_30_54PM.png.d21e53a32cbb8be1c806cbd151db2d09.png

This is a lure building technique which I've adapted to fly-tying and just like when you're coating a plug, the proper "clear coat" method is to apply, hit with the gun and then, in an hour or an hour and half, come back before the resin is dry and apply a second coat. This way, the two coats adhere properly and chemically bond. 

 

This is not the way to tie a dozen flies, but if I'm mass-producing, it's be far the best method for bulletproof finishes that glisten and are nearly indestructable. I coat Crease Flies and other patterns where I want significant, very thin, extremely strong top-coats. 

 

For only a couple-dozen (or fewer flies), I MIGHT break out the 30-minute epoxy, warm it, apply it and hit it with a heat gun, then dry it (on a drying wheel) for an hour or so, before storing it. 

 

For onzies or twozies..etc, it's hardly worth the spend for UV Resins IMO, so I'll just use a quick, glassy coat of either Hard as Hull (head cement) or maybe a little Exo-Flex as a quick top-coat - mainly just to get a little glisten and thread-lock. These types of materials won't improve the durability of your patterns much though. Not compared to Expoxies or Clear-Cast+ (the latter being by far the best looking and most durable) .

62fd19de086f5_Screenshot2022-08-1712_39_31PM.png.383914f48721c2e16b570d96b71d7eb8.png

 

If you do feel the need to lock your eyes in place with something, just a dab of Instacure + is easily the best bet. Insta-Cure+ is a high viscosity CA. Apply a tiny bead of CA once the eyes are lashed on with only a few wraps, then wrap on top of the CA with more and more pressure and the proper pattern. The way you maneuver the thread as you lock the eyes in place is key. 

62fd1115b42ad_Screenshot2022-08-1711_50_02AM.png.c28bf8d4f754b90053fc94b00fb3fe03.png

 

Try to start with one wrap per side (figure 8, but with wraps in front of and behind eyes also) then move to two wraps per side, then three. Increase thread tension as you go along. As you wrap, bring the thread FAR-OVER from one side to the other, tracing the form of the eye and the hook. This extreme angle you create will lock they eyes in place. 

 

Flat waxed monocord would be the best thread for locking eyes down. It lays flat and is strong enough to crank down on. I make Bucktails out of Danvilles Flat-Waxed mono. Just use white and then color with a Sharpie as desired. Combine the CA with the Flat-Waxed Mono and your flies should be pretty darn bulletproof. Then coat with a little epoxy if you so desire. 

Screenshot 2022-08-17 12.11.13 PM.png

Screenshot 2022-08-17 12.09.36 PM.png

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Posted (edited)

OP is from April 2019. Some good clouser info here nonetheless. Me, Sally Hanson hard as nails holds up to pretty much all my boat usage except when the fly is into it's umpteenth bass or bluefish. Yes, off the beach with a high beach behind me, different circumstance.....

Edited by brushfly

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2 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

To the OP, Pitcherofnectar - looking at the pictures in Post#1, I think the first issue is your Leader. Refer to Leader Design Thread, Post 106. The right leader will turn a weighted fly over very easily. It's a complete misnomer that Clousers don't cast well. If you build your leader the right way, they cast with ease. Try a 7 1/2" Leader when fishing heavy flies. Use the formula's provided in the below post. 

If a Leader is turning even a weigted fly over easily, it won't tuck under the loop on your backwards (or forwards) cast. Instead, it will come straight over the top, as any other fly would. A proper leader will support the mass and weight of a fly as the flyline leg of the loop straightens out and the tension on the rod leg remains fixed. Once you have enough velocity (line speed), the fly should easily unroll. If it doesn't, make an even "beefier" Leader and shorten the Leader's length according to the Ligthning-Leader formula. If that still doesn't work - it may be time for a casting lesson because you're likely not stopping sharp enough or high enough on your back-cast and that will do a numer on flies. 

 

Also, check your backcast clearance. Are there lots of rocks directly behind your casting position? If so, use a line with a more compact Head and combine that witha short Leader. That will often minimize "spanking" rocks and other obstacles that may be behind you. 

 

Once you're sure you have enough back-cast clearance, the last issue is regarding Clouser "Construction" - there has been some good advice up to this point in the thread. I'll contribute a few extra tips. 

 

The key to a well tied Clouser platform - which we could include Half-N-Halfs, Wiggle Tails and Rubber Legged Variants and Ostritch Tails as all being related to, is taking the time to add a little protective Resin, Epoxy or Insta-Cure+, depending the level of protection you want the fly to have. Thread and Head Cement alone usually doesn't cut it, though when you get really good at tying a Clouser, the eyes should be close to perfectly locked in place without even a single drop of goop! Achieving the right thread wrap tension and pattern is really the key to the fly. 

 

The type of thread you use can help lock eyes (and bucktail fibers/sythetics) in place very nicely and as many posters have pointed out, the type of eyes you use can make a fly more durable. 

 

Here is a simple summer flats Clouser that is an all purpose pattern that fussy New England Stripers will sip without hesitation and it works equally well in the Tropics for Permit or Bonefish. The fly is actually tied with Clear Mono (.004) tying thread, which has a bit of stretch to it. As I apply tension, I'm able to lock the materials (and eyes) in place pretty securely. I go through these kinds of flies faster than I can make them, so I often skip bothering to coat the thread wraps, much less glue the eyes in place. There is hardly a need to do so, but then again, the fly is tied to be bulletproof, with every single wrap I make. Durability is always a must. If your patterns aren't durable, they'll fall apart quickly in the field. This fly would look even better with a warmed, water-thin coat of 30-minute Epoxy - But, Epoxy does yellow so if you hang onto flies for years before fishing them or don't go through flies quickly, then you'll want some type of method for non-yellowing resins. 

62fd1530bb34c_Screenshot2022-08-1712_17_56PM.png.b441611f5fa71f0c795250b4160c4b88.png

Generally, for only a few flies at a time, I don't even use resins. The flies seem to hold up fine, but obviously, it's the way I tie them. 

62fd112fe4db4_CarysUVElectricClousersPearl.jpg.1e298bd3ac0671e59cb46db35c5df24c.jpg

 

It all depends on what forage you're imitating, Clousers and their "ilk" are very all-purpose patterns that can be varried to match a ton of different critters. For example, if you have Sandeels present, you can make a Sandeel Clouser. This one is tied with the same Clear .004" Mono thread. 

62fd1cf3c8bcd_Screenshot2022-08-1712_09_54PM.png.bca32a46806fb39ee4c94041a94da8a0.png

62fd114f9dfb2_SandEelSchool1.jpg.c15728ef0f88bd2f9a8ac822610ba959.jpg62fd1c9d0f6f7_Screenshot2022-08-1712_12_08PM.png.15f357090af8ac6d63ac081bcabbd32f.png

If you want to use a little epoxy on the heads of these patterns, just make sure to warm it and get it water-thin. Epoxy helps the life of a fly sometimes, no question. Here's the same pattern above AFTER a quick coat of epoxy. Notice the difference. I tie this pattern to be fished on a D/C line and I work it off the bottom, so the way I fish the fly can subject it to a lot of abrasion - hence the added epoxy coating. 

62fd11520a4a1_CarysSandeelClouser.jpg.6158884cde24ec090296a90060a81a89.jpg

There may be times where you want to lift a fly, let it drop and then repeat, basically bouncing it all the way home. In which case, you go to heavier eyes. and then you select a material that is more condusive to undulating. Once you master the ability to lock eyes in place, Clear Mono will do the trick on just about any clouser varations you try. 

62fd1cb29d47f_Screenshot2022-08-1712_08_50PM.png.b2f9b78ba688266f1385afad413c83f7.png

62fd1c802fcae_Screenshot2022-08-1712_19_01PM.png.b15262900954f9378e3490e742db7983.png

Personally, I don't like U-V Lamps and goopy resins. They're just too pricey and I don't like the look of U-V resins once they cure, they can be finicky and tacky too, so you have to make sure your U-V game is on point. I prefer bullet proof, glass smooth, completely non-yellowing resins and I don't mind slapping a couple hundred flies on my indurstrial drying wheel and letting them cure up for 3 to 5 hours. Sometimes I'll even come back and add second or third coats. I use Amazing Clear-Cast + for flies I plan on stockpiling. I apply a water thin coat (to a couple hundred finished flies) and then hit them with a Heat-Gun to remove any minor bubbles. Then they go on the drying wheel. 

62fd17cf8735f_Screenshot2022-08-1712_30_54PM.png.d21e53a32cbb8be1c806cbd151db2d09.png

This is a lure building technique which I've adapted to fly-tying and just like when you're coating a plug, the proper "clear coat" method is to apply, hit with the gun and then, in an hour or an hour and half, come back before the resin is dry and apply a second coat. This way, the two coats adhere properly and chemically bond. 

 

This is not the way to tie a dozen flies, but if I'm mass-producing, it's be far the best method for bulletproof finishes that glisten and are nearly indestructable. I coat Crease Flies and other patterns where I want significant, very thin, extremely strong top-coats. 

 

For only a couple-dozen (or fewer flies), I MIGHT break out the 30-minute epoxy, warm it, apply it and hit it with a heat gun, then dry it (on a drying wheel) for an hour or so, before storing it. 

 

For onzies or twozies..etc, it's hardly worth the spend for UV Resins IMO, so I'll just use a quick, glassy coat of either Hard as Hull (head cement) or maybe a little Exo-Flex as a quick top-coat - mainly just to get a little glisten and thread-lock. These types of materials won't improve the durability of your patterns much though. Not compared to Expoxies or Clear-Cast+ (the latter being by far the best looking and most durable) .

62fd19de086f5_Screenshot2022-08-1712_39_31PM.png.383914f48721c2e16b570d96b71d7eb8.png

 

If you do feel the need to lock your eyes in place with something, just a dab of Instacure + is easily the best bet. Insta-Cure+ is a high viscosity CA. Apply a tiny bead of CA once the eyes are lashed on with only a few wraps, then wrap on top of the CA with more and more pressure and the proper pattern. The way you maneuver the thread as you lock the eyes in place is key. 

62fd1115b42ad_Screenshot2022-08-1711_50_02AM.png.c28bf8d4f754b90053fc94b00fb3fe03.png

 

Try to start with one wrap per side (figure 8, but with wraps in front of and behind eyes also) then move to two wraps per side, then three. Increase thread tension as you go along. As you wrap, bring the thread FAR-OVER from one side to the other, tracing the form of the eye and the hook. This extreme angle you create will lock they eyes in place. 

 

Flat waxed monocord would be the best thread for locking eyes down. It lays flat and is strong enough to crank down on. I make Bucktails out of Danvilles Flat-Waxed mono. Just use white and then color with a Sharpie as desired. Combine the CA with the Flat-Waxed Mono and your flies should be pretty darn bulletproof. Then coat with a little epoxy if you so desire. 

Screenshot 2022-08-17 12.11.13 PM.png

Screenshot 2022-08-17 12.09.36 PM.png


Good post.

I make a pretty good hand model for those pacific sandlance, lol.

SF

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