what is the best way to connect the 2 or 3 hooks when tying articulating leeches? I have tried a snell but have a hard time getting the hooks close enough to each other. Any suggestions?
I saw a guy tying up some articulated leaches this weekend at the Sportsman Show. It looked like he first tied up his back fly. Then he took what looked like heavyweight Spider Wire (or similar type of line), probably 100 pound test or so. He looped that through the eye of the hook that it could not come loose without breaking, and so that there were tag ends to the line. In other words, he didn't really tie a knot on the back end hook. He just made it so it was connected.
Then he started in on the front fly, and the first thing he did was to take the tag ends of that line and secure them to the shank of the hook. He laid the tag ends on the shank, and tightly wrapped thread around it, and even doubled back the tag ends after one set of thread wraps, and put more thread wraps. Once those wraps were done, he then went ahead and tied the fly itself. It looked pretty secure and he said he had never had one come apart.
Not sure if all that made sense or not. I guess the key point is this - most people tie up two flies - the front half of the leech, and the back half. Then they try to tie to them together. This guy tied up the back half, then secured the hook for the front half to it, before tying up the front half fly part.
i usually use some dacron I have sitting around. Just like jmg stated, tie up the trailer like normal. Then run the dacron thru the eye, I double it up. Then lay it on the lead hook and get your spacing right. Then simply start running your thread over it almost up to the eye (leave room for your head). Then pull the dacron back on the hook and go over it once more to the back. Tie it off and then you can dab it with a little super glue for a little added strength. Now you just tie your lead fly. After I am done, I grab some wire cutters and snip the lead hook and you are good to go.
Try this: http://www.angelfire.com/wa/salmonid/aleech1.html.
I use Kevlar instead and leave more room between hooks.
Different technique: February 2008 issue of FishAlaska magazine had a fly called, Mr. Hanky's Stinger Mouse on page 24 - using a Kevlar loop for a stinger hook, which was cool and easy to tie. I usually tie leeches with rabbit strip tail - for which I'd need to put a Kevlar tie around the stinger hook.