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Thread: "Spinal" - NEW FLY - OPINIONS?

  1. #1
    Member steelguy's Avatar
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    Question "Spinal" - NEW FLY - OPINIONS?

    Okay, it's that time of the year, getting ready for fly fishing for spring steelies. I spent the last 22 years chasing these fish with all sorts of flies, and don't mind admitting that when all else fails, I'll toss a spinner and Whammo! = fish on!!

    Now, besides making my own rods, I tie tons of flies. Some are patterns, but it's always fun to try something new. I'm sure a bunch of you are familiar with the MOAL fly (Mother Of All Leeches). I mean, regular leeches are good, but I think the articulated action of the MOAL really is quite effective.

    So, I thought what if a spinner blade and the MOAL were combined? The result is the attached. It's a bit of work to tie, about half hour for the first one. I started by salvaging most of a Mepps spinner, but bent my own wire so that I could cleanly and more easily tie on the articulated tail. Overall length is 4-1/2". I plan on trying it out this spring on POW, but am open to suggestions.

    Appreciate any and all opinions, negative criticism welcome.

    Thanks, Steelguy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1270005.jpg  

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    Default I'm no purist

    But if I was going that far with it, I'd just throw a spinner or jig on a gear rod.

    I am curious about keeping that thing down though, with all that fur and the blade resistance pulling it up?

  3. #3
    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    Been tying and fishing spinner-tipped flies for years, although not for steelhead.

    I got a recipe from a dude in Oregon who has been doing it for the better part of a quarter century. I'm sure he got it from somewhere else. Seems they were originally developed to fish nearshore and tidal kings that get a little fussy when all the water drains away at low tides.

    The use of rabbit isn't advised, especially crosscut and in a MOAL-style wrap...with the extra resistance generated by the spinning blade, the water-holding properties of the bunny make it a b1tch to get out of the water to cast. If you keep on this route, try something from a turkey butt...or go all synthetic. Also...ditch everything but the blade and the bead. That body will make a tough cast even tougher, unless you go with straight 10lb test and a spinning reel.

    Do they work for anadromous fish? Hell yeah.

    Do you need them for steelhead? Nope.

    Would you be better off with a spinning rod? Probably.

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I like it. Bet it would do great on silvers too. Maybe some two tone chartreuse/green for the chums. I have seen some spinners made for fly tying somewhere. J Stockard perhaps. Not sure, but it could simplify your process if you found some. Nice job man.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default If it looks like a spinner...

    Sorry, but I have purist tendencies.

    If it looks like a spinner, acts like a spinner and casts like a spinner....

    It's a spinner.

    That doesn't mean it won't catch fish. I'm sure it will, but that's a spinner with some fur tied to it.

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    Scottsum,

    Using your analagy:

    Looks like bait, acts like bait, must be bait!

    "Flys mimic bait"

    Just a friendly jib here, nothing personal. I have long held that we flyfishers (me included in a big way) are just artificial bait fishermen with somewhat less mechanical reels. Oh ya, and way cooler uniforms...


    George

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Oohooh that smell..

    I think with bait it has to look like bait, act like bait and smell like bait.

    At least that's my story. And yes, our uniforms are pretty cool and when you get right down to it, I've said it before; it's pretty ridiculous that we get so worked-up about "standing in a river waving a stick."

  8. #8
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    I have to agree with Scottsum.... it's not a fly, it's a spinner.
    That being said, I'd fish it.
    www.akfishology.com

    fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

  9. #9
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    My first impression - it looks like a purple mouse going up the skirt of a muskie spinner. If I had named it, I think I would have called it the "Peepshow"

    It does look like something that could catch some steelies and salmon. I would worry about the drag imposed on the combination of the blade and rabbit fur. Willow blades impose less drag than any of the others, but it still might be hard to keep it down in the water column once it gets below you in a swing.

    I do not want to be standing over your shoulder when you go to cast that thing.

    I applaud your creativity. And I'd be real interested to find out how the thing fishes.

    When it gets right down to it, we don't need a lot (probably the vast majority) of the flies and tools and crap we use to catch fish, but all that crap is part of the fun. And one of the benefits of tying your own is you can come up with stuff no self-respecting "purist" fly shop would dream of selling.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  10. #10
    Member steelguy's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, all well taken

    Thanks to everyone for their reviews and advice. I will think about revisions and alterations before I go into production of the first 1,000!

    My fishing buddy, who will going to POW with me beginning of May thought the blade, at 1-1/4" was too large. I think I might agree with him and try something half that size, just to add some eye candy, but not frighten a fish.

    I switched to flyfishing years ago because I wanted more of a challenge in process of catching a fish. My numbers went way down, but that's okay. My other fishing buddy uses nothing but real salmon eggs. which I almost think of as cheating. No doubt, this fly, or any fly that is not what fish want on any particular day will not cut it.

    Again, thanks for looking and giving me your thoughts.

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    looks like a musky lure, good luck casting that
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Fish it.

    Steeleguy, I tied a pattern similar to yours...not as pretty though, but it works great for Kings. I say fish it!!

    I had no problems cast it with a 9wt either
    Caught and Released

  13. #13
    Member steelguy's Avatar
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    Default more

    Thanks for the compliments. I've tied a few more, refined the spinner part of it (smaller , thinner spinner & added a nice double tapered barrel weight to get it down on the bottom to give it a modified jigging action) and added some great looking long spey hackle and striped spey marabou.

    Showed it to a Florida flats guide and he asked for some in white and chartruse. Showed it to another fly shop owner that does BC and he said no problem casting with a spey rod.

    So, time will tell, but I can't wait to go out, throw it and see what type of action it has. Definitely will wear a hat and eye protection.

  14. #14
    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    Default

    I like it. I use spinners for grayling (well its like a propeller at the tip) I don't see any problem casting it as long as your not going for the 100 ft cast. I would not use it with anything smaller then a 8wt though.

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