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Thread: Floss, Whats it used for in fly tying?

  1. #1
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    Default Floss, Whats it used for in fly tying?

    I searched high and low and cant find a fly with a floss body. I bought a ton of it thinking i could use it on my Sockeye fly bodies. What can you tell me about the use of floss? Any pics of flies with a floss body? As you can tell i am new at this!

  2. #2
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    kgpcr,
    Google, Royal Coachman, Royal Wulff, Freight Train, Green butt skunk. The Green butt skunk will probably call for chenille but I think traditionally it was silk or floss.

    For sockeye you could do a body of red floss and a tinsel rib with a over wing of read crystal flash.

    George

  3. #3

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    yup, mostly steelhead/salmon patterns...I will add a caddis nymph and my lil harding special are floss bodies.

    You can also use it for wings (to add some color), or tails.

    For the caddis nymph...tie it on..twist it up, then wrap it on a scud hook..finish with a turn or two of dark(er) to dark dubbing with or without a beadhead...deadly on grayling and trout! You can do this for any segmented fly, in place of chenille or dubbing to still get your color yet add less bulk.

    My lil harding special..well you'll never get that recipe out of me LOL! but for what it's worth it's not to terribly different then the caddis pupea....atleast color wise

    For the steelhead/salmon flies, they were typically a tag...starting with flat tinsel, then a tag of floss/silk, then the body depending on the fly. Some flies were complete floss bodies, most were some kind of segmented body showing off the tiers skill. They are definatly purdy flies! Look for John Sheweys books on steelhead flies...you'll get a bunch of different fly patterns to look at....or any of the classic atlantic salmon flies you'll understand what I'm saying.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You could use it for building the body on a partridge and orange, or red, or green.



    I usually tie the body with thread, but if you want to use your floss, it's an option, and a good pattern.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Floss and soft hackle...

    Nice looking fly, Paul H!

    I've started carrying soft hackle flies after having luck with them as Rainbow finders when the trout get shy. Floss makes a body with some luster - though I think it's the partridge hackle that really makes the fly work.

    Spring's a comin'!

  6. #6

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    I use the heck out of it for "bright day" salmon flies in clear water, especially kings and silvers. Those midday doldrums when the fish are so spooky aren't really doldrums when you drop down to smaller, more sparsely tied versions of the same things that work morning and evening. Floss is the perfect material for small, slender bodies when wool or chenille are too big.

    I also use it in traditional trout patterns as also mentioned- tags, soft hackles, etc. I bet I have it in 30 different colors collected over the years.

    I got a bunch of acetate floss back in the 70's too. Build the body, dip it in acetone, and it turns into something like plastic. Great for woven nymph bodies or for steelhead flies when tied with an underlay of silver or gold tinsel. Keep the acetate floss thin and it gives a nice color tint to the tinsel. I don't recall seeing it in years, so I'm guarding my hoard.

    And long as I'm on acetate floss, I use it in a novel way. After you set on dumbbell eyes, crisscross a few quick turns of acetate floss, then dip it in acetone. Forms a hard plastic "lock" on the barbells, and I've never had them move. Faster and easier than zapagap and no mess.

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post

    I got a bunch of acetate floss back in the 70's too. Build the body, dip it in acetone, and it turns into something like plastic. Great for woven nymph bodies or for steelhead flies when tied with an underlay of silver or gold tinsel. Keep the acetate floss thin and it gives a nice color tint to the tinsel. I don't recall seeing it in years, so I'm guarding my hoard.

    And long as I'm on acetate floss, I use it in a novel way. After you set on dumbbell eyes, crisscross a few quick turns of acetate floss, then dip it in acetone. Forms a hard plastic "lock" on the barbells, and I've never had them move. Faster and easier than zapagap and no mess.
    It's still available, at least through Danville. I use the acetate variety mainly for chironomids (worm and bobber fishin'), as the stuff is really tough and I think it looks pretty realistic. Most of the flies below were tied with acetate, but I also like to use Frostbite. Either way I coat them with Hard as Hull or Sally Hansen. I like your idea about using it to secure barebells! I will have to give that a try!







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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    most old streamers and salmon flies have floss
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

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    One thing to pass on about floss:

    Save your old bobbins once they start cutting thread. Once you get your floss in bobbins, it's so darned handy you'll find yourself using it a lot rather than fingering wool, chenille or dubbing. A splash of color here, a slender body there, a rib over yonder, and now waste.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Wyatt

    Your new name is officially the Midge-n-Nator.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Good advice BrownBear! I always thought floss was a bit of a pain until I started using it (as intended) with a bobbin.

    One of the best trout flies I ever came up with for stillwater trout was simply an olive floss body with a hen grizzly hackle. (Okay... someone probably came up with that before me, but it was a fish-catching discovery for a 10-year-old.)
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