Let's talk Beads



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  • Let's talk Beads

    Seems like as good of a wintertime topic as any to me....
    I spend a lot of time tying flies and painting beads this time of year, so I'm wondering what some of you guys use to paint your beads???
    Nail polish colors, brands, etc...
    It would also be cool to hear some of your favorite bead "recipes." What size bead, color, polish color, how do you paint it, etc...
    Looking forward to learning from you guys.

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

  • #2
    never really fished painted beads except for one time when I was guiding on willow my boss painted some to look like chum eggs, worked pretty good I guess.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


    • #3

      spent last winter painting 200 hundred beads and this summer did not like the color. instead i was using your standard beads from any store. not wasting my time this year.......


      • #4
        I used to paint them. Just used some crappy polish my wife did not like. Then I just went with store bought. Never did notice any difference. Dont get em wrong I have at least 300 beads in my box of 6's, 8's, and 10's in every color they make. As my wife says its all about choice. The one thing I have found though is 2 beads always produce for me in the fall. Peaches and cream and strawberrys and cream. Most consistant beads i have ever fished.
        Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight


        • #5

          I used to buy the solid colors and paint them with nail polish, then went to store bought beads.

          Some of my beads I do add painted eyes for the "eyed" egg stage of development. I also like peaches and cream and apricot in 6-8mm.
          Caught and Released


          • #6
            Mark3, since you brought this topic up and mention that you paint "lots" of beads in the winter you should go first in sharing nail polish colors and such.

            Store bought beads are getting better and better every year in regards to the many different colors that are available now compared to just 5 years ago.

            Sill I believe that sometimes a color that is a lillte different than the others being used in the same area will produced nicely. For example if you fish the Anchor and it has been getting a fair amount of pressure day after day and the steelhead/dollies are holding in the lower section waiting for water levels to raise before some of them blast upstream going with a bigger bead say a 12mm or one with a different shade than the others around you will stir up the action. Doesn't make this bead better just different and a lot of times that is all that it takes.


            • #7
              I've tried most every color in most every size. I have hand painted with everything imaginable but I have found the most productive and quickest is the old brown paper bag (lunch size) with a little Krylon cream color paint sprayed inside the bag. Throw in a dozen or so beads and shake them a few times. It gives a "molted" look that works pretty good for me.


              • #8
                What are some sources for beads. I found a couple



                I'm going to be there only for about a week next June early July, so don't want to by too many, especially of the same color. Maybe one of those kits would be good.

                What do you think about those softer eggs like Luhr Jensen eggs. I've seen where you tie them to a hook...


                • #9
                  I paint em.

                  My favorite all time color is a standard orange bead painted with "french tip white" fingernail polish. I just put some polish in a small plastic container (like the ones you're given when you buy flies) throw in the beads, replace the lid, shake it a few times and remove the beads with a bodkin. I leave ten or so at a time to dry on the bodkin. They dry with a nice and even mottled apearance. I've tried aqua seal to get the nailpolish to stay-on better, but it seems like just the nail polish with built-in hardener works the best. (I stole this bottle from my wife, shh!)

                  I don't know why, but I have tried numerous store-bought beads in various colors (dark peach seems to produce better at certain times) but far more often than not, the orange painted with french tip white is my go-to color.

                  Like others though, I don't hit the water without at least a dozen different colors in varying sizes. I think many times it boils down to how much you believe in the fly. Call me crazy, but I think confidence in your bead, fly, whatever, makes you focus more on the drift, strike, etc, resulting in more hook-ups.

                  Sorry, now we're back at the zen of fly-fishing.


                  In late June and early July, don't neglect the flesh patterns and dolly lamas. Trout fishing is usually pretty sporadic in the upper Kenai then. It's a guessing game to see what they'll eat. Dry flies will even work occasionally so keep your eyes open for rising fish.


                  • #10
                    I use store bought eggs. Although, many are painted like the ones you get at Troutfitters in Cooperlanding. I have a large variaty 6-8-10-12 mm sizes. It's a match the "hatch" sort of game. 10-12 mm behind kings. 8mm behind silvers and chums. 6mm behind reds. The longer the eggs have been in the river the less ruby and more motled/peach/carmel/ they look. I think I will take a small fine mesh net with me next time to see. I know the guides on the Kenai pay very close attention to color (at least the good ones do).
                    Here is a link to some good info on beads: http://www.alaskaflyfishinggoods.com...ked-Truth.html
                    To bead or not to bead, that is the question... :confused:


                    • #11
                      you're right iceblue, I should have first offered the strategy I use to paint my beads... the standard orange 8mm bead is definitely my favorite bead if I had to pick just one; I paint it with a little bit of white, and usually coat them with a clear coat (someone told me the clear coat makes them look more realistic in the water, so I started doing it, and it just became a habit... not sure if it really makes a difference). It seems like the most outrageous days usually come when the 8mm peach is working well though.
                      Ironic as it may be, iceblue, I ran across a polish a couple years ago (I think the brand name is wet n' wild) by a color called "ice blue." It is basically a clear/translucent color with a hint of blue/purple in it. It really makes the bead shine and stand out in the water... sometimes it works really really well when other colors don't, but other times it doesn't seem to help at all.
                      I also seem to do much better on painted beads, rather than store bought beads, but who knows... maybe it's just cause I have more confidence in them.

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


                      • #12
                        Well my plan was to just stop into Troutfitters in September and tell them to stock me up on what they thought was the bead of the day. Now I wonder if maybe I should start painting. Thoughts?


                        • #13
                          Aquaseal is a good way to to treat your beads after you paint them to keep them from chipping. Another thing to remember is you get what you pay for. A cheaper nailpolish will chip easier than one that cost a little more. Paint in a bag is a ultra easy way to do the painting thing and was mentioned earlier in this thread.

                          The color of the paint for me depends on the color of the bead. Even all orange beads are not the exact same color or clarity. I actually look for the different shades of orange and use the same paint on them and it is really amazing the different shades the same paint will produce on these variations of orange. Also depends on what time of year I am fishing and even day to day. For example silver eggs are a way different color than red, pink, king, and even trout eggs. Yes, a trout bead imitation works good at times. Ever notice how one day the "big" bows are all over your bead on the Kenai and then the next trip you cannot find one over 20 inches? If so your color bead was probably off just enough to really matter.

                          The steelhead on the Ninilchik, Deep Creek, Anchor, Stariski, and Kasilof seem to prefer something a little different over an exact color in my opinion. Fish a spot for awhile with old standby and then after catching a few fish in a hole change colors or size of the bead and see what happens.

                          Store bought beads work. At times better than others. It is a good way to get a variation of colors in the bead box. I believe that when the trout are on a feed a store bought bead will work but when the fishing is tougher the painted beads will be the ones that I turn to.


                          • #14
                            protecting paint

                            I use some stuff called softex to protect the paint on beads. I got it at sportsmans, and it has worked pretty well.

                            All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.


                            • #15

                              Originally posted by chitownflyfisher View Post
                              Well my plan was to just stop into Troutfitters in September and tell them to stock me up on what they thought was the bead of the day. Now I wonder if maybe I should start painting. Thoughts?

                              I haven't looked in a couple of years, but Troutfitters used to always carry a large selection of painted beads (sold individually) in addition to the prepackaged "trout beads." The exact method of they used to paint their beads and make them durable used to be a mystery to many of us, but we knew their beads worked.

                              I'd be surprised if you couldn't find all the beads you need from them in Sept. The tackle shop below the Thai BBQ restaurant in Cooper Landing (which has incredible food btw) also carries a good assortment of beads.


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