Streamers : Tying Tight Solid Hourglass eyes

Fastening eyes on slippery hook shanks is tough even for an experienced tyer - now let an in experienced tyer try it and watch eyes that literally twist fly apart in each and every cast. One fish wonders I call them and that is if you are lucky to make the fly last that long. You also have to be lucky enough to have the eyes stay in a position that does not cause the fly to have a lisp while you present it to the fish.

This has been a sore spot in my retail days - I couldn't find a commercial tie that would reach my standards of solid tight eyes. Well here is my suggestion for accomplishing the impossible. In 60 turns of thread I promise you tighter eyes and longer lasting flies!!!

by Ken Collins -

Thread Foundation

1. Make a solid thread base on the one third hook shank closest eye of hook end. NOTE: Mono-filament thread is tricky to work with – it takes practice to get tight wraps of thread. So, be sure to wrap three layers of thread. The surface of the hook in this area must be bumpy and full of ridges.

Placing Eye

2. Place dumbbell eye about two diameters of the dumbbell eyes back from eye of hook on 45 degree angle across the hook shank – wrap 10 turns of thread as tight as possible.

Setting eye

3. Pinch eyes of dumbbell with none bobbin hand and torque till the eyes are now perfectly perpendicular to hook shank. Now, wrap 10 turns of thread tightly to lock this position. NOTE: absolutely no figure eight thread movements have occurred – that is the first and biggest mistake!

Tight foundation front

4. With all this twisting of thread and eyes on hook shank the threads have been made a mixture of some loose and some tight. A new tight foundation must be done. Tie 10 turns of tight thread winds in front of dumbbell eye.

Tight foundation behind

5. Move thread behind dumbbell eye and repeat the 10 turns of tightly wrapped thread in this location. NOTE: Now that a tight foundation of thread is present.

Trestle wraps

6. Now 10 trestle thread wraps can be placed. One trestle wrap consists of; thread starts from a under the hook shank - thread is moved over the Dumbbells stem (the stem side furthest from tyer) – no thread goes under the hook shank and up the other side of the dumbbell stem (closest to tyer) – and then back under hook shank. NOTE: think San Francisco’s golden gate bridge and the wires that hank it from post to post.

Trestle Collar wraps

7. Time to tie the 10 wraps of trestle tightening collar wraps. Keep thread turns on on the top side of hook shank but under the actual dumbbell eyes. This will lock everything into rock solid position.

Crazy glue

8.An added precaution for absolutely super tight never to loosen dumbbell eyes is to add a drop of crazy glue. Crazy glue and mono-filament thread really bond well. These eyes are now stuck in this position for as many fish as the rest of your feathers and fur can handle.

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