Tying Tight Solid Hourglass eyes
by Ken Collins - January 15, 2009

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!!!

Tying Tight Solid Hourglass eyes Steps

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.

Truss wraps
This is CRUCIAL STEP to tight non-twisting eyes on a hook shank. To help us do these wraps correctly, picture the Golden Gate Bridge and the sloping wires that go up and over the steel main piers of the bridge. Our thread is the cables and the piers are the stems of the dumbbell eyes. One truss wrap starts with; thread behind stem of eye - on the side of hook closest to you - move thread up and over stem of eye - now thread goes down under the hook shank and on the far side of hook goes up, over, down and back under hook shank. One truss wrap is complete. Please repeat 9 more times. Try to make each truss wrap a bit further away from the stem of the eye so the sloping strands of the thread is noticeable.

Pre Cementing
Before we make the squeezing truss collar wraps of threads apply a coat of head cement or crazy glue on either side of the stem of the dumbbell eye. Make sure it sinks right into the truss wraps of thread you just completed.

Truss collar wraps
While the glue or cement is still wet - start your 10 squeezing collar wraps of thread. NOTE: the thread wraps all take place above the hook shank and wrap tightly down on the truss strands of thread. This completes the locking of eyes to the hook shank. Proceed with tying the rest of your fly pattern.

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