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Boobies
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Paul
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:56 pm    Post subject: Boobies Reply with quote

Here is another essential reservoir lure that you'd be wise to carry, but sadly once again its a pattern which will often be met with up turned noses from the so called purists Rolling Eyes there are occasions when you will catch on nothing but a booby so if the purists want a days casting practice while you catch then so be it, if the fish want a booby then give them a booby Cool Laughing

I've tried to kill two birds with one stone here and do a standard Viva and a Booby version in one step by step, both patterns being a good pattern particularly early season, not sure how well this will work.

The Booby in all its various colours and designs has for the last few years been my number one fly, out fishing every other pattern by a country mile. Having tried all the various ways of making the eyes for this fly I have settled on the method below, there maybe quicker ways to to the same thing but the needle method, In my opinion, is the best, the eyes are the neatest eyes by a long way.

The person credited with the invention of this method is Davy Mcphail, and was described (but no photos)in an issue of Fly fishing and Fly tying several years ago its certainly not a new idea.

The addition of Booby eyes does two things to a fly. The first is that it adds buoyancy to a fly and the second is that the eyes create disturbance. Although the Booby was, I believe, originally conceived to be used on a fast sinking line (with the buoyant booby 'popping up' off the the bottom the fly will work on any density of line you care to fish it on (providing its at the correct depth of course). The booby, in my opinion, is the most versatile pattern you can have in your box.

The addition of booby eyes is most commonly performed on lures but they will work on just about any pattern of fly including buzzers, nymphs and traditional wets. As with all flies it pays to keep a number of different colours to cover as many eventualities as possible however you will probably find as I have that 90% of the time the fish will either want one of four particular colours: Black, White/Cats whisker, Pink/Coral or Orange.

One thing I can't emphasize enough is to avoid the pre-formed Floozy eyes at all cost, they might look good but not only are they ridiculously overpriced but they also provide no buoyancy at all, some of the foam cylinders / and or booby cords can be OK but in my opinion you are far better off pouting in a little extra effort making your own from a Plastazote block.

I always tie the eyes prior to doing the rest of the fly, in fact I usually sit down and make a dozen or so eyes ready for use at a later date. In addition to having the flies and eyes in different colours also carry them in some different sizes, come days the trout like the massive disturbance of BIG eyes other days small eyes are preferred, Its a matter of experimentation to see what works on the day.

The tools / materials you'll need:


    A block of Hi-Density Plastazote foam (Veniards foam is some of the best I've used for this)

    A sharp, scissors (preferably with one serrated blade, will explain this later)

    A needle / long pin with the head cut off

    A piece of car ariel with an internal diameter the same as that of the eye size you require.

    Bobbin and thread.


Method:

1. Take the section of car ariel and cut to a manageable length, sharpen one end on an oil stone so it will cut a cylinder from the foam block, use it in a cordless drill for a quicker, neater finish:



2. Take one cylinder and cut to length with one clean cut using the scissors, The length is dependent on the diameter of the cylinder and the width you want the eyes to be. I tend to say that it needs to be just over double the diameter of each spherical eye. In reality just guess at the length initially and see what It turns out like then adjust the initial length on the next fly, once you've got it right remember it for next time:



3. Push the pin / needle through the length of the foam cylinder, the closer you can get it to the center of the cylinder throughout its length the better. Now place one end of the needle horizontally in the vice jaws:



4. Take your bobbin and thread and 'whip' the foam cylinder to the needle halfway along its length, try to do this with a few a turns of thread as possible (usually three plus one half hitch is enough). You do tend to waste a sizable tag of thread when you start the thread off directly on the foam in this way but its very hard to do using a short tag (try it and see Wink)You are aiming to form a nice even dumbbell shape something like this:



As mentioned keep the number of thread wraps to a minimum, you don't want bulk in the eye 'division' as it will cause problems later on while tying the eyes on. With just enough thread wraps to prevent the thread from slipping off make one half hitch around the same point, pull it tight then trim out the thread as tight into the division as possible:



5. Pull the eyes off the needle, these eyes can now be used as is or should you want better looking eyes, trim each square end round with the scissors. This is where the serrated blades help, they tend to 'grip' and consequently cut the foam instead of slipping like smooth blades do. The trimming is the most time consuming part but I personally like well rounded eyes and don't mind putting in the effort, whether the fish notice though is a different matter. When trimming the eyes round I found it easiest to take LOADS of minute cuts rather than just a few bigger cuts, you can always cut more off but you can't add it on so go carefully and steadily. A series of small cuts at a 45 degree angle around the circumference of the cylinder followed by a second series seems to be the quickest way to round off the ends:

First series of cuts:


Then after the second series of cuts and knocking off any remaining bumps you should end up with something like this:



With the eyes now done, the rest of the fly can be tied, Here I have chosen to tie a simple Viva version which has done well for me in the past.

The Dressing:

Hook: Kamasan B175 size 10
Thread: Black 8/0
Tail: Fl. Lime Antron
Body: Black tinsel chenille
Wing: Black marabou
Eyes: 6mm Black Plastazote.

The Method:
Since the tying method for this fly is nearly identical to that for the Cats Whisker Step By Step I will just give the main steps. I always tie the booby eyes on last, and the tying of the fly is exactly the same up to this point, on many occasions I have completed a fly then gone back and added some booby eyes onto it at a later date just to see what it looks like, the preformed eyes allow you to do this with relative ease.

1. Catch in the thread Tie in a length of antron in at the head then whip over it in touching turns all the way to the bend:



Pull the antron taught and trim to length with one clean cut:



2. Expose the core of a short section of the tinsel chenille, tie it in at the bend then wind on the body in touching turns. Stop back from the eye of the hook a little further than what you usually would, I find that one turn of chenille / fritz less is enough:



3. Take a section of black Marabou and prepare the ends as was done in both the blob and the Catswhisker Step By Steps. Tie it in close to the eye and wind back in touching turns to get a nice firm base for the eyes to be attached to then using the pinch and pull method tear the marabou wing to length:



At this point you have tied a near finished viva, albeit a little short of the hook eye should you tidy up the head a little at this point you would have another near essential reservoir mini lure. The addition of the booby eyes for me has made it a more effective pattern, probably due to the fact that a buoyant version is better suited to the particular methods I use.

Tying on the booby eyes:

1. Hold the eyes parallel to the hook shank, with the 'eyes division' directly above the point on the shank you want the eyes to be attached, then bind the eyes down to the hook shank with three tight turns of thread, make sure the thread slides down into the 'division' instead of biting into either of the foam eyes:



2. Take hold of the eyes and twist them so they sit at 90 degrees to the hook shank, while holding them there bind them to the hook by using a 'figure of eight' whipping, you should now have a completed fly awaiting only a few half hitches or a whip finish before removing the thread:



3. My favorite way to finish boobies is to make a two turn whip finish using a half hitch tool aka hollow Biro tube Wink point the the pen tube in the direction of the fly but underneath the eye of the hook either make two wraps of thread around the pen or swivel the pen in such a way as to 'pick-up' two turns of thread:



4. Hold the hanging thread taught whilst lifting the pen upwards and positioning the end of the pen over the eye of the hook then slide the thread wraps off the pen by pulling on the hanging thread:



repeat the process and you have got a very robust head that won't come undone, From the description and photos alone it looks like this method doesn't actually do anything but add two more wraps of thread but try it and you will see that it does actually add a two turn whip finish.

Incidentally this method can be used to finish off any fly instead of using a proper whip finish or a few single half hitches. I find however this method lends its self well on the boobies as there's limited room due to the eyes.

So is all that went well you should have a neat looking viva booby with well rounded and evenly balanced eyes:




(Always aim to get even eyes unless you can put up with serious line twist. Having uneven eyes can sometimes add an extra wiggle to the fly that the fish sometimes want but it will cause your boobies to spin in the water and will mess up a leader in no time.

Happy tying
Paul


Last edited by Paul on Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:10 pm; edited 6 times in total
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barbus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit i try the eyes on the hook with the help of a drop of superglue criss crossing the thread, but will try your method and i love the whip finish tool going to give that ago too
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent tutorial, got to tie some of these I have a steelhead application, wonder where I can get that type of foam though over here in the states ?

Very Happy Razz

BG
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the way you form your eyes first Paul. I allways form mine after and one usually looks larger than the other. Will give this method a go. A lot of people also tie the eyes directly to the thread and then wrap it round the hook.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BG - I would imagine most craft shops would sell closed cell foam?
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Charlie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use the same method for eyes as Paul, which works very well, but is a bit slow and I now use the Dave Downie system :

http://www.flyfishingworld.co.uk/How-To-Guides/sunburstboobyhowto.htm

I have also noticed that since I stopped putting a wing on, there is much less tendency for the booby to spin, so I tie a bushier tail and omit a wing altogether. Blob boobies also solve this problem.

Charlie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Ghost wrote:
Excellent tutorial, got to tie some of these I have a steelhead application, wonder where I can get that type of foam though over here in the states ?

Very Happy Razz

BG

plaztazote foam can be got on ebay, i got 9 blocks recently for under ?1 a block delivered.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celtic Flycraft also do a pack of 7 blocks, 7 different colours for ?9.99. Black, white, orange, red, yellow, lime and pink
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie wrote:
I used to use the same method for eyes as Paul, which works very well, but is a bit slow and I now use the Dave Downie system :

http://www.flyfishingworld.co.uk/How-To-Guides/sunburstboobyhowto.htm

I have also noticed that since I stopped putting a wing on, there is much less tendency for the booby to spin, so I tie a bushier tail and omit a wing altogether. Blob boobies also solve this problem.

Charlie


Anything to avoid the dreaded booby spin!

I gather someone once nailed a Di7 due to terminal twist obtained by trolling a booby behind a boat. No names can be recalled. Didn't know them myself. read about it in a magazine or sumfink.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KevZim wrote:

Anything to avoid the dreaded booby spin!

I gather someone once nailed a Di7 due to terminal twist obtained by trolling a booby behind a boat. No names can be recalled. Didn't know them myself. read about it in a magazine or sumfink.
Wink


If you are going to knock my trolling at least make sure you get the facts right! There were in fact 3 boobies on the line being trolled which caused unbelievable spinning and as a result the DI7 is indeed knackered.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far be it from me to even suggest any involvement on your part... Like I said, read about it in a book, no - a Mate told me - he'd heard it down the pub or sumfink.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chinese Whispers aye.

I heard about it on one of those internet forum thingies.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i cant seem to get my eyes right...
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie wrote:


I have also noticed that since I stopped putting a wing on, there is much less tendency for the booby to spin, so I tie a bushier tail and omit a wing altogether. Blob boobies also solve this problem.

Charlie


Like Charlie, I omit the wing altogether and use a bushier tail but in my case it is because there is nothing more frustrating than finding that the wing has twisted around the hook after you've just spent 5 minutes or so carefully twitching your booby along the bottom. Sad

Brilliant work though Paul, and very much appreciated by the more 'dextrously challenged' fly tyers like myself. I particularly like your use of a pen to finish off the head. That's inspired! Very Happy

I'd just add that I am also experimenting with different sized foam eyes for different line densities. Boobies intended for fishing hard on the bottom or for holding up a washing line set up tend to have larger eyes to give them more bouyancy but I am now trimming back the eyes on Boobies I fish on an intermediate line at fry bashing time in order to give the fly a more streamlined look and a close to neutral bouyancy.

Does it make a difference? Well, I am starting to think that it does but who cares as long as it gives me more confidence! Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant stuff! I'd previously tied the foam on tubular shaped and trimmed it down last but can see how your method will make it easier to get neat even booby eyes. Very Happy
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