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Floss Bodies


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#1 TroutBum

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:03 AM

There have been more than a few questions about floss. Although not difficult to apply, if a certain amount of care isn’t taken your results will not be very good. I use Danville’s 4 strand floss most of the time. This tutroial will focus on this type of floss. Silk floss is difficult to work with and tends to fray and soil easily compared to other types. I wouldn’t recommend using it except for display flies. I recently became a big fan of Uni-Stretch Floss. It doesn’t have the sheen and luster of rayon or silk, but it is easy to work with, is durable and comes in great colors.



To have a nice smooth look to your floss body, it is important to have a smooth base underneath. And, because all flosses become opaque when wet, a base of white thread or silver tinsel is recommended to keep the black or bronze of the hook from showing through. This first picture shows a thread base on the front 1/3 of the hook.



I let the thread unwind to get all of the twist out so it will be flat when I wrap it onto the shank. Each wrap is edge-to-edge with no overlap.

Tie in the tinsel on the bottom of the shank and bind down the tag with 3 or 4 wraps. Body materials on salmon flies are almost always tied on the bottom. The top of the shank is reserved for tails, hackle and wings



Keeping tension on the tinsel, wrap over the top of the shank. Each wrap should over-lap slightly, then you should slide the tinsel off the previous wrap so that the edges meet. Wrap to the end point and return to the tie-in point. Unwrap the thread on the tag and tie down both ends of the tinsel. I do this to minimize the number of thread wraps and have a smoother body.



When working with floss it is very important to have clean hands. Before I start I use a pumice stone to remove any rough spots and burrs on my fingers. Then I wash my hands to remove all dirt and oils. Some tyers will wear silk gloves when putting floss on, but I don’t think it’s necessary if your hands are clean and smooth.

Cut off 6 0r 8 inches of one of the four strands of floss from the spool. Tie it in at the same spot where the tinsel is. Making sure that it is not twisted and is flat, begin wraping the floss edge-to-edge down the shank. Try not to overlap because it will leave a lump that cannot be dealt with later.





Once you have reached the end, return to tie-in point keeping the floss smooth and flat. Unwind the thread as you did wiith the tinsel and tie down.



Taking something smooth and curved (I use the barrel of a bobbin) gently but firmly rub the floss back and forth to smoothout any rough spots.



Now you can tie in the body material and ribbing and finish off the fly.




"“The longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize something is f****d up.” - George Carlin


#2 steeldrifter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:08 AM

Excellent step by step Paul thats going to be a huge help for alot of us thumbsup.gif thumbup.gif

BTW i have been going back and forth between 4 strand, single strand and a few other flosses, do you find the 4 strand to lay smoother or is that just a personal preference that you are use to using?

SD
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#3 TroutBum

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:03 AM

Steve,
I use the 4 strand floss because I got a really good deal on it. wink.gif I bought 100 spools of various colors for $50, but I'm not "married" to it. I do use single strand silk floss for full dress atlantics and I like the Uni-stretch a lot. The Uni can be applied with a bobbin, but I put all my floss on manually, I feel I get better results this way.

The most important thing with floss is it must be flat. I looked around a craft store and found that the floss available there was a woven braid and not appropriate for fly bodies.
"“The longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize something is f****d up.” - George Carlin


#4 artimus

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:05 AM

Do you use a rotory vise for doing floss, or hand over hand it?

Art

#5 TroutBum

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:09 AM

Art,
Hand over hand, I feel I have better control this way. I don't use a true rotary vise, it's an HMH.
"“The longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize something is f****d up.” - George Carlin


#6 SmallieHunter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:22 AM

Nice work Paul. I have that feeling your making it look much easier than it really is. I have some 4 strand floss and the only time I tried to use it I have all 4 strands going off in different directions. dry.gif

#7 luvinbluegills

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:34 AM

I really like the UNI-Stretch White because it has a bluish tint to it in the light that makes it the perfect minnow body, and the only floss I use for my Emerald Shiner imitation. I wrap an underbody of mylar core, then cover this with the floss. Great thread! (The one we're reading I mean!)

#8 TroutBum

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 03:25 AM

Will,
Only one strand at a time. In all cases you should avoid more than 2 layers of single strand floss. The more you use the harder it is to keep the body smooth.
"“The longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize something is f****d up.” - George Carlin


#9 vices

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:36 PM

Very nice tye trout, I've used uni-stretch to tye bass bugs, I find it simply will not break when your spin hair with it, you do make less wraps but if you've practiced enough this is a good little trick..

#10 Fly1

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 04:04 PM

I use a lot of embroidery floss for my flies. It's made up with about 8 to 10 strands. I cut sections and then separate it into single strands. Seems to work fine as well and is available in hundreds of colors.

Ken cool.gif
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#11 artimus

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:59 PM

Ken,

Did yoy get that tip from a local 'famous' tyer. I know that he uses that floss as well. Time to go snooping there Jeannette's floss boxes. ph34r.gif

Art

#12 DFix

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:01 PM

I use a lot of embroidery floss too, and I just separate strands and spool it onto either sewing machine bobbins or thread spools I've had since I was a kid or emptied of other thread while tying.

I have to wear gloves no matter what I'm using, doesn't matter if it's DMC Rayon, Danville 4 strand or single strand Silk- my hands fray it almost by reaching for it.
Will- Any winding I do is almost as an afterthought; like Paul, I tend to hand-wind over rotating the vise jaws.

When I do wind with the vise, I chuck up a bobbin and holder, then pass the floss between two fingertips while riding it over a polished mandrel held between my fingers. My Anvil is almost like the HMH.

#13 steeldrifter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:22 PM

Dfix what type of gloves do you use? I had thought about tryin some latex gloves because my hands are so cut up and rough from all the workin on cars that i do i have the same problem as you, i just pick up a spool and its frayed unsure.gif

SD
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#14 DFix

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 07:25 PM

You can't wear Latex. You must wear either a silk glove or the insulating style liner gloves like Thermax or PolyPro, fine, soft tanned deerskin, or even a Cabretta leather golf glove. Your gloves must possess a smooth, unblemished surface that will not snag the floss- even the rayon, because it'll pull as bad as silk. After it's applied, it really does make sense to burnish the windings with a burnishing tool, regardless of what you use. The first two things a judge looks at (or should look at) in these styles of flies is the head, then the component windings making up the body. Some will take a magnifier to the fly; others aren't that anal.

#15 steeldrifter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 07:36 PM

Ok thanks Dfix, i'll have to see about getting a pair. I know alot of guys are probaly thinking "oh come on GLOVES" but i tll ya, rough hands and floss dont mix guys, it's given me many problems.

SD
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#16 TroutBum

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 08:04 PM

In case anyone is interested in silk gloves, here is a place you can get some:

Salmon Fly Supply
"“The longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize something is f****d up.” - George Carlin


#17 steeldrifter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 08:49 PM

Coll thanks Paul i'll be ordering a pair smile.gif
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#18 appalachian angler (tn.)

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 11:50 PM

TB. Thanx for posting the tutorial. I don't tye salmon flies...one day maybe, but use floss in a few trout patterns and this info will certainly be helpful!

Steve. Sorry man but I can't picture You in silk gloves! That just ruined my whole image of you laugh.gif

#19 steeldrifter

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 11:58 PM

AA then pic me in something else silk wub.gif .......... laugh.gif
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#20 appalachian angler (tn.)

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 12:22 AM

laugh.gif sounds like a job for "Photoshop Bob"