Eyes, beads, and cones - history, usage, tying and fishing weighted flies.

Heaviest of all eyes

By Martin Joergensen

In this section:
- Bead chain
- Cast/dumbbell
Tying them on

Flies with eyes:
Fair Fly
Crazy Dane

Flies with beads:
Flashback Prince

Bead Head Scud
Goldkopf nymph

Flies with cones:
Coney flies
Magnus cone

Further reading:
The history
  of the bead head

Bead chain eyes
Monofilament eyes
Pearl eyes

Dumbbell eyes are probably the most widely used type of eyes, and yet there are in my opinion the least effective of the available types. They have only one big advantage: they are heavy - which is actually a disadvantage on many flies.
Dumbbell eyes are widely used on patterns such as deep clousers.
Dumbbell eyes
Dumbbells with a different shape and eyes glued onto them.
Painted eyes
On traditional American salt and fresh water flies such as the Clouser Deep Minnows, their weight might be suitable. But they do make the flies hard to cast and also produce a fast bottom diving fly.
If you want something less radical, a set of lighter eyes might be better, only contributing a bit of weight in the front of the fly. This can be obtained by choosing some smaller dumbbells or eyes made from a lighter material such as brass.

Painted eyes
Recently my attention was drawn to some cast metal eyes made by the company BestCo. These eyes are heavy like dumbbell eyes, but have a different, more slender shape and have painted or glued-on white and pupil. This gives them lots of character and can make almost any fly seem very lifelike.

The eyes are made in three colors: white, red and yellow.
Eyes like these have much more character than bead chain or ordinary dumbbell eyes. The flies are Bjarkes - the eyes are Bestco's.

Continue with beads
More ways to improve your tying

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