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

Eyes are a central strike trigger

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

Any ethologist will tell you that eyes are very imporant as a stimulus in predator behaviour. Many will recognize the fish that hide their eyes in a stripe, but have a very distinct eye spot on the tail - all in order to attract the predators to the tail end, where they do the least harm.

Don't shoot till you see...
Predatory fish like trout and bass will use the eyes of the prey as a focal point - aim for the eyes so to speak. Many fry and fish imitations have eyes and on many other patters different materials will act as eyes. The jungle cock cheeks of many salmon flies are a good example.

Eyes add that fatal attraction to many patterns

Adding metal eyes as compared to a cone or a bead will do two things: add weight and add that fatal attraction.
There are several types of metal eyes available for fly tying. The simplest and most inexpensive are the bead chain eyes, which are cut from long chains of metal beads.

Dumbbell eyes add weight more than eye imitation like on this Chilli
Other types are made specially for fly tying. The most widely used ones are dumbbell eyes, which are found on many salt water patterns. These are mostly used to add weight more than being imitations for eyes as such.
Many patterns actually sport both dumbbell eyes for weight and dolls or mono eyes for imitation purposes.
To some types of metal eyes you can add stick-on eyes, while others again come with ready painted or glued eyes.

A Fair Fly with Bestco painted eyes is definitely very fishy.

Continue with bead chain
More ways to improve your tying

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