Eyes of Epoxy - Making your shrimps look well - Global FlyFisher

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Eyes of Epoxy

Published Dec 9th 2006

Making your shrimps look well


Shrimpy Eyes
Bought eyes - they look great, they are uniform but expensive. -
Bought eyes - they look great, they are uniform but expensive.
Making eyes for shrimp flies like Honey Shrimp or Junior Mysis is not that difficult and it gives you freedom to make them in different sizes and colors.
I am sure that the fish do not count legs or eyes, but it is a great satisfaction to tie flies you believe in - flies that have that little extra.

When I started playing with epoxy, some of my friends (a bit older than me) sighed and said I should get over this juvenile level and move on. But I have stayed on this level until now and I enjoy adding small details to my flies. Streamers with eyes look more fishy. Shrimps with eyes look more shrimpy.

There is nothing like candle light and fly tying. Make it cosy and lit a candle.

Epoxyfy your eye
Well, let's see how to make epoxy eyes which will make some of your flies more lifelike.

That's it. Make as many as you wish. I like the bronze colored tone, the nylon gets when you melt it. Of course you can color it either using felt pens or paint for model flights and small figures.

Make 10-16 - you can add epoxy to that number before it starts to harden.

User comments
From: Nycflyangler  Link
Submitted October 21st 2010

@Rob Jacoby · rjacoby·at·menindevelopment.com

Re: reflective amber eyes

Here's a source for bronze and orange silver lined 11/0 seed beads. Size 11/0 is about 1.8 mm in diameter.

From: Nycflyangler  Link
Submitted October 18th 2010

@Rob Jacoby · rjacoby·at·menindevelopment.com

Re: reflective amber eyes

I'd try silver lined amber seed beads slipped on mono diameter they'll fit over. Heat the ends slightly so they won't slide off and them dip in the epoxy. Try a craft store like Michaels.

From: Rob Jacoby · rjacoby·at·menindevelopment.com  Link
Submitted May 4th 2010

Hello from South Florida, USA,

Has anyone heard of a process of cementing reflective beads to the stalks of the mono, then applying the epoxy finish? I bought some beautiful amber epoxy eyes on the internet which reflect sunlight and absolutely drive larger bonefish wild. Unfortunately, I can not get them anymore. The fly shop where I purchased the eyes lost their source, but told me this is how their supplier made them. Would I get the same effect by applying amber model paint to the stalk before the melting process? I have tried "store-bought" Puglisi eyes in a red painted "flat" finish, but they do not have the same effect on the the fish. Thank you!!

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach · kasper·at·muehlbach.dk  Link
Submitted November 1st 2009


I am happy, you enjoyed the article as well as many others - as I understand. What fly did you tie using the epoxy eyes? I am looking forward to seeing a photo in the forum.


GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·globalflyfisher.com  Link
Submitted October 31st 2009


2000, eh? A lot of water under the bridge since then. And professional help? We've all needed it at one point. Some of us maybe still do...

We're happy to have been a part of your obsession.


From: Tom Gibbons · h-s322·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted October 31st 2009

Hello Kasper and everyone in the room. "GFF" was as I remember the very first site of this nature I found after purchasing my first PC in 2000. I was, according to my wife, in need of professional help, as I was so addicted, staying awake all hours drinking and smoking and GFF. Yes I was truly off the thin line. This is not my fault for others have led me astray. So much for that. Thank you Kasper ,this was again such a fine article.I'm sending my arm over to you with a large hug for you. Tom.G.

From: norm · lucraig·at·msn.com  Link
Submitted March 25th 2009

You can color the epoxy with acrylic paint, doesn't take much. You can blend several acrylic colors together to make your own colors.

From: Gustavo Castano · fishingsoccer·at·yahoo.com  Link
Submitted January 25th 2009

Hi guys just get clothes pins those that look like this -----------o then color them with hard as nails polish, cut them to lenght.Have a block of foam and stick them to dry, they are cheap and fast to make.

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted December 26th 2008


try korsholm.dk or go-fishing.dk


From: marcus the seatrout hunter  Link
Submitted December 25th 2008

is there anyone that knows where i can buy premade eyes? Please a netdite that ships to europe

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted March 22nd 2008

Good comments guys. Why not upload your result in the forum?


From: Mike Hemming · mike_hemming·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted March 21st 2008

As a couple of tiers mentioned I melt both ends of 30lb nylon with a lighter to get a pair of eyes. When the ends are cool, I dip them in black head cement and let them dry and repeat. Eyes look great, but it takes a while. Think I;ll try some of the variations mentioned here.

From: Nick · npkingston·at·yahoo.com  Link
Submitted February 27th 2008

I colour the nylon line with black pen FIRST, then melt it you get a little black ball on the enmd of clear mono.
Then coat the eye in tuffleye (www.wetahook.net) - sets in seconds with the UV light a quick dab of clear nail polish to end and you're done. I've completed a set of eyes in 20 seconds.

From: Clyde E. Pullen · cepullen·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted October 31st 2007

Great comments guys.
I saw an article [source?] on eyes and will pass it on. You need boiling water and ice water. Take a 100 # Mono and wrap it a dozen times around 1/4" or larger wooden dowel. Hold it tight and dip it into the boiling water for 10-20 seconds [maybe longer, can't remember] -- then dip it into the ice water!! The Mono will take the shape of a coiled spring as it hardens. Now cut one "Coil", hold with hemostats, seperate a little and melt ends for the eye balls. If you do it correctly, it will melt back and you will have two eyes -- on the end of a "horse shoe." Mount the center of the horseshoe on your hook and you have two big beautiful eyes looking back at you!!! Go fish.
Keep on innovating.
Keep your line wet.
In His Love,

From: Malcolm Campbell · Pnkfldman·at·aol.com  Link
Submitted October 29th 2007

I use a pair of hemostats & use a lighter to burn both ends & make a pair at a time

looks like this O---O works very well on spent mayflies, shrimp or almost any nymph critter

From: Ricardo · ratrujilloh·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted September 3rd 2007

I think, if you use an alcohol burner, you could obtain clear ball shapes (sorry for my written English)

From: bill from SCOTLAND · billyyvonne·at·hotmail.co.uk  Link
Submitted June 20th 2007

HI KASPER love eyes on my shrimp flies it just makes them more realistic,i melt 25pound nylon and burn ends with my lighter,they cool at once and are ready for use in seconds, but always crimp the stalks between a pair of pliers before tyinging in to make them very secure.

From: chris foltz · chrisfoltz·at·verison.com  Link
Submitted March 24th 2007

very nice,been useing burnt nylon eyes on crayfish patterns since 1976.can't be beat!

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted March 9th 2007


I also started tying flies years before I got my first rod. Just keep going.


From: clode v · cj·at·tde.com  Link
Submitted March 9th 2007

Hi Kasper,
New to this and had a ball playing with eyes today. Out of desperation pulled mono off old fishing pole and used clear nail polish just so that i could make one of the shimps with real eyes. Thanks, still trying to learn terms and hooks types love the art of tying dont even have a rod yet:)

From: Anthony · schooner52·at·yahoo.com  Link
Submitted December 16th 2006

Kasper, fantastic fly. I've never responded to anyone before, but here I felt I had to. This fly is so easy to tie. Mind you I had to go out and buy a new pair of reading glasses to see what I'm doing. Ha, Ha. Can't wait to get out on the water.

Anthony, Acton Ontario Canada

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted December 9th 2006


good idea - even though the result requires you to be some kind of exhibitionist.


From: Les Austin · Leslie·at·laustin4.wanadoo.co.uk  Link
Submitted December 9th 2006

The Honey Shrimp and eyes articles (and the Mysis Shrimp) are superb, thank you. Have just made myself a little drying rack for painted eye-stalks - and for the epoxied eyes when I get that far. Just a small piece of wood with two lines of holes 1.5mm diameter. Works a treat. Dip each stalk-end in the paint and pop it in the rack to dry. 14 eyes all looking at me - scary!

Thanks again.

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted December 9th 2006


thank you. I used ordinary 0.50 mm mono and Z-Poxy.


From: vanuz - branislav  Link
Submitted December 9th 2006

Hi Kasper, good stuff. Any fly needs its eyes to see, of course :))) I intend to experiment with some epoxy material also, what exactly was the material you have used? ....just to make sure I´ll ask for the right thing when shopping in danish fishing shops :)

Comment to an image
From: Daniel Gonsalves · danflytr·at·npgcable.com  Link
Submitted March 27th 2010

Made some myself. They really work well for shrimp flies and crank baits("Lures")

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