Published Nov 25. 2003 - 18 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 8. 2020

Mass Production, one at a time

Sometimes it doesn't pay to do things ahead of time

The nymph project? Remember? Tying a box full of my favorite two nymph patterns?

Well, my plan was to do things in stages. For the sparkle squirrels - spin a boat load of dubbing brushes, bead a box of hooks, tie the flies.

Well, as plans go, this one didn't. As you might have seen from my earlier post, I ran out of hooks before I ran out of beads. So I just went ahead and finished that batch while I wait for hook reinforcements.

While I was waiting, I also tied up a batch of hare's ears. No dubbing brushes on these. This time, I did each fly from soup to nuts - bead the hook, finish the fly.

You know what? I did not sense any time savings in beading the hooks ahead of time.

When I bead hooks - I also add a couple wraps of lead wire. Sized appropriately, a few wraps of lead will slide into the back end of the bead and fill the void between the hook shank and the bore of the bead. If I number the wraps such that one full wrap of lead is outside the back end of the bead, I can lock that in place with a few wraps of thread and the whole shebang is solid. That's how I do all my beadheads.

The act of beading the hook, then, is more than sliding the bead around the bend. It involves lead wire, tying thread, and scissors. If I'm gonna go that far, I might as well finish the fly.

Whipping up the dubbing brushes ahead of time definitely saves time with the sparkle squirrel nymphs, but beading them didn't make much of a difference. In fact, adding for an extra tie-off or whip finish, doing the beading separately might add more time to the process.

Anyway - from here on out - no pre beading for me.


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