Published Jul 1. 2006 - 18 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Glass Beads


Hey fly-tyiers and bead buyer's,

I have been using glass beads for a number of years now especially for my own adaption of Czech Nymphs.
Simple patterns - 3 or 4 glass beads of the same dull colour tied of on a size 10 or 12 shrimp / scud hook.
Colours I mainly use are dark brown, dark greens and greys. I even use a red bead for a hotspot.
I have taken many grayling and browns on these patterns and now my box is simply 95% beads. I love using them.

Anyone else with experience with using glass beads? I'd love to hear stories, patterns and ideas.

Thanks a trillion...
"The waters very" Ripley.

Kasper Mühlbach's picture



I have used glass beads tied on scud hooks size 10-14. I use these bead lavaes for roach during the summer. A good color combination is a dark brown with a orange bead in front. Also an orange one where every second bead is clear/pearlish has given results now and then.




I have used glass bead caddis pupae/larvae for a quite a few years. Was one of the first flies I tied - obviously because of the simplicity. I've seen them marketed here as 'Killer Caddis' - and sold in kits.

Simple patterns on curved hooks with a touch of dubbing at the back, followed by several beads and then a larger (and usually darker) section of dubbing behind the eye. Beige/tan, green, black are the usual colors for the beads. Have also tied some with gold bead at the head.

I find they work very well, and the segmented look you get with the beads is very true to the real thing.

Greased Liner's picture

A friend of mine makes a...

A friend of mine makes a successful sand eel pattern using glass beads.

There is one problem with...

There is one problem with glass beads. They are breaking up in cold weather. Some years ago I was winterfishing and used Mysisshrimp fly made of white glass beads. Temperature was something like -3 to -5.

Grant Banes's picture

The one thing we use a lot of...

The one thing we use a lot of glass beads on are woolly bugger patterns. A black wool with a red glass bead head, or an olive woolly with a green glass bead head and many other combinations. These variations all seem to work very well fishing rainbows in lakes.

rybolov's picture

Air Bubbles...

Glass beads are good on flies that are emergers--caddis and chironimids being the best. Because they can't swim very well, these insects use a bubble of trapped air to float them to the surface of the water so they can hatch.

Sometimes in your float tube you can see the chironies wiggling as they rise to the surface, clinging to their air bubble.

DonaldN's picture

Bead Wet Flies...

There are some very good variants of traditional wet flies using beads.

This is a variant Peter Ross.
There are more

arkle's picture

Y.B.T. (Yellow Beaded Thing)...

Here's a very deadly trout pattern for you. It has worked for me and several guys in my club on smaller stocked lakes, sorry unable to post a photo at present but it works right throughout the season over here. Fished as a single fly on a 12ft leader with a 7lbs minimum point either to nymphing fish or in a "suspected area"

Hook 10 d.e.grub such as Kamasan B110. thread Yellow 8/0 tail short tips (8-10mm) of yellow marabou blood plume tied in first. Then put a loose overhand knot about 6" from the end of an 18" length of 5lb. monofil and tie this around the shank so that the knot is half way along with the longer end of the nylon pointing backwards. Cover with tight turns of thread and then fold the short end back as well and re-cover with more thread. Trim away shorter nylon, then suerglue these whippings.

Get a soft brass embroidery pin and feed 5 clear yellow internally silvered 2mm round glass beads onto it. Allow beads to rest at the head end of pin, and cut pin about 5/6mm above the beads which you are holding vertically. With your other hand grap a pair of hemostats/straight artery forceps and bend the last 3mm of the pin tightly back on itself to prevent the beads from escaping,

Tie in a couple of strands of yellow ostrich and leave, Put a slight curve into the beaded pin to match that of the shank and tie in the doubled end just above the tail so that the beaded pin sits proud of the shank.

Return thread to head and follow through with close turns of ostrich which is then also tied off at head. Bend the pin into place ontop of shank and use the monofil to tightly lash down the beads on top of the shank/herl with a turn between each one finishing at the head where it is double tied. whip finished an another very mall drop of superglue is added.

On some waters this fly is so good that you have to turn your back to the water whrn you tie it on! John


CARLOS's picture



Try this one. This is one of my secret weapons for trout, specially for stillwater.

Simple to tie: A #14 or #12 scud hook, bead head, some wraps of red thread over the hook, and two or three clear glass beads you set with a small bunch of thread on the tail, then a drop of epoxy on the tail to secure the beads, and it is o.k.

You can tie it red, olive or yellow.

DonaldN's picture

Carlos' fly...

That is a nice little fly, a buzzer pupa as we would call it in the UK.

CARLOS's picture

Thanks Donald,...

Thanks Donald,

I'm going to tie your minimalist fly to try it this weekend, I'll tell you what happens here!

I tied up about four Czech...

I tied up about four Czech Nymph looking flies with a glass bead head. I weighed the shank with some lead though...I read this post previously. I then saw a tungsten bead headed Czech Nymph...and thought I wonder how cool a glass bead would be. So I am trying different hooks out now. The glass bead head looks great, but I am not thrilled with my hook choice. I will probably post a fly on my Photobucket if I can get a couple I am fairly happy with.


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.