Published Feb 21. 2022 - 2 years ago
Updated or edited Feb 21. 2022

Craft Beer Squid

A simple, small squid pattern aimed at all the fish that enjoy eating little, cute cuttlefish

Craft Beer Squid
Craft Beer Squid
Martin Joergensen

The Global FlyFisher has covered squid before, mainly in connection with my own home water fishing for sea run brown trout, but also in the form of contributions from others who fish for squid-loving fish like striped bass. You will find plenty squid articles on this site.

A few materials

Before a recent fly tying get-together I was thinking about what to tie, and thought I’d find something simple, so that I could limit the arsenal of materials I had to bring. In stead of tying my usual suspects for sea trout like Magnus, Frede, Red Tags and such, I got the idea to break the mould a bit and do something different. I looked around in my way to large stash of materials (nah, just kiddin’! It’s not the least bit too large), and my eyes fell on some white craft fur I’d bought last year.
Actually it’s not craft fur, but an artificial skin to use as a small rug in a couch or a chair. But in essence it’s craft fur. And not surprising much less expensive than craft fur. In my local mall they sold these rugs for about 15 US$ - and each rug was probably 100 by 75 centimeters or about 40 by 30 inches. I bought three: a white, a gray and a tan. They also had purple and a really ugly green, but I thought that a life’s supply of ugly green and purple wasn’t worth the money.
So I have enough white craft fur to go around, even though I already gave away half of it.

The materials
E-Z Body mesh tube
Martin Joergensen

The simple hackle guard

This tool was first shown here by Alan Bithell, and is made from a rubber band and a tube. I used a piece of tube fly tubing, but you can use a sturdy straw or basically any kind of tubing narrow and stiff enough. 3 inches or so will do. You will also need a thin rubber band, and one that’s long enough to pass through the tube and then some.
Pull or poke the rubber band through the tube to form a loop in each end, and the tool is ready.

A simple DIY tool
A simple DIY tool
Martin Joergensen

A few more

White craft fur is a good base material for a small, light squid. Combined with some bucktail, a few rubber legs and something to make a carapace, I’d have what was needed for a simple squid.
I dug into my all too large stash of hooks (kiddin’ again!) and found some really nice Ahrex SA280 Minnow hooks in a size 2. They may be designed for minnows, but they do fine for squid too, I can tell you.
The carapace was easy: braided tubing of the type generally known as Crinoline tube or mesh tube. It can be found in fly shops, but also look in hobby and craft stores. It’s often available in many sizes and colors, and at a much lower price. I had some bought in a fly shop decades ago called E-Z Body, which - surprisingly - is still around. That’s what I brought.

In the hand
Finished Craft Beer Squid
Flies done
Martin Joergensen

All I needed apart from that was some white thread, a bit of white dubbing and some eyes. The craft fur can be used for dubbing, but rabbit is much easier to handle, so a piece of rabbit with some white patches went into the bag too.
The eyes needed securing, and some LCR and a lamp was among the tools needed. I’d also need an old fashioned half hitch tool and a simple hackle guard as I will show you in the step-by-step below.

Craft Beer Squid
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Martin Joergensen

A small andd simple squid pattern

Ahrex SA280 #2
6/0 white
White bucktail and craft fur
White rubber legs with black markings
White rabbit dubbing
Body tubing, 5-6 mm Ø
Stick on eyes, 3 mm Ø
Clear, hard
See the article

I tied a prototype before I left for the gathering, and that came out just as I imagined, so the pattern was set for the night, which took place in a local craft beer brewery called Herslev Bryghus, and although I know that some people resent the naming of new fly patterns before they have proven themselves (the patterns, that is).

I thought that the name of the fly could suitably be the Craft Beer Squid or the Herslev Squid. I settled for the first. With all due respect, I think more people know craft beer than Herslev Bryghus...


It’s an easy fly to tie, and it doesn’t require much in the form of exotic materials, maybe apart from the tube. But even that is widely available if you look beyond the fly tying world. You need a half hitch tool and also a simple hackle guard – or some dexterity – to do the carapace bit of the fly. The hackle guard tool is DIY, and I’ll show you how to use both tools in the tying steps.
It's a light and small fly, which can be cast on a light rod, easily down to a 6 weight. Squids are a spring thing here in the Baltic, so it's just about the right time to get out the tubing and the eyes.




Measure bucktail

Cut bucktail

Position bucktail

Tie in bucktail

Cover bucktail butts

Measure craft fur

Tie in craft fur

Cover butts

Take thread back

Prepare rubber legs

Trap behind thread

Bend back and tie down, repeat

Three sets of legs

Rabbit dubbing

Make a body

Body ready

Tubing into the tool

Reverse it

The end of the tube ready

Finish thread

Position the tube

Cut the tube

Don't cut it too long

The hackle guard tool

Pass it over the tube

Pinch the tube

Massage the tube as narrow as possible

Start the thread

Tie down the compressed tube

Form a head

Remove the rubber band

Whip finish

Cut thread


Cover the head to secure

Add stick on eye behind the mesh


Martin Joergensen

Do the same on the other side

Martin Joergensen
Off the vise
Off the vise
Martin Joergensen

Tying with friends

From my Facebook post on the event that took place February 10th 2022:
I attended a tying gettogether yesterday. The concept is food, beer, good company an tying.
The food wasn't exactly impressing, but the beer and the company was excellent and the tying was OK.
Great to be able to move among real humans again - not that Zoom-tying isn't fun, but by and large this is better.

Herslev 3
Herslev 1
Herslev 2
Herslev 4
Tying at Herslev Bryghus
Martin Joergensen

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