Published Sep 12. 1999 - 24 years ago
Updated or edited Mar 11. 2023

Red Tag Palmer

An all time classic which here is tied for sea trout in ocean and stream.

Fly pictureThe Red Tag is a classic that can be used everywhere. There probably isn't one single way to tie this pattern. I tie a palmered version that has produced fine sea trout in the salt.

Hook Tiemco TMC 700 #4
Thread Black Monochord
Tail and underbody A small length of very red wool yarn
Hackle Chesnut brown saddle hackle
Rib (optional) Copper wire or twisted tying thread
Body Peacock herl
Head Tying thread

Tying the Red Tag is very easy. Use the 'herl rope' technique and a rib for a more durable fly:

  1. Tie in the thread close to the hook bend and run it forwards to just behind the hook eye
  2. Tie in the yarn on top of the shank
  3. Tie down the yarn in the full length of the hook shank to form a smooth underbody
  4. If you want a rib from tying thread, make a thread loop and pull it aside
  5. Tie in the hackle tip first shiny side forwards at the hook bend
  6. If you want a copper wire rib, tie in the ribbing material under the hook shank at the bend
  7. Tie in 5-10 peacock herls at the hook bend
  8. Twist the herl and the tying thread together to form a 'herl rope'
  9. Wind the herl rope forwards to form a fairly thick body
  10. Tie down and cut surplus one eye width behind the hook eye
  11. Wind the hackle over the body and give several turns just in front of the body to form a front hackle
  12. Tie down and cut surplus
  13. Wind the optional ribbing in the opposite direcion of the hackle and tie down
  14. Form a small head, whip finish and varnish
  15. Cut the tail very short and tease out with a bodkin

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