Published Jun 20. 2010 - 13 years ago
Updated or edited Jun 3. 2018

Phloating Eyez

Eyes as large as tea cups on your flies? And still lightweight and not smashed down by loads of goo on the head? Yes, it's possible! Follow Pete Gray's instructions and your squids and baitfish will be gazing with larger eyes than ever before!

Early on - An early cephalopod insinuation that involved eyez on a stick
Phloating Eyez - Here you see the large eyes mounted on heavy mono
Allsorts - Any style of eyes will do
Phloating eyez
Pete Gray

So... There I wuzz... again...

Not very happy spending time and effort building up a nice plump profile and then mashing it down with a glob of goop to secure some prominent 3D eyez...

My limited but eager engineering background steps in and I start experimenting with likely "solutions"...
After a few false starts I hit upon a fairly effective notion... Phloating Eyez...
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut soonerorlater...
Initial efforts involved epoxy... worked just fine... smelled like old socks...
I've evolved into the UV Free Acrylic Zone... Tuffleye FLEX secures my 3D Eyez to a "V" crimped piece of 40-50# mono...

Here are a few early cephalopod insinuations that involved eyez on a stick[s]... [notice the aesthetically pleasing yellow epoxy rendition...]

Pink prototype - A pink Big Eyez prototype
Phloating - As you can see the eyes float outside the material
Pretty in pink
Pete Gray

A single "popsicle" stick had a propensity to come undone under duress... The "V" twin-stem held up much better and allowed a more robust anchor and triangulated "positioning"...
The Eyez were held fast and did not involve any smothering goop... NO mashed material... Less filling! Tastes GREAT!

A phocus group member - Stripers like big eyes too.
Phocus group member
Pete Gray

Tie it!

Any proper hook will do...
A more robust hook adds weight and finds a deeper place in the water column... 


A bit of buck tail lays the foundation for follow on hackles...


'Some longer Cree coloured [or whatever you prefer] hackles with some of that "pesky" marabou fluff left intact to add body profile... and some Crystal Flash to encourage subtle highlights...


'More hackles with fluff to continue expanding the profile... in this case, a lighter neutral colour because it seemed like the right thing to do...

More hackles

Some sparse buck tail to help control the hackles... then to the GOOD part...
Secure the "Phloating Eyez" with a few wraps and finalize the position [one side at a time] with determined thread application...
I suppose a bit of super glue would bomb proof the arrangement...  

Bucktail and... EYEZ!

'Start building up the mantle with sparse buck tail...  
It's beginning to look like a proper critter... with an attitude!


'Starting to throw in some sparse contrasting complimentary colours, just because...

Contrasting colors

...and running out of room... the end is near!
I finished off the head with some optional mega Moose Mane and used some UV Free Tuffleye FLEX to hold the fibers at the desired flair and finish off the head...

Almost there

A Cephalopod-a-Saurus with an attitude...
The Phloating Eyez are held fast, hovering over the material and contributing to the overall 3D effect...

Cephalopod-a-Saurus - A Cephalopod-a-Saurus with an attitude...<br />
Pete Gray

Same idea... Different critter...


Pheatherz  Phur n' Phlash...


Some flash

A sparse over coat of a curious yak hair and flash material called "Devil 'n Blend" that I get from the Bear's Den in Taunton, Ma... good stuff if you like synthetic hybrids...


Yak hair and flash

Building up

'Some lemon flavoured Devil'n Blend on the back and more pearl on the belly...

Twist of lemon

Pearl belly

Eyes and a touch of brown

'Phloating Eyes soundly secured and some bunker brown Blend on the back to enhance the illusion...

Eyes and a touch of brown

Tuffleye FLEX to complete the head... Just add water and present to the Phocus Group...

6" of bait - Large, voluminous, big eyez!
6 inches of goodness
Pete Gray


I've also been playing around with my SquidZilla and added a some accoustics...
Tuffleye and mono and rattles... oh my!

A veriation - Autumn colored squiddy thingamajig
The eyes stand out - The large eyes will separate from the dense material, but add little weight since they need no large head to be glued on to.
Pronounced - The phloating eyez are very visible
Finished head - Finish off the head with some optional mega Moose Mane and used some UV Free Tuffleye FLEX
The morning after - Bloodshot phloating eyez
Closeup - Phloating eyes
Big Phloating Eyez!
Pete Gray


Pete Gray's picture

G'day Ron... How'z t...

G'day Ron... How'z things up there in phrozen Maineiac Land?!
Thanks for the kind words... The eyez notion solved several challenges and continues to serve me well... I love when a plan comes together!
Regarding "UV glue"... I've thoroughly tested the Tuffleye, CCG, and Bug-Bond...
I've also used the Loon Knot Sense and Wader Patch and they perform nicely but I haven't tried Loon at the tying station...
Tuffleye FLEX and Bug-Bond hold a highly praised and special place on my list of cutting edge innovative tying tools...
I've used the last of my CCG and won't be returning for any more.
Haven't used epoxy in ages and don't miss is at all... not even a little bit... the Acrylic evolution is amazing!
Take care and stay warm...
Regardz, Pete on the PharSide of the canal


Very fishy looking P...

Very fishy looking Pete, good job! and thank you for the tips on making eyes. Have you tried the LOON brand of UV glue?


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