Ever wondered how or why a fisher makes their hooks look so like a crab? Well we did! So tune in below to learn how to tie a fly and some of the cool reasons why they design them so uniquely.

Table of Contents

1. Watch the Video
2. Read on How to Tie a Fly
3. Prescription Fishing Sunglasses Online at SportRx

Join our Costa Ambassador, Ryan, and expert fly-fisherman, Kevin Townsend, as they talk to an expert on how to tie a fly.

How To Tie a Fly

Ryan & Kevin are joined by Thomas Williams, an expert fly maker, to show us how to properly tie a fly.

First Step

Start by putting a hook in the stabilizer which is called a vice. Our expert fly fishing guest, Thomas, starts with a number 4 hook in the vice and he begins a basic thread wrap around the needle of the hook. Thomas adds that you want to make sure the threading is even and symmetrical. After cutting the tail end of the thread, Thomas grabs fox tail to trail the tail. Once the wrap is secure and the tail is flashed, you get a hook that is more noticeable. Thomas calls this the "fighting floater".

Next Up

Thomas ties in cactus chenille, which makes the transition into the body of the crab. These are all items you can buy at a fly tying store. He then wraps this chenille to the hook and ties eyes in a figure eight wrap to the hook as well. Here he uses a simple bead to make this design, he wraps and super glues this part for added security, and makes sure the entire wrap is symmetrical.

In the video, Thomas uses a floating crab that sits on the surface of the water to lure fish to come up and take it off the surface.

Third Step

Take the chenille and give it a figure eight wrap around the needle of the hook. Make sure to keep it tight and then trim off the excess without cutting off the thread. Now he ties in the front legs or the claws, which is a little piece of really thin razor foam. Cut a very thin strip of this foam and tie two knots in it to make the legs. To tie in the back legs, Thomas uses one feather of saddle hackle. This simple wrap is called palmering a feather. At this point, the tying part is done.

Fourth Step

Once you've trimmed up the edges of the thread, and the feather is palmed, you'll start with the bottom or the belly of the crab. He gets these thin wallpaper-like pieces to glue to the bottom of the needle and sets it right in the middle of the flared legs. Repeat the same method for the other side of the needle and be sure the base is set. Give it a quick squeeze so the glue is secure and the whole vision of the crab should be ready to go.

Final Touch

Give a snip to the crabs claws and paint them orange for females, blue for males. It might seem like a lot of materials, but Thomas says this is one of the simplest patterns.

"And there you have it. This makes a red fish lose their mind"


Now you know how to tie a fly! Where will you go fly fishing with this new found knowledge? Leave your destination or any questions you may have in the comment section below.

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