The world's best flyfishing site.

Box of Tricks
by Lars Chr. Bentsen

I usually carry a little box of tricks with me, especially when I fish rivers and lakes. It's a little box of weighting-tricks. Let it be said straight away - I much prefer bringing the fly to its correct depth with the line. But sometimes, some extra weight on the fly is a great advantage.

If you're fishing deep in small, narrow rivers, a heavy fly breaks the surface instantly and sinks faster to the strike zone. In the lakes, the same applies and it's easier to hold the fly at the desired depth. But the little box of tricks makes the greatest difference when you're stuck, and feel the need to get down a little deeper, and haven't got a sinker with you - or if it's just to swing a Wooly Bugger through a single, promising bend on the river.

And - fishing heavy flies on floating lines and long(isn) leaders imparts a rather special action to the fly. More of an up/down jigging motion than a sinking line will offer. And, when fishing near the bottom in shallow areas, any sort of sinker usually equals trouble, and the weighted fly and floating line is the way to go.

Beads, tubes and discs offer a fast change of weight

I have different sized brass and tungsten beads in the box (I'm a little low at the moment as you can see). I also have a small selection of brass discs (and even some plastic ones). I spent the time lining them all with plastic tubing, so they don't wear through the leader. I've found the Guideline FITS size Small tube to be the best. It's soft enough to stretch, so it can be pulled through, even if the hole in the bead or the disc is a little too small. Simply make a long, sloping cut to produce a long point, and stick it through as far as you can, then grab it with flat nosed pliers and slowly pull through.

Before doing this, burn a small collar on one end, and make sure the piece of tube is long enough to be cut off after pulling through, so you can burn a collar on the other side as well. That locks the tube in place.

Discs and beads can be combined for more weight and more effect.

I also have small pieces of tungsten rubber tubing in the box - and at different lengths. This can also be pulled onto the leader in front of the fly, but I most often use it higher up - between leader and tippet, where the knot keeps it in place. There's not an awful lot of weight in it - and it is a little weird to cast, but it works well and provides a little extra depth when pulling a fly.

Especially in shallow water situations, the tungsten-tube-a-little-ways-up-the-leader is a perfect solution. With this, you can fish a small and light weight fly near the bottom.

It's well worth the time to sit down an evening and take the time to make a small selection like this. My little box of tricks has often saved the day for me!

Thanks for reading,


Return to whence you came
Return to home page