Credit Due!

Credit Due!

Martyn White | Thursday, 4 November 2021

The other day I shared a photo of a well chewed billfish tube that I had tied for Juan Wei to use on the Rompin sails. It's nothing particularly special but I had given it a core of body tubing to keep the feathers from collapsing against the tube, much like the fatboy mullet which uses EZ body to give the wing fibers shape and volume. The result is a fly that is almost as wide as my hand and will stay that size in the water. The idea being that the fly would be much easier to both see and feel/hear because of its significantly larger profile yet still be quick on the delivery as there isn't much real bulk in the fly. I'm sure other people have done this, but it's the first I've seen it on a billfish fly.

A surprising number of people started telling me I should be giving credit to Blane Chocklett or even that I was ripping him off. I was a bit taken aback at first, I mean reversed tubing bodies have been around since before I started tying flies almost 30 years ago! People were using tubing to create structure in the body of their flies without reversing them even earlier than that, Davy Wotton's deadly floating shad was the first I tied, probably in 1993-4. I don't know when Jack Gartside started with corsair tubing but probably before that too. At the same time I had people telling me that I had to come up with a name for another tube I tied and posted a photo of... It was an offshore Bob's Banger, tied following the exact steps listed in Pop Fleyes.

I think it's largely to do with the way the fishing media is now, so often we see the marketing pushing "new" materials or the next celebrity. Bob Popovic's innovation in bucktail and feather probably isn't selling a lot of new product or rebranded old stuff for the material companies, Blane Chocklett's flies with their specific line of materials are.
When Dragon tails-the American chenille based ones not the Pacchiarini wiggle tails- started being pushed again a few yeas ago a couple of people asked me if I was using them or had tried them, "Aye, 20 years ago" was probably not the answer they expected. Much like last time, these tails are fading from the limelight. Because although they look great in a swim video they're actually shite and fall apart should a fish so much as look at them. If we've not destroyed the planet by 2050 they'll probably be resurrected by the marketing people at hareline and whoever the face of the day turns out to be. Those of us who've been around since before the internet probably see through most of it, but people who've taken up the sport since can be forgiven for thinking that the folk with their names on the packets invented these techniques. In Blane's book, which is very well put together and well worth getting, he makes a lot of reference to the shoulders he's standing on. But the average Joe probably doesn't read tying books, or if they do probably not the introduction. Now I'm not saying Blane Chocklett hasn't made some great innovations in fly tying. The gamechanger is a great concept, although I think there's a danger of jumping the shark with that one, if it hasn't already happened. With the T-bone and Flypala he's taken the body braid idea and run with it resulting in 2 fantastic patterns. But the function of the tubing in those isn't really what it is in my tube. Either way, I'd say I owe more to whoever came up with the fatboy mullet for the idea. If I knew who that was, I'd give them credit.


I tied another for the POD I've left the fron 1.5" of the tube bare to accept a popper head or bubble cone if desired.