Viking Lars | Wednesday, 26 January 2022

I’m tying pike flies at the moment as the last Saturday-pages have shown. In recent years, small glass rattles on pike flies have been quite a trend. I’ve only used them a few times, so I really can’t report on any noticeable difference in catches (at least none I can attribute to presence or absence of a rattle).

Does a little, high pitched rattling sound matter when I 95cm pike spots a 20cm pike fly? I don’t know. The fly sends out plenty of low frequency sound to begin with as it’s pulled through the water. Pike have sensible side lines like all fish. But they are also have remarkably consequent strike periods. It’s also quite clear - especially during winter, that they go on pause when digesting a meal.

During off-strike periods and when digestin it’s still possible to trigger a strike. After longer period with no strikes, having changed fly and fishing depth/speed and other parameters, I often switch to a smaller fly. This sometimes work.

Now I’ve a handful of flies, big, small, on hooks and tubes, with rattles to the arsenal and maybe the rattles also help in triggering a lazy pike?

The Ahrex PR 378 GB Swim Bait hook was designed specifically for tying on rattles and other “accessories”. As well as swimming up-side down, of course. See the two straight parts around the bend? They make it so easy to tie on rattles securely. I try to avoid any part of my flies rely on glue, but to secure these, a few dabs of UV-resin really make a difference.

I begin with tying on the thread in 3-4 points, with small gaps of naked hook shank in between. I want the resin to connect to the shank as well as the thread. I add a small bead of resin on the inside of the bend, on one of the straight sections. I place the rattle and set the resin.

With monofilament thread (to ensure the UV-light shines through and set all resin), I make wraps 2-3-4 places (depending on rattle size), once again spaced a little apart, so the resin connects to both hook, rattles and thread. Cure everything and the rattle sits extremely well. I could cover the rattle in bling, but I just leave it as is and continue tying the fly as usual.

When I sit with the fly in my hand, the rattling is very audible and since sound travels farther and faster under water, I have no doubt pike will pick it up. But will it make a difference? I will if I gain confidence in it - otherwise we might never know for certain.

Have a great weekend!