Top tips for tying a slim fly

There are certainly many advantages to having slim flies, mainly to do with proportions and sink rate. Slim flies are more realistic in size to the natural especially when you add a bead it easy to add to much bulk. Slim flies also do not create as much drag so will sink quicker.

Here are some top tips to get your flies on a diet.

  1. Use thinner thread -You will need to use a good quality bobbin but using size 8/0 instantly makes it easier to slim your flies down. Now you can get down to 16/0
  2. Use finer materials e.g. dubbing, wire, tail – Softer materials such as opossum are certainly easier to use for slimming down as you can dub it on tighter to you thread. You can also buy materials specifically for slimming down under the name superfine dubbing.
  3. Use thread as a body – This is one of my favourite methods for getting a slim fly as thread doesn’t trap air bubbles or need to be wet to increase the sink rate.  On dry flies it doesn’t get waterlogged and heavy.
  4. Undersize your bead – By doing this you make the fly slimmer as you don’t need to build the thorax as big to meet the bead.
  5. Use less wraps – I use very little wraps to cover my materials as often the overlap when adding an additional material is enough to bind it all down and if you’re a bit worried about it holding together just add a small amount of glue.
  6. Use less materials e.g. dub on thinner – Here is a big one for me as one thing that I notice with a lot of tiers is how much dubbing they try and add to their thread at any one time. Take your dubbing and then half the amount you have then spread as far as you can. It’s almost impossible to have to little as there is always enough to cover the thread. This gives the added advantage of being able to taper your fly as you can layer the wraps.
  7. Cover your fingers in wax – A small amount on your fingers will help to grip the dubbing tighter making a thinner rope.
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