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Prime Fly's One Minute Tying Tip: Trimming Around Your Beadheads

This is the first of an ongoing series on Instagram where I showcase a few tying tips. The one benefit to tying thousands of flies, is that I've tried a lot of techniques. For me each one is situational, but it's always good to know more than one way to something.

Okay confession time: This is not an original idea. Tim Flagler of Tightline's Productions has been doing them for a while, and they are sponsored by Orvis. I love Tim Flagler's videos. You can check out his Full Length and One Minute Tying Tips HERE

These are simple Gifs I created to just show case a particular point. I do have full length videos on my Youtube channel. Be forewarned- there are 4 videos, and they aren't well captured. I'm working on that. 

But, for new or intermediate tyers I think these will give you a little bit of insight and clarity on specific situations. 

Situation #1- You are tying a beadhead nymph, in this case I"m tying a sulphur nymph. You have tied in the tails. There are a few things you could do. You could cutt the butts clean around the back of the thorax, and use thread wraps to tie them down. You could wrap back the butts to behind the bead and trim, and then use wraps to clean up the butt ends. 

Or you can do this. I wrap the waste all the way back to the beadhead. I then lift the materials, and using the bead as leverage, I put the back edge of my scissors against the bead and snip. Using this technique ensures a very clean tie off, where additional trimming or thread wraps is not necessary. 

This technique is especially useful when tying flies that need a clean, tapered underbody. Flies such as the Perdigon, or Thread Body Frenchies. By using the waste material you help build up the void behind the bead. This step saves around 2 thread passes. That doesn't sound like much, but if you tie 10,000's of flies like I do, it adds up quick. 

To those who are concerned with dulling your scissors- man up. You aren't cutting directly into the bead, it's merely glancing off of it after they squeeze together. 





I'm also going to show another situation where you can use this same technique. Again, cutting the butts off on flies using that technique is situational to the type of flies being tied. However, lets take a look at trimming body materials behind a bead. In this example, I have wrapped my Mottled Turkey Feather fibers to behind the bead, creating a very realistic Sulphur Nymph variegated body. 


You can try to reach in with your scissor tips, trim a few times and clean up the mess you created with thread. But, I think this way is cleaner. Again, place the back edge of your scissors behind the bead and squeeze. The result is a clean tie off, and no additional thread wraps are required. 

I hope you enjoyed these fly tying tips. If you have any questions you would like answered about fly tying, comment below and I'll do my best to post up a tip to help you! 

If you could take a second to comment or share this post, it would mean the world to me. You can also follow me on Instagram, @primeflycompany

Daniel Podobed
Prime Fly Company

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