Peninsula Fly Fishers

Short Topics

Removing Split Shot from a Leader

Quick-Release Netkeeper

A Simple Hook Threader

Eugene Bend

Eugene Sling

Herr Dr. Weber's Medicinal Cork Filler

Buying a NU2U Rod

Building the YIPPEE

Removing Split Shot from Leader

by Mike McGuire

October 2005

Those of us who went on the Upper Sac Fishout learned a nifty trick from Ron Hart, the guide who taught a nymphing workshop for us. This is a quick and easy way to remove "non-removable" split shot from a leader. Thats the simple round type that doesn't have the ears on it for removing it. It's the better stuff to use because those ears on the removable kind account for a lot of snags and loss of flies.

Thumb, Foreceps and Split Shot
A clever way of getting the lead off

What you do is grab the shot with your release forceps aligned with the slit. This makes it real easy to force your thumbnail into the slit and open it. If you grab with the forceps close enough (as not shown here) , you can lever your thumbnail against the forceps. I learned this trick on Saturday morning and used the same piece of shot all weekend.

Quick-Release Netkeeper

by Mike McGuire

There are various ways of attaching a landing net to loop at the back of the collar of a vest. I don't like the magnet one because it inevitably seems to get close enough to my wallet to corrupt the magnetic stripes on my credit cards etc. A scheme I found which I do like uses a modified Fastex buckle. This is the squeeze-from-the-side release buckle you typically find on neoprene waders etc. The one-inch size seems to be about right for a net. REI has them.

The modification is to file or shave down the ears at the sides of the fork part of the buckle. The illustration shows the change. Rounded off that way, a firm pull down on the net releases it; squeezing the buckle's sides isn't necessary.

A Simple Hook Threader

by Mike McGuire

The combination of tiny flies and aging eye--rhymes doesn't it-- but it isn't much fun, especially threading a fine tippet through in poor light. Here's a simple, cheap, non-upscale, non-flyshop solution.

At the sewing notions counter you will find gadgets called needle threaders--about three for $1 in a package. They take the form of a loop of fine, spring wire staked to a thin, dime-sized aluminum plate. To thread a needle you push the loop through the eye, put the thread through the loop--easy to do--and pull it back through.

It's the same procedure to thread a hook eye. But as they come, the needle threaders don't work very well because the tip of the loop is oval-shaped to suit the slot-eye of a needle. It's necessary to pinch down the loop's tip with forceps or pliers to reshape it to a point so it will go through the round eye of a hook.

The last step is to punch a small hole in the plate and attach a bit of line to your new hook threader and the same retractor that holds your nippers.

These needle threaders typically last from one to a hundred flies before the wire breaks, so carry spares. They are affordable.

Eugene Bend
100% Strength

by Ken Eugen

Here's how to tie the Eugene Bend.

  1. Run the tippet end through the hook eye and back up the line.
  2. Form a second loop in the opposite direction with the tag.
  3. Hold the tag end and the hook eye between your fingers.
  4. Wrap the free loop around the standing line three times.
  5. Then bring the tag end over the three wraps and through the end of the free loop, i.e., the loop without the hook.
  6. Pull the tag end until the end loops of the knot are small enough that they cannot slip over the hook eye. The knot should be snug, but not tight, and should be located a short distance from the hook eye.
  7. Wet the knot to lubricate it and protect the monofilament from frictional heat damage.
  8. Then with a smooth steady motion, pull the standing line until the knot slides down the standing line to the hook eye and seats. Seating is the pulling of the knot tightly against the hook. The knot turns inside out, as a result of this seating. You will know that the knot has seated because you will hear and feel a snapping noise.
  9. In addition, a properly tied and seated knot will have a tag end forming a very pronounced V that is not greater than 45 degrees with the standing line.

Never, never use this knot as a loop knot because it requires tightness against the hook. The knot will work well with all tippet sizes down to a 7x.

Updates: If you put a hard spacer (one jaw of a forceps, a prong of the fish releaser, etc) between the hook eye and the loose knot, it will turn over and leave a loop for more fly action. If a fish bites, it might slip tight but that is ok. 

The Eugene Bend can also be tied in five seconds with a forceps for the wraps. Just do not pull the tag end too tight before wetting the knot and pulling the standing line. Or else the knot might not turn over. Pull on your standing line to make sure your knot is tight before fishing.
See this link for images to use forceps.

Eugene Sling
100% Strength

by Ken Eugene

A list of steps for tying the Eugene Sling is not necessary because my diagram is pretty descriptive.

My version of a loop knot is for tying hardware on to a non-slipping, 100% loop. The size of the loop this knot makes is a little difficult to control, but the size of the loop is just cosmetic.

Herr Dr. Weber's Medicinal Cork Filler

by Doug Weber

Here is a cork filler that works for me. Try it for yourself and decide.

The Materials

  • You need a small glass jar about 1 oz in size or a small baby food jar to hold the cork filler.
  • Collect the cork fines from a couple of handle projects. Sieve the large chunks out by rubbing the dust through a section of nylon stocking.
  • You will also need Duco cement, acetone, lacquer thinner, and a little bit of paint or pigment to lighten the color of the cork.
  • For the final step in finishing the application of filler, you need a smooth rag, some rubber gloves, and some lacquer thinner.

Make The Filler

  1. Fill the glass container about 1/4 full of cork dust and add Duco cement to wet it. Add some acetone and mix well.
  2. Add a little dabundefinedvery small as it goes a long wayundefinedof color to lighten the darkened cork filler. Mix well.
  3. Add additional cork dust, cement, and acetone as needed to fill the bottle about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Mix well.
  4. Test the color and consistency by filling some holes in a poor cork ring. The mix should be sticky and adhere well, as well as closely match the cork color.
  5. Store the cork filler tightly closed.

Apply The Filler

  1. First clean the cork imperfection(s) with a small pick.
  2. Press the filler mixture into a hole leaving a shallow mound.
  3. When you have finished applying filler to all the grip's imperfections, let it sit for about an hour.
  4. To clean off the excess filler, you need a smooth rag, some rubber gloves, and some lacquer thinner. Do this outside! Put on the gloves, moisten the rag with lacquer thinner, and rub over each filled spot. The solvent will carry away the excess filler. Go slowly and check your work. It is easy to pull out too much of the filler. When done, give a carefull final wipe and let set to dry.

The cork filler should last indefinitely. If it gets too stiff, add some acetone and a little lacquer thinner. Store tightly closed!

An alternative is to use "Barge" cement. It is a rubber-based adhesive used in industry. The process is the same, but you will use both acetone and lacquer thinner as solvents.

Points To Ponder

These solvents are quite toxic. It only takes a few cc's (~ 20 or so) to evaporate into a small room to bring the vapor concentration to the point that it begins to cause you harm. It is best to work with these outside while wearing disposable rubber gloves. It keeps the liquid off your hands so that it will not defat the skin nor be adsorbed through it. Also, if you smoke, you will do it only once while working with this stuff. These solvents are very flammable. Keep them away from any source of ignition.

Buying a NU2U Rod

by Wayne Taylor

Some things to ponder prior to purchasing a new2u fly rod. Foremost, on what fish and water will the rod be used? Consider your strength and coordination. What is your fishing experience?. Correct choice of line weight, rod length and action depend on this evaluation.

You want a good casting and fish fighting tool. You want good value for your money. So, what makes a quality rod? Generally speaking the more expensive the rod, the better the quality of material used in the guides, reel seat, and grip. Look for good workmanship - maybe better aesthetics, too.

For guides, a rule of thumb is one guide, not including the tip-top, for each foot of rod length. Fewer guides permit the line to sag and slap on the rod, creating more friction when casting. There is a right size for guides, too. Very small guides will create more friction and very large guides will permit more sag and slapping. The number of stripping guides varies. Lighter weight rods need only one stripping guide, while heavier weight rods should be equipped with two.

Should you have an up- or downlocking reel seat? Most fisherpeople prefer uplocking. If you wish to hold your rod near the reel, a downlocking seat subjects your handto agitation at the juncture of the cork and the reel seat. On heavier weight rods it is nice to have a double locking screw system.

Cork is preferred for the handle, as theoretically it feels warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather. Cork doesn't get overly slick when wet, and it has great cushioning properties. Check the cork for quality. Are there any soft or loose spots? The less filler, the better. Shape and size of the handle are a matter of personal preference. Is the grip sized right and comfortably shaped for your hand for casting and fish fighting?

Next consider the workmanship and overall aesthetics of the rod. Most manufacturers polish their rods upon removal from the furnaces to eliminate any rough spots and the thread used to hold the graphite on the mandrels. (One company does not polish their rods. Know which company that is?) Well-epoxyed, short, thread wraps extending just off the foot of the guides is the order of the day. The more thread and epoxy, the more weight, which dampens the rod's action.

Speaking of which, I recommend that one check the action of the rod. Most people pick up a rod and shake it several times, and that is that. Here's the way to really learn something about the rod. Hold the rod firmly, parallel to the floor, and whip the rod with some vigor. Watch where the rod flexes the most. If the rod bends in the upper one-third, you know that the rod is considered fast action; in the middle, it is medium action. If the rod bends down into the butt section, and you can even feel the handle bend in your hand, you know that the action of the rod is considered slow.

When you have a likely candidate, give it the real test. Take the rod, equipped with reel and line, to a pond for some casting, and check for these qualities. (Fishing is not a good way to make these evaluations.) Start with balance. Is the fully equipped rod tip heavy or butt heavy? Cast the rod for feel. Does the action suit your casting stroke? The rod should perform a number of tasks well. Test it thoroughly. Roll cast. Pick up thirty-five feet of line from the water and lay it out in a different direction. See that it mends and controls line on the water easily and accurately.Turn over a leader with a large fly, and present it with some delicacy at long distances. Will the rod deliver a fly accurately seventy feet and beyond? Does it shoot line easily? Will the rod load sufficiently with thirty to thirty-five feet of line off the rod tip for quick pick up and shoot? Try to form tight loops to get line speed and distance Does the rod generate high speed for quick, powerful delivery into the wind? Is there enough strength in the butt section to pressure a running fish? Could you cast repeatedly for long periods without fatigue?

If in your opinion the rod fulfills all the above criteria, then just possibly you have found the rod that is for you.

Building the YIPPEE
by Dennis Kellet

As Mike McGuire just did, a few seasons ago I confronted my pile of gear and decided it was more than I wanted to carry in the mountains. It turned out that I didn't need more even when I wasn't carrying it up and down at high altitudes, so it has been my kit for trout, bass, steelhead, and even in boats. People look at me funny, but they did that before. Besides, you can't be a flyfisherman and worry about your sartorial aspect.

This rig doesn't cost much, doesn't weigh much, and doesn't get in the way of casting. Building it is easy. If you'd like to put one together, or see mine, just let me know.

An ethafoam rectangle and a piece of neoprene of the same width, but a little longer, are laced together--just like you did at summer camp. These form the basis of the article. The ethafoam is rigid and light. The neoprene is stretchy and tacky. A perfect combination of properties to make a pocket which things don't fall out of, and to stick to my chest to lessen swinging as I move around.

Thin bungee cord, tied through a pair of brass grommets, is the neck strap. I use thin bungee for several reasons: first of all, it holds the Y!ppee! high on the chest, out of the way when you are casting or stripping line; it eliminates the need for a clasp--it stretches to go on and off; if you get snagged somehow, it doesn't jerk your cabesa, and the knots holding it on will come undone if pulled very hard. The thin cord doesn't cut into the neck because it supports so little weight.

The same bungee material is used to make tails on several of the items I carry. Tails make it easier to fish them out and harder to drop them in the water. Lastly, I keep my nipper and tweezers on a short length. Because they are so close to the work they do, seldom is it necessary to use the stretchiness of the bungee.

The overall size, 4 1/4" x 7 1/4", was originally matched to two ordinary small ripple-foamfly boxes. It has worked out well for large steelhead boxes, and the two-sided Plano box I use for bass and bluegill bugs.

What I can't carry on the Y!ppee! fits in my shirt pockets and on my belt: a few tippet spools and a small zip-lock bag with a home-made leader wallet in one pocket; an extra reel spool cassette (sometimes) in the other; on my wading belt are my net in its scabbard and a water-filter bottle in its sack. The sack has a little extra room; so that's where the insect vial and net, and UV wader repair go.

Dennis Kellett

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