Monday, January 3, 2011

Tying Flies with Acetate Floss

I thought I'd do a quick post on this subject since it was a subject that got very little attention when I started about a year ago.  Acetate Floss is a material that can be used to make very realistic shellbacks and nymph backs.  The floss is very similar to the standard floss that is used in fly tying.  When treated with acetone, the floss melts and becomes hard and translucent.  This can make extremely realistic cases for your nymphs and streamers.  You can achieve very different results depending on the technique that you use.  I've wound, braided and layered the floss for different looks.  The best way to find out what works best is to get creative.  One tip that I picked up was to use a paintbrush to coat the floss.  If you dip the floss into the acetone, it often melts completely through, exposing the lead wire or whatever materials you have underneath.  I've attached a couple of photos of some flies I've created using the various techniques I've mentioned.  If you would like to purchase any of these flies, please contact me at  You can also see them in the shop page in the blog.  I'm going to try and work on a video tutorial to show some of the techniques that I've used.

You can see here that Acetate Floss is available in a variety of colors.  These are only a few that are available, I tend to stick with the most natural looking hues for my flies.
 Here is a great alternative to a worm pattern in high water.  Dead drifted or on the swing, trout seem to love it.  I just simply wrapped the floss forward.
Here is a great Caddis pattern that I made by attaching 2 strands of Caddis Yellow and Light Brown.  I would each color and wrapped them forward.
Here is my version of the Jelly Cord Caddis.  I used 4 strands of Insect Green Acetate Floss and wrapped forward, finished with a Peacock Herl collar.
This was my best producing caddis pattern of 2010.  I wound the Floss and wrapped it, then wrapped over one strand on top.  You can see the segmentation underneath the top layer.  Finished with an Ostrich Herl collar.
 This simple pattern was my favorite this past season.  Simply a wrapped hook shank with a fine copper rib.  The collar is muskrat.
 Another variation of the above pattern.  I wound the floss and wrapped it forward.  A layer of floss wrapped on top, finished with goose biots and a peacock collar.
 This stonefly tied in a size 10 is absolutely deadly.  This too is formed with wound Acetate Floss, with a layer wrapped on top.  The wing case is also Acetate Floss.
This stonefly is a standard pattern with a wound Acetate Floss rib on the fly body.

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