We are partial to Amnesia mono because of its color, but any mono will do. We use 30-40-lb mono on larger flies, and 15-lb on flies sized 6-10. The beads may be varied to adjust the weight distribution; for example, for crawdad patterns, we use two brass beads under the head and lighter glass beads under the tail. This ability to tune the weighting can improve the action and reduce the chance that the fly will fall head down into a crack between two rocks, as sometimes happens with other weighted flies.
There is no need to use costly, machined beads for a Bouncer: inexpensive brass and glass beads from a craft store work fine. Black non-magnetic hematite beads will not corrode in salt water, come in various shapes and sizes and cost 2-3 cents each at a craft store. The zonker-style Bouncer was made with hollow brass beads used to make spinners. Important:
unless a lot of weight is needed, it is better to use fewer beads or smaller beads, because fewer beads click better and the fly casts more easily. As a side benefit, a lightweight Bouncer keel does less damage to a rod than lead eyes will if the fly should hit the rod during casting. (Note: a 3-mm bead weighs about 1 grain, whereas most solid metal eyes weigh 5-10 grains; for comparison, the first 30 feet of a 7-wt line weighs about 200 grains). However, for some fish (e. g., permit) a sleek keel may be preferable, so the added expense of tungsten may be justified.
An assortment of gold-plated beads especially selected for Bouncer flies is available from the All Season company www.allseason.com
. These beads (about 900 at about 2.5 cents each) will tie Bouncers from size 12 to larger than 3/0.
Stringing the beads can be a little tedious; loading the beads beforehand on large safety pins is good for bead storage and can speed up the process of slipping them on the mono at the tying vise. In some cases, the beads can be loaded on the mono beforehand, and kept in place with a knot, as shown in the buggerBouncer above; a number of loaded keels may be made in a long string and cut apart as needed.
The rearmost bead can often be replaced by a short section of PonyBeadLacing (PBL, described in more detail later) ; this material is soft vinyl tubing, 2 mm in diameter, that is easy to handle, and protects the end of the mono keel from being chafed by raw edges on the beads. This material is often used to position the weights somewhat more forward. Look for it at JoAnns or online. On the keel, you may want to try faceted beads, plastic pearls, glow-in-the-dark beads, even sequins to push a little more water.
To continue with construction techniques and tips applied to some old-favorite flies, go to:Next Page --