Monday, April 10, 2017

Worm Hooks for Bass Flies

When I was going through my hook drawers and taking inventory last week, I came across a few packs of Texas-rigged worm style hooks for bass that I hadn't played with in a long time.  There's not a lot of real estate on these hooks to tie material on, so you have to do what you can with a small amount of space.  I've seen several flies by guys like Sam Looper and Gunner Brammar using worm hooks lately, and it got the ball rolling on something new.

What I really wanted to do was incorporate a Slow Rolla tail somehow, but the problem was going to be fouling.  How could the tail be added...and where on the minimize fouling and make it look natural?  My solution was to use some heavy mono, doubled over and tied in so that the mono would not interfere with the hook point but still position the tail behind the hook.  I did this using 20lb mono, doubled over, and secured in the vise.  I tied the Slow Rolla to the stub of doubled mono (about 1/2" section).

When tied in, the mono does the primary goal quite well: positioning the tail.  It's stiff enough to keep the tail where it needs to be, but flexible enough to easily push out of the way of the hook on a strike.  The extra benefit to this is snag resistance.  When I tested this fly in a pond yesterday, I purposely casted the fly into cover, both woody and vegetation.  This fly did not hang on cover one time.

The remainder of the fly is actually quite simple.  I tied in a small amount of bucktail to provide a little body to the fly.  The only flash I added was a single piece of lateral scale to each side on top of the bucktail.  I then topped the fly off with craft fur reverse tied, and added a little barring and 3D eyes.   

The bass in the pond yesterday were very sluggish after back-to-back nights with lows in the low 30's.  I had virtually no strikes on any of the standard bass fodder, my usual Murdich Minnows and other streamer patterns.  This fly did provoke two strikes, but both were tentative short strikes at the tail.  They were just not fully committed, but the fact that this pattern did get a few strikes and some interest was a good sign, to me.  I tied the test patterns on a 1/0 extra wide gap bass worm hook, which seems to be the "wheel house" size for this pattern.  It's tough to go smaller because worm hooks don't come much smaller.  I did try a 3/0 version last night which turned out fine, but is a bit bigger than most bass flies I use.

The recipe for the original is as follows:

Hook - extra wide gap worm hook 1/0
Tail - Slow Rolla medium size tied to 20lb mono
Body - bucktail
Flash - Lateral Scale
Head - craft fir/Psuedo Hair
Eyes - 3D

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