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Trying to up my Stimulator game. so I'm pretty sure the tail is to long. Where else can I improve on this? I'm all out of the right size grizzly and have to clip oversized down for now. This one turned out better than the one I posted a few days ago I think.
Begging for critiques please!!!

 

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Trying to up my Stimulator game. so I'm pretty sure the tail is to long. Where else can I improve on this? I'm all out of the right size grizzly and have to clip oversized down for now. This one turned out better than the one I posted a few days ago I think.
Begging for critiques please!!!


The only criticism I would offer is to agree the tail looks to long
 

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I like the advance planning idea Rod. Going to have to borrow that idea. Never really thought about that aspect before.


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So is this getting better everyone??? Changed up the hook used and shortened the tail and the wing.

 

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Looking good!


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Ron... I use different materials and shoot for different color as well. For the tail, I use natural red squirrel tail. It doesn't flare so much and acts like an extension of the body behind the hook. Body material is two colors of orange, dark and light, dark up front. The rear color is more Palomino. Forward hackle is natural red/orange like behind the wing. That portion of the fly ahead of the wing is shorter which condenses the hackle for better flotation. I think it looks more natural also. I use died calf tail for the wing as it's more durable than deer/elk and I can get it in the exact color I want. The main reason I shoot for a darker fly is to make it more visible against the sky. The second reason is because the Golden Stone is somewhat dark to begin with, at least the Deschutes version is. I trim the hackle on the bottom of the fly so it will sit flat on the water and not bob along like a fluffy cotton ball. This increases visibility and looks more natural.
 

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Beginning to tie & have a couple of questions (more than a couple, but i’ll try to keep it brief)
Any tips for these two items?
1. Whip finish - I seem to catch up the bobbin leg of the thread (long length of the figure 4) and wrap it around the hook instead of using the short leg of the 4 to make wraps around the bobbin leg. It seems to just get caught up and drawn around. Not anywhere as clean as the vids I see. Tips to clean this up and keep the bobbin leg in place during the tie-off?
2. Folded strip wing case - I keep tearing or pulling out the fold-over. I end up with wings instead of wing case. I’m using turkey tail.
 

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Beginning to tie & have a couple of questions (more than a couple, but i’ll try to keep it brief)
Any tips for these two items?
1. Whip finish - I seem to catch up the bobbin leg of the thread (long length of the figure 4) and wrap it around the hook instead of using the short leg of the 4 to make wraps around the bobbin leg. It seems to just get caught up and drawn around. Not anywhere as clean as the vids I see. Tips to clean this up and keep the bobbin leg in place during the tie-off?
2. Folded strip wing case - I keep tearing or pulling out the fold-over. I end up with wings instead of wing case. I’m using turkey tail.
Kinda hard to answer either one of those questions without a video to see just what it is you're doing.
 

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As Plugs said hard to understand your question but I will try. On the the whip finish, the once you establish the figure four the whip finisher should be held vertically out from the hook eye and the thread spool held vertically back from the hook eye, then just move the whip finish handle around the hook eye. This probably is more confusing. I have helped instruct tying classes and student usually struggle with the whip finisher.

On the wing pulling out question it sounds like you may not be securing the feather with enough tying thread. What I do is set the feather behind the bead or hook eye then wrap back to the point you will bent the feather forward, dub your thorax and the just fold the feather forward. Hope this help and does mot confuse you.
 

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Beginning to tie & have a couple of questions (more than a couple, but i’ll try to keep it brief)
Any tips for these two items?
1. Whip finish - I seem to catch up the bobbin leg of the thread (long length of the figure 4) and wrap it around the hook instead of using the short leg of the 4 to make wraps around the bobbin leg. It seems to just get caught up and drawn around. Not anywhere as clean as the vids I see. Tips to clean this up and keep the bobbin leg in place during the tie-off?
2. Folded strip wing case - I keep tearing or pulling out the fold-over. I end up with wings instead of wing case. I’m using turkey tail.
A couple of thoughts:

Are you using a whip finishing tool or your hand? Either way, make sure that the standing part (coming out of the bobbin / long length) of the figure 4 is parallel to the hook shank with the bobbin held behind the hook bend and the wrap part of the figure 4 is perpendicular to the hook shank. Make sure the standing (long leg of the 4) thread is held tightly along the hook shank. Any slack can cause fouling. Before you whip finish, make a 1/2 hitch to secure your current wraps will help to stabilize things before you whip finish. Crowding the hook eye / not leaving enough room to finish is a common problem for us all. There are a lot of good videos on how to make a whip finish. Try practicing on a bare hook. You can do it over and over, then simply slice off the wraps and use the hook to tie your fly.

As to the wing case, is it breaking off or simply coming loose? If it's breaking off, the material may be too coarse, old and/or dried out. Try using a less brittle more supple material and slightly less thread pressure on the first couple wraps. I use Pheasant Tail for smaller flies. If the wing case is coming loose, try making your first 2 or 3 wraps as usual, then lift and make a couple of tight wraps in front of the material you intend cut off. When you wrap in front of the material angle the thread 45 degrees back towards the hook bend to pull the wraps tightly in front of the material you intend to cut off. Again, not crowding the hook eye with the thorax will help alleviate a lot of problems. As NCL said, hope this is clear. These things are hard to describe with words and not pictures.

I watch a lot of tying videos to help me learn new and expand my current skills. Also you might check in with a fly shop and have them demonstrate. Taking a tying class is another option. Good luck and hang in there. We all started as novices. All the best, Copperman.
 

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Thank you for the comments
I will see if I can adjust per your tips & report back after some practice
YouTube has a lot of good videos using a tool or by hand.
 

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Written words for a movement won’t ever be perfect but it’s what I have access to currently. Unfortunately my LFS has their tying class on hold per pandemic. The suggestion to go in and ask for specific help is probably a good one. I’ll follow up that way if I get really frustrated. A person watching over my shoulder would be great, for sure.
I’m def using Youtube a lot, but a lot goes on off-camera, so there is often more YouTubing than tying, lol, to get the missing dtls from one vid on another

Re: whip finish (using a matarelli style tool)
The comment from CopperMan re: holding the bobbin just behind the hook (as opposed to several inches behind) seems to reduce my opportunities for screwing up. Not even sure if that detail was intended... I know the bobbin hand has to be somewhat flexible [but always on axis] to keep the figure 4 working, but not carrying so much open thread length seemed to help. My practice whip finishes went more smoothly. I still struggle with the bobbin resistance and thread tension so that isn’t helping the whip finish process (or other tying-in processes either).
So, anyway, a step forward...thank you to all for all assistance

Soft hackle attempt
 

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Looks good. Another suggestion is when you watch You Tube videos, especially one about patterns, watch the tiers actions. I have learned many techniques watching what the tires is doing and how he is applying the materials, I know this had helped me



Written words for a movement won’t ever be perfect but it’s what I have access to currently. Unfortunately my LFS has their tying class on hold per pandemic. The suggestion to go in and ask for specific help is probably a good one. I’ll follow up that way if I get really frustrated. A person watching over my shoulder would be great, for sure.
I’m def using Youtube a lot, but a lot goes on off-camera, so there is often more YouTubing than tying, lol, to get the missing dtls from one vid on another

Re: whip finish (using a matarelli style tool)
The comment from CopperMan re: holding the bobbin just behind the hook (as opposed to several inches behind) seems to reduce my opportunities for screwing up. Not even sure if that detail was intended... I know the bobbin hand has to be somewhat flexible [but always on axis] to keep the figure 4 working, but not carrying so much open thread length seemed to help. My practice whip finishes went more smoothly. I still struggle with the bobbin resistance and thread tension so that isn’t helping the whip finish process (or other tying-in processes either).
So, anyway, a step forward...thank you to all for all assistance

Soft hackle attempt
 
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