Friday, February 24, 2012

Step by Step Soft Hackle Baitfish


Hook: Gamakatsu SC15 size 1/0 (I prefer the mustad 34007. Longer shank so more room for collar.)
Thread: 3/0 Rusty Brown
Tail: Rusty Brown Marabou and Silver Mylar Tube Size Small
Body: Pearl Diamond Braid
Flash: Pearl Flashabou 
Collar: Rusty Brown and Chartruese Soft Hackle (marabou) Palmered

Step 1: Place hook in vise and wrap thread down to bend

Step 2: Select a piece of "good" marabou. Generally look for a a stem that is long and thin. Strip off 1/2"-1" off the bottom. Prepare your mylar tube by pulling the core out of it. Slip marabou stem inside and pull through to form a tail. 

Step 3: Hold tail up to hook shank and trim to size. I like to cover 3/4 of the hook shank with the mylar tube to leave room for collar. Be sure to keep mylar tube/tail on the top of the hook shank. When tail is in place put a couple drops of zap at the end of the tail to secure the marabou to the mylar. 

Step 4: Advance thread up hook shank up to where the mylar tube stopped. Tie in pearl diamond braid and wrap towards rear of hook shank, stopping where tail was tied in. Advance thread forward near eye of hook. Palmer braid forward stopping where mylar ended (3/4 up hook shank).

Step 5: Select 3-4 pieces of pearl flashabou. Double it over and cut, then double over again and cut. Tie in just in front of braid.

Step 6: Select 1 or 2 soft hackles (marabou). Clean off lower fuzz and cut thick stem base off. Tie in where you tied in the flashabou. Palmer soft hackle forward. Take your time and make sure you hold hackle fibers back so you do not palmer over them.

Step 7: Select a good piece of chartreuse soft hackle. Clean stem like you did in the previous step. Tie in and palmer 2-3 times, depending how much accent color you want. Form nice taper with room you have left and head cement. *NOTE* Since soft hackle is..well soft.. you can wrap the thread back on it a bit to make a nice taper and get the soft hackle fibers to flow back well. 

Hope the step by step inspires you to venture out and try something new or maybe something you haven't done in a while. This is my first soft hackle pattern and I had a good time tying it. As always, feel free to ask questions if you have them.


  1. I just got some of the mylar tubing in a grab bag and had no clue what to make with it. Thanks for the idea. You're flies are really nice.

  2. Thanks Stealth! I think that is probably where my mylar tubing came from too! Its one of those materials that sit in my stuff for a while before I find something cool to do.

    You could also try out a D.L. Goddard Glass minnow if you feel like messing with epoxy (or better yet, clear cure goo). Here is a link to the master himself, tying it