After all those big streamers with lots of work to tie them, I was in the mood for something smaller and most of all, easier to tie.
This is Long Chenille. I had this stuff laying around in one of my drawers for a while now, and looked at it from time to time with the idea of trying something with it, but I never did.
This is very soft material, so I wanted to combine it with something equally soft as tail material. I started off with Polar Fibre and I like the results as well, but Polar Fibre is rather short (about 6 cm), which delivered me flies from about 8 to 9 cm long. Now these will probably work well for zander and perch, but they’re not exactly pike flies.
But last weekend, I came across this stuff. It’s called Long Fur. It’s a little stiffer than Polar Fibre, but still a lot softer than most other synthetic fibres, and the length (8 to 10 cm) is ideal for small baitfish patterns. With the hooks I’m using (Gamakatsu F314 size 1/0), I’m able to tie flies that are 11 to 12 cm long and that’s exactly what I was looking for.
One small problem with the Long Chenille though, is the fact that there’s not a lot of material on a rather thick thread. So however tight you tie this stuff in, you don’t have sufficient material to create enough volume for a fly of this size. But you can overcome this very easily.
First I tie in a clump of Long Fur around the bottom of the hook shank, than some flash (this is Spectra Flash), and then another clump around the top of the hook shank. But instead of cutting off the excess, I tie everything in. By doing so you create a bigger circumference. So this way you can tie in 3 to 4 times the amount of Long Chenille and create the perfect volume.
So after doing so, just glue some eyes on and you’re ready to fish. But I prefer to stick the eyes just behind the hook eye and make a small head with some UV material. I’ve tested both possibilities and I find the action to be better like this. It also makes your fly a lot more durable because they can’t bite the eyes off. And whatever happens with the fibre, just take a comb to go trough it and the fly is as good as new.
Next problem is the colour of course. Now, the Long Fur is no problem at all because it’s available in 16 different colours. But the Long Chenille is only available in 3 colours (white, black and brown). Although I now that other brands have more colours, but since I don’t have any, I can’t say anything about those either.
So a black one is as easy as a white one.
But another advantage of synthetic material is the fact that you can colour it in every way you want. Even with a small collection of permanent markers, Prismacolor markers (or Pantone, or whatever brand is out there), you can create all kinds of combinations.
Here, I just dyed the Long Chenille to create a redhead.
Here I gave the back a different colour.
These are a combination of yellow, bronze and brown.
But the sky is the limit, if you use some imagination.
If you’re not very creative with markers, here I used Long Fur in a dubbing loop instead of the Long Chenille. This one is plain yellow, but if you combine several colours I’m sure you can create really cool stuff as well.
Normally I don’t use a lot of synthetics anymore for the tail, because I just love the movement of natural material in the water, but if it’s stuff like this, I’m in!