Blade-Tail Muddler

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Here’s a fun fly for trout and bass. Feel free to change the colors around  for your local fishery. I like this combo and also do an all black version with copper flash and blade and an olive version with gold flash/blade.  Both browns and smallmouth seem to like this version. This fly is a twist on the classic marabou muddler, and has a great profile for sculpins and other fatter headed baitfish.

Materials – Long shank streamer hook size  #1 through  #4 depending on brand/model, but roughly an inch and a half to 2 inches long. This is a Daiichi 2271 Dee/streamer hook in a size 2.

Thread – For the rear part of the fly, I use some hot orange 3/0 or 6/0. For the front and collar I use something strong,  like 150- 200 denier GSP. A lighter denier of GSP will probably be strong enough, but will oftentimes cut your hair if you’re not careful.

Tail – Mini spinnerbait blade, like whats used on a “Beetle-Spin” lure. You can get these online or through a large conventional tackle store.

Connection – some heavy braided line, I think in the example I used 20lb powerpro.

Body – small chenille with small or medium braided mylar tubing

Wing – Marabou. I used cream with yellow on top, but lots of combos will work, like white with olive top, all black, black/red, or even brown mottlebou amongst others.

Sides – a pair of grizzly feathers, one on each side.

Head – Collar is deer and the front part of the head is carabou, but all deer should work fine.

Directions-

Put a long shank hook in the vice. Start your hot orange thread and go to the bend. On this hook I wrap back to about the middle between the barb and the hook point.   Weight the hook now if you plan on weighting the hook. I usually tie mine unweighted and keep some tungsten cones in my vest to slide onto the line if I need more depth/faster sinkrate.

 

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Slide some braid through the spinnerbait blade and tie the line onto the hook.

 

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Trim excess and tie down.

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Tie in some small chenille, I had some excess pink, so I used that. Color doesn’t matter much with solid tinsels like gold or silver.  Pearl tinsel is translucent and using different color chenille can produce nice effects underneath that.

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Wrap the chenille forward to about a hook gap away from the eye. Tie down, trim excess.

 

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Wind the thread back to just past the hook point.

 

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Slide the mylar tubing onto the hook. Catch it with the thread.

 

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Trim the excess tubing off the front of the hook.

 

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Build up a little thread with the hot orange and then whip finish.

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Apply a little glue just in case. This was just some Sally Hansens.

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Trim and clean the excess mylar at the rear and front of the hook.

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Start the heavy thread and tie down the mylar.

 

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Tie in your marabou wing a little less then 1 and a half hook shanks.

 

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Tie in the upper marabou color.

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Trim excess.

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Wet 2 grizzly feathers and tie them down well on either side. Trim excess.

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Trim a large amount of deer, (Maybe almost 2 pencils thick worth) clean out underfur and stack the tips in a hair stacker.  Measure the wing to extend a little more then a hook gap back from where you tied in the wing.

 

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Slide the hair over the front of the hook, so the hook eye is in the very middle, wind the thread around loosely 1 or 2 wraps, then increase tension to flare. Add another turn or 2 under heavy tension.

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Pass the thread in front of the deer and push the hair back. Get another large group of hair, either soft, spongy deer or carabou. This time use a little more then the collar. Same as last procedure, but don’t worry about measuring the tips. One or 2 soft wraps, then increase tension to flare.

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Repeat last step, with slightly smaller clump.

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Fly should look like a crazy hairball your cat barfed up…

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Pull the thread back and whip finish.

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Get a nice, sharp double sided razor. Trim the hair flat, and close to the underside of the hook.

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For the top, flex the blade to make a half oval shape.

 

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Slide the blade across the top at a slightly upwards angle.

 

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Sometimes you can do it in one pass, (I got lucky on this one) but usually try to cut small amounts at a time. Especially don’t push it when you’re first starting out.  You can’t put the hair back on there if you cut too much off.

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Trim any errant fibers, clean up the head.

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At this point the fly is pretty much done, apply some head cement to the front and let a little bleed into the hair for some increased durability.

 

Overhead –

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Underneath –

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Side –

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Give her a test drive and let me know how things work out,

 

Dan

 

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