Photograph by Steve Barnett

Saturday 28 August 2010

Poly Prop Sherry...

...before it's too late again!

The first post was about using this fly.  The most recent was about still using it even though its time will shortly be drawing to a close for this season.  It dawned on me you might appreciate how to make the thing so you can have a go "before it's too late again".

Put the hook in the vice hiding the point and whip a little bump of orange thread at the bend
Tie in a good bunch of white cock hackle fibres in front of the bump and take the turns towards the bump, tying the fibres down tight to the bump, so the hackle fibres splay out.
Wind the thread up to the front of where the body will be, making a coarse bed of thread as you do so.

Take one strand (there are four to a card) of Tiemco Aero Dry Wing in Medium Dun and trap it on the top of the hook by two turns of the thread, leaving a long strand over the hook bend and a short strand over the eye.
Hold the long strand towards you at a right angle to the hook and take a diagonal turn over it and round the hook
Make figure of eight turns to anchor the wing both sides at right angles to the hook.  With the thread dangling in front of the wing dub on a small amount of Hot Orange seal's fur quite tightly.
Starting in front of the wing wind the dubbed thread of Hot Orange seal's fur down the hook finishing at the start of the tail.  It always looks rough and too fat at this stage.
Rib the body with the thread right back up to just behind the eye and make a whip finish and cut off the thread.
Get hold of the wings and carefully pull them back over the hook bend.  Gauge the length of the wings to about the distance from the wing roots to a point about mid-way through the hook bend and snip off the excess wing length with one cut of the scissors.
The fly should look like this at this stage (nearly finished).
Now take the fly out of the vice.  Hold it like this by the wings.  Snip off all the extraneous bits of seal's fur to make a thin body that has lots of cut ends of fur round its edges to catch the light.
Varnish the whip finish and clean out the eye whilst the varnish is still wet.  Et Voila!  The finished "Poly Prop Sherry" (or "PPS" to its friends).

Make five of these at a time.  One for the fish (we all make mistakes), one for the trees (we all make more mistakes), one on your tippet, one for your box and one for the angler who comes over and says "By Gum!  You're doing well tonight!  What fly are you using?"

Regular Rod


  1. RR, that is a nice looking fly on a strong hook. Was it in one of your posts that I read you like the Drennan Super Specialist? You may have cottoned onto this one already but they also do a barbless version of the same hook which saves the crimping. It is a shame that the majority of hooks designed for fly tying seem to be barbed, whereas the majority of anglers that I have spoke to prefer to fish barbless. The Kamasan range are a particularly good (bad) example of this.
    Regards, Dave.

  2. I do indeed like and use the Drennan Super Specialist hooks in sizes 12 down to 20. BUT the hook is heavy and sometimes it is difficult to keep it afloat. I also use the lighter weight Kamasan B980 and for the PPS I like sizes 14 and 16. The other hook I like, but find harder to get now, is the Viellard-Migeon & Cie 9285. It is such a hook in the step-by-step above. The very best hooks ever made were from Mustad there were two types exactly the same but one was not bronzed it was gilt. These were respectively the Mustad 39846 and the Mustad 39847. I have never understood why more folk didn't buy them, which is I assume why Mustad dropped them from their range. The hook I used for the Aphid is a Mustad 39847.

    There are other very good hooks of course but my preference is for a Kendal style Round Bend, Forged, Reversed or Offset (I don't mind which), with a Straight Tapered Ring Eye.

    Barbless would be great but over the years I've become used to just crimping the barbs with pliers just before I tie the flies.

    Regular Rod

  3. Another cracking article.

    As an ex coarse angler, I have tried many types of hook. I too always favoured the Drennan (made by Kamasan, ironically) in the larger sizes when Barbel fishing.
    Hook designs go over my head I'm afraid, and since tying my own flies I now just look for a pattern that suits the size, strength and profile I like. I am like a kid in a sweet shop when confronted with the range of hooks on sale especially in the coarse fishing section of a big shop. We are poorly served when compared to our coarse fishing comrades.
    For instance: Check out Daiwa/Gamakatsu G-Point GP107. It is a medium wire barbless hook designed for carp 'ponds'. Because of the short shank, it makes great F flies, detached bodies and the like.
    PS: To anyone reading this, if you can't afford £16 fishing pliers, The Tool Box in Leek sells some beauts that work just as well at £1.99

  4. Cracking advice once again.
    I have to confess that hook patterns leave me very confused.
    I always used the Drennan super specialist when barbel fishing. Interestingly it is apparently made in the same factory as Kamasan.
    Check out some other coarse hooks.
    One I can definitly recommend is the Daiwa/Gamakatsu GP107. A medium wire barbless hook designed for sweetcorn and lucheon meat but short shanked so ideal for F flies etc...

  5. And what a fly, this classy pps has given me some pure joy this season, a special fly indeed!!
    Keep up the great work RR


  6. It just gets better!

  7. Very nice fly. Which hook size do you use most often?

    1. 16 or 18 mostly but it can be used to represent so many spinners you could go down to 20 or even 22 and up to a 14. The most useful size is 16.