Fly Tying · On the Vise

The ‘Reel Wing’ Rusty Spinner

My husband loves fishing rusty spinners almost as much as ‘some’ people hate when I leave my dubbing box open..😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

I love these wings!
I love these wings!

So when I saw that the makers of Reel Wings had revamped a product that I once had trouble using, I had to give them another go! After only a few attempts I was immediately hooked. They give a lifelike appearance like no other material can, and are a breeze to cast. So if you, like me; had been a little nervous in the past, fear no more!

Spinners are excellent flies to fish as it gets dark, but as always; adjust the size and tone of colors to suit the needs in your area.

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Materials needed

Reel Wing Rusty Spinner:

Hook: Partridge standard Dry #12

Thread: Tan or black UTC 70

Tails: cream micro fibetts

Body: Rusty spinner turkey Biot

Ribbing: find gold wire

Wings: Veniard Spinner Medium

Dubbing: rusty spinner dry fly

Begin your fly by creating a thread base and securing your mayfly tails.

Begin your fly by securing and splaying your mayfly tails.
Begin your fly by securing and splaying your mayfly tails.

If you have trouble getting them to splay correctly please see a Step-by-step here with a few tricks . It will open in a new window so that you can continue with your pattern.

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Build up the tapered body of your fly

With your tails in place you can begin to build up the body, but keep the shank bare a little more than a hook eye in length in front of the body.

We will be using a turkey biot for the body, not dubbing, which means that any irregularities will show. If you are having trouble creating a uniform underbody, please see the link here.  It will open in a new window so that you can continue with your pattern.

When creating the underbody, Keep in mind that you dont want to build up too much material at the back end of your tapered body, since you still have to attach material there.

Taper the body up to an eye length behind the eye, then bring your thread back across from the hook barb.  Here you will tie in the next two materials.

The turkey biot and fine gold wire.

Tie in your turkey biot and fine gold wire
Tie in your turkey biot and fine gold wire

Tie the turkey biot in so that when you wrap it the body will be rigid and segmented. If you have never worked with turkey biots before, or are having trouble, please see the step-by-step link here, it will open in a new window so that you can continue where you left off.

Using hackle pliers or your fingers, wrap your biot forward and tie it off just before the thread body ends. You can now bring your wire forward, wrapping them into the ruts and tie it off as well in the same place. Trim the waste ends and get ready for the wings.

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Splayed mayfly tails and body complete

Attaching the reel wings:

Now before we go any further, I just want to say, if you were like me and had a terrible time using “reel wings’ when they first came out.. They have revamped the packaging and ease of use and for the sake of being redundant, I have created a separate page for anyone new to using Reel Wings. This will give you some tips and tricks to help you wrangle this material on to your hook. This slide show below is just a brief explanation.

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Once your reel wings are in place, you can begin to dub the thorax.

Finish your pattern.
Less is more!

Just be careful! Oh no!😱😱

As you can see here I purposely put on too much dubbing and use too much pressure to demonstrate what happens when you do, and immediately the wings have begun to turn under .
Oh no! This is what happens with too much dubbing and too much pressure, so be careful. If you find that this happens to you simply backtrack, adjust the wings and cut the dubbing down. You’ll get it!
Almost done
Almost done.

By the way, If you happen to rip a wing.. don’t freak out. Just finish the fly, throw it in your box and fish it 🙂 It may produce more takes than you’d think. You can also add a little bit of dry fly floatant to the thorax before fishing, but will take them just fine when they sink.

They can't all be beauty queens.
They can’t all be beauty queens.

I hope this tutorial had encouraged you to over come a fear of using a new material, and as with all of my step by steps, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Happy tying and keep those dubbing boxes closed!

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