The Awesome opossum
Yesterday I received in the post a few samples of Shrimp foils from the fly people in Germany. One sheet with coated foils and a second with uncoated. The coated foils really look the business but unfortunately after three attempts to tie them on and failing miserably in all three, I went over to the uncoated and and had no problems at all. Although the coated ones seemed flexible enough and relatively easy to position, every time I attached the thread and applied the slightest pressure they snapped! Its not as if I was being heavy handed or over tightening the thread. They just would not tolerate much pressure.
After succeeding on my first try with the uncoated I can only presume that the coating, which gives them a three dimensional appearance has somehow effected the the durability of the foil.
From what I can gather the foils are available in two sizes, the one used here is the smallest, and seemed to be tailored for my # 6 Mustad stinger hook. But if I am honest I would like to see even smaller foils for hooks down to size 8 and 10, for salt water sea trout fishing here in Europe.
All that being said the uncoated foils worked great and they give the shrimp an impressive finish. As I mentioned earlier this is only my first tie with the foils and I haven’t even scratched the surface of testing them, I dont even know if the will withstand the teeth of a fish or will take colour from waterproof felt pens… As soon as I know I will update this post and let you know.
In the meantime you can see they look great, so if you would like to give them a go the contact info for dealers is below.
As a foot note: I was just contacted by Lutz, at the fly people and informed that the coated shrimp foils I received are a prototype and that they have experienced the same problems with them breaking. As a result they are only going to produce the un coated foils for sale.
Hook: Mustad CS52 # 6 Stinger http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=182
Beard/Feelers: Natural Opossum and Whiting pink spey hackle mixed
Rib: Clear mono
Eyes: EP Crab eyes
Underbody: Opossum dubbing
Place your stinger hook in the vice.
Cut a short strip from a piece of opossum fur, keeping a small strip of hide on.
Holding the strip as shown place a Whiting spey hackle over the opossum .
Place the hair and the hackle in a magic tool clip and trim off the hide and hackle stem.
Spin the mixed hackle and hair in a dubbing loop and wind on the hook shaft to form the beard of the shrimp.
On the underside of the hook tie in two strips of lead wire and on the top of the hook shaft a length of clear mono for the rib.
Tie in two EP crab eyes slightly elevated over the beard.
Take some under fur from the opossum patch and dub the whole shrimp body as shown.
Make a dubbing loop in between the beard and the dubbed body. Run your tying thread forward to the hook eye.
Now make the same mix as the first dubbing loop but in the largest magic tool. So you have enough to cover the whole body.
Spin this in the dubbing loop. Make sure that you brush out the fibers with a tooth brush before you begin winding it on.
Once the dubbing brush is wound the full hook shank length tie it off just behind the hook eye.
Now place your shrimp foil on top of the hook shank and tie in at the tail. Make one whip finish.
Wind your mono rib carefully along the body of the shrimp making each turn on the marked ribs of the foil. Tie off at the tail.
Whip finish and remove your tying thread.
Give each shell back segment a coat with Bug Bond and cure with the UV light.
The finished Foil back shrimp.