Crayfish Master class.

STANLEY

Although I don’t fish with super realistic patterns, I do enjoy tying them every now and then. If you are starting from scratch, as I did with this crayfish, it takes a little time to actually work out the fundamentals, scale, hook size, proportions, materials and techniques.

I always start with a morphology  image from the visual dictionary, this gives you the basic shape, scale, body segment and leg count. Once this is established I select the materials and then try and plan the correct order to put them together. This can be rather like building a piece of IKEA furniture without the instructions, you get half way and realize that you have left something out! and have to start again.

IMG_6213

But for those of you that would like to have a go, I have photographed each step of this pattern, trying not to miss anything out and explaining each stage as I go. Although it looks complicated, its not difficult, but does take some time. You can tie it in stages tie up the legs one day, the claws another etc. So give it a go!

If you have any questions post them in the comments box at the foot of the article and i will try and answer them ASAP.

Good luck.

Hook: Mustad S74SNP # 1

Tying thread: Dyneema

Beard: Buck Tail

Legs & claws: E-Z Body  coated  in Bug Bond

Underbody: Dubbing

Eyes: EP Crab eyes

Body shell: Closed cell foam coated in Bug Bond

Tail: Three Cock ring neck pheasant neck feathers

Feelers: Stripped cock hackle stems

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1
Cover the hook shank with a foundation of tying thread

2
Tie in a bunch of buck tail for the beard. This should be a mixture of natural brown and white
3
Take some E-Z body small and medium tubing and cut to length for the legs and claws
4
Holding the medium tubing and tying thread end in your left hand, make the first joint. Once this is done finish with a half hitch and remove the thread for the next joint. You can coat each joint with Bug Bond or varnish as you go
5
Bug Bond is perfect for coating the whippings on each joint
6
Once you have coated the claw with Bug Bond you can cut it to shape
7
Now move onto the next joint
8
Once you have made all the joints for the left claw you can now move onto the right one
9
I have made one claw a little larger than the other just to give it a more realistic feel
10
Make sure that when you tie in the first claw that the positioning and scale are correct. once its tied in coat the whippings with varnish
11
When tying in the claws the ends of the E-Z body tubing can be flattened with flat nosed pliers first
12
Now you can tie up all the walking legs. Before you do this seal the ends by burning them with a lighter, taking care they dont catch fire
13
Tie in the joints of all eight walking legs
14
When you start tying in the legs make sure that you position them correctly as realistic as possible
15
All eight legs in place, remember that the two rear legs should be facing backwards
16
Select two large brown cock hackles and strip off the fibers to make the antennas
17
Tie these in as shown. If they are too long they can be trimmed down later
18
Spin some dubbing onto the tying thread and start at the front and dubb in between the legs, making sure you get the right thickness and taper
19
Cut a piece of foam sheet for the exoskeleton. This can be measured against the hook for the correct size
20
Place the foam in the correct position and tie in the first segment between the third and fourth pairs of legs
21
From the underside this first segment should now be dubbed and the tying thread moved behind the rear legs
22
Now make the next segment over the foam
23
Dubb the next underbody segment while lifting the foam
24
Continue dubbing and tying the segments as in stage 23 until you are finished
25
The underbody should now look like this
26
From the neck of a pheasant skin select three church window hackles for the tail
27
Strip of the fibers at the base of the hackles
28
Tie in the first tail plate as shown
29
The second tail plate
30
And the third central and on top of the first two
31
You can now colour the crayfish with a waterproof felt pen
32
Take two crab eyes and trim the ends to a point. This will help attach them to the foam
33
First make two small holes for the eyes with a dubbing needle in the foam. Then dip the ends of the eyes in super glue and attach
34
Your crayfish should now look like this
35
You can now coat the whole crayfish with Bug Bond
36
The finished beast

7 thoughts on “Crayfish Master class.

    1. Thanks, The foam I use for the shell back is just regular fly box foam. You should be able to pick this up at most good tackle stores!

  1. Great work Barry! I can’t imagine the work you put into the development of this ‘lure’. I can only dream of making much less creating a piece like this. Thank you for sharing your ideas and technique.