by Alan Luecke
Overland Park, KS
Between Chris bringing in the Rodio-Craft .5g Blinde Flanker spoons and all the other cool Japanese gear and me with an abundance of pandemic leisure I got back into spoon making. These use the same system I came up with a few years back, but this time I used the Rodio-Craft profile and the small 00 split rings. The 00's are the same size as on the factory spoons and just look right. However, handling and installing them is its own special joy.
In addition to the bright brass and stainless steel I used last time I wanted to experiment with paint. My targets were the Vega Nightmare and the Rodio-Craft Impact. My first batch was done with spray cans and then dipped in varnish. I want to try an airbrush in the future.
The basic technique is to trace the shape on hobby shop craft metal strips, cut them out with shears, clean up with a file and drill the holes (1/16th"). The curve is then pounded in using a tack hammer and a wood block with a hollow gouged into it. The shape of the hollow doesn't need to be precise or exact.
I've been having a debate with myself about hook size. Missed hits on a single hook spoon are frustrating and I wondered if a smaller #12 hook, being closer to the spoon, would be more effective than the factory #8. The #8, on the other hand, is swinging its point in a bigger arc. I caught fish with both so who knows.
I have not spent a lot of time on the water with these spoons, but recently they came through on slow days when nothing else in the fly box got a second look. The Rodio-Craft Impact (from TenkaraBum) was especially effective and was my motivation to start painting the spoons.
On a recent trip to Roaring River Trout Park in southwest Missouri I was showing the spoons to some friends from our local fly fishing club (I'm the token Tenkara user). I then caught a fish on the first cast and quickly two more. While pride may be a sin, there's nothing wrong with stopping to enjoy the moment.
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