"Tying" Up Some Spoons
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Vega and clones
It never occurred to me that I wouldn't tie my own flies. I like to make things and I'm cheap. I immediately realized that a Killer Bugger lost to a snag was much less painful than a four dollar streamer from the fly shop. Enter the .4 gram Vega fly spoons, so cool, so small, so rare. I had to make some.
The materials are .016" copper and brass from a hobby shop, size 1 split rings from Bass Pro and C'ultiva SBL-35 #8 hooks from Finesse-Fishing.com. I traced the pattern from the Vega spoons, cut it out with shears and cleaned up the edges with a file. After drilling 1/16th" holes I formed the curved shape with the small end of a tack hammer over a curved hollow cut into a block of wood. The shape was completed at about the same time work hardening began to set in. I was prepared to anneal the copper but did not need to.
The steepest learning curve of the whole process was inserting the Size 1 split rings with needle nose pliers. I copied the side view curves from the Vegas and the action appears to be similar. I used two split rings because I was concerned that the drilled hole would have a sharp edge that might cut the line. The Vegas appear to have smooth stamped holes.
I don't have a small digital scale and my fingers aren't calibrated to .1 grams, but my spoons feel about the same and cast the same. The brass is denser and the extra mass can be felt compared to the copper but it is not clunky to cast. All fishing has been done with the Tenkarabum 40.
Polishing, painting and a clear coat are options but as of now I just went fishing, they work. I took them to the fly club meeting last night. Everybody thought they were cool and then started talking about the old days. (for a tutorial search for copper leaf ear rings on YouTube).
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662
As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma