Video: How to Tie a Cinder Worm

In the Northeast, the cinder worm “hatch”—some folks call it a “swarm”—happens early in the season, offering anglers a first great chance of finding blitzing striped bass. These swarms can happen through July, depending on location, so it’s always a good idea to have a few patterns with you. Writing in Saltwater Sportsman, John McMurray says, “When it goes off. . .it might be the ultimate experience in ­Northeast light-tackle fishing. It is the only time when conquering a 40-plus-inch striper with a 1-inch bait is a possibility.”

In this great video from Tightline Productions, Matt Grobert, an author and blogger, demonstrates his technique for creating a Cinder Worm fly. There’s not much to it, but you will need to learn to use a dubbing noodle and to spin deer hair. Luckily, Grobert offers clear, step-by-step instruction for both skills. You’ll find that these techniques come in handy for a whole host of patterns.

Cinder Worm

Hook: Standard saltwater hook (here a Mustad 34007), sizes 2-6.
Thread 1: Red, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Adhesive 1: Dubbing wax.
Body: Bright red SLF dubbing.
Thread 2: Black, 3/0 or 210-denier.
 Black deer body hair, spun.
Tools: Dubbing twister.

4 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie a Cinder Worm”

  1. Interesting pattern but several comments: A size 6 hook is a very thin wire with a very narrow gap. A large bass will open that hook with moderate pressure and we don’t want to play these fish forever in the interests of not opening the hook. I would use nothing less than a size 4 hook ( and even that’s light and also has quite a narrow gap), and sacrifice the buoyancy of the pattern a bit. It’s not critical to have the pattern on top, many of the worms are taken before they even get to the surface. Also, wondering if the dubbed body compress too much when wet, these worms have bulk to them. I would suggest a black magic marker to the end of the tail as these worms have not only a dark head (usually olive), but also a dark tail. I like the idea of a deer hair head to aid in buoyancy.

    1. Jim, We tie these on #2-6, and they float quite well. On the #6, they float high, and with the larger hooks more in the surface – the waxed thread and deer hair head keep the fly up. The body does not compress, in fact, it maintains its shape when tied with the SLF. I’ve tried this with other dubbing types, and none work as well as the SLF for that very reason. If you want more bulk, add more material in the loop. The extension is very limp and moves in the water well. We also tie them in a pink/red and orange/red SLF.

      1. I should also add that I use this same technique to tie sand worms. Use the appropriate color SLF for the entire body, add dumbbell eyes, and eliminate the deer hair head and instead wind the loop dubbed thread all the way up around the dumbbell eyes and tie off.

  2. I am looking forward to tying some and trying them. Its a little different than others I’ve seen but it looks very nice.

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