Video: How to Tie in Squirmy Material

Stretchy round materials are tough to keep in place as you lash them to the hook shank.

Here’s the latest video in our series called “One-Minute Fly-Tying Tips and Techniques,” from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Each video teaches a single tying skill, from the most basic to the advanced. Ultimately, the series will serve as a sort of encyclopedia of tying skills that will be a valuable resource for anyone who sits down at a vise to create a fly.

Although some anglers balk at using the Squirmy Wormy or similar annelid imitations, these patterns catch fish. But they can be a pain to tie because the elastic, round materials want to roll, squish, and break when you try to lash them to the hook. Of course, Tim has a trick that will solve all these problems. It involves using the proper thread, making it wider, and then taking care to ensure you’ve really locked the material in place before you set about cutting it.

4 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie in Squirmy Material”

  1. Excellent video. I would have never thought of using 140 denier! Makes sense.
    Another thing that adds to the durability of any squirmy material is using water soluble glue/head cement.

    1. I created the squirm in 2007 which of course is just a better variation on the ole’ San Juan (with better action).
      I’ve always used 210 Denier for various reasons but 140 works too.

  2. I was ready to tie up some squirmy flies when I remembered a research study out of the state of Maine. It showed that plastics get lodged in the digestive track of a fish and it starves to death. It is one reason many states do not allow plastic in regulations that are designed to protect fish from harvest.
    The squirmy material is a smaller in diameter than most plastics but has anyone checked to see what happens to that material if you lose a fly? What about having the “tail” of the fly detach, and is consumed by a trout?
    Many of us and I include myself in this, feel that fly fishing has the least damaging effect upon a given population of trout. Catch and release really works. I just believe we need to know the effects, if any, on a given population of fish when we use the squirmy material on a fly.

  3. Did you ever think to do a series called “can this fly be saved” .You would take situations that happen in the middle of tying a fly and show people how to save the fly . Like hackle breaking when are going to tie off and you now have a hackle that is too short to finish the fly . . Cut off the old hackle , tie in the new hackle in the front of the fly and wrap back and then forward and tie off

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