Claire Corlett

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How Handmade Fishing Lures are Crafted

How Handmade Fishing Lures are Crafted


My name is Pat Cohen, I
design Fly tying materials, fly tying tools, and manufacture
flies and I sell them around the world to fly
anglers and fly shops. There’s three kinds of flies. There’s your raw, basic
fish catching flies, there’s artistic flies, and then there’s a blend of those two where they can be artistic and catch fish. That’s where I try to be. Creating an artistic, beautiful fly, these things are not just a lure. These things can be magnificent. It’s a little bit of painting, it’s a little bit of sculpture, it’s a little bit of carving. You’re creating something that blends both functionality and art. So to tie a fly, especially a bass bug, the most important thing is to have a vice that will hold your hook as absolute steady and sturdy as possible. You’re putting an enormous
amount of pressure on the hook so you need a vice that’s
going to stabilize that hook so that you don’t pop out
of the jaws, hurt yourself, or break something. The waxed thread goes onto
your hook on the tail section. It helps the material stick to the hook. What is important about having flies that look like something. You’re gonna look at food
sources in different ways. I would have never
thought in a million years that bass eat birds. All these fish are opportunistic so if it falls in the
water it’s fair game. So this understanding of
predator prey relationship is very, very important. To make an effective fly
you need to understand what each of those materials does that make it attractive to fool a fish. Let’s say you can use peacock curl. It does things in the water. It throws off color and
light in a specific way that makes fish lose their minds. If you don’t have that knowledge and you don’t have
attention to those things your chances of catching
a fish go way down and then it becomes more about luck than it does about skill. Then we begin our tailing materials. In the case of the bird we use Marabou, which is a duck feather. It’s a soft flowing feather. We built up layers so
that we could make it look like a feathered tail,
and then we used a feather from a ring neck pheasant. It’s got a specific
mottling on the feathers. Once that’s established
we tie that thread off, we put a little bit of glue on there to really hold everything. Durability is the key. The worst thing possible
would be to bring it out catch one fish and have
the fly fall apart. We’re switching to belly hair from a deer. The hair is hardest at
a specific time of year. The cellular structure
of the hair changes. It makes the hair flow and flit and that is what you want in a bass bug. You’re creating pressure
by packing that hair back and that’s what creates that dense body. And create patterns and dots and lines. You cannot make a bass
bug without a hair packer. What you’ll need is a tool that can grab the hook shank with
and push that hair back with maximum force. There’s been various
packers that have been made. Were a little bit flimsy. I got injured using it, putting
a flat hook in my thumb. I said this is ridiculous
this can’t happen. My tool, my packer came out of that. It came out of a necessity. A lot of people had the
same problem that I had. Pretty much everybody uses these now. They’ve become a staple in the industry. Part of fly tying to me is opening up and seeing things a
little bit differently. I wasn’t always a fly fisherman. I tried fly fishing
one day out of nowhere. Feeling that water on my
legs, something clicked. It just felt cool. It forced me to get in touch
with my natural surroundings and with that river, and
understand what was happening. It’s all about taking it all in. I said, wow, there’s
this whole magnificent, beautiful world that if
you are in front of your TV you are missing out on. I became obsessed with it. I accidentally fell into bass bug making. What happened was I
went to a big box store, and I saw these things, so
I bought a couple of ’em, but I caught one fish and
this thing exploded on me. And I said, man, there’s
gotta be a better way. Did some homework and
then I learned from there. Just honed it into what
I wanted them to be. I wanted people to recognize these things for what I felt that they
were as I was making them. I want people to pick
them up and study them and say, “Holy cow, I didn’t
know you could do that “with deer hair.” After we build the body
up it looks like a giant caterpillar, like something
exploded on your hook. It’s unruly, it’s uncontrollable, we have this giant mess. From that mess we need to
create something that looks like whatever finished fly
is that we’re creating. Then you grab razor blades
and you literally carve this block of flared
hair into whatever it is that you need to shape. You’re forming a shape out of nothing. You’re pulling that image
out of this mass of hair. Where you cut things, changes
what it does in the water, so you have a lot of
control at this point. If you want it to be a baby
bird that’s fluttering along on the water, you’re going
to shape it accordingly. Creativity is the only thing at this point that will stop you from
making this what you want it to look like. Right behind the eye of that hook you attach your weed guards down. A weed guard is a piece of monofilament that I put on the sides of the
hook and underneath the hook. It allows me to throw my fly in places that fish like to hide, lily pads, weed beds, fallen down trees. You would build up the head, just building thread up, and you create this tapered beak. You’ve gotta put your eyes on there, but making that head
swivel and articulate, we want this fly to move. We would put the wings on there and just kinda finish it up. It’s got eyes, it’s got wings, it’s got realistic colors. All those little things
to me are important. It’s all about imitating nature, and having those it makes you go out and seek areas differently. You’re gonna seek these areas
that maybe you would have overlooked before because you didn’t have that fly in your box. I love all of this stuff, and I love making all of this stuff, and I love being part of this
culture and this community. It becomes part of you. Creating an artistic, beautiful fly, it is my livelihood. I just put my spin on
it, do my thing with it. Getting in touch with
what’s going on out there, it’s all about diving
into your environment and taking it all in, and becoming part of the bigger picture. And that’s a magnificent
thing to be part of.

23 comments on “How Handmade Fishing Lures are Crafted

  1. I've always wondered how guys made those fancy fishing lures and what it took to make one. So damn sick! I'm highly interested now.

  2. Millenial and non-English and JOKESTER comments😝😝😝
    i enjoyed vid …as i had fishermen in my life.
    The Comments sec brought me back to Big City Stupidity😈😒😈🚦🎄

  3. Remind me that if I need to be motivated for some reason, I must call you. You convinced me to go phishing XD

  4. Hipster dork trying to capitalize on Grandad's hobby. Spend money on goofy artisinal "flies" if you want, but a trout isn't picky; it will strike at bits of baloney, pizza crust, tin foil …anything.

  5. This is the best made videos I've seen in a long time. I want to learn how to fly fish after watching this. What a beautiful video.

  6. Wow, another hipster business of overpriced unnecessarily complicated ordinary things.
    The disgusting side of capitalism.

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