Fly Fishers' Republic

Braided Nylon Body

May 23, 2006

by Raif Killips

Braided Nylon Body

The material used here is braided nylon backing. Viewed against the sky, from below, the material is translucent even after marking with a pen. With the aid of a little floatant the body will hold on or in the surface. If you’re interested to experiment, various materials can be worked into the open core of the braid, producing further interesting effects. Colour is applied with waterproof permanent marker pens like those from Edding and Prismacolor. Illustrated is a body for a green adult damsel pattern.

Tying instructions:

Toggle sequence Left/Right Handed ↔

Stage 1

1. Firstly you need to cut a suitable length of braid. Ten centimeters will give you enough to properly manipulate the material.

Stage 2

2. To make the braid less flexible you can use a length of heavy monofilament square cut ready to be eased into the core. If you are happy the braid is stiff enough, go straight to step 6.

Stage 3

3. As you work the monofilament into the braid, the ends will fray.

Stage 4

4. Feed the monofilament into the core so that it is completely encapsulated. This allows you to properly seal the braid later.

Stage 5

5. Next, trim the braid so it has a neat end ready for singeing with a flame.

Stage 6

6. Offer the end of the braid up to a gentle flame and melt the ends until they are fused.

Stage 7

7. If you have inserted another material into the core of the braid you can now ease it up to the sealed end.

Stage 8

8. You can now use permanent marker pens to colour the braid body.

Stage 9

9. Use the braid body in dressing a pattern like this adult damselfly.

Depending on their flexibility, extended bodies, just like long streamer wings, have a tendency when casting, to wrap back around the bend of the hook. The length of the extended body should be set with this in mind. In this instance, introducing stiff nylon into the core of the braid overcomes this problem.

Warning: When singeing materials with a flame, observe sensible fire precautions. Be careful not to burn yourself with the flame or set light to a table full of feathers! If you use a cigarette lighter as illustrated, remember, the wick or nozzle guard can easily overheat if the flame is maintained for too long.