Fly Fishers' Republic

Furled Body

April 27, 2006

by Raif Killips

Furled Body

This is one of the most easy and quick forms of extended body to produce. You can furl almost any single filament or cord material of manageable thickness, including monofilament, floss, and wool (illustrated). In this instance the basic principle of furling consists of applying tension and twist to the material; then releasing the tension, and allowing the material to twist back on itself. This results in a thicker more firm cord with an end of uncut filaments. The technique is commonly used to form the bodies of damselfly and cranefly patterns. In the illustrated guide correct thickness is achieved by combining two plies of wool.

Tying instructions:

Toggle sequence Left/Right Handed ↔

1. Firstly you need to cut approximately four inches of wool and separate out two plies putting any remaining plies to one side for another fly body.

2. Take the two plies and align them. Then holding opposing ends of the two plies, one pair of ends in each hand, between thumb and index finger, twist the wool with either your left or right hand according to your preference. Only use one hand to impart twist (you will see why in a moment). In order to impart sufficient twist you will need to repeat the twisting action at least twice.

3. To manage this use your second and third finger of your holding hand to grip the other ends of the partially twisted wool then re-grip them with the twisting hand’s index finger and thumb and repeat step 2.

4. If you are lucky when you move the two ends of the twisted wool together it will twist up on itself close to the middle and start to form the body section. If not then you will need to encourage the twist about the middle. For this you will need to follow from step 5 below.

5. Now having imparted sufficient twist in the wool hold it in tension.

6. With the twisting hand grip the middle of the length of wool about the middle and pull slowly to form a ‘V’ (inverted from this viewpoint)

7. Slowly bring the two sides together forming a deeper ‘V’. As you bring the sides together and release just a little of the tension the wool will try to twist on itself.

8. Encourage the twist if necessary by twisting it in the same direction that it tries to on its own using your index finger and thumb.

9. You should now have a short furled piece of wool for an extended body.

10. Used in dressing several patterns including this Muddled Daddy.

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.It may need to be kept short or alternatively treated with Dave’s Flexament to make it a little more stiff.