Crease Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by CraigSmith, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. CraigSmith

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    Crease flies are effective and easy to tie. Actually mostly construct.

    Smallest fly (in front) I in image is in a size 4 Mustad S74 (formally 34011) hook and is 1.75 inches long. Perfect size for Bonito and Macks in the bay.

    The 2nd one I often use for LMB on shad.

    The 4th and 5th are perfect for bonito on the ocean. Calicos too.

    The back fly for big bonito, tunas, dorado, calicos, etc.

    More info, tips , etc to follow in later posts I will make to this thread.

    C9D441C2-7729-4C10-A9AB-15DF65959ADE.jpeg
     
    #1 CraigSmith, Aug 15, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  2. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Thank you for all this great information.. how would one of these do behind a splasher? Just curious, I know I am not a fly guy, but throwing a splasher is fun as hell
     
  3. CraigSmith

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    They would work well behind a splasher though prone to tangling on the cast since the foam crease fly doesn’t have much weight, especially in the smaller sizes.

    The fly’s action is sort of a random popping and side to side darting (not walking the dog). I have had a lot of fun fishing splashers with trailing flies on spinning gear.

    Fly fishers will often cast a popper to use as a splasher with a subsurface baitfish imitation 18 inches to 3 feet trailing behind the popper. Crease fly can be used the same way but the trailer kills the action so it works only as a popper in that case.
     
  4. Werfless

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    Thank you again for everything...
     
  5. Tomaso

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    Nice looking crease flies! You put much more artistry into yours than I do mine.

    Reminds me of the upper otay days (sigh...).
     
  6. seacitizen

    seacitizen Active Member

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    I am thinking black back with a red gill, or tan back with a green stripe and red gill...2-3” and pretty streamlined would be good for bonito and Mack’s...small anchovy and smelt imitators.
     
  7. CraigSmith

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    Crease flies can be made in many sizes from micro to giant. If they get too large through they can be unwieldy to cast.

    The most common sizes available commercially are 4, 1/0, and 3/0

    I make many that are smaller than size 4, as small as this tiny one. I caught some LM bass and bluegill that were feeding on fry on this fly.

    Built on a Tiemco size 12 200R hook using 1mm foam.

    minigurgler2.jpg
     
    #7 CraigSmith, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  8. CraigSmith

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    Crease Fly Foam:

    The foam that is typically used is closed cell craft foam. Fly shops sell it is small packages. You can get it at craft stores or stores like Walmart and Target with craft sections.

    2mm thick foam is usually recommended but I usually find this more difficult to fold and work with for crease flies smaller than size 1. I use 1.5 mm thick for crease flies on size 1, 2, and 4 hooks and 1mm for smaller flies. 3mm can be used for crease flies on hooks bigger than 3/0 if you want to make giant ones.

    Honestly, it is cheaper to get bulk 2mm foam at craft stores than fly shops but it is much harder to find the 1mm and 1.5mm stuff anywhere other than fly shops.

    If ordering online make sure the listing identifies the thickness of the foam.

    I like to use the stuff with glitter on it but it is only available in 2mm size. Get the stuff that doesn’t have a sticky back. The glitter also makes a fly with sparkle without need to mess with transfer foils which seem to be getting harder to find.

    Sticky back foam without glitter is great if using transfer foils to create a shiny surface.

    There are lots videos online that show how to make crease flies that also show different techniques.

    I have some trouble cutting straight lines or along a pattern due to some issues with my hands so I purchased a set of River and Road Creations Crease Fly Cutters a few years ago. They work real well. River and Road also makes lots of other foam cutters for poppers, hoppers, frogs, etc. Most fly shops can special order if they don’t have them in stock.

    Foam can be colored with paints or markers.

    Glitter foam. It is available in different colors. I usually just use white and add colors with Sharpie markers.

    1BD22A7C-C2A7-4887-9717-39B8662836F6.jpeg

    Selection of foam with cutters. Cutters help for mass production. You can cut out single bodies or cut through several sheets of foam at one time. Cutters are not necessary though.

    92C903BF-084A-4957-B0F0-FCBDB81701EE.jpeg
     
  9. CON KSO

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    Sweet info! I'm going to tie some of these up for my next couple of trips.

    I especially liked this bit of info:

    "Fly fishers will often cast a popper to use as a splasher with a subsurface baitfish imitation 18 inches to 3 feet trailing behind the popper."

    I'm definitely going to try that!
     
  10. mistercameron

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    I don't recall if Hobby lobby has glitter foam, but they have the large sheets of 2mm foam for $1 each. I believe Michael's also has a similar product.
     
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  11. CraigSmith

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    One thing that I have found with regard to the coatings on Crease flies is that no matter what I try I keep going back to clear epoxy.

    Working with epoxy is a pain. However I have tried most of the UV cure glues, Loon Hard Head, Softex, and urathane glues like Liquid Fusion. In my experience they all either peel off or crack and separate from the underlying foam or the foil covering on the foam fairly quickly. It just seems that those types of glues don't adhere well to the underlying materials. Often after just a couple of fish. Sometimes even without catching any fish.

    Two part Epoxy is just more durable. I prefer clear 30 minute epoxy because of the longer working time when I am doing several flies. 5 minute clear epoxy also works well but due to the short working time I can only do one fly at a time. With the 30 minute epoxy you will definitely need some type of drying wheel.

    I have seen some crease flies coated with clear Plastidip that seemed to hold up pretty well.

    Make sure it is a clear epoxy and not the yellow tinted type. Even clear epoxies will eventually turn dark yellow, but if the fly is stored in the dark that may take a few years.

    Back when Upper Otay had fish, I often just made simple crease flies with white foam and no eyes or coloring or any epoxy coating. I would make a bunch. After 3 to 10 fish or so the foam would start to tear and I would cut the fly off, put it on a drying patch and tie on a new one. Then later at home I would use a little bit of super glue to repair the tears. Lazy man's crease fly. Uncoated crease flies don't hold up well for salty fish though. One bonito or mackerel or corvina or calico will tear the uncoated foam to shreds.

    Also, I prefer to use a gel type super glue instead of the thin type for gluing the foam to the wrapped hook shank. Since the gel doesn't run I usually don't end up gluing my fingers to the fly or to each other. Some Crease fly crafters prefer the standard thin super glues though.
     
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  12. Neuroshima

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    Thanks for the info, Craig. Can you explain why one would opt to grab a crease fly vs a gurgler?
     
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  13. CraigSmith

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    No.
     
  14. CraigSmith

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    Well, Ok I will give it a sort of unconvincing shot.

    The two flies (lures really) be have differently.

    The gurgler slides over the surface, and if you strip it with enough force it will spit water. If you use less force it will sort of gurgle. Maybe. I have never heard one gurgle but the fish can pick up the difference in sound. Sometimes one retrieve works better than the other. The gurgler is easier to rig with a weed/snag guard.

    The Crease fly can fish more like a popper by chugging it along or popping now and then. It is more likely to dart side to side. Unlike the gurgler the crease fly fishes well below the surface too and when retrieved below the surface it wobbles. I find the crease fly easier to cast into the wind.

    Both flies often catch fish when just sitting on the surface doing nothing.

    Often, both will work at the same time. So why would I choose one of the other?

    If I'm fishing around snaggy stuff like kelp stringers, or stick ups, or weed beds I will use a gurgler fitted with a guard.

    If I want a subsurface option I will use a crease fly.

    If I want a splasher rig with a trailer I will use a gurgler (but prefer a traditional popper for this)

    If it is really windy I will use a crease fly.

    If the water is choppy I will use a crease fly. I have not has as much success with a gurgler in choppy water.

    I have never caught a corvina, bonito or tuna with a gurgler so if chasing those species I go with the crease fly there. I suppose if I spent more time with a gurgler when chasing those fish I would probably eventually get one with a gurgler. I have caught a few mackerel with small gurglers.

    Gurglers can be tied with thick foam, 4mm or 6mm. So it is gurglers for pike fishing since they hold up better.

    Other than that, if I am committed to topwater I will just pick which ever one is calling my name. I would like to say my choice comes down to some sort of Zen then but I am way to spastic for Zen to come into play. If my initial choice isn't working then I will try the other. Sometimes the fish just prefer a particular sound and/or profile.

    I almost always have both gurglers and crease flies in my fly selection. But I also usually have other topwater popper types too.

    I wish I had a more definitive answer.
     
  15. CraigSmith

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    Just because I have been on the disabled list and unable to fish since July 6 and am bored:

    From above

    0732EB53-784D-467F-8B7C-CFE223DD0A73.jpeg

    From the side

    A42D4F8B-FB93-44D9-8164-A262211B55CE.jpeg

    View from just above water level. You can see the crease.

    392DA717-0804-4CB8-818F-3A8306E91196.jpeg

    Fishes view from the side and below - reflected in the surface

    4A8925F8-554F-4BBD-A293-4E98431B097F.jpeg

    Another fishy view

    9E852CC5-EF75-4C3E-B86D-5608EA1B2A07.jpeg
     
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  16. drabo2000

    drabo2000 Active Member

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    Great thread. Thanks for posting Craig! Any tricks for getting the glue to stick the foam together as well as possible? thanks, Steve
     
  17. CraigSmith

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    Don’t use too much.

    I prefer the gel type super glue applied to side and bottom of the wrapped hook shank. Don’t use too much. Ensure there is enough foam below the shank the the bottom parts of foam can be pressed together.

    Gel type glue can take a little longer to set up so I just hold it. Sometimes I will use wood clothes pins as a clamp.

    If any parts of foam don’t glue together apply a tiny bit of glue with toothpick and hold together. If you have too much foam below the hook shank trim with a razor
     
  18. Tomaso

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    Great pictures! Always wondered if it matters what color the back of a crease fly was (when I'm not sinking it, anyway). Looks like it could be a factor at times, even on the surface!

    For those of you new to the crease game, just to be ornery one can also glue the foam in backwards and make a slider/diver. I've gotten many smallmouth out at the canals on that arrangement. Also gotten some corvina in the south bay using a slider on a sinking line. I still have trouble balancing the line sink rate, leader length, fly buoyancy, and strip rate to keep the fly diving but not into the grass. Takes us old folks a while to learn this stuff!
     
  19. Neuroshima

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    So this has been a lot of fun. The best fly up front followed by the crappier/earlier ones. I have no idea how these will fish, or if they'll catch, but it's been fun making them. Particularly because I made the eyes myself. I came across these sequins at Michaels. A little drop of black nail polish, and now I have a ton of eye for the price of a regular 24 pack. The best part about tying crease flies is not having to change thread colors.

    IMG_20190908_152057.jpg

    IMG_20190909_155941.jpg

    IMG_20190916_090857.jpg
     
  20. CraigSmith

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    Great work to start. The eye thing is brilliant!

    One thing I have noticed with crease flies is that a longer tail seems to impede the action some though they still work. I try to keep the tail no longer than the body.

    Again, you are off to a great start.
     
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