Monofilament Nylon Bodies

Fly Tying Monofilament

The first type of nylon used to make nymph bodies was round, with a choice of shiny or matt finish - in other words, ordinary monofilament leaders, which were all that was available to flytyers at the time. Since then, flat monofilament has also come onto the market. Both types are available in several colors, or you can dye them yourself.

The following photographs show how to make the body of an Ivens' Green Nymph, using round monofilament. The same technique can be used with flat monofilament, which is especially suitable for tying nymph bodies. In addition, flat monofilament can be used to make strikingly effective (visually, that is) woven bodies, dressed in the same way as the woven floss body already described. But nylon is springy, and has a slippery surface, so that the tying of a woven monofilament body is a challenging project.

  • Prepare the hook shank by winding close turns of foundation thread to the tail position. (S)
  • For a shaped body, first tie a floss or yarn underbody. After tying off the underbody material, wind the tying thread in close turns back to the tail position. (S)
  • Cut off a suitable length of nylon (3X or 4X monofilament is right for an average-size nymph hook); you'll need about nine inches (230 mm) for a plain body, and at least 18 inches (500 mm) for a shaped one.
  • Crimp one end with a pair of ridged-jaw pliers.
  • Tie in the crimped end of the nylon using the chenille method. Then, keeping the rest of the nylon clear, wind the tying thread in close turns to the hackle position. (S)
  • Lightly glue the underbody, then wind on the nylon in close turns toward the eye. (If the cut length is too short, tie it off, then crimp and tie in another length. Return the thread to the hackle position (S), re-glue, and wind on the new length.)
Monofilament Nylon Thread
  • On reaching the secured tying thread, tie off the nylon with at least three turns of thread. (S) Trim off the surplus nylon, and remove any glue from the body with your fingers.
  • To complete the dressing of the Ivens' Green Nymph, tie in and wind on a brown partridge back hackle as described under "Simple Wet-Fly Hackles" in Chapter 5, then tie off and trim the surplus. (S) For the head, tie in a strand of peacock herl, wind on two or three turns, tie off, and trim the surplus. Finish the fly with a wrap knot, then lacquer the knot.

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