When tying flies that resemble shrimp/crab or other crustaceans that predator fish eat, adding epoxy eyes really ups the pop and realistic nature of the fly. The Hareline Dubbin Epoxy Mono Crab Eyes are my go to for these flies. They are cheap, look great and tie in really easily.
Some patterns call for the eyes to also act as a weed guard. For these patterns a stiffer mono-filament is required to keep your hook weed free. Use this quick and easy tutorial to make your own eyes.
I like Masons hard mono in 30 pound or 40 pound, but any hard monofilament will work. You’re just looking for something that’s stiff enough to push weeds out of the way.
- Maxima Leader Material or RIO Hard Mono
- American Flag Bic Lighter, cause #Murica
- Loon UV Wader Repair or Loon Thick Fly Finish
- UV Torch/Light
- Loon Hard Head
Cut a piece of mono about 4″ long. Take your American Flag lighter (This is really important, other lighters just won’t work) and you want to create a little ball of melted mono at the end. You want to be careful as, it’ll catch on fire pretty quickly. Also, due to the fumes, please do this in a well ventilated area.
Once you have a nice little mono ball on both sides, find a scrap piece of carboard (or old Rio Fly line box) and some Loon UV epoxy and make a small pool on the scrape card board.
Roll the end of the monofilament (with the little mono ball) into the epoxy and gather a glob of the epoxy. It’s important to keep spinning it in your fingers so the epoxy does drip or become lopsided.
Hit the Epoxy with the UV torch to set the epoxy. Repeat on the other end, and any other eyes you are making.
Grab your loon Hard Head and paint around the globs of epoxy. It helps to have them secured in a clip or in your vise. A rotary vise helps to make sure you get complete coverage.
Let the eyes dry and you’re done. Super easy. Now tie them into your favorite fly pattern. These red eyes look killer on this Rootbeer Shrimp Bone fish pattern.