Spotlight On The Beadmaster

Sometimes when you see a specialized new tool, you might hesitate to spend the money and time to give it a try, thinking you’re doing fine without it and anyway, your tying bench is crowded enough as it is.

The Beadmaster Tool may look a little odd, but it is really very simple and super useful. If you tie with beads (and who doesn’t?) it will save you time, lost beads and pricked fingers.

Anyone who has tied a few dozen beaded nymphs knows working with beads can be a struggle. Inevitably, while trying to place a bead on your hook, it slips out of your fingers and falls on the floor. Have you ever tried to find a black nickel 1/16” tungsten bead lying on grey carpet? It’s not easy!

That’s where the Beadmaster comes in. If you watch the videos below you will see how easy it is to use. First, select the recess on the Beadmaster for the bead size you are using. Then, place your bead on any flat surface or, even better, a magnetic mat or refrigerator magnet. Now, put the selected recess of the Beadmaster over the bead and press down to push the bead into the recess. Finally, thread your hook through the smaller hole of the bead.

The best thing about this technique is that the tool holds the bead, not your fingers – no fumbled beads or pricked fingers. The Beadmaster also has a magnet on the other end of the stem to pick up hooks. We hope you find this tool as easy to use as we did. Watch the videos below for more information and give one a try.

Kelly Galloup reviews the Beadmaster. (Note: the tool is no longer sold with a magnetic mat.)

Here’s a slightly different technique with an older version of the tool.

To Dub or Not To Dub – Woolly Buggers

Original Blessing Woolly Bugger pattern with dark olive chenille, black marabou and hackle
Original Blessing Woolly Bugger pattern with dark olive chenille, black marabou and hackle

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT

Look in most trout anglers’ fly boxes and there’s a high probability that it contains a few Woolly Buggers in some form or another. It is an effective fly and just about always appears on recommended fly lists in books and on fly shop websites. The fly has a long history, well documented by Gary Soucie in his book Woolly Wisdom: How to Tie and Fish Woolly Worms, Woolly Buggers, and Their Fish-Catching Kin. Tying Recipes for 400 Patterns! (2005). When I first fished in Montana back in the early 1970s, the Woolly Bugger and Woolly Worm were commonly recommended flies and would be the first flies most fly shops would push on their customers. Back then, before the age of synthetic tying materials we now live in, Woolly Buggers were pretty simple. A clump of marabou, a few turns of chenille and a palmered black or grizzly hackle completed the fly. In the fly shops, most of the commercial flies didn’t even use any wire ribbing to protect the hackle. And of course this was a time before beads and cones, so most fly shop flies were un-weighted.

Continue reading → To Dub or Not To Dub – Woolly Buggers