Steel Wire for Movement and Durability in Articulated Streamers

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Justin Pickett

If it doesn’t wiggle it don’t go in my box!

I fish and tie a lot of articulated streamer patterns. I have an entire cliff box jam packed with them, as well as a collection of Plano boxes full of experiments and f*** ups. Being the crazy tier that I am I’ve experimented with many different types of lines and wires that I use to connect my trailing hook to my lead hook. I’ve used different types of monofilament, fluoro, braid, and even leather cord in an attempt to find the perfect combination of movement and durability.I’ve been less than pleased with mono and braid because of durability issues. Eventually both become frayed and eventually fail.

Through the last couple of I’ve been searching for ideas and found a brand of beading wire on Amazon that sells it in a few different sizes. Typically found in medium, fine, and very fine, it gives me options depending on the size and weight of the streamer I am tying. It also comes in either black or steel grey. It’s a braided steel wire coated with nylon called Econoflex and runs around $3.50 for a thirty foot spool.

41wH7Gzm38LThe very fine size ( because of its smaller diameter ) is great for more movement in those smaller streamers, while I often use the fine and medium for my larger steamers (sz 2 and up). The durability can’t be beat. I have flies that have been chewed apart but the wire is still unscathed. The movement can be tailored to your needs by choosing which size you want for a particular pattern.

When tying in my wire I make sure to lay down a base layer of glue as well as folding the end of the wire over and then securing it with tight thread wraps to make it nearly impossible to pull free while fighting a fish.

Try looking in your local Michaels or on Amazon for some of this beading wire and give it a shot.

Happy Tails! 

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Steel Wire for Movement and Durability in Articulated Streamers

  1. Have you had experience with this stuff and toothy creatures- pike and such? Also, would you say it’s tie-able for a leader for the teeth fish?

  2. Great article Justin. I personally prefer Beadalon 17 strand wire for making the hook to hook connection in articulated streamers but I’ll definitely give the Econoflex a try. It’s a bit of a coincidence Friday I started a conversation thread on Facebook about whether wire, mono, or braid works best. I was surprised at the number of guys who said they use braid for their streamers citing the imcreased side to side movement braid gives a streamer. However as you said braid and mono will eventually crease and fray.

  3. Aren’t trailing hooks more likely to kill fish? I’m not sold on this or articulated flys, yet. I’m not a purist or a trout snob, just asking…

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