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Pattern Index

Sea-Fibers Baitfish
by Frank Dalecki, Jr.

When striped bass move at night, surfcasters resort to Rebel and Bomber style lures. It often doesn't matter whether or not baitfish of that size are in the area. Large lures move water, sending out vibrations that register on a striper's lateral lines, leading to the strike. Length isn't the only factor here. A fat, full-bodied shape is necessary, and L&L Products' Sea Fibers offers fly rodders the opportunity to create some fat "lures" of their own.

If any of you have seen either Hank Leonhard or Enrico Puglisi tie their large bunker and herring patterns with Sea Fibers, you know that they create more a flat profile. Hank does it by combing out the fibers flat, using one of those plastic spike hair brushes, then trimming around the edges to create the profile. It's a fairly simple tie, looks great, and catches fish.

For night work, I like to bulk the body up a bit by adding Sea Fibers to the sides of the hook shank as well as tying on the top and bottom. Instead of combing and trimming the profile, I do a minimum amount of cutting and use Super Taperizer scissors to thin and shape the tail. While casting distance is somewhat less than with Hank's and Enrico's lighter versions, big bass can come close to the shore at night and Sea Fibers patterns still cast well enough for you to get a doable night fly fishing distance.

I recommend you use at least a 10-weight outfit to handle these bulky patterns, and I suggest you follow the surfcasters' night retrieve by bringing in the pattern so slowly that it's almost an agonizing chore. A slow retrieve can work wonders, even on a hot, summer night.

Colors are optional. L&L Products has so many that you can create just about any imitation or simulation, but think about matching snapper bluefish, bunker, tinker mackerel, and juvenile weakfish. Though matching colors may not seem important for night work, it cane be, and these large patterns also work during the day.

Night stripers can tend to strike softly. Very softly. It's important to keep your hooks sharp. You might want to check out Mustad's 77660SS Tarpon Fly hooks. They have an extra-sharp, needle point that's downright lethal.


  • Hook: 1/0 to 5/0
  • Thread: Clear Monofilament Tying Thread
  • Body: White Sea Fibers & Optional Top Wing Color
  • Flash: Choice Optional
  • Eyes: Large Stick-Ons or Molded

1: Start your thread at the hook bend, tying in a clump of white Sea Fibers both on the top and the bottom. Hold the Sea Fibers in your hand, and pluck at the ends to stagger the fibers before you tie them in. This is the start of the standard Hi Tie.

2: Continue up the shank, adding bunches of the white Sea Fibers to both the top and bottom for another two or three ties, then, if you like, switch to a darker color for the topwing. You can also tie in all white and use a large nib permanent ink marker to color to the pattern later.

Keep the bottom lengths shorter than the topwing lengths. To create the proper profile, make each successive topwing tie a little longer than the previous one. To create a fat belly, add a clump of Sea Fibers to the bottom each time you make a top tie. For a slimmer profile, tie a clump on the bottom for every two or so top ties. You'll need to be a little creative and imaginative here.

It should take you about six top ties to reach the hook eye.

3: When you're about two-thirds of the way along the shank, start adding Sea Fibers to both sides of the hook shank as well. Keep the clumps small, but extend them well beyond the hook bend. Two or three ties should do it.

Note: For a little extra effect, you may want to incorporate a few strands of another color, such as lavender, red, or yellow. Yellow can do a good job of matching a baby weakfish.

4: Before you make your last top and bottom ties, you might want to add some flash to the sides as well. A thin Mylar materials seems to work best, but the choice is yours.

5: Make your final bottom tie first. If necessary, add more side fibers, too, before you make your final top tie. Trim, whip finish, and add a drop of head cement, etc.

6: Now go to work with your scissors. Again, creativity counts. Keep a 3-D profile in mind as you trim the Sea Fibers. Use the Super Taperizer scissors from the hook bend back to thin the tail. This will give you more movement in the water, and help casting distance.

7: A long tail can often wrap the hook on a cast, adding a small bit of silicone, Flexament, etc. right where the Sea Fibers cover the hook bend helps. As an option, try using E-Z Shape Sparkle Body in Pearl. Take a tiny bit on a flat toothpick, and give the area a light coat. You can also use light coats of E-Z Shape to add flash and/or color to the sides.

8: Add the eyes. The basic stickum isn't going to hold, so set the eyes into a dollop of Aquaseal, silicone, etc., and let everything dry throroughly. Though the Extra-Large Molded Eyes add some extra weight, they can lend an enticing jigging action to a slow retrieve.

Note: For a Tinker Mackerel pattern, use green Sea Fibers for the top wing, then color in the stripes with a marker.







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