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Pattern Index

Red/Black Epoxy Baitfish
Glen Mikkleson

The Red/Black Epoxy Baitfish has been my most productive pattern for striped bass at night during the spring and summer seasons. The pattern seems to do very well when thick clouds of sand eels make the bass fussy. I think they grab this fly over more natural-colored patterns because it stands out from the crowd. I also caught my first sand shark and my first dolphin (a small one) on this pattern last season.


Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3H Size 2 or 4
Thread: Size A (Color Optional)
Tail: Red Bucktail
Top Wing: Red & Black Bucktail
Body: Red Braided Mylar (Bill's Bodi-Braid, Fyre Werks, etc.)
Ribbing: Red Flashabou
Flash: Red & Black Krystal Flash
Eyes: Silver Prism Stick-Ons -- 2mm
Finish: Red Nail Polish and 2-Ton Epoxy (Rod Builders' Glue)

1: Tie in a Red Bucktail tail. Keep it sparse for sand eel-type simulators, and a bit bulkier for spearing, etc. Remember that the red and black bucktail top wings will add to the tail later on. Leave the butt ends long enough to extend past the hook eye.

2: Add several Red and Black Krystal Flash fibers, and while still at the hook bend, first tie in the red body braid and then a single strand of Red Flashabou. Not the Saltwater variety, but the thinner, standard Flashabou.

3: Wrap forward to the hook eye. Trim and wrap the Red Bucktail, leaving the thread just behind the hook eye.

4: Here's where a full 360-degree rotation vise with a bobbin cradle arm can come in handy: Wrap the Red Mylar Braid forward to the hook eye. Keep the turns neat. Take one wrap back, then bring the thread back to hold down the braid. Trim the braid and wrap the thread back approximately one-eighth of an inch behind the hook eye.

Editor's Tip: Instead of fumbling with braids wrapped around their packaging cards, use a plastic, 35mm film canister. Cut a slit in the cap for braids, or punch a hole for chenilles, etc. Remove the material from the card and load it "accordion style" in the canister. The opening in the cap should tight enough to hold the material without stretching it out of shape when it "feeds." Push the end through the cut in the cap, and close it up. Not only will it keep things in order, but the weight of the canister will hold the material in place while you tie it in.

5: Add a Black Bucktail wing followed by a Red Bucktail top wing. Once again, keep the profile constant by not adding too much bucktail. Trim the butt ends and tie down.

6: Bring the thread to the cradle again, and carefully wrap the Red Flashabou ribbing forward, keeping the Black and Red Bucktail wings in line on top of the shank as you go. Make five wide wraps with the Flashabou to bind the wings to the body.

7: Tie in the Flashabou and finish the head. Give the thread a coat of red nail polish and let it dry.

8: Coating: Give the pattern three light coats of 2-Ton Epoxy, brushed on. Add the Stick-On Eyes after the second coat while the epoxy is still tacky.

Editor's Note: 2-Ton epoxy takes from 25 to 45 minutes to set and approximately eight hours to cure.

A few drops of Flexament or a similar flexible adhesive applied to the base of the tail will cushion the bucktail from the sharp edge created by the hardened epoxy and make this pattern last longer.

Glen Mikkleson's "Skeeter"
Glen Mikkleson's "Itchy Chicken"

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