Fly Tying Eyes

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Prism Tape Eyes Dazl-Eyes Bead Chain Eyes
3D Molded Eyes Lead Eyes Pro Sportfisher Softheads
Mirage Dome Eyes 3-D Big Fish Eyes Mono Nymph Eyes
Real Eyes Painted Lead Eyes Associated Items: Beads & Cones

Eyes On Flies Can Be Very Important ! 

Wasn't it an old Eagles song that said, "You can't hide your fly tying eyes?"  On bait fish fly patterns, eyes may be one of the most important targets for predatory game fish.  This means that one of  the key features that many game fish see is the eye (or eyes) of their victims. It stands to reason that flies with eyes should be much more successful than the same pattern with out eyes.  Our tests conclude this is true.  Check out this discussion about fishes, flies and eyes!


Prism Tape Eyes
These eyes are made from multi-layered reflective, pearlescent and clear Mylar.  This structure reflects light much like the iris in a fish eye.  Many predator fish are very perceptive and the more realistic the eye on your fly, the better.  The irises in most fish eyes are flat.  The Prism Tape Eye may be the most realistic type of eye available for many bait fish patterns.

Item Description Color Price To Top
PRIZS-4.5 Prism Tape Eyes 4.5mm Silver $2.20
PRIZS-3.5 Prism Tape Eyes 3.5mm Silver $2.20
PRIZS-2.5 Prism Tape Eyes 2.5mm Silver $2.20
PRIZG-4.5 Prism Tape Eyes 4.5mm Gold $2.20
PRIZG-3.5 Prism Tape Eyes 3.5mm Gold $2.20
PRIZG-2.5 Prism Tape Eyes 2.5mm Gold $2.20

3D Molded Eyes
The eyes of some bait fish are domed or hemispherical.  These 3D eyes fit into Real Eyes, can be set onto epoxied heads of streamer flies and many other applications.  The Molded 3D Eyes will dress up any pattern that represents a bail fish.  These eyes come with silver or gold irises to simulate specific species of fish and also come with red irises to represent wounded fish.

Item Description Color Price To Top
3DPS-2.0 3D Molded Eyes 2.0mm Silver $4.00

3DPS-2.5 3D Molded Eyes 2.5mm Silver $4.00

3DPS-3.0 3D Molded Eyes 3.0mm Silver $4.00

3DPG-2.0 3D Molded Eyes 2.0mm Gold $4.00

3DPG-2.5 3D Molded Eyes 2.5mm Gold $4.00

3DPG-3.0 3D Molded Eyes 3.0mm Gold $4.00

3DPR-2.0 3D Molded Eyes 2.0mm Red $4.00

3DPR-2.5 3D Molded Eyes 2.5mm Red $4.00

3DPR-3.0 3D Molded Eyes 3.0mm Red $4.00


 Mirage Dome Eyes
These realistic eyes take on the colors of the fly they are attached to.

Mirage Dome Eyes

Mark's Sardina
Item Description Size Price To Top
DE1 Mirage Dome Eyes 3/32" $3.60

DE2 Mirage Dome Eyes 5/32" $3.60

DE3 Mirage Dome Eyes 1/4" $3.60

DE4 Mirage Dome Eyes 3/8" $3.60


3-D Big Fish Eyes
These eyes are for your largest saltwater streamers.

3-D Big Fish Eyes

 
Item Description Size Price To Top
3D10 3-D Big Fish Eyes, Silver 3/8" $4.20

3D13 3-D Big Fish Eyes, Silver 1/2" $4.20


Mono Nymph Eyes
These easy to use eyes have been used to dress up many different fly patterns, including damsel & dragonfly nymphs, sculpins and tarpon toads. They come 20 pairs on a stick.

Mono Nymph Eyes

Bachmann's Damsel Olive Tarpon Toad Purple
Item Description Color Price To Top
MNB-1 Mono Nymph Eyes, Extra Small Black $1.80

MNB-2 Mono Nymph Eyes, Small Black $1.80

MNB-3 Mono Nymph Eyes, Medium Black $1.80

MNB-4 Mono Nymph Eyes, Large Black $1.80


Real Eyes
These eyes are turned from solid brass, then polished and coated with either silver or gold colored chrome. The ends of these eyes are built to hold Prism Tape Eyes of 3D Eyes.  These sets come with two colors of Prism Tape Eyes.

 
Item Description Color Price To Top
15REAL-004 Real Eyes 3/16-inch Gold $7.00

15REAL-003 Real Eyes 5/32-inch Gold $5.50

15REAL-204 Real Eyes 3/16-inch Nickel $4.50

15REAL-203 Real Eyes 5/32-inch Nickel $4.25


Dazl-Eyes
These eyes are turned from solid brass, then polished and coated with either silver or gold colored chrome. They are distinctive in appearance.  With a pupil of black enamel these eyes become very realistic.  This is our favorite type of eye for Clouser style minnows.  Epoxy the eyes and whole head of the fly for more durability.
 

Item Description Color Price To Top
EYE-205 Dazl-Eyes 7/32 Nickel $6.00

EYE-204 Dazl-Eyes 3/16 Nickel $5.00

EYE-203 Dazl-Eyes 5/32 Nickel $4.50

EYE-202 Dazl-Eyes 1/8 Nickel $4.50

EYE-201 Dazl-Eyes 3/32 Nickel $4.50

EYE-005 Dazl-Eyes 7/32 Gold $10.50

EYE-004 Dazl-Eyes 3/16 Gold $9.50

EYE-003 Dazl-Eyes 5/32 Gold $7.00

EYE-002 Dazl-Eyes 1/8 Gold $4.50

EYE-001 Dazl-Eyes 3/32 Gold $4.50


Lead Eyes
These eyes are made from lead.  They come either plain or nickel plated.  The nickel plating gives the eyes a hard, reflective exterior.

Item Description Color Price To Top
EYLN105 Lead Eyes Large Plain $1.70

EYLN104 Lead Eyes Medium Plain $1.70

EYLN103 Lead Eyes Small Plain $1.70

EYLN102 Lead Eyes Extra Small Plain $1.70

EYLN101 Lead Eyes Mini Plain $1.70

EYLP105 Lead Eyes Large Plated $2.00

EYLP104 Lead Eyes Medium Plated $2.00

EYLP103 Lead Eyes Small Plated $2.00

EYLP102 Lead Eyes Extra Small Plated $2.00


Painted Lead Eyes
These heavy weighted eyes are quick to tie with and give any deep minnow pattern a very realistic look.

Item Description Color Price To Top
PLEM383 Painted Lead Eyes Medium Yellow Iris $2.70

PLES383 Painted Lead Eyes Small Yellow Iris $2.70

PLEX383 Painted Lead Eyes Extra Small Yellow Iris $2.70


Bead Chain Eyes
These lengths of "pull" chain may be cut apart in pairs, then tied on a hook to provide weight and the hole in the end of each bead looks like the pupil in an eye.  These eyes whistle as they are cast though the air.  Some anglers believe that they also whistle as they are retrieved through the water.

Item Description Color Price To Top
SSE Stainless Steel Bead Chain Eyes X-Large Stainless $1.80

SSM Stainless Steel Bead Chain Eyes Medium Stainless $1.80

SSS Stainless Steel Bead Chain Eyes Small Stainless $1.80

BCL344 Bead Chain Eyes Large Silver $1.80

BCM344 Bead Chain Eyes Medium Silver $1.80

BCS344 Bead Chain Eyes Small Silver $1.80

BCL153 Bead Chain Eyes Large Gold $1.80

BCM153 Bead Chain Eyes Medium Gold $1.80

BCS153 Bead Chain Eyes Small Gold $1.80


Pro Sportfisher Softheads 

 
No more sticky epoxy fingers and unnecessary heavy flies when creating flies with baitfish style heads. Pro Softheads fits on all tubes but will of course also fits your favorite hooks. Mount in on the head of the fly, and create a super base for adding stick-on-eyes on your fly. Ideal for baitfish-patterns, but many trout, salmon or steelhead flies will be perfectly matched and upgraded by the Pro Softhead. 
Item Description Size Price To Top
10302001 Pro Sportfisher Softheads, Clear XS $6.95

10302101 Pro Sportfisher Softheads, Clear S $6.95

10302201 Pro Sportfisher Softheads, Clear M $6.95

10302301 Pro Sportfisher Softheads, Clear L $6.95


The Eyes Have It!     More About Eyes.

"Yes, you guessed it.  I'm playing with my newest picture making toys.  Some of these toys are optical.  Some are digital.  Every picture in this presentation was taken with a digital camera and then altered with Photoshop software.  No attempt has been made to hide or deceive; quite the contrary.  Every attempt has been made to clarify and communicate the power of the eye to your eyes.  The eye might the greatest instrument of perception for the creatures that have

 them.  Sight allows us to assess information quickly which allows for quick reaction, often a matter of life or death.  However the blessing may also be a curse.  If you are the prey, being hard to see is important to your survival and your eyes may be some of the hardest parts of your body to hide.  Which means it may be the easiest feature for a predator to target.  At least that seems to be true in the case of some schooling bait fish and some of the predator fish that feed on them.  Patty and I encountered this situation while fishing around the shoreline rocks south of Barra De Navidad, Mexico.  Jacks, Sierra Mackerel and Corvina were feeding on a school of small baitfish that were perfectly matched to a #4 olive & white Clouser Minnow.  For a while it was a fish on every cast.  Then we ran out of those eyed flies.  The next fly we tried was a "Bend-back" of exactly the same size and color.  It was tied from the  materials, but had no eyes and no eye target.  We got no hits at all, over an extended period.  The next pattern tried was an ALF of same color and size, but with prominent reflective silver and black eyes.  We were instantly back into numbers of hook ups.  having flies with eyes was the key to catching fish for the next several days.  

At left is a Flatiron Herring called a Sardina from the Sea of Cortez.  Note the very prominent black pupil in the reflective iris.  The pupil itself may be the key.

Several species of saltwater game fish exhibit false eyes at the tail end of their bodies to confuse predators that might want to feed on them.  Most notable are the Redfish that inhabit coastal areas of the south east U.S.A. During some stage of their life cycle, redfish must have a predator that uses their eyes as a targets.Having an eye on their tail gives them a 50% greater chance for survival.

With eyes being so important as targets for predatory fish, it only stands to reason that some discerning fly tiers would put eyes on their flies.  Who was first? No one knows.  One of the first applications that  became popular was the use of Jungle Cock Eyes on flies tied to catch Atlantic Salmon.  These eyes are the tips of neck hackles from the Gray India Jungle Fowl.  These feathers 

have an eye-spot in the enamel-like coating.  The use of Jungle Cock Eyes also became popular on streamer flies that simulate fresh water bait fish.   
Is a cluster or school of many eyes harder to target than one eye?  Schooling baitfish use "too many targets" as a defense mechanism.  The Jungle Cock 

neck might also provide an answer.  The Jungle Cock neck is probably the result of genetic selection?  It would be interesting to know which predator targeted the eyes of jungle cocks and was finally rendered ineffective by the school of eyes on it's neck. It may have happened.  At any rate this adaptation has provided fly tiers a supply of eyes for flies for many years.  Unfortunately Jungle Cock feathers are expensive, somewhat fragile and not always easy to come by. In many cases it is easier to paint eyes on the head of a fly.  Flies that have large heads facilitate this

 process.  Bass popping bugs are prime candidates for these kinds of eyes.  With the example furnished here, several coats of paint form the background color and then the eye.  Then the whole head of the popper is coated with clear epoxy which adds luster and extreme durability.  Popping bugs float on the surface of the water and attract fish by making loud disturbances.  Under these conditions it is hard to determine whether eyes on poppers are made to attract fish or fishermen. We have fished poppers with and without

 eyes and I always thought that the ones with eyes caught more fish.   Doing this kind of research is a pretty good job even if it isn't entirely scientific.  I have little doubt that eyes make a lot of difference in the productivity of flies that are tied to represent bait fish.  If normal size eyes are a target for predatory fish, then productivity of a certain fly pattern might be increased simply by increasing the size of the eyes thus making the target easier to see. Some anglers go to an

extreme.  At left is a Big Eyed Baitfish.  It is tied like many "Deceiver patterns", but has oversized doll eyes glued to the sides of an over sized head.  The pupils in these eyes are mobile and add movement and sound as the fly is retrieved.

 The air trapped inside the eye gives the fly a heads-up attitude.  This pattern has been proven to be very effective, but the jury is out as to whether the over size eyes produce more strikes than normal size eyes.  (We would love your input on eye size and will be glad to publish your comments).  The clear lens of real eyes are in most cases hemispherical.  However the lens is rarely discernable.  The iris and pupil are the features of the eye that are easiest to

see. The iris is relatively flat at first appearance.  The pupil is a hole, but at a glance it also appears to be flat. Recently some really neat looking hemispherical 3-D eyes have become available.  We wondered if they might get more strikes than
 flat ones.  So far our tests have been inconclusive.  As to colors of eyes?  We have tried yellow, silver and red iris color.  They have all caught fish.  Most baitfish have reflective irises.  Many have silver irises.  However reflective silver irises on our flies haven't proven to be any more effective than painted yellow.  Using red irises is a trick that Captain Bob Marvin out of Naples, Florida turned us on to. He said that many times when predator fish attack a
 school of bait fish, their first intention is to cripple as many baits as possible.  Then they can pick up the crippled fish in a more leisurely fashion.  This is more efficient than killing only one at a time.  Often the crippling blow comes from the slap of a tail or ramming of the head.  The bait is often severely bruised and the eye ball often fills with blood giving the eye a red iris.  Red 
eyes can signify an easy meal.  The pupil is the aperture through which light passes to the specialized nerve ending in the back of the eye ball which sends the illusion of sight to the brain.  By its very function it has to fit certain configurations that are not easily disguised.  A baitfish pupil nearly always looks like a black dot.  If the pupil is the real target, can the iris be eliminated from the fly?  Once 
again no conclusive evidence exists.  Flies like the one above that uses plastic dumb-bell eyes have proven to be more effective than the same pattern with no eyes at all.  Flies with eyes painted on lead or brass dumb-bells have proven to be very effective.  The eye target is very prominently displayed and the heavy weight concentrated near the eye gives the fly an erratic, wounded action when retrieved. 


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