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> > Good Quality Dryfly Poly Foam for Extended-Body Patterns

WiflyfisherJune 21st, 2008, 2:30 pm

Posts: 639
I want to try tying some of the large extended-body mayfly patterns from the examples in: "Fly-Fishing Pressured Water", by Lloyd Gonzales (ISBN 978-0-8117-3220-8).

Where is a good source for purchasing quality dry fly foam for extended bodies?
John S.
GONZOJune 21st, 2008, 2:48 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681

The foam I use for large extended bodies is 2mm foam. Although it can be readily purchased through fly-tying suppliers, most craft stores sell very inexpensive sheets of the stuff in many colors.
WiflyfisherJune 21st, 2008, 2:53 pm

Posts: 639
Gonzo, what are you calling a craft store? (For my sake and other cheesehead readers.) Also, what do you cut it with? A razor knife?
John S.
GONZOJune 21st, 2008, 3:03 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Sorry, John. Craft store chains like Michael's or Ben Franklin's are pretty easy to find in my area, but I realize that may not be the case everywhere. I cut foam with a single-edged razor blade, but a razor knife or even scissors would work. Because of the way the tying converts flat foam strips into a rounded shape, a little bit of unevenness in the cutting usually doesn't matter much.
WiflyfisherJune 21st, 2008, 3:50 pm

Posts: 639
The jagged edges was my concern. Without a very sharp knife edge I have always found foam doesn't cut clean. Okay, I will see what I can find in craft shops around here on Monday. Plus, I will go to Cabelas next week. You just gave me an excuse to go. :-)

Are you still using the Tiemco 2488 hooks for your Hex/Ephemera extended body patterns?
John S.
GONZOJune 21st, 2008, 4:09 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Yes, the 2488 has been my favorite for extended bodies or for the front hook on hinged bodies since its introduction, but the newer Daiichi 1640 dry-fly hook also works very well.
WiflyfisherJune 23rd, 2008, 9:30 am

Posts: 639
Just an update (for others possibly reading this)... I stopped in our local crafts store (Hobby Lobby) and found 12" x 18" x 2mm thick foam sheets for $0.79. (Plus they had 40% off the regular price, so they were really cheap.) They have a lot of colors I didn't feel would really work for fly bodies, but a few earth tone colors and white should work well for extended bodies. I think I bought a lifetime supply for about $3.00! :)

For colored pens I bought a few colors of PrismaColor to try. They had them at 25% off which helps because $3.75 per pen seems a little pricey to me.
John S.
TrtklrJune 26th, 2008, 5:36 pm

Posts: 115
ok so I haven't done too many extended body mayflies but someone showed me a neat trick to save money on foam. get some copper/brass tubing with an inner diameter the size you want the base of body to be. cut the tubing about 3-4 inches with a pipe cutter. this will leave a sharp edge on one end. next go to the dollar store and buy some cheap flip flops or can cooler made of foam. simply twist the tubing into the foam and presto you have a body for extended mayflies or a post for a parachute syle. you know how many bodies you can get from a dollar pair of flip flops? thats a lot of flies.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
WiflyfisherJuly 9th, 2008, 2:04 pm

Posts: 639
Gonzo, I find the foam extended body flies do not float as well or as long as my 30 lb. mono with blended fur extended body flies do.

But my new pontoon boat floats really well!! :)

John S.
GONZOJuly 9th, 2008, 2:28 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
I'm not sure why that would be, John, but I certainly recommend that you use whatever you (and the fish) like best. As for the boat, I trust that your concerns about losing a rod were mostly unfounded. How was the fishing?
WiflyfisherJuly 9th, 2008, 2:47 pm

Posts: 639
The foam extended bodies seem to start to sink after a little use. Maybe I am doing something wrong in my tying.

I cut some old flyline and tied it too my flyrod and to the metal frame. Works fine and doesn't interfere with casting. The lake fishing has been slow. Partially due to the strange weather patterns and my lack of experience trying to catch trout in lakes. Nothing hatching on the water to make it easier for me.
John S.
GONZOJuly 9th, 2008, 7:20 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Maybe I am doing something wrong in my tying.

I suppose it's possible that the foam you found at the craft store was open-cell rather than closed-cell, but I rather doubt that. None of mine has been open-cell. It floats well enough before being tied, doesn't it?

The only thing that comes to mind from a tying standpoint is that you may be using too much thread on the needle or for the segmentation wraps, and the thread is soaking up water. I try to use as few wraps as possible, and I often coat the body with a thin coat of Flexament to seal the thread and increase durability.

I suppose I should also add that I almost always use floatant, even on foam bodies. I find that it helps to shed water from the surface of the foam. Otherwise, the foam still floats, but a bit lower in the water.
McjamesJuly 10th, 2008, 6:40 am
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
related topic: does anyone know where to get 0.5mm foam in 8.5 x 11 inch sheets? I can only find it in smaller sizes like 3 x 5
I am haunted by waters

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