Tying Instructions: Balanced Leech

1. Slip a conehead onto the brad or pin and attach the brad to the vise..
Step One
2. Attach a piece of leadfree wire behind the conehead to help fill the void of the countersunk cavity.
Step Two
3. Attach the 3/0 thread behind the wire and secure the wire snugly within the cavity with thread wraps and finish with a whip finish.
Step Three
4. Remove the brad from the vise and clamp your hook onto the vise. Attach the 3/0 thread to the shank behind the eye.
Step Four
5. Position the brad to the top of the hook shank so that the conehead will balance the hook in a horizontal position when suspended from the eye. This may take a few attempts until you find the proper position. Once this position is determined, clip the brad or pin so that the brad lies solely on top of the hook shank and does not protrude past the end of the shank.
Step Five
6. Lash the brad to the top of the hook shank and secure with a whip finish.
Step Six
7. Apply Zap-a-gap to the thread wraps for durability and test the balance of the hook when suspended from the eye.
Step Seven
8. Secure the hook back upon the vise and attach the 6/0 thread to the shank wrapping down to the tail tie-in position.
Step Eight
9. Clip a section of fibrules from the quill of a marabou plume. Hold these fibrules securely with you fingers so that the tips remain fairly even.
Step Nine
10. Holding the tips above the hook shank measure the length of the marabou so that the tail length is about the same as the hook shank length.
Step Ten
11. Secure the marabou tips at the tail tie-in position with 2 wraps and then spirol wrap forward trapping the tag end pieces to the top of the hook shank.
Step Eleven
12. Near the eye of the hook, clip off the remaining tag ends of the marabou and secure with some thread wraps.
Step Twelve
13. For a more substantial tail, repeat this process with another clump of marabou fibers.
Step Thirteen
14. Apply two wraps at the tail tie-in position and spirol wrap forward trapping the tag ends of the marabou to the hook shank. Clip off the remaining tag ends near the eye of the hook.
Step Fourteen
15. Wrap the thread back to the tail tie-in position and create a dubbing loop. This is a large loop of thread that is held in an open position with the use of a dubbing tool. You wrap the top of the loop with some thread wraps to close the apex of the loop and then wrap your thread forward to the eye of the hook.
Step Fifteen
16. Position the dubbing fibers within the loop teasing them within the loop for the proper density. If you desire a tapered body, you would have a smaller density of fibers near the tail tie-in position and more fibers closer to the conehead.
Step Sixteen
17. Trap the fibers within the loop by twisting the dubbing tool. As it twists the two threads, you can massage the material and reposition the dubbing. The loop can be secured with a hackle plier and the dubbing tool can be removed prior to wrapping the material around the shank.
Step Seventeen
18. If you run out of dubbing material to cover the shank either create another dubbing loop or reopen the existing one and add more material.
Step Eighteen
19. Twist the loop once more with the additional dubbing material and secure the loop with the hackle pliers.
Step Nineteen
20. Wrap forward going around the eye of the hook and finishing just behind the conehead.
Step Twenty
21. Apply a couple of thread wraps behind the conehead and tag end of the loop to secure the material.
Step Twenty One
22.Snip off the tag end of the loop. If you are still a little light in material behind the conehead, you can twist some more dubbing onto the bobbin thread and build it up some more.
Step Twenty Two
23. Secure the material with thread wraps behind the conehead and use a whip finish.
Step Twenty three
24. Use a dubbing brush to tease the fibers from the dubbing loop. Work all around the shank.
Step Twenty Four
25. Particularly, tease the fibers from just behind the conehead for a full flowing body.
Step Twenty Five
26. The finished Balanced Leech.
Step Twenty Six

©2016 Steve Schalla
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