Quickly Add a Weed Guard to Your Fly!
In our first look at weed guards, we went over some instructions for Tying a Simple Bass-Style Weed Guard. There's other types of weed guards out there, including the super-simple "single" weed guard. While some flies come equipped with weed guards right from the get go, many others do not. If you tie your own flies, you may also find that you have flies you've already completed but didn't initially tie them with weed guards. Don't fret, because all is not lost—in many instances, you can just add one later! It's an extremely easy job that can be accomplished in just a couple minutes.
1.) Select some fishing line to use for the weed guard. Poundage/stiffness may vary based on things like fishing conditions, fly size, and how bulky your existing thread-head is already. Remember, adding a weed guard will add some thickness to the head. In this example, I'm using regular 30-pound test since I'll be fishing this fly around weed beds and grass for largemouth and peacock bass.
2.) Cut off a small piece of line and bend one side of it about 90-degrees as shown. This bent portion is what's tied onto the hook. If there's a slight natural curve to the line, make your bend directly opposite the curve so the curve will sweep straight back towards the hook point after being tied-in.
3.) Now I'll measure the bent portion against the fly's head. Snip off the excess line leaving just a tiny portion that's long enough to tie down without blocking the hook eye.
4.) After starting your thread, take your bobbin and simply wrap the weed guard in on the bottom of the fly's head. Make sure it's inline with the hook point and use just enough wraps so it's firmly in place.
5.) Take some wraps right behind the weed guard as well. This will help prop it up so it's a bit more rigid and effective.
6.) Cut the extra length of weed guard so that when you push back against it (as shown) it will still extend just past the hook point to protect it.
7.) With everything secure, whip finish and apply some glue/cement to both the head and the base of the guard. Now you have a fly that's better equipped for fishing around junk!
Adding a weed guard to an already-tied fly may not always come out looking as clean as if you had one installed in the first place, but it's a great way to avoid tying a whole new fly altogether. Of course, a weed guard like this can be installed when initially tying the fly, too. For someone that fishes around structure/cover as much as I do, this can be a great way to make some of your flies more capable!