A Low Cost Simple Fly

originated by:  Ed Engelman

Ed Engelman.com

Low Budget Fishing And Fly Tying

 An item as simple as a rubber band can be tied to a fishing hook and can be used to catch bass and pan fish.  I developed this fly to demonstrate that fly tying can be inexpensive.  I fish with it because with it I can catch bass!  The Band It fly has been very productive for me from spring through mid summer fishing.


An important feature of this fly is that the tail end of the band is slit in half or thirds.  When the “Band It” is fished alternately moderately fast and very slow, it can stimulate a fish to strike the “Band It” in the same manner that the fish would attack their natural prey.  I often use #84 rubber bands that are 1/2 inch wide by 3 1/2 inches (measured lying flat folded).  Each of these rubber bands can be used to tie two flys or jigs when the band is cut into two pieces that are 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 long.

Whether they are tied as a fly, Clouser fly, or as a jig, they can be “dressed” to your own liking.  Sometimes I tie them with gold tinsel bodies, sometimes with red dubbed bodies, sometimes with no body at all.  Sometimes I add purple tinsel cheeks made from folded  and heat sealed potato chip bags.  Sometimes I paint the last 1/2 inch of the tail with glitter nail polish!  I often tie in eyes made from medium or heavy beaded chain.  This is a versatile inexpensive fly that you may wish to add to your fly box.


To tie the fly, tie in the thread and wrap to the bend of the hook and back to 1/2 inch from the hook eye.  Next,  trim one end of the rubber band to form a tab about 1/8 inch wide by 3/4 inch long.  Then tie the rubber band in with the tail laying over the eye of the hook. Next tie in the body and the beaded chain eyes (both optional).  Then fold the rubber band back and over the beaded chain so that the tab only covers the center portion of the chain, and tie the rubber band again behind the eyes.  Complete the head with wraps of thread in front of the eyes and tie off with several half hitches.  Coat the head with water based polyurethane, finger nail polish or, head cement.  With a scissors, carefully slit the tail end in half or thirds.   Notches can now be cut from the part of the rubber band over the shank of the hook to give the appearance of legs. Next, go fishing with a Band-It.

Hook                           Size 6 to 1/0

Eyes-Optional              Beaded chain

Body -Optional            Gold tinsel or dubbed in red or purple

Tail                               Rubber band 1/2”  X 3 1/2”

Cheek-Optional            Tinsel or folded /heat sealed potato chip bag (purple works well)


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