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The Reverse Spider

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Mike Benbow
The Herald's Mike Benbow explains how to tie a Reverse Spider, a fly named for its backward-facing feather hackles. This tying technique makes the fly pulse back and forth when it is pulled through the water so that it looks like a living thing.

Hook: Mustad 34007, size 2-6, Gamakatsu SS15 or Dai Riki 930 or Tiemco 800S
Thread: 8/0 thread or single strand floss, hot pink
Tail: Pink mallard flank
Rib: Silver wire or tinsel
Body: Trilobal dubbing, hot pink
Hackle: Pink mallard flank
Go here for a list of fly-fishing terms.
1) Tie in thread by wrapping it over itself several times.
2) Cut off waste end of thread.
3) Spiral wrap thread back to just before bend of hook and then up to just before the eye of the hook.
4) Tie a hunk of wire (four inches or so) by placing one end along the shank of the hook and spiraling the wraps of thread over the top until you get to the bend of the hook.
5) Let wire end trail behind the hook.
6) With the thread just at the hook bend, make a body with the dubbing. (Take small pieces of the dubbing, spread it out along the thread and roll it over your thumb and forefinger. Wrap around the hook. Repeat with several small pieces of dubbing until body is done.) Leave thread just behind the eye of the hook.
7) Spiral wrap the wire forward over the body, leaving a gap between each wrap. The wire should create three or four body segments.
8) Tie off wire by wrapping the thread over it three times or so about a quarter inch or so before the eye of the hook. Cut off waste part of wire.
9) Leave your thread adjacent to the body of the fly, with a small gap between the thread and the eye.
10) Select a good-sized mallard feather and pull one half of it off the stem. Start at the tip and tug on the barbs until they start to pull off. It should all go in one piece.
11) Cut off the ends of a few barbs at the tip of the feather creating an area where you can tie the feather in by the tip with several wraps of thread.
12) Wrap the feather around the hook, spiraling it toward the body. The tips of the feather should extend out behind the hook eye. Done correctly, the feather will fill up the gap and end close to the body.
13) Tie off the feather with three or four wraps of thread. Cut off the waste end of the feather.
14) Whip finish and add lacquer. Let dry.
If you're ready for more, move on to a Mike's Comet, a Hubert Humpy, or a Marabou Jig.

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