Oct 29th 2020

How to Tie the: Sugar Shaker

Umpqua's Sugar Shaker from Signature Tyer Josh Smitherman

Material List:

XS420 (#2)

Double Pupil Lead Eyes (Large)

Articulated Fish-Spine Shanks (10mm, 15mm, & 20mm)

Articulation Wire

Glass Beads (Size depends on wire gauge)

Rabbit Zonker (color of choice)

Marabou (color of choice)

UV Polar Chenille (UV Pearl)

Rubber Legs –or- Hen saddle feathers

Senyo’s Laser Dub (color of choice)

Step 1: 10mm shank. Articulated Fish-Spine Shanks work great.

Tip: make a cut at the bottom of the back loop with some wire cutters. This allows enough shank for the vise to grip and it will take less material to cover the first shank.

Step 2: Prep a rabbit zonker strip. Trap the leather hide in the small magic tool.

Tip: Petitjean Magic Tools make it much easier to work with the rabbit fur.

Step 3: With the larger magic tool, trap the rabbit hair fibers. Release the hide from the smaller tool.

Step 4: Trim off the leather hide while keeping the hair trapped in the large tool. For this shank, you want only half the length of the fur.

Step 5: Either split your thread or make a dubbing loop. Insert the exposed fur and spin it.

Step 6: Wrap the spun rabbit to the eye of the shank and whip finish. Put the 15mm shank on.

Step 7: Repeat the same process with the rabbit fur. The fur should be the same length or a little longer than the fur on the 10mm shank.

Tip: The 15mm shank usually takes two strips of rabbit to fill up but it depends on how thick the rabbit fur is.

Step 8: Put on the 20mm shank.

Tip: If you cut off part of the back loop on the 10mm shank you should be able to hook a rubber band through it. This keeps the tail out of the way while tying. This also works great for articulated flies with multiple hooks.

Step 9: Repeat the rabbit fur spinning process. The rabbit fur should be longer than the fur on the 15mm shank. It should be almost the full length of the rabbit fibers. The different lengths of fur on each shank create a taper.

Tip: The 20mm shank usually takes three strips of rabbit to fill up but it depends on how thick the rabbit fur is.

Step 10: Tie on large double pupil lead eyes on a size 2 XS420. Keep a hook eye’s width between the hook eye and the lead eyes.

Step 11: Tie in 2-3 inches of stainless articulation wire. Add two glass beads.

Tip: Size of the bead depends on the wire gauge. You want the wire to be snug going back through the beads

Step 12: Run the wire through the eye of the 20mm shank.

Step 13: Put the wire back through the glass beads. The loop that the tail is on should be approximately the width of a bead.

Step 14: Tie down the wire and cut off any extra. A little liquid super glue can be helpful locking the wire in. Be careful of the wire edges. They can be sharp and cut your thread.

Step 15: Tie in marabou feathers. One on top and one on bottom

Step 16: Trim off excess marabou. Tie down the butt of the feather and make a thread ramp so that it’s easier to wrap material on later.

Step 17: pin more rabbit fur. When cutting this fur off of the hide, get as close to the hide as possible.

Step 18: Wrap the spun fur forward making tight, touching wraps.

Step 19: Tie in a few inches of UV Polar Chenille in a UV Pearl.

Step 20: Wrap the chenille forward. 3-5 wraps will be plenty.

Step 21: Spin more rabbit fur. Full length fur again. Cut as close to the hide as possible.

Step 22: Wrap the spun fur up to the lead eyes.

Step 23: Add in either rubber legs or hackle fins. For the hackle fins, Brahma hen is my favorite; however, most hen saddle feathers work.

Step 24: Tie in rubber legs or hackle feathers on each side. This fly has 6 legs on each side. For feather fins, just put one feather on each side.

Step 25: Try to get the legs as much on the sides as possible.

Step 26: Tie in Senyo’s Laser Dub. One clump on top and bottom behind the lead eyes.

Step 27: Advance the thread in front of the lead eyes and tie in the second set of laser dub clumps. One on top and bottom.

Step 28: Tie in the last set of laser dub clumps on top and bottom. Fold the dubbing back and whip finish right behind the hook eye.

Step 29: Brush back the laser dub and trim the rubber legs if needed. If you left part of the loop on the 10mm shank, go back and cut off the remainder.

View the Sugar Shaker