Perfect Tinsel Bodies
When I started tying flies in 1955, I immediately realized that I was going to have a serious problem with tinsel bodies. First, there was no way that I could find to wrap the tinsel without getting a small gap here and there that showed the black thread underneath. If I ribbed the flat tinsel body with oval tinsel, then I could manage to hide most of those little gaps. Still, there was that need to dress flies with a flat tinsel body, and those little gaps just wouldn’t go away, no matter how carefully I wrapped. Then, somewhere along the line, not too many years later, I learned the trick for getting perfect flat tinsel bodies. First, use white thread so that black thread won’t show through any tiny gaps. Second, tie the tinsel in at the head (Figure 1). Wind back to the tail (Figure 2), and then wind forward over this first layer. The two windings will “X” over one another, and the forward wraps will hide any tiny gaps created when the tinsel was wrapped rearward. Any gaps created in the forward wraps will only show the underlying rearward-wound layer of tinsel (Figure 3).