I have been getting a lot of requests from fly tiers around the world asking about my DIY Silicone Pinche Claws. I developed these Pinche claws in conjunction with the great Bauer Crab design which ended up becoming my Qs Pinche Crab. It has been a popular pattern in Belize for permit. The great, Will Bauer showed me how to tie his amazing pattern at the San Mateo Outdoor show back in the nineties, it was and still is a stable, deadly fly pattern used in Belize where Will pioneered the permit fishery back in the late eighties. The reason to the addition and development of the Pinche Claw is that silicone is buoyant and will float. These Pinche claws will take on a defensive posture when the crab, shrimp, crayfish or baby lobster lands on the bottom. They also will land in the right orientation when they fall. Very important when stalking permit. I think it makes a positive addition to any crab pattern and really works well. Always swim and test your flies before fishing them, remember everyone is a snowflake.
I hope this all makes sense, I threw it together rather quickly so if there are any questions, please fire away. I try to keep it as simple as possible so we can push the crab evolution forward…LOL
Start with some wax paper on a board, You will need scissors, CLEAR silicone, EP fibers, bodkiin, water proof marking pens, a ruler and lighter.
measure a length of EP fibers about 1/4 inch in width, leave enough length so you can make a knot, burn and edge so you can put through loop easier, then knot piece together
Color with sharpie, use your bodkin to add and smooth clear silicone through fibers, on both sides, pull in loose fibers with tip of bodkin then set to dry.
You can make DIY eyes by burning mono, then marking them with sharpies and adding Tuffleye or epoxy to build up eyes to size. Any clear silicone will work. The sketch will show you how I cut the claw sahpes once they dry, if you want your arms to curve then hold them in that position and add some five minute epoxy, tuffleye, or zap quick set glue to hold shape. Good luck and have fun…
I had five awesome students this past Saturday at Bob Marriotts Fly Fishing store that were ready to conquer six classics flats patterns and we all did it! We got into a few fun techniques like making my original “Pinche Claws”, dubbing fly bodies with synthetics, and making mono eyes, DIY style with Tuffleye Core. I also demoed the classic hand whip finish and connecting your fly to your tippet with a non-slip mono loop! All in all, an info packed, four-hour intermediate class that was lots of fun for me to share. It was my first fly tying series class and there will be more. I hope some of you can get in on the next one. It will be more of an advanced master class with a limit of six fly tiers, we will announce some dates next year. I would like to do one on Popovic’s Big Bucktail streamers (Beast, Bucktail Deceiver, and Bulkhead Deceiver) and maybe one on Crustaceans (red crab, pinche crab and crayfish). I will try my best to up your game and show you many inside tying tricks, so don’t get shut out…happy holidays!
My friend Wade Yoshi, is in my humble opinion, one of the best permit fly fisherman on the planet, with well over 300 to hand. I am fortunate to be able to listen and take notes every chance I get when we talk about these crazy fish. I developed my “Pinche Crab” a few years ago based on Will Bauer’s original crab fly, which Will taught me to tie back in the nineties. I modified it, using my home-made sili claws. It makes me happy when an accomplished angler like Wade lets me know we are on the right track…
Hey Al Q,
Been having some bad luck, past few trips. LDR (an acronym for long distance release) 5 fish in both Oct and November. Then this trip, not many shots again, but had every permit see the fly, attack the fly but no hook ups. Today, first shot same thing. Second shot landed the permit, but hook was bent, and broke when we tried to fix it. My guide picked one of your flies, and next shot we landed this nice single. Then for my 4th shot of the day, I casted to a push, and landed a nice bonefish on your fly….
I just sent out a few of my Sili-Crabs to a good buddy back east to target permit on the flats. These crabs legs are hand crafted out of a artist woodcut block, sprayed with release and then poured with a fast cure silicon. I can color them silicone pigments or after they cure with water-proof markers. Once the legs are made the rest of the fly is pretty easy to finish. I will try to put up a tying sequence soon. My inspiration for these realistic crabs were the Hiromi crabs which set the bar for crab flies a few years back. Hiromi hand cut the legs for his crabs individually out of rubber gloves. My tend to be a little more production style. When I do the article on these I will show how these can be weighted in various ways.