MONOFILAMENT AS A GUT SUBSTITUTE

Marvin Nolte

The preparation is a bit involved but the finished product is quite good. The first step is disguising the monofilament. Put a coil of clear monofilament (0.009 to 0.012 inches works well) into a container that you do not mind ruining. Squirt a small puddle of super glue into the container, taking care not to get any on the monofilament, then seal the container. Twenty-four hours later the monofilament will be etched.

Wipe any white residue from the etched mono then polish it. I use a 50:50 mix of carnauba and beeswax. I am sure that paraffin, straight beeswax, neutral shoe polish, anything but tying wax will work.

Now the monofilament must be twisted. Actually twisting it is no problem. Maintaining the twist is. Take three strands of equal length, clamp both ends, twist as tightly as you dare. Then suspend the twisted monofilament and clamps between two supports. The key to setting the twist is heat. I tried a hair dryer which took to long. An alcohol lamp run quickly under the monofilament effectively set the twist.

As a side note. Another method that was in the November 1981 Fly Tyer Magazine for heating the monofilament was discussed by Poul Jorgensen. Poul recommended using boiling water to set the twist. Basically, follow Marvin's method up to heating with a lamp. Pour some water into two sauce pans. To one pan add a few ice cubes and the other bring to a boil. Dip the twisted monofilament into the boiling water for about ten seconds then quickly take it out of the boiling water and dip it into the ice water. According to Poul, it should stay twisted.