Tying The Low Sodium Squid by Mark Usyk
The LOW SODIUM SQUID
My Low Sodium Squid gets its name from a couple simple facts. That I came up with this pattern in the dead of winter in Upstate NY where there’s a severe lack of salt water would be the first. The other fact being that I’ve never fly fished salt. But this pattern came out of my imagination and day dreams while preparing for a trip at the end of the winter to Clearwater Florida, fly rod tube stowed away in the luggage for that one day I’ve been allotted out of a family vacation to find some flats and give them a shot. I’d like to note that if you’re tying this you most likely are fishing salt water and therefore you should tie it on a stainless hook. I didn’t go out and buy stainless hooks simply because I’m using these flies for one day and who knows if they’ll ever get fished again so rusting hooks aren’t a worry to me.
To tie the Low Sodium Squid You’ll need this killer craft tubing that you can find in the craft stores. I actually found a heap of different colors in a big box store in the little kids craft aisle. This pattern requires white. You’ll need white marabou. You’ll need some flash. You’ll need some barred rubber legs. You’ll need some pink ice dub. You’ll need stick on eyes. And finally you’ll need the hook, the thread, and the glue of your choice. A tying vice would be handy too but if all you have is a pair of vice grips clamped to the kitchen table then have at it…You’re my hero and I now feel inadequate with my fancy cheap vice and dedicated trying bench.
I used a size 2 streamer hook, just under 2” long. As you tie your own, I’m sure you’ll chose your own hook profiles and sizes so I won’t get into specific brands and details here, this is merely to show you the order in which the materials are used.
With the hook in the vice, wrap your thread back to about the start of the bend, somewhere in there, where ever you think is good. (Can you tell I’m no professional tier yet?) Then select your marabou. You don’t want it to dense, pick a plume that has fluffy, varied lengths, and is somewhat sparse. Something that will really move as a bunch of independent appendages searching in the current for a meal.
Next choose some flash. Cut a dozen lengths that reach beyond most of the marabou by a half an inch give or take. (There are those extremely specific details again.) Tie them in being sure that they surround the marabou on all sides, not just on the top or the bottom or to the sides.
Next pick some rubber leg material, I chose round barred black and white. Tie three or four in being sure they too are not all just in one place. At this point I’ll add a drop of glue or UV resin or whatever it is you use to be sure it’s all nice and secure before anything else goes over the top of it all.
Chose some dubbing. I used some sparkly pink stuff. Seriously, that’s what I have written on the little zip lock bag. Sparkly Pink Stuff. It’s some type of ice dub. Sparkly. And pink. Dub the hook the length of the shank, stopping about a quarter inch short of the eye, maybe less depending on your hook length. Then take the thread back to where all the tail materials ended.
Grab that killer craft tube you bought at the craft store for cheap. (You bought the cheap stuff because your saving money by tying your own flies right? Yea. You keep telling yourself that. Look at all the money you’ve saved since you started tying your own stuff. Ha.) Push the craft tube over the hook, pinch it down at the very end by the bend with your index finger and thumb and secure it with a healthy wrap of thread.
Scissors. Take your scissors and cut the craft tubing a quarter of an inch out beyond the hook eye. This time I actually mean a quarter inch. Like, specifically. Now passing the thread over the tube whip finish it at the rear where you tied the end of the tube down. Add your favorite glue of choice and snip the thread.
With one hand pull back the open end of the craft tubing and re-start your thread behind the hook eye and wrap it back as far as you can, hopefully about to the end of the dubbing, then back forward again to about an 1/8” behind the hook eye.
Let go of the tubing, then just like you did the opposite end, pinch down this end leaving it puffed up in the center and tie down this end right up to the hook eye. Trim any pieces of the craft tubing that might be extending out beyond the thread wrap collar and interfering with the hook eye. Whip finish and glue.
Add your eyes with the glue or resin of your choice. Fight the temptation to remove it from the vice and eat it. It is not for you, there is a hook in there, and you probably won’t digest that craft tubing very well either.
This is just one version. I don’t know where you live and what stuff looks like in your home waters so change up the colors. I’ve tied several in this color combination, and I’ve also tied some in tan and brown. You can use different colors of craft tubing to change the body color, or you can just use white and change the color of the dubbing to match the color of the marabou you use. I’ve even done a few with sparse brown buck tail instead of marabou. I’ve done a few with lead dumbbell eyes instead of the stick on eyes, and even a couple with bead chain eyes. You could color the tubing with a permeant marker, maybe even make it barred. You know how this goes, this is my pattern, my Low Sodium Squid. Now figure out how you want to tie your version and see what eats it. If it doesn’t catch you anything just think of the money you saved by going out and hunting down the materials yourself and tying your own. Yea, just keep telling yourself that.