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Articulated Shank™

The Fish Skull Articulated Shank™ is a new fly tying material designed to simplify the tying of articulated flies.

It can be used as a simple component in different styles of articulated flies such as single-hook and two-hook articulated streamers, poppers and sliders. It is also used for streamers that use a free-swinging stinger hook such as Intruder-style salmon and steelhead flies. BUY NOW!

Click here to see the entire Flymen Articulated Shank™ Family.

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Key Features:

  • Easy-and-fast tying process.
  • Increases tail action.
  • Increases the overall fly length.
  • Reduces the leverage a hooked fish typically places on a fly.
  • Eliminates the need to “sacrifice a hook” to make a shank.
  • 3 Shank lengths (20mm, 35mm and 55mm).
  • 20 Shanks per pack.
  • Typically for streamer flies  3″ (7.5cm) and longer.
  • Wire diameter fits hook sizes starting from about #4 up to 3/0.
  • Will fit the Fish-Skull® (SM, M and L sizes) and the Fish-Skull® Sculpin Helmet™ .
  • The high strength, stainless spring steel shank can be used in saltwater.

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GETTING STARTED GUIDE for some ideas on tying different styles of articulated fly.

 ARTICULATED SHANK ™ PATTERNS with step-by-step tying instructions.

Articulated “Skulpin Bunnies” tied by Martin Bawden

 

Articulated Shank™ Q & A:

Q: Does the Articulated Shank™ introduce new concepts in tying articulated flies?

A: Not really. For the most part it is intended as a fly tying material that can be used to simplify some of the established articulating methods commonly used today. Fly tiers can still tie the same types/styles of articulated fly, but now the Articulated Shank™ makes this a little easier-and-quicker by eliminating some of the tying steps and improvised materials (such as “sacrificing hooks” to make a shank).

In saying that, the simplicity of the Articulated Shank allows the fly tier to experiment and create new and innovative techniques to articulate flies. You are only limited by your imagination!

Q: How would you describe the shank?

A: Simple. It is essentially a hook-shank with a straight hook eye on one end and a vertical, over-sized loop on the other. It is made of 316 stainless spring steel so that it can also be used in saltwater. It is available in 3 lengths i.e. 20mm (3/4”), 35mm (1 3/8”) and 55mm (2 1/8”) to give fly tiers plenty of options.

Q: How thick is the wire?

A: The wire diameter of the Articulated Shank is roughly the same as a typical #4 or #2 streamer hook. It needs to be this diameter in order to fit through the eye of the hook you are articulating. So by default, the Articulated Shank is intended for streamers using hook sizes from about a #4 hook upwards. Experiment with your hooks as there is no industry standardization and hook eye sizes will vary between hook makes, models and sizes.

Q: How strong is the wire?

A: The strength is about the same as a  #4 or #2 streamer hook. Like a long streamer hook, if you had to put enough direct pressure on it with your hands it would bend.

HOWEVER, one of the major advantages and beauty of an articulated fly is that it vastly reduces the amount of leverage that a hooked fish can place on the fly. This concept is not always widely understood or discussed, but is a key factor in landing bigger fish more often. The shank sits between the fly line/tippet and the articulated hook which moves independently from the shank. So no matter how hard a fish fights it becomes virtually impossible to exert any direct pressure on the shank. The shank essentially becomes just an extension of the straight line that connects an angler to the hook in the fishes mouth.

Q: Why an over-sized vertical loop?

A: A little more freedom of movement. In addition to side-to-side action, we also wanted to ensure there is plenty of room for up-and-down movement on the drop between strips. Typically the loop is completely covered with body materials right up to the articulation point and cannot be seen.

Q: How many shanks do I get in each pack?

A: There are 20 Articulated Shanks per pack.

Q:  What is the difference between the Articulated Shank™ and Senyo’s Articulated Shank for Steelhead & Salmon™ flies?

A:  Both shanks work very well, but the main difference is the Articulated Shank is more of a general purpose shank with various fly tying applications vs. Senyo’s Articulated Shank™ which is a little more specialized with features that modern steelhead and salmon fly tiers have been asking for.

See a side-by-side Articulated Shank™ Comparison.