How to tie a Red-Necked Jig

The Red-Necked Jig is one of the simplest yet deadliest nymphs in a river fisher's box. So simple, in fact, it only requires five materials and takes just a minute or two to tie with a little practice. 


Size 12 jig hook

3.5mm slotted tungsten bead (copper)

Medium diameter Glo-Brite No. 5 silk 

Black pheasant tail

Medium-strength copper wire

Superglue/varnish (optional)

How to tie it

1. Tightly hold the tag end of the silk and whip around the hook from the bead down to the bend. If the bead is moving add a few more turns at the start to lock it tight to the eye before continuing down the shank.

2. Pinch four strands of pheasant tail and pull them away from the shaft of the feather. Look for unblemished strands with aligning tips, as this will ease the process of tying in and also make the fly look more realistic.

3. Align the tips away from the bead adjacent to the shank of the hook, overlapping the bend by about half the length of the body and tie in with three turns of silk. The first turn should be relatively loose to allow the tail to maintain its shape, and the remaining two must be tight to lock in the fibres.

4. Snap off a length of wire roughly 2" long. Tie it in at the very tail-end using the same process as the tail.

5. Build up a tapered body profile by whipping the silk with touching turns up to the bead and part way back. Repeat until the profile is cigar-shaped and the bead becomes immovable.  

6. Carefully wrap the pheasant tail around the hook with touching turns without overlapping fibres. Once you get to the bead secure the fibres with three tight turns of silk and cut away the excess.

7. Tightly counter-turn (opposite direction as pheasant tail) the wire up the body to the bead with an even 1mm spacing and tie in tightly. DO NOT cut the wire. Instead, hold the fly tightly in your fingers with one hand and wiggle and twist the wire with the other until it breaks. Fold over any excess wire and whip over with a turn or two of silk.

8. Build up a large collar, usually around 1mm thick, by whip finishing. You can use a whip-finishing tool for this, or, if you find it easier, you can use your fingers to do half hitches. Repeat the process until you get a solid band, then cut away the silk.

9. (Optional) If you feel the thread is loose and may come apart, you can add a dab of clear varnish or superglue to the collar.

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