Kevin Compton of Performance Flies came up with the Tungsten Torpedo a few years back. Since then it’s become a staple of competitive fly fishermen and with good reason, it produces. Here, author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert is going to tie one on a size 12 Hanak H230BL fitted with a 3.2 mm gold tungsten bead.
For thread, Matt’s loaded a bobbin with olive Benicchi 12/0. Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the bead and take wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.
4 to 5 fibers of medium pardo Coq de Leon are used for the tail. Make sure to get the tips aligned prior to tie-in. Matt measures to form a tail a hook shank in length then transfers that measurement to his left hand. Angling the butt ends of the fibers down, he secures them to the near side of the hook and uses thread torque to carry them to the top. With only a wrap or two, the shank length measurement is transferred rearward to the start of the bend. Using this technique is the start of producing a body that’s as thin and even as possible. Continue taking adjacent covering thread wraps back to almost the hook bend. You can then reach in and snip the butt ends of the Coq de Leon off close.
4/1000ths of an inch gold wire is used for the rib of the fly. A 3 to 4 inch length is all that’s needed. Coming from the back side of the hook, secure the wire with a single turn of tying thread then pull the wire rearward until it’s butt end is even with the Coq de Leon butts.
Sulky sliver metallic in black is added to enhance the look of natural segmentation. Again, a 3 to 4 inch piece is all that’s needed. Repeat the same tie-in procedure as you did with the gold wire, making sure the first wrap lands in front of the single wrap used for the wire. As before, the idea here is to create a body that’s not only smooth, but also as thin as it can possibly be. To this end, give your thread a counterclockwise spin to flatten it out and then begin making even, touching wraps up the hook shank to completely cover the materials you just tied in. End with your tying thread just behind the bead.
First get hold of the Sulky and start making flat open spiral wraps up the hook shank, 5 or 6 ought to do it. Make sure the Sulky is tied off really well before cutting or snipping the remainder off close, immediately behind the bead. Get hold of the gold wire and, if your tie-in procedure is correct, it will want to lay right up against the back edge of the Sulky. The gold wire also should be tied off very well before you helicopter it to break it off close.
Jan Siman (pron: yahn seemaan) peacock dubbing is used to form a bushy but sparse collar on the fly. Double your thread over to form a dubbing loop approximately 6 inches in length. Make sure to take a wrap around both legs of the loop to close it tight up by the hook shank. While holding the loop open with the middle finger of your left hand, secure a dubbing twister of your choice into the loop. Place 2 sparse slips of dubbing between the legs of the loop and then close it down with your thumb and index finger while at the same time removing your middle finger. Give the dubbing twister a clockwise spin to cord up the thread and twist the fibers into a scraggly looking rope. Take wraps with the dubbing around the hook shank to form the collar. Preening the fibers rearward will help to tame the unruly mess. Secure the dubbing rope with turns of tying thread. Going around just the rope a time or two with your thread helps to ensure it won’t come unraveled. Once it’s locked into place, you can snip the excess dubbing rope off close.
Finally, do a 4 or 5 turn whip finish just behind the bead and snip or cut your tying thread free. What makes the Tungsten Torpedo work so well is that it looks somewhat like a natural food source, yet sinks like a stone. Even if you’re not a competitive angler, you may want to make room in your fly box for a few of these.