Wire is an extremely versatile fly tying material that doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition. It’s probably most often used to simply segment the bodies of flies like zebra midges and 3 Dollar Dips. Wire’s also used to make flies more durable and is generally counter wrapped over top of delicate materials to keep them from breaking. On flies like the Shop Vac, it’s almost essential. And on Woolly Buggers it can be used to keep delicate hackle stems from being cut by sharp teeth and unraveling.
Nowadays, wire is available in a myriad of colors so it can be used to not only produce attractive bodies on flies but add shimmer and weight as well. It’s also phenomenal for creating svelte, sparse, slightly weighted soft hackles.
Wire’s available in a range of sizes. With Ultra wire, these are extra small, which is obviously very thin, up to a size called Brassie, which is a good bit thicker. The really thin stuff can be used to segment the smallest of flies while the Brassie works great for making, well, Brassies.