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Crab fly pattern

Most fly fishermen and -women know that crabs are a major source of food for both saltwater and freshwater fish.

There are many ways to make good looking crab flies. Beside the way that they look, it is also very important how they swim during the retrieve and how they land on the bottom (if weighted) after the cast. After every cast you want the fly to land with the hook pointing up. And during the retrieve the fly should never roll over its axis, but stay perfectly straight.

With the so called “split crab legs” from Flats Craft it is relatively easy to tie the perfect looking and fishing crab pattern.

On this page I share some pics from my creations and a step by step, in case you want to give it a try yourself.


Click the images below to get a bigger picture of the pattern:

Here are links to the materials used in the step by step below. Click a material in the list to go to the BigStreamers website, if you want to order.

The hook can be any solid saltwater hook. Flats Craft recommends the Ahrex SA 220 hook. I used the size 1, for my Medium size legs.

Here are the steps to tie your own crab pattern. Click an image to get a bigger picture.

Step 1: Tie the Flexo tube all the way into the hook bend

Step 2: Finish with UV resin and bring your thread to the hook eye

Step 3: Slide in the Split Crab legs (the smooth size facing down) and tie onto the hook shank

Step 4: Push the Flexo tube into the shape you want and tie it to the hook, just behing the hook eye

Step 5: View from underneath

Step 6: Cut of the part of the Flexo tube that you don’t need for the body

Step 7: Whipfinish and secure with UV resin

Step 8: Use E6000 glue to secure the desired amount of Tungsten putty underneath the hook shank

Step 9: Use UV resin to position all legs and claws facing up, so during the retrieve they cannot touch the bottom

Step 10: Have fun coloring your crab with permanent markers

If you prefer a fly tying movie with a lot of explanation, then look here. The legs are slightly different, but for the rest, everything is the same: