About five years ago, a new fly tying material came onto the market that soon had tiers across the country singing its praises. Originally marketed by Paul Van Reenan of Success Flies, polar fibre was easy to use and was definitely the major material in many highly productive new patterns. One of these new flies was the Polar Fibre Hi-Tie. This method of tying flies was relatively new to the greater populace of tiers and soon proved its worth on the end of fly lines across the country.
Polar fibre comes on a mat backing similar to the old toilet mats and seat covers that grandma used to have. Its fibres tend to naturally clump in tapered columns but it can easily be re-shaped and mixed in any combination of colours with an anti-static comb.
The Hi-Tie method helps to prevent the polar fibre from tangling with the shank, curve or point of the hook, by tying the materials in a way so they are pointing away from the hook. In the water the hook curve and point almost ride under the fly. This decreases the likelihood of the hook point fouling on snags. A fly tied with the high-tie method also looks quite bulky in the water from all angles.
Due to its realistic look in the water, the Hi-Tie doesn’t need to be stripped fast to have fish attracting appeal. Even at rest, the softness of the polar fibre is enough to make the best of every bit of natural movement in the water. This fly is stable enough in the water to be stripped fairly fast when targeting pelagics but can also be used in many other ways. An almost herring-like profile sees the Hi-Tie working well in most tropical destinations as well as locally. The classic strip and pause will entice most species of fish; often the only question is what combination will work best on any particular day. In faster running water, the fly can almost be left out in the current. Its action can only be enhanced with the occasional twitch, as the water will breathe plenty of life into the soft fibres.
One of the real benefits of the Hi-Tie is its profile from the front. It is not thin like many other flies and has a definite baitfish appearance. The 3D or hologram eyes definitely help with this image, and the epoxy around the head area aids in holding this shape even when the fly is wet. A fish can see this fly in a realistic profile from all angles, which must definitely enhance its fish catching appeal.
To preen polar fibre you will need an anti-static comb. These are usually made of shell or bone. Preening the fibres with a normal comb can sometimes cause the fibres to get frizzy. Combing extremely slowly with a normal comb can sometimes eliminate this problem. Combing the materials will help to preen the different pieces into one body.
Polar Fibre comes in several brands these days including Success Flies, Just Add H2O and Tiewell. All work well as they all have nearly identical attributes. Any one will work for this fly. About the only variation I can envisage for this fly is a different hook pattern. Whilst the SL12S works well, other useful hooks could include Gamakatsu’s SC15, Mustad’s Streamer Circle and Owner’s. A little flash could also be added between the second and third tie of polar fibre to create a lateral line look.
(1). After placing the SL12s hook into the vice, affix the thread with a jam knot or similar. Cut a small amount of white polar fibre from the matting and tie in around 1cm back from the eye of the hook. When not compressed, the base of the polar fibre clump should be approximately as thick as a pencil.
(2). Cut a second clump of sea-foam green polar fibre similar to the first, and tie onto the hook shank just in front of it. If you wish to add a few strands of Krystal Flash or Comes Alive then use this same tie in point.
(3). Once again, take a similar portion of grey polar fibre similiar to the others and tie it in just in front of the last. This should now be just behind the eye of the hook. Whip finish off the thread at this point but do not cut it off.
(4). Use your comb to preen and blend the fibres together. If you don’t already have a neat tapered look then you can tease out the fibres with your fingers to get the right shape. Once everything is in place, make sure the thread tapers up to the polar fibre, then cut off the remaining thread.
(5). Take some self-adhesive 3D eyes and stick one on each side of the fly. Mix up a small amount of epoxy and use a bodkin or toothpick to gently apply it to each side of the fly from just behind the eye of the hook to just behind the 3D eye. You will need to gently apply the epoxy to avoid fibres sticking to the application tool.
(6). Make sure the fly has a good profile from both the side and the front. You will be able to adjust the shape a little until the epoxy starts to cure.
Your Polar Fibre Hi-Tie is now ready to go into service. There is an endless array of colour combinations that you can tie and you can change the profile a little by using differing lengths and quantities of materials.
Hook - Gamakatsu SL12S size 2/0
Thread - Fine Mono
Body - Polar-fibre (white, sea-foam green, grey)
Eye - 3-D 3/16” silver
Finish - Devcon epoxy.Reads: 101