For those times when you need to sink a fly quickly, Hareline’s Heavy Lead Eyes are just the ticket. These eyes are made from lead and have a clean exterior finish to enhance durability while providing excellent sinkability in both saltwater and freshwater patterns. Made into the same shape as their brass eyes, Hareline gives their Heavy Lead Eyes a small tie in point to ensure that these eyes tie in quickly and look nothing but neat. A universal piece of hardware that comes in a few different sizes and colors, Hareline’s Heavy Lead Eyes are a material that should be on the desk at all times. 20 eyes per pack
Hareline’s Heavy Lead Eyes have a few major purposes, and those are to quickly add weight, easily invert a fly, or to enhance the movement and jigging action of a fly. Hareline makes their Heavy Lead Eyes in multiple sizes to allow you to keel and invert even the largest hooks, and with a small tie in point, these eyes can be tied onto nearly any size hook. Whether you tie them in on top of the hook shank to get the hook point to ride up or tie them on the bottom of the fly to increase movement, these lead eyes are easy to work with. From stocking your crab and clouser box for a trip to New England to adding a jigging-motion to your go-to sculpin pattern, these lead eyes do it all.
Lead eyes are a common material in fly tying and some comparable items exist. Painted Lead Eyes and Double Pupil Lead Eyes are two very similar items, but they come in a variety of colors and also have pupils painted onto them. While these eyes surely have their purpose, they lack the subdued appearance that Hareline’s Heavy Lead Eyes have. So whenever a subtle presentation is what you're after, go with the Heavy Lead Eyes, and when you need to include a realistic set of eyes while maintaining the weight of barbell eyes, Painted or Double Pupil Lead Eyes would be a good option.
Although Hareline’s Heavy Lead Eyes are a material that can be worked into nearly any pattern in your box, there are a few heavy hitters that use these eyes and should be mentioned. Arguably the most popular fly that utilizes these eyes is the Clouser Minnow. The Clouser incorporates a set of Heavy Lead Eyes just behind the eye of the hook in order to invert the fly and create that jigging action--almost needless to say, but the Clouser is a pattern that catches fish far and wide. Another popular streamer that uses lead eyes just behind the hook eye is Tim Borski’s Slider series of flies. And for those of us looking to catch freshwater fish on crayfish patterns, Dave Whitlock’s ‘NearNuff Crayfish uses a set of lead eyes behind the eye of the hook to invert the crayfish’s rear, prevent snags, and create a nice jigging motion.