TYing the CDL Body Glass Drake

Hook: Jig, Jig Supreme, Big Game Jig #10-14.
Bead: 4mm Nickel.
Thread: 50D GSP, white.
Underbody: Fl. chartreuse Glo-Brite thread.
Tail: Dyed Golden Olive Coq de Leon hackle.
Abdomen: Tying thread, marker, Hends Body Glass #39 (olive light). Gray waterproof marker on top.
Rib: Olive pine squirrel in dubbing loop, thin.
Thorax: Composite dubbing loop with olive pine squirrel, Hends spectra #392 (olive rainbow), Dyed speckled golden olive Coq De Leon hen.
Collar: Black hare’s mask fur, tightly dubbed.


This advanced tutorial will teach you to execute binding thread wraps, material mounting position, tying flies in the round, proper thread wrapping tension and finally, exploiting our materials optical properties such as color, transparency and, reflectivity.


1.) Establish a secure connection with the thread behind the bead. Form a small thread jam behind the bead to secure into position.


2.) Wrap the thread rewarward to the tie off point as pictured. This thread base will help prevent the tail and other materials from rolling around the hook.


3.) Select a section of CDL hackle. Stack the tips and measure the length to match the body.


4.) Transfer the hackle barbules to your material hand and use a pinch wrap technique to mount the fibers to the top of the hook shank.


Detail of tail mount.


5.) Trim away the Tail butts and prepare a section of body glass.

6.) Cut the tip of body glass into a narrow wedge shape. Click image to zoom in for detail of the cut I made to the body glass. Mount this material on the SIDE of the hook nearest you with the flat side facing outward.

7.) Catch the wedge we cut with a single thread wrap. Let the bobbin tension hold the wrap in position while you slowly draw the tag under the thread to shorten. We will bind this tag end down in the next step, so do not cut away. I shortened the tag to about 1.5mm in length.


8.) Hold the tag into position along the side of the hook shank with your finger while drawing the thread tight to secure the first wrap or two.


9.) Advance the thread forward with BINDING thread wraps forward. Keeping the thread untwisted will keep the underbody smooth and compress the body glass flat. Maintaining steady pressure with the bobbin as you wind your way around the hook shank is an important material handling skill to practice here. Think of pedaling a bicycle with toe clips on and applying force to the UP stroke as well as DOWN pedal strokes.

10.) Form a smooth underbody and return the thread to the rearward tying position we established in step 2.

11.) Establish a secure connection with the Glo-Brite and over-wrap the abdomen.


12.) Rotate the vice and mark the the top of the abdomen with a gray sharpie. I smudged some ink on the body glass by accident, however my inner Bob Ross thinks this happy little accident will actually benefit the illusion of segmentation when I am done.

13.) Stretch the body glass towards the opposite side of the hook as your mounting point. This is why I mount materials on the sides of the hook shank. It allows me to tension the body glass without it rolling around or popping loose from its tie point. Stretch, stretch, stretch…

14.) Maintain even pressure as you wrap your way around like I described in step 9. As you wrap your turns evenly spaced apart, decrease tension allowing the body glass to regain its original diameter as each turn progresses.

15.) Tie off the body glass with 5 tight crossing over wraps. Trim the tag flash and bind down with an additional few turns of binding tight wraps.


16.) Dub a pinch of the pine squirrel flash dubbing onto a waxed section of tying thread. Wrap this dubbing in between the body glass wraps.

17.) Tie off the dubbing and trim away tag ends. Notice how the integrity of taper was maintained through the dubbed rib? I

18.) Form a dubbing loop.

19.) Prepare a CDL hen feather as shown. Using your thumb and forefinger, gently pull the fibers backwards to stand erect.


20.) Pinch the squirrel and spectra dubbing onto the CONCAVE side of the hen feather. We will only use one side of this feather at a time. Save the other half for the next fly.

21.) carefully slip this sandwich of materials into the dubbing loop. I use a tacky wax on the dubbing loop before I insert the composite materials. Measure the length of the hackle to equal the body length.

22.) Carefully trim away the the stem as close to the thread loop as possible. The small amount of tag ends that remain will to help form the thorax.

23.) Spin the loop into a brush. Just tight enough that the twists do not furl back upon themselves.


24.) Fold the materials to one side of the thread and wrap two turns of the composite brush tightly against the bead. Tight enough that you should be able to cinch it down into the space behind the bead.

25.) With a wire brush, scrub the dubbing forward all the way around.

Somebody woke up with bed head!

26.) Dub a small amount of the black hares mask onto the thread and wrap 1 complete wrap deep behind the bead.

Whip finish behind the bead and trim away thread. With your fingers or wire brush, groom the hackle fibers backward into place.