Tackle review: manic flies

We were lucky enough to get sent a few manic flies at cost price from Rene Vaz, the owner of Manic tackle. The flies are well tied with great attention to detail, the right proportions and look good  but the real question is, do they catch fish?

Me and Lee have now been using them for a few months and the definitive answer to that question is yes.. Early in the season, the simons uglies became my got to nymph. They look a little “weird”, but they get down fast, attract attention and definitely catch fish, accounting for a number of lovely trout early in the season and a handful since in situations where I needed to get down deep. The simons uglies and some of the other rubber legged nymphs have saved  me from the disappointment of going home fish-less on a number of sessions and are fast becoming some of my favourites…

A simons ugly. A great early season or deep water trout nymph.

A simons ugly. A great early season or deep water trout nymph.

As the trout season has progressed, I’ve had a chance to test out some of their dry flies, having success on Wullfs, parachutes and Humpies in the creeks close to Melbourne. While these are classic patterns, the attention to detail on the flies is what makes the big difference, and the manic tied flies have so far been easily outfishing my own versions of these patterns. For example the humpies are tied incorporating a small amount of foam, helping them maintain buoyancy for long periods or when fishing faster sections of the river and a red version has becomes my favourite searching/attractor pattern on some of the rivers I fish regularly. They also make some great hopper patterns which I haven’t had many opportunities to fish yet, but I cant wait to give them a burl in the coming month. Lee has been cleaning up with some of the beautifully tied duns and wooly buggers on some of the trout streams in the Monaro.

Burgin bugger. An effective trout fly that can also tempt a carp or two

Burgin bugger. An effective trout fly that can also tempt a carp or two

Being the “fish for anything” people we are, we’ve also been getting a number of carp on their rubber legged nymphs and wooly buggers (the seal buggers and burgin buggers are great carp flies- I also really want to get my hands on some of their soft hackles and damsel nymph patterns for my carpin escapades)…

As I said earlier the flies are well tied and have stood up well to all the abuse we have thrown at them, which given how much we’ve fished them is impressive (unlike the flies we tie, which sometimes fall to pieces a little before they should). While manic make a lot of traditional patterns, they also have some very funky takes on traditional flies and some flies that are quite unique. So far all the flies we have tried have caught fish and playing with them has made me want to get my hands on a far wider of variety of manic patterns to try on my local trout and carp populations. While we have only had a chance to test a handful of their flies, there are hundreds in the range and they have flies suitable for most fishing situations. They are also working on a lot of new patterns just for Australia and have a whole new line of saltwater flies in the works, so keep your eye out for those… So, if you are in the market for some well tied premium flies, or some unique patterns that work, they are definitely worth a look.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

While you cant purchase manic flies of their website, http://www.manictackleproject.com, they have growing number of dealers in Australia and New zealand so check them out at your local tackle shop or on the web. Their website also has a great blog and a tonne of useful tips on everything from the basics of fly casting to downstream dry fly presentations and is a great resource in and of itself.

bead-headed nymph

bead-headed nymph

Till next time, good luck on the water

Hamish and Lee

P.S Apologies for lack of dry fly photos, I like them so much I have managed to loose them all to fish and trees…

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