When it comes to tying effective saltwater baitfish patterns, I am a firm believer in using extra large Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes whenever possible. In my experience this simple addition makes a big difference. If you have ever seen underwater photos of baitfish schooled up the only features that are clearly distinguishable are their eyes. Although there is no way to tell for sure, my suspicion is that predatory fish, especially ones with acute vision tend to focus or key in one the eyes.
I think it’s safe to say that over the past 30+ years of tying I have tried just about every style under the sun. When it comes to selecting a pair to finish off your favorite pattern, the choices seem infinite. The first factor I take in to consideration is the weight of the eyes and how it will effect my flies sink rate. This is especially important if you are tying with synthetic materials that shed water and trap air. Often times a little extra weight is all you need to get your fly threw the surface tension and in to the strike zone. Another key attribute that needs to be considered is durability. These Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes are aren’t flimsy like a stick on dome eye… The last thing anybody wants to see is two Mylar discs where the bargain-basement eyes used to be glued on.
The last characteristic that I believe is pivotal to these eyes track record of success it the fluorescent yellow color… which is highly UV Reactive. Fluorescent colors like chartreuse and hot pink are automatically UV reactive and can be seen at a great distance underwater.
One question that I get all the time, is how do I get the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes on baitfish patterns straight so they don’t look cross eyed when using posted doll eyes. The answer is simple… Pinch don’t clip the post off.
Although you may think you cut the entire post off flush with the back of the eye, 99% of the time there is a very small amount of material left behind. The eye on the right was cut using side cutters and the one on the right I pinched the post off using my thumb and index finger. It doesn’t look like a huge difference, but the problem with the eye on the right is it will either tip slightly up or slightly down when glued on to the hook shank. The minuscule bump of plastic will act like a fulcrum, and rock the eye up or down when pressed against the hook. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of surface area for the glue to grab on to, and if you use e6000 the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes are never coming off.
The placement of the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes is extremely important to how the fly tracks in the water. Line up the eyes so that they are slightly in front of the hook point and above, yet just touching the shank of the hook. Align the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes from the top making sure that one eye is not positioned in front of the other. The back of the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes should line up with the point of the hook. Turn the fly toward you and double check that the Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes are aligned from a forward facing view. This is very important, because if the eyes are out of alignment it will cause the fly to spin when stripped.
Each package of sold contains 20 – Fluorescent Yellow Doll Eyes with posts.
Available in 7.5mm & 9mm sizes.
Love these fluorescent yellow doll eyes. I've used them extensively for big beach redfish in NW Florida with great results. The fluorescent yellow makes the white/nearly translucent baitfish patterns really pop. A little bit of Zap and Solarez and they're good to go.
Large eyes like these are hard to find. The large black pupil against the yellow really pops and provides a great trigger.
Gotta say, the first time I used these eyes, even in the Tampa Bay area, we got the elusive Redfish within the first half-dozen casts. I’m a big fan of eyes, and these are awesome, thanks Drew, great product as usual. Capt. Russ Shirley, Salty Fly Charters, a 30-year charter biz.
Im quickly looking for more and more patterns to use these on. Excellent pupil contrast no fading issues. I also like that they are prominent but lightweight.
They work great, and they are easy to use.