Dennis Collier Fly Illustration - Copyright Dennis Collier 2015Fly Patterns

DC's Snoball Beetle

Click here for the "Tying and Fishing DC's Snoball Beetle" article.
By Dennis P. Collier

DC's Snoball Recipe:

Hook: Size 8 to16 TMC 3769 or TMC 3761
Thread: Black 3/0 Monocord
Body: 3mm Black closed-cell foam or 3-piece, 2mm laminated closed-cell foam
Legs: Black, size Small, round rubber legs
Indicator: Fluorescent deer belly hair – color of choice
  • Step 1:

    Wrap black 3/0 thread from just behind the hook-eye to a point above the barb, then back two-thirds of the shank length toward the hook eye. The thread base will bond to the foam when glued in the final step.

  • Step 2:

    Place the foam body (centered) on top of the hook shank with the foam slightly overhanging the eye. Take a fairly loose wrap of thread around the foam and gently compress, then two very tight additional wraps. This method will discourage the thread from cutting through the foam.

  • Step 3:

    Bring the thread over the top of the foam and about one-eighth inch in front of the first segment position, taking one loose thread wrap . Take two additional tight thread wraps and compress the foam. This will help keep the foam from rolling on the hook shank as you tie-in the leg sets.

  • Step 4:

    Return the thread over the top of the foam and back to the first segmentation position. Loop the first leg-set (two attached strands) around the thread and pull it into the far side of the body. Take one additional tight wrap around the legs.

  • Step 5:

    Loop the second leg set around the thread and pull it into the body on the near side. Take two more tight thread wraps and come over the top of the body again, taking one wrap in the forward segment position.

  • Step 6 & 6a:

    Clip a pencil-sized clump of deer belly-hair in a color of your choice. Square the "butt-ends" of the hair with your scissors. Place the hair over and approximately 1/8 inch in front of the thread position. Spin the bobbin clockwise to reduce the diameter of the thread, then take two very tight wraps of thread to secure the hair. Pull down hard to bury the thread in the deer hair. Step 6a shows how the hair would look if you released it from your grip - but don't! - it is much easier to make a clean cut of all the hair at one time while maintaining a firm hold on the material.

  • Step 7 & 7a:

    While holding the tip end of the hair, lift it up to clear the body and legs, and clip at a 45 degree angle to complete the "snow ball" visual indicator. Bring the thread under the body and whip-finish immediately behind the hook-eye. Step 7a shows a top view of how the indicator should look after trimming.

  • Step 8:

    Grip the rubber leg-sets at the base (next to the body) one side at a time between the thumb and forefinger, and gently pull and "snap" the tips with the other hand to separate the strands. Once all the rubber strands have been separated, firmly grip both sets of legs by the tips and give a strong pull at right angles to the body. Make any final positioning adjustments to insure they protrude from the body in the correct attitude.

  • Step 9:

    Trim the legs to just under the fly body length. Holding the fly in your fingers, adjust the body on top of the hook shank to insure the hook bend and point are perfectly positioned at a right angle to the foam. Add a small drop of superglue to the thread wraps on the abdomen underbody (make sure you avoid getting glue in the hook eye). Set the fly aside, bottom side up, and allow the glue to air-dry. This will prevent the foam from rolling on the hook shank during use. I recommend not using a drying accelerator as it will turn the glue white.

  • Original Snoball Beetle

    using 3mm Black foam

    Snoball Beetle Foam Proportion Formula:

    Size 8 – 5/16"wide X 1" long
    Size 10 – 1/4" wide X 7/8" long
    Size 12 – 1/4" wide X 3/4" long -->
    dimensions for a TMC 3769 hook
    Size 14 – 3/16" wide X 5/8" long
    Size 16 – 3/16" wide X 1/2" long

    Note: this pattern can be tied in larger and smaller sizes than those indicated here. Simply adjust the proportions up or down to maintain the proper profile.
  • Panfish Snoball Chernobyl

    Pattern Recipe:

    Hook: Size 8 to12 TMC 3769 or TMC 3761
    Thread: Black 3/0
    Body: 2mm laminated closed-cell foam, black over orange
    Legs: Size Small Black legs plus Krystal flash in a color of choice
    Indicator: Fluorescent deer belly-hair – color of choice

  • DC's Snoball Cicada Variation

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