Project Description

Half & Half

Pattern Description:

This is one of my very favorite general baitfish imitations.  Pretty much every fish that swims will eat a Half & Half.  It’s a combination of the ubiquitous Clouser Minnow and Deceiver patterns and is super easy to tie.  This one can be done from fairly small up to full on Gagger sizes with just a few commonly available materials.

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 811S
Thread: White Danville 3/0 Monocord or UNI 6/0
Eyes: Painted Lead or Hourglass Eyes
Tail: Matched pairs of white saddle hackle
Belly: White Bucktail
Flash: Steel Gray Flashabou
Back: Gray Bucktail

Step 1

Start the thread behind the eye and wrap a thread base to the middle of the shank. Wrap back up to the eye again and then back again to about a quarter shank back from the eye.

Step 2

Lay a set of lead eyes in on the shank and begin tying them in place with several turns from the back near side to the front far side.

Step 3

Make an equal number of wraps from the front near side to the far back side of the eyes, completing the X-wraps binding the eyes in place.  You may need to repeat the process in each direction again to firmly anchor the eyes in place.  Once secured, add a drop of head cement to the thread wraps between the eyes.

Step 4

Wrap the thread back to the hook bend and let it hang. Select two pairs of matched saddle hackle and pair them up with two on a side. You want the feathers spooned together on each side with the inside of one against the outside of the other and these matched pairs cupped against each other with their insides touching.

Step 5

Even all four feathers up at their tips and strip their butt ends so you have a short length of bare stem exposed on all the feathers. Clip the stems so they are all the same length. Measure the feather against the shank so they are at least two shank lengths long. Lay the stems on top of the shank and catch them with a couple turns of thread. Lift the feathers up slightly and wrap back over them to the bend of the hook.

Step 6

Wrap over the base of the feathers right up to the bend of the hook, taking care to keep them lined up and straight on the hook.

Step 7

Cut and clean a clump of bucktail and measure it against the hook so the tips extend at least to the middle of the hackle tail.

Step 8

Bind the bucktail down with a narrow band of thread wraps behind the lead eyes.

Step 9

Move the thread to the front and pull the bucktail over the joint between the eyes and bind the ends of the clump down immediately in front of the eyes with a couple tight turns of thread.

Step 10

Clip the butt ends of the bucktail at an angle from the back of the hook eye. Spiral wrap the thread forward over the butts to the very back edge of the hook eye.

Step 11

Cut a long, sparse clump (3-6 strands) of Flashabou and tie it in at the back edge of the hook eye at the center of its length.

Step 12

Pull both ends of the Flashabou clump back under the hook and bind the attachment point down to the shank all the way back to the eyes with a few wraps of thread.

Step 13

Invert the hook in the vise.

Step 14

Cut and clean a clump of gray bucktail about the same size as the first white clump. Measure the gray bucktail so it extends back to the same point as the white.

Step 15

Bind the gray bucktail in place in front of the lead eyes with a tight band of thread stopping well short of the hook eye.

Step 16

Come in and clip the butt ends of the gray bucktail at a tall angle as well. Build a smooth thread head over the stubs with several tight wraps of thread and whip finish.

Step 17

Coat the head and thread work with a thin layer of head cement.