How to Tie: The Sand Eel Flatwing

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, LIFliesMike gives us a great tutorial on how to tie the Sand Eel Flatwing.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Intermediate

It’s that time of year again when the stripers are making their way up the east coast. This is the time of year that east coast salt water junkies look forward to annually. Stripers move out of their Chesapeake Bay spawning grounds and make their way up the east cost What better way to enjoy this migration than learning how to tie a fly that is money for these aggressive eaters.

Sand Eels are found along the Atlantic coast and are a main food source for striped bass. They congregate in large masses and well you can guess that striped bass love them. The key with this fly is to incorporate a lot of movement. Flat-wing hackle is the perfect material for as it carries a slim profile and moves very fluidly in the water.

Tying in a clump of bucktail as the tail of the fly is very important in this case. The clump acts like a pillow for the flat-wing hackle and prevents the hackle from fowling or getting caught up in the hook gap. Flashabou and sparkle braid are also used on this fly to add attraction and mass to the body of the fly. Stripers are very aggressive eaters and so the flash allows them to key on on these flies much easier. Colors may vary with this fly but generally stick to what is most natural. Head cement or another locking agent is crucial here and if you don’t believe it, take a look at your fly after a few bass are caught. You’ll thank us later.

Get out there and fish the striper migration, you won’t be disappointed!


  • Mustad c70sd Big Game fly hook (or eagle claw 254 hooks)
  • 210 denier flat wax nylon tying thread
  • Flashabou Bucktail (whatever colors you’d like)
  • Flatwing or slim Hackle
  • Stick on Eyes
  • Peacock Herl UV Resin (medium or thick)
  • Body Braid

Now you know how to tie the Sand Eel Flatwing.

Video and Ingredients courtesy of LIFliesMike.

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  1. Excellent tie on Sandell. What determines what color to use with the barred flat wing? Seems important to me to decide what color in the water your fishing.

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