Best pins for tying balanced leeches – Short Video Instructional

The Balanced Leech and Balanced Minnow fly pattern is a new one for me and I’ve had fun working on these flies lately.

One of my key issues has been finding out which pins do and do not work for these flies.

Generally, the pins I found in the jewelry making department do not work – because they are too flexible and will bend when any pressure is applied, as in if you ever catch a fish!

The two types of pins that seem to work well are

1. Dressmaker Pins 20-gauge steel.
2. Escutcheon Pins 18 gauge brass plated steel

I purchased the first pin from the sewing department of a local store and the second pin from my local hardware store.

Overall, the 18 gauge is about the heaviest I would want to use and it works for larger flies on size 4 and bigger hooks with larger beads.

The dress maker pins in 20-gauge work great on size 6 and smaller hooks with smaller beads

There may be other options in addition to these but I wish someone had told me this much before I bought five kinds of jewelry pins to experiment with.

Have fun and I hope this helps.


We published the Balanced Leech video earlier this year and did not include the “pins selection” video. In this post both videos are available.

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2 Responses to Best pins for tying balanced leeches – Short Video Instructional

  1. Alan says:

    the correct pronunciation for escutcheon is “eskutchun”
    just my OCD kicking in. LOL

  2. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Oh my – yet another reminder of how little I know. thanks very much Alan.

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