Fly ribbing is not only a great way to “segment” a nymph body, but, as Tim Flagler points out below, it’s a great way to protect delicate materials, like peacock herl.
I tie a few nymphs with wire ribbing, and even add wire to simple streamers, like Woolly Buggers. It does help with durability, and I think it makes flies look pretty sharp. It also adds some shine, which might help with fishability.
Tim has some good ideas in the video above, like counter-wrapping wire to protect the materials under it, and, of course, noting ribbing’s general importance in flies like the Slump Buster and the Zonker. I’ve even seen some dry flies, like some versions of the Royal Wulff, that incorporate thin wire over the floss to protect it from trouty teeth.
If you’re not adding ribbing to your flies, see what you think about Tim’s video. It might be another tool in your toolbox to improve fly durability and appeal.
— Chris Hunt