Sculpin Helmets are metal, sculpin head-shaped heads that make an easy-to-tie sculpin. Use them with standard hooks or with Fish Skull Articulated Shanks for a quick articulated fly.
Sculpin Helmets come with eyes ready to stick onto the heads. You can also paint the heads different colors or use marking pens to give them a mottled look or use different eyes other than those that come with the heads.
Sculpin Helmets have a fairly large opening in the front of the head so you can tie the fly and then push the head back onto the shank and overlap the tying materials you've tied to the shank. The end result is a great looking fly with the head integrating nicely into the rest of the fly. Use tying thread to build up behind the hook eye and secure the head to the hook to finish off the fly.
More information from the makers of Fish Skull and the Sculpin Helmet:
Questions & Answers from the makers of Fish Skull and the Sculpin Helmet:
Q: What is the main differences between the new Fish-Skull™ Sculpin Head and the Fish-Skull™ Baitfish Head?
A: The Sculpin Helmet has a very different profile (flat and broad), it is specifically designed to fish deeper in the water column and can be used for both hook and tube flies.
Q: Tell me more about the profile?
A: The Sculpin Helmet was designed with a realistic, flat and broad profile to imitate various types of bottom-dwelling fish species such as sculpins, gobies, salamanders and baby catfish. This profile is very different to the Fish-Skull™ baitfish head which has a typical minnow or baitfish shape. Fly fishermen now have more options to create streamer flies that are more targeted and species specific.
Q: How heavy is the Sculpin Helmet?
A: We have deliberately made the Sculpin Helmet significantly heavier than the Fish-Skull™ so that it will sink quickly in fast moving rivers and fish deeper near the bottom where Sculpins typically live. There are two sizes (Small and Large) intended to cover streamer sizes ranging from about a #6 hook size up to about 2/0.
The SMALL SIZE weighs 1.38 grams ( 0.05 ounces) and is intended for streamers typically in the #6, #4, #2, #1 hook size range. We recommend you use a minimum rod/line weight size #5/6 and higher.
The LARGE SIZE weighs 2.98 grams ( 0.10 ounces) and is intended for large, heavily weighted streamers in the #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0 hook size range. We recommend you use a minimum rod/line weight size #7/8 and higher.
Q: What is the “keel”?
A: Flies tied with the Sculpin Helmet are designed to fish deep with the hook riding in the “hook up” position to avoid getting caught on the bottom. Therefore, the Sculpin helmet is made so that 70% of it’s weight and the center-of-gravity is situated below the shank of the hook. This heavily weight “keel” or bottom gives a “dumbell effect” to the fly which means it will always ride in the hook up position and track straight.
Q: What hooks types and sizes do you recommend?
A: Most standard down-eye or straight-eye streamer (3XL, 4XL) or bass-bug style “stinger” hooks with a wide gap will work very well. The “front slot” of the Sculpin Helmet has been made wide enough so that there should be no issue with large hook eyes not fitting. The SMALL SIZE is intended for streamers typically in the #6, #4, #2, #1 hook size range and the LARGE SIZE is intended for streamers in the #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0 hook size range. You will need to experiment to find the best hook size/fly length/helmet size ratio for your needs.
Q: Is the tying method the same as the Fish-Skull?
A: Yes. The basic method of tying is exactly the same i.e. tie in all your materials first and fit the Sculpin Helmet last from the front of the fly.
(i) Start by building your fly by tying-in all the tail, body and wing materials. Wrap a small thread-head and tie off your thread. Make sure you leave a generous gap between your thread-head and the eye of the hook to have room to fit the Sculpin Helmet. (ii) Coat your thread wraps lightly with some Zap-A-Gap or similar super glue and then fit the Sculpin Helmet from the front of the fly. Position in place and make any final adjustments to your materials. (iii) Then re-attach your tying thread between the Sculpin Helmet and the eye of the hook and carefully wrap a neat “thread-dam” to lock the Helmet firmly in place. Tie-off and cement the thread wraps (iv) Finish off the fly by sticking on the 3D eyes.
Q: Can I use the Sculpin Helmet for tube flies?
A: Yes! The front slot has been designed so that both hooks and tube flies can be tied. The SMALL SIZE fits a 3/32″ (2.4mm) diameter tube and the LARGE SIZE fits a 1/8″ (3.2mm) diameter tube.