Spy Project – Spin Fly system for predator fishing

The last couple of years I’ve had great success fishing hair jigs. Anything from the good old classic bucktail jig to more elaborate rabbit strip jigs and some with a lot of flash and rubber legs as well.

For me, the lively materials in many fishing situations seem to outfish more solid lures like jerkbaits, wobblers, spoon, spinner and softbaits. Not always… but just about any time the predators aren’t in a suicidal mode.

So anytime fishing gets slow (cold fronts, heat waves etc.) these hairy and feathery creatures just keeps getting results.

But jig heads work best for structure fishing, or when you want to hit the rocks on the bottom. And with the hook at the head – really long jigs got some short strikes. And… in some instances I felt a need for a system, that would enable me to fish every inch of the water column.

This week I was actually outfished (not by much ;0) by my friend, Thomas. We were fishing for post spawn pike in a really low water cove, connected to a large lake by a small channel.
I had to work the jigs to fast, if I didn’t wanna be stuck in the weeds. Naturally post spawn pike are kind of slow. They are exhausted from the spawning activity – and the water is still cold. So Thomas’ large weightless rigged swimbait, gave him an edge on that day. That made me think the usual… what if?

Spy – Spin Fly system

After a couple of days in the lab, I am slowly beginning to see a way to make a spin/fly system, that will:
• Be flexible – in length as well as fishing depth
• Enable any combination of colour, size and sink rate to be decided on the water
• Use any kind of hook, to meet different fishing conditions and local fishery rules
• Enable me to use a favourite lure for surface fishing or bottom bouncing and anything in between – with minor adjustments
• Feature a lot of different head styles, making the lures floating, hovering or sinking at different speed rates.
• Work on light tackle – spinning reel setups as well as baitcasters

Being custom lures combining the best elements from large predator flies, hair jigs and other lures, I’ve named the project Spy (SPinflY) as a working title. I plan to do lot of testing, underwater filming – and hopefully team up with a company, that will be open for a collab opportunity on some special head designs.

Here are a couple of prototypes. Both of these lures are build up by several elements, that can be changed and combined in any way you like. Length on these are 8 – 10 inches – but they could be anywhere from a few inches for trout fishing up to as long as you wanna go.

Really looking forward to work with the Spy project.

If you find this interesting, watch this blog as well: Testing the new SPY (Spin Fly) – Red version

And watch these videos:



    Andy Bilotta

    (August 3, 2019 - 8:32 pm)

    I love the spy flies, can I buy them or other flies you tie, are books or DVDs available ?

    Michael Jensen

    (September 24, 2019 - 12:32 pm)

    Hi Andy, thanks a lot for your interest. No I don’t sell flies, but you can see video tutorial for tying these flies on my YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7tqgoSsBtA

    Tight lines, Michael

    Steven Nyhan

    (April 7, 2020 - 7:10 am)

    Michael I really love the spy system I have been using flies with worm weights for years, and recently got into using articulated flies with worm weights after reading Kelly gallups book. The system worked well with some flies and not others. So i found you when I began tying jigs to solve the problem and was casting very light jigs on my 8wt. Then I started spinning and bait casting again after being so headstrong towards fly fishing. I live in Florida and we need to get the bait down for fresh and Salt species. I was always a purist fly guy, taught to fly fish out west in the 90″s during my days living in Montana. But when I saw your video my mind exploded. Tube flies…Perfect!!!! Michael I think you solved my issue of action, having to tie multiple articulated micro spines to get the correct action. Love your videos. I am a convert. This way I can still tie, which I think I love as much as fishing. I also have the versatility to spin/cast on windy days or when on a bridge or jetty, and use the same box for everything. I wish more people in the states used tube flies and stacked =. These have to be the perfect fly for large Warm/Salt water predator species.

    Michael Jensen

    (April 22, 2020 - 11:57 am)

    Hi Steven
    Sorry bout the late response. I somehow missed your comment in the admin system. Anyway, thanks a lot for your feedback. Great to hear, that You are working along the same lines as me on the bullet weighted flies. I’m thrilled to have inspired you to try out the tube parts. Like you, I have been a fly fishing purist through some periods of my life, but now I feel free to pick what ever tackle makes me tick at the moment. Right now, fishing the Spy System and home tied hair jigs are my top priorities. Let’s keep in touch Steven. I will respond quicker next time ;0)
    Tight lines, Michael :0)

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