Micro-Changers (A Platform, Not Just a Fly)
Earlier in the week, I did a New Product Highlight about Fish Skull's Micro-Spines. These links are utilized to change the Micro Gamechanger flies, invented by Blane Chocklett. I have been a huge fan of these flies since I was introduced to them. Tarpon, redfish, snook, and seatrout find them very hard to resist; their movement is as lifelike as you can possibly get from a fly. Until the Micro Spines came out, imitating smaller bait was more difficult; at least getting the true movement you wanted. The Micro Spines have changed that. Now, you can imitate baits of almost any size and still get the ultra realistic movement you desire.
Most people think of baitfish when they hear Gamechanger. After all, it is the most popular platform there is. In fact, it is my go to for the Gamechanger. However, Blane has proven time and time again that the Gamechanger is not just a fly, it is a platform. It is a platform that can be utilized to tie all types of bait and make their movement more realistic than the typical fly.
Blane has tied a wide variety of aquatic insects on the platform. His flies not only look real, they move like the real thing too. Movement, combined with looks, leads to more eats and more fish. For me, it has allowed me to change some of the flies I tie to have even more success. Shrimp patterns were the first I used the Gamechanger platform to enhance. Tying a multi-link shrimp fly allows the fly to twitch in the water and swim like a real shrimp. Now, with the Micro Spines, we can tie shrimp of every size. Shrimp from 2 inches to 7 inches can be tied to match the natural shrimp in your area, during any given time. The other fly I am experimenting with are crab patterns. While you don't have to worry about the body of a crab too much, there is one aspect I believe can add a lot of realism and movement to the fly: the claws. I have experimented with two versions of a Gamechanger Crab, using the links to make a multi-jointed claws and using materials that make the claws "float" so they rise in a defensive position. The Micro Links, being much lighter than the originals, make this even easier. The flies look great and the redfish have crushed them. Although I don't have a final version yet, as I am working on a more durable body due to the way the fish crush it, it won't be long until I have the perfect version.
Yes, the baitfish may be the most popular Gamechanger Fly there is. But, think of this as a style of tying, not just a specific fly. Use the platform and experiment with it. I think you will be amazed at how far a little imagination can go and the flies you will improve. Just looking for baitfish? That's ok too. I use them a lot and this platform is awesome for imitating any baitfish out there. By adjusting the materials, the way you place them, and the way you trim them, you can imitate every baitfish that swims. Here is an example of four different baitfish, tied to imitate a different bait. They are all tied with the same materials, but stacked a little different and them trimmed a little different.