What is FNF Chewing Gum?
FNF Chewing Gum is a new fly tying material from Kevin Porteous' Frozen North Fly Fishing company, who recently launched the excellent FNF Jelly Fritz material we've been using with great results.
FNF Chewing Gum is an odd material - kind of like a slightly elasticated very short rubbery fritz-chenille. It's roughly 3mm in length, so is fairly short and narrow.
If you look very closely you can see it's got a bonded core with tiny strands of rubber in it as well as pale white fluff. The dye is applied sparingly, so most of the colours are relatively pale.
How do you use FNF Chewing Gum?
I initially assumed this was simply a body material to wrap around the shank when tying lures such as cat's whiskers and boobies.
However, while it can be used for exactly that, it can also be used on its own to make a worm pattern similar to the San Juan worm which FNF have dubbed the chewing gum worm.
It's an easy material to tie with. You can strip away some fibres to reveal the core, but it's relatively thin and squashy anyway, so not doing so doesn't really add any significant bulk.
What's it like in water?
FNF say the little rubber gum strands present in the chenille add a bit of buoyancy to this, but it's fairly negligible I think.
The weight of the hook will quickly sink this material, so there's little need to add extra weight from beads or wire, unless you only want some extra jigging movement.
If you're using the material San Juan worm style to make a chewing gum worm, then you'll find that the natural kinks in the material help add a bit of natural wiggling to your fly pattern as you retrieve, a bit like a squirmy wormy.
Does it work?
We tested out some chewing gum worms on the last 15 minutes of a recent trip and had four fish, almost one after the other, as well as tons of near misses. It's almost as if this stuff has been impregnated with flavouring!
Given that the kids (and I) had been fishing squirmy wormies, the fact that this stuff was out-fishing it probably confirms how effective it can be on the right day.
The fish were certainly interested in investigating and sampling it on our trip. We were getting lots of tentative plucks, suggesting the fish were either pulling at the tips of the worm or mouthing the fly. It definitely works.
What colours are available?
FNF Chewing Gum comes in a wide range of pastel and bright colours: Hulk green, black, fluorescent red, marshmallow pink, cheese, brilliant white, caddis brown, and watermelon.
FNF Chewing Gum costs £2.50 a packet. If you're not a purist and don't mind fishing lurid looking flies, you'll probably want to give this stuff a blast.