Super What!? Tying the Super X

~By: Lance Dean | September 14, 2014


Super X

 y introduction to the Super X fly came during the summer of 2005 while fishing the Truckee River near the California/Nevada border.  The slower than normal fishing caused my Dad to resort to untested flies.  When he started catching fish he shared the fly he was fishing with me.  The fly’s abdomen was olive chenille and its thorax was worm colored chenille.  The shape of the fly’s rubber legs was that of an X.  The legs were located in between the abdomen and the thorax.  The head was made with a collar of hackle. The antron yarn tail gave the fly a bit of sparkle.  I don’t know if it was the rubber legs or the sparkle in the tail that the fish liked but all of the sudden we were catching fish and not just a few we were catching more than we could keep track of. 

On the way home from that trip I asked my Dad about the fly.  He told me that it was called the Super X and that the creator of the fly intended it to be a Jack of all trades kind of fly.  He recommended that I read the article from the magazine the fly was in.  I found the article earlier this year.  It was in the summer 2003 issue of Fly Fishing and Tying Journal.  The fly was found in an article titled “Tying and Fishing the Super X” by Kevin Sack.  The article explained that the fly didn’t represent one specific thing, it represented many things that fish eat.  

One of the many things that I like about this fly is its simplicity.  It is a pretty simple tie that has minimal materials and is an extremely effective pattern. I highly recommend this fly to beginning fly tiers.  It can be tied and fished in whatever colors you can think of.  I prefer to fish it in the colors of the natural insects of the area I am fishing.  I highly recommend this fly to beginning fly tiers.  I keep a dozen or so Super Xs in my fly box, from sizes 6-10, my favorite size is 12.  Tie a few for your fly box and next time you want to avoid being skunked tie one on and watch the magic happen.

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HOOK: TCM 5262 or 5263 size 12
THREAD: UTC 70 - Black
TAIL: Antron Yarn - Wine
LEGS: Rubber Leg Material - Medium Barred Grizzly
ABDOMEN: Standard Chennille - Olive
THORAX Standard Chenille - Worm Brown
Collar: Hackle - gauged slightly longer thatn hook size

Here I will demonstrate tying my favorite version of the Super X.

1. Secure hook into the vise.

2. Start the thread at about one eye length behind the hook eye. Wrap the thread to the hook bend.

3. Wrap the thread up to about the eighty percent point of the hook.

4. Fold a piece of antron yarn around the thread.

5. Secure the antron yarn to the hook by wrapping the thread around the hook and antron yarn from the eighty percent point of the fly to the bend of the hook and back to the eight percent point of the hook.

6. Trim the antron yarn so that it is about half a hook length long.

7. Cut two rubber legs the length of the hook shank.
Note:I now cut them to two hook shank lengths. I think it gives the fly a bit more action.

8. Tie the legs in at the twenty percent point of the hook by using the figure eight method to tie them in.
9. Prepare a piece of chenille to tie on the hook by striping 1/4 inch of the fuzz off of the chenille.

10. Tie in the chenille, ending the thread at the bend of the hook.

11. Wrap the chenille around the hook shank until it is the legs are attached to the hook. Tie off the chenille and cut it.

12. Prepare another piece of chenille the same was as you did the previous piece.

13. Tie in the chenille. The thread should be one eye length from the actual hook eye.

14. Wrap the chenille up to the thread.  Tie off the chenille and the cut the excess chenille from the hook.

15. Tie in a piece of hackle that is gauged at one and a half times the hook gap and tie it in at one eye length from the eye.

16. Wrap the hackle around the hook two or three times. Secure the hackle by wrapping the thread around it a couple times and cut the excess hackle.

17. Fold and hold the hackle fibers back towards the hook bend and wrap enough thread around the hook shank to help the fibers lay back along the hook shank.

18. After completing the previous step your fly should long similar to this.

19. Cut the thread off the hook and with a bodkin or the tip of your scissors split the rubber legs of the fly.

20. Side view of completed fly.

21. Top view of completed fly.



  1. Lance, do you ever add weight to the hook?
    Peter Rea

    1. I personally don't fish a weighted version; however, I have seen Super X's tied with beads on them and lead wire could easily be added under the thorax and abdomen as well. The added weight would for sure help the Super X get down the water column quickly. I have fished it effectively behind a heavier fly as well.