[Editor’s Note: The following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to tie a fishable realistic foam ant by Sergei Utkin, translated to English from Russian by Hatches Staff. On some steps, a word or two was lost in translation, so we had to use our own judgment to fill in the gaps.]
Hook: Mustad C49S
Abdomen, back, head: 2mm Foam, color black, covered with lacquer.
Rib: Thin Copper Wire, Black Antron
Legs: Heavy Tying Thread impregnated with lacquer, bent with the aid of heated tweasers
Antennae: Thin Tying Thread impregnated with thinned varnish, bent with the aid of heated tweasers
The body of natural ants is opaque, smooth and bright. There is no depressions where the abdominal segments meet one another, but is still visible due to the differences in color and luster. Another characteristic are the cross connections between the abdomen and thorax, as well as the thorax and head. The color is radically black. On the underside of the abdomen, the abdominal segments are highlighted by a thin strip with metallic luster.
Secure the copper wire and antron to the hook
Next, cut out a triangular piece of foam, and to fasten in at the bend of the hook.
To form the abdominal segments, evenly wrap the thread forward towards the hook eye, making two or three wraps between each segment.
The foam must not wrap around the hook shank, but instead, sit on top. After the fifth segment, take a few wraps around the foam with maximum tension and then cut off any excess foam. To process the surface of foam color and then use a thin coat of lacquer.
Slightly pack the front of the abdomen towards the bend of the hook and secure with a few wraps of thread. The distance between the segments will be reduced, and the abdomen will become more rounded.
Wind the antron forward to even the abdomen’s surface, and then impregnate with a thin coat of varnish.
Wrap the thin copper wire forward.
Coat three segments of heavy tying thread with varnish. Let dry and then fasten under the shank of hook. Do the same to the thin tying thread used for the antennae.
Cut another triangular section of foam and fasten at the point between the head and the thorax, in between the front legs and antennae.
Fasten the rear end of the thorax, and then color and coat it with a thin coat of lacquer as you did the abdomen.
Use your thread to help you form the head, and then press flat with your fingers so that it will assume the proper form.
With the aid of tweasers(heat may be neccessary) bend the legs and antennae to the proper shape (it appears that Utkin uses smooth pliers to flatten the legs before bending).