Zach, I’m new to this forum…thanks for setting all this up and I’m a big fan of your work. I fish and guide on the Tallapoosa for stripers. They move up from the lake into the river around this time of year.
You may do this but I take my thread wraps a good bit into the bend of the hook…about 1/4 of the way into it…when attaching the wire. I feel this gives the articulation a more streamlined look, and it also gives more length to the fly without increasing the length of the wire. This also helps with fouling…less wire = less fouling.
Your question about beads is an interesting one…I’ve always viewed beads as more of a way to space the front and rear shanks…not as a way to prevent fouling. Would like to hear other thoughts on this also.
I use Malin-7 20# test stainless steel wire for my articulated streamers/flies.
It is a strong, thin but somewhat stiff cable designed for making your own steel leaders.
Works great IMHO.
I wrote up my technique in my March 2013 Fly Tying column in the Alberta Outdoorsmen.
I could send you a photo copy if you would like to take a look.