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JADJanuary 13th, 2009, 7:29 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
I thought it might be a interesting post,to have a discussion
on different tool and tricks we use for fly tieing. Louis and myself were tieing together, although Ive been tieing for years, that whipper snapper taught me a thing or two. ( Thanks Newt)
1. My first thing I would like to share is to use a razor blade to finish your fly. I think the blade is so much easier to cut thread,hackle most every thing except wire.
2- Would be a hair stacker I made many years ago, I will ad a picture.
I'm sure you guys have different things to share,or maybe not,I know Lloyd wrote a whole book on them.

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
SofthackleJanuary 13th, 2009, 8:25 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Oh yes, plenty of home made tools. I made a stacker from a Chapstick tube, and I still use it. You remove the inner workings, keeping the tube and cap. Put the hair in by the tips in the bottom, tap it on your hand, remove the cap and take out the neatly evened hair.

To rough up dubbed bodies, a piece of Velcro glued to one half of a wooden clip clothespin. Use the Velcro piece with the little open loops.

A small piece of swizzle stick or coffee stirrer makes a great hackle guard when slipped over the eye and hackle on wet flies.Helps you varnish the head without getting it into the hackles.

I use an Exacto Knife instead of a razor blade for cutting the thread when finished.

I've got others, but that's a good start.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
Dr_BlueDunJanuary 31st, 2009, 7:22 am
Long Island NY

Posts: 10
Instead of investing "BUCKS" $$$$$$ for the Marc Petitjean "miracle" tool---I use the wide flat paper clips and an ice cream stick---does the same job on CDC for 29 cents.
CaseyPJanuary 31st, 2009, 10:13 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
in amongst all the brass-plated and chrome wonder-toys in my (patented?) foam Renzetti tool holder is a bent paper clip which makes the best dubbing loop spinner/herl loop twister i've found. oh, as well as the velcro-on-a-popsicle-stick dubbing teaser, and the dental-floss-threader spool threader thingies.

i really value the compact lightness of my traveling tying tool kit, so when something light works, i resist the temptation to buy the actual gizmo. saves more money for another scratch of the reel-aquisition itch.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Dr_BlueDunJanuary 31st, 2009, 1:38 pm
Long Island NY

Posts: 10
Ain't those dental floss the threaders the cats pajamas? I see guys ruining (like I did) bobbins with the old wire ones, and a pack of those in a CVS is $2 or less. I'm happy to be associated with the smart (cheap) guys. Hah!!
TrtklrJanuary 31st, 2009, 3:21 pm

Posts: 115
sorry, not following you on the dental floss thingies.

for cutting thread, man, tried and true scissors, got em at michaels' they are the kind that don't have finger holes, i cut everything from wire to ribbing to whatever, lifetime warranty, always in my hand when tying and never in the way, i think they were 10 bucks, the point is so fine i never have a problem with a thread tag.

i use the velcro.

something i talked about in another thread some of you may not have seen. for foam posts for parachute style, a brass tube with inner diameter of the right size for your application, cut with a pipe cutter leaves a sharp edge, then an inexpensive pair of flip flops from the dollar store and you just twist it in till you go through and shazaam-foam posts. for a much cheaper price than buying foam in the fly tying area of your store.

I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
LittleJJanuary 31st, 2009, 5:17 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
trtklr, If you have any surgeon friends, have them get you some of those stainless biopsy tools. Same concept just speeds up the process. You just put it in a cordless drill and presto cheap sandles become thousands of foam posts and bodies. I'd like to take credit for that one but my priest who happens to be a very good fly tier showed me that trick. you should see some of the caddis and hoppers he makes w/ that method.
FalsiflyFebruary 1st, 2009, 9:18 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661

Hands down my favorite trimming tool. I tie mostly in the 22-28 range and this thing will trim a singe filament from 14/0 as close as you care to get. I've tried fine scissors, razor blades, X-acto knives, even a scalpel, and I like this best. Requirements: A 5x+ optical aid and a steady hand.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
CaseyPFebruary 1st, 2009, 11:37 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
sorry, not following you on the dental floss thingies.

in the dental care department of your local "drug" store, look for "Dental Floss Threaders." they are slender, teardrop-shaped things about 2 inches long with a loop about 1/2 inch across, made of stiff blue plastic thread. when i had braces this helped me get the floss under the braces.

this stiff, flexible, smooth item will slip down the tube of your bobbin holder, allowing you to thread it with no danger of scratching the inside of the tube. when they fall into the cracks in your floor, or blow off the tailgate of your truck, you just get another one out of the pack. i carry 3 or 4.

they are also good for getting the legs through the bodies of your fat foam beetles. there is very little you can't "thread" with them.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Dr_BlueDunFebruary 2nd, 2009, 12:52 pm
Long Island NY

Posts: 10
I like this thread---I have a cardiac surgeon friend ( also did my quad by-pass)from whom I got these Diefenbaker Artery clamps---makes a great hackle pliers---I saw Walt Dette use these many years back (oh God how many)and I was hooked (pun intended)---sometimes there is a vendor at Fishing shows who sells tools and they carry these as well. They work well down to hackles in the 20's.
JADFebruary 10th, 2009, 7:30 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
This is my home made rod wrapper that I use for making my rods.

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
WbranchFebruary 10th, 2009, 7:03 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

"I tie mostly in the 22-28 range" I guess I'd have to ask why? Do you have aquatic insect emergences that are that small from the beginning of your trout season to the end? Where I fish we have some small flies but I never go smaller than a #22 and that is only for Trico spinners. All other bugs #6 - #20.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shawnny3February 11th, 2009, 3:12 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Looks dangerous, John. I have a similar contraption to keep my children from touching stuff on my flytying bench. It's only backfired on me a few dozen times.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
FalsiflyFebruary 11th, 2009, 6:43 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
The business I own operates from about the middle of April through the first of November. This doesnít leave me much time to fish during the spring, summer and fall, here in Wisconsin. About twelve years ago I headed out west during the months of February, March and the beginning of April. (I spent ten years living in Colorado back in the 70s but I never fished early spring.) The midge hatches are about the only thing going during this time, but when they come off its, Katy bar the door. I had never experienced fish feeding on these tiny bugs before, in such numbers and of such size. It was on that first trip, about twelve years ago, that I matched wits with the midge hatch, and it threw me for a loop. I was fishing some quite water off the main current, during a warm, cloudless, afternoon; nymphing with some success. Then the rise forms started. Slowly at first, but it didnít take long and I found myself literally surrounded by fish. But try as I did I couldnít buy a strike. And to top it off, I saw nothing on the water, or in the air. I always carry a small seine and a small vial filled with Bug Balm, so I decided to investigate. The midge pupa immediately showed up in the seine, but I had nothing, even close in size or color, to match. That night I tied a half dozen imitations as close as I could to the specimen in hand. You know exactly where I was the following afternoon, and the emergence came off as I hoped. This time I had a ball.

Last week of February on the San Juan, years back: I was above the braided water, between shore and a small island, on a warm, cloudless, late morning. (I love the warm cloudless days for their comfort, but Iíve had the best fishing in the nastiest weather) The fish were rising sporadically, but I did manage to cast to a few that seemed to have a pattern set. I knew that they were taking small midges because I could see the midges on the water, but I had nothing to match. I took my sample and tied a few that night. These were # 28. I didnít even have hooks that small in my collection, but thank God the fly shop did. You know exactly where I was the following morning, and the fish were taking. I wasnít near as successful this time. I only caught three, but one was 21 inches, all on my #28 dry.

So you see, Iíve become hooked on midge fishing, I do 90% of my fishing when the midges are about the only game in town, and consequently 90% of my tying is in the 22 and up sizes. Iíve also had some very good fishing on the BWO hatches in March and April but that too has been covered with the #22. Believe it or not, when I head west in the early spring, the biggest fly in my two boxes is a #18. And I can't remember the last time I used a fly that big.

When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
MartinlfFebruary 13th, 2009, 5:20 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3231
Good one Shawn!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchFebruary 24th, 2009, 3:17 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

Thanks for the explanation of your selection of minutae.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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