Monday, October 20, 2008

Fly Tying Tools

People ask me, "What tools should I get to tye flies?" There are a lot of tools out there. One mistake a lot of folks make when they are new to tying, is to go out and buy a bunch of tools that they do not need or do not ever use. Don't get me wrong; if you are into tools and gadgets then go for it and shop till you drop. If you prefer a more sparse approach, as I do, then you do not need all that much.

You need a good vice if you are to be serious about fly tying. A lot of beginner vices just don't hold the hook well and, I think, can turn people off to tying as the vices simply don't perform well. Try out different ones at clubs, shows and shops and find one that feels comfortable to you. I tye on Regal. Next you need good sharp scissors that fit your hands and have a very fine point. I cut with Dr. Slick. The bobbin is very important. The best ones have a ceramic insert that keeps the thread from being sliced by nicks in plain metal tubing. I bob with Griffen, Dr. Slick and Rite. Next you need hackle pliers. I have no idea what brand mine are, but I know they are very basic and I added a bit of heat shrink tube to one side to assist in gripping the materials. Now get yourself a very basic metal hair stacker. There are several good heavy-bottomed ones out there. Finally a bodkin will be handy to have. I picked up a ceramics tool at an art store for about a dollar. You can also take a scrap of wooden dowel, drill a fine hole in it, fill the hole with glue and put a sewing needle in the end. There you have it.

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