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Thread: Fly tying tips

  1. #1
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    Default Fly tying tips

    I thought I might start a tying thread on fly tying tips, I know this possibly has been done before ( on the old forum I think) but we call come up with new ideas as we progress, feel free to add to my list

    - Nail clippers are awesome tools for cutting wires, you will be able to trim the wire much closer to the hook shank and you don’t trash your scissors

    - I like to have a small pair of cheap smooth jaw pliers around when I tie (they have no ”teeth”), they are great for pushing wire flat onto the shank and for de-barbing flies if you don’t want to use your vice jaws. Some of the cheaper vices don’t last long if you de-barb in the vice

    - a wooden coffee stirrer stick with a piece of Velcro glued to the end makes a great dubbing teaser, it’s nice and thin to get between the gape of those small hooks

    - if you like to tie with nail varnish (like Sally Hanses) and you find the brush applied too much varnish, take your pliers and pull out the brush. Cut the head off a pin, grab it with a pair of pliers and push it up the stalk where the brush was, now you have a pin applicator for the varnish.

    - though I never tie with wax, if you do find yourself in a pinch where you need some and don’t have any around, pritt glue stick makes a good substitute.

    - buy your Zap products from a model airplane hobby shop, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper then at the fishing shops. If you don’t’ need the thicker Zap-a-gap, there is a thinner product called Zap CA+ and you can buy 200ml of this for about R40 at the above mentioned shops.

    - The best product to glue doll eyes to deer have flies is Zap-a-Gap-a-Goo II, first cut out a little pocket for the eye in the deer hair, this will make it last longer.
    Fly-fishing surpasses the need to actually catch a fish, it becomes a mindset, and with time, an obsession.

    Lord,grant that I may catch a fish so big that even I,
    When speaking afterwards,
    May have no need to lie.
    Amen

  2. #2
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    Gael

    Good idea. Thank you for the good tips. I'm still new to tying and it helps a lot to read about tips like these. Makes life a little easier. As it is I sometimes wish I had an extra hand around the vice.

    Cheers
    Frik
    "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing" - Einstein

  3. Default

    Pardon my ignorance but what are Zap products?

  4. #4
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    They are glues / bonding agents
    Daryl Human

    The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be. --John Gierach

  5. #5
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    Rib - Counter wrap your ribbing material to improve the strength of your flies as well as the effect and visibility of the rib. Gripping ribbing material with hackle pliers makes ribbing a breeze, avoiding it slipping out of your fingers.

    Alternative Materials - The local haberdashery sometimes have some weird and wonderful material to substitute unavailable colours or materials. Some materials like raffia and yarn retails at a fraction of what it costs in a fly fishing shop. Dubbing bag plastic makes a great substitute for shell back.

    Cutting - A utility knife & steel ruler by the bench side has endless applications especially when cutting pearl sheet or shell back materials.
    No PAIN No Gain

  6. #6
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    Zap-a-Gap superglue is reputedly the only water proof such product, a good thing when tying flies. Their epoxies are also reasonably slow to turn yellow.

    Dubbing: When you think that pinch of dubbing is too small, half the amount and you will most probably still have too much.

    Dubbing: Roll the dubbing between the palms of your hands to form a noodle. If the noodle is too thick, pull it apart slowly to make it thinner and roll it again. Spin the noodle onto the thread in an anti-clockwise direction. The thread will grip the dubbing even tighter, making for more durable flies.

    When tying an Atomic Worm, try putting a layer of silver Flashabou on before winding on the V-rib or Larva Lace. It will give the fly an inner glow that may on occasion be just what the doctor ordered.

    The best way to avoid unnecessary bulk when tying in Flashabou or Lurex in very small flies, is to break the flash material between your fingers. It will stretch before breaking, leaving a nice thin tag, by which the flash can be tied in without adding any bulk.

    Flattening the tips of the stems of feathers tied into streamer patterns with a pair of smooth-jawed pliers will decrease the tendency of the feather to twist or roll around the hook shank when they are tied in.

    A dry fly hackle always sits better on a thin base of dubbing.

    Try to plan the number of thread wraps you put on a fly. The idea is to use not more thread than functionally required. Two to three well-placed thread wraps are invariably sufficient to hold material in place. The bonus will be nice slim flies. A fly with a huge ball of tread at the head or a bulge at the end of the abdomen is not easthetically pleasing. Also, you'll be surprised how much quicker a slimly-tied nymph goes down.
    If everybody is thinking alike, nobody's thinking - George Patton

  7. #7
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    i just want to find out if anyone else has had the same experience. My Loons hard head is going all thick and hard in the bottle. what can you do to rectify this?
    cheers
    ps. already got a good few tips here. thanks guys
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    I prefer tying with waterbased head cements two reasons:

    1) They tend not to go hard if sealed and stored properly and;
    2) They do not have that tell tale acetone / chemical smell on completed flies.

  9. #9
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    One thing I learned from my other half is that keeping varnishes and epoxies in the fridge extends the service life thereof. So, keep the Hard Head in the fridge, Roland. I'm quite curious though. Surely there must be some type of solvent with which it can be diluted. My guess is that it will be either acetone or surgical spirits.
    If everybody is thinking alike, nobody's thinking - George Patton

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry View Post
    One thing I learned from my other half is that keeping varnishes and epoxies in the fridge extends the service life thereof. So, keep the Hard Head in the fridge, Roland. I'm quite curious though. Surely there must be some type of solvent with which it can be diluted. My guess is that it will be either acetone or surgical spirits.
    Now that you mention the fridge thing, my table is getting afternoon sun now,
    that could explain the hardening. I will try some surgical spirits.
    Thanks
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

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