Fly tying hacks
By Skip Clement
Labeling machine, magnets, screw-in eye hooks, screen door springs, clearing hook-eye glue, and trimming a Sally Hansen applicator brush – not to mention Dollar and craft store bargains
Tying area, tying table, and a dedicated tying desk all require organization for anyone to be a productive fly tyer – get a bunch of flies ready for the next day’s adventure, or weeks holiday at remote destination in the land of Oz.
For about $30 a labeling machine [Amazon] the size of a Dopp toiletries bag can, along with a $17 Meiho tackle box ID every hook you own [maybe you’ll need two]. That’s one clear plastic box with round petrie size dish containers as shown above.
A heavy, 6-inch round magnet tray [see image below] bought at an automotive parts store or big box hardware store can keep the rug free of hooks, small flies, and even small metal tools. The ones that end up stuck in woof-woof”s paw or your husband’s sockless big toe.
Magnets [#7] adhered to the vise or glued to the bench rails can keep readily used materials at one’s fingertips when tying repetitive inventory patterns. Also small magnets embedded in a tying desk can stabilize tools, loose hooks and flies.
Clear that hook-eye
An easy way to clean out glue or UV material that is accidentally clogging a hook-eye, take a waste feather or feathers if need be, and run them through the eye to clear it.
Trim applicator brushes
This trimming the Hard as Nails applicator brush almost eliminates over saturating with ‘glue’ or plugging hook-eyes, and for some saves the build up on the bodkin. Since the brush on Hard as Nails comes ‘wet’ in the bottle a thinner is needed to get the brush clean.
NOTE: For solvent cleaner I use Acetone [use with open ventilation]. At Wally-Mart for about $6 in a quart can. Store can closed cap in a safe place – highly flammable. If you use a rag to clean anything with solvents, do not throw in a trash because of self ignition.
Dollar stores and Craft stores
Dollar Store fake worms [Ponytail Holders], ‘Squshies,’ ‘Squirmies,’ and ‘Scrunchies’ come packaged in various colors and are hand wiggling toys with sewn-in eyes – carrot-shaped and like giant worms or slugs. Largemouth bass cannot resist them. NOTE: Use a trailer hook to avoid short strikes.
When I bought a 300 year supply of dubbing [yarn] at one of the craft stores for $14 [on sale], I was good with shopping there—sheet foam rubber at craft stores in another great buy.
NOTE: Featured image is the old Fish Hawk Fly Shop. The new shop is just a few miles away and larger and Gary [Merriman] is still El Capo. Best fly shop in the South.