DIY Fly Cutter Bit Sharpening

DIY Fly Cutter Bit Sharpening
Fishing line clippers look a bit like toe- and finger-nail clippers. Some line clippers for fly fishing have curved blades or sharpened razor hooks used to slice and cut through tippets, leaders and backing line. Keeping these tools sharp assures quick slices and cuts during your day on the water. Sharper blades mean more efficient changing of flies and line weights. Keeping your fly cutter and clipper bits sharp can be done quickly at home.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Round sharpening file
  • Wet stone
  • Hobby oil
  • Towels
Step 1
Place a drop of oil on the edge of each blade bit you need to sharpen on the fly line clippers. Pick up the round metal file. Open the clippers as far as they will open.
Step 2
Push the file over one edge of the clipper bit, moving with the file on the edge in one direction only. Remove the file after you scrape one edge fully, then bring it back to the original position and repeat. Do this five to 10 times for each blade or razor edge needing sharpening.
Step 3
Place a test piece of monofilament line into the clippers and cut. If there is still resistance in the clipping, go back and repeat the edge scraping process.
Step 4
Drop one drop of oil on the wetstone and scrape the razor edges of the clippers along the stone. Wipe off the oil from the edge of the clipper bits and blades using the towels. Try clipping another test piece of monofilament fishing line.
Step 5
Wipe off the clippers and the file. Dry the wetstone for use at another time. Reattach the fly clippers to your fishing vest, lanyard or creel.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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