How to Use Fly Tying Tools

How to Use Fly Tying Tools
The sport of fly fishing is more than just hiking a stream in pursuit of a wary trout. It becomes a full-time passion: anglers create their own flies for their specific streams and the fish that reside there. No matter which type of flies an angler makes the basic tools are almost always the same.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly-tying vise Scissors Bobbin Bobbin threader Half hitch tool
  • Fly-tying vise
  • Scissors
  • Bobbin
  • Bobbin threader
  • Half hitch tool
Step 1
The fly-tying vise is the most important tool in an angler's arsenal; it is the base for tying any fly. Most vises have spring-loaded jaws that keep the hook in place while you tie the fly. Be sure to adjust the tension on the jaws when tying different flies, as smaller hooks need less tension and larger hooks need more.
Step 2
Fly tying requires cutting materials and having several sizes of scissors handy makes the job that much easier. Use 4-inch straight scissors for cutting material like deer hair or rabbit strips, 3-inch micro-tip scissors for cutting fine material on small dry flies, and 3-inch curved-tip scissors for making yarn flies.
Step 3
The bobbin is the tool that holds the thread and allows the angler to wrap thread around the hook. A standard bobbin will work for most threads, but you may need a large bobbin if you plan to tie large flies.
Step 4
The bobbin threader is a tool used to get the thread through the tube on the bobbin. Push the wire end through the bobbin tube and place the thread through the opening in the wire. Pull the threader back through the bobbin tube and the thread will follow out the top of the tube.
Step 5
A half hitch tool is used to finish off the fly and secure the thread neatly at the eye of the hook. Make a loop in the thread and place the loop over the open end of the half hitch tool. Place the tool over the eye of the hook and slide the thread loop tight to the eye of the hook.

Tips & Warnings

As with any tools, fly-tying devices take some practice to master. Make it a point to tie several flies a week until it becomes second nature.
Be careful when handling fly-tying scissors, which have extremely sharp points.

Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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