Tying Tips

This is a section devoted to fly tying.   Here you will see tips that I have found to be very useful for tying all kinds of flies.

Nature's Spirit..The Finest Fly Tying Material....Period!

TIP #1

Fly tying tools are really a personal preference.  There are so many out there that it is hard to know what you need and what you really don't.  From vises to bobbins to scissors and hair stackers.   The most important thing is finding the right tools to fit your needs as a tyer.   Whether you tie for fun and relaxation, or are a commercial tyer.

As far as important tools go, I think a great pair of scissors is the one of most important element in fly tying.  The scissors must be sharp and feel comfortable in your hand.  One of the first things to conquer if you haven't already is to always keep the scissors in your hand while you are tying.   This will speed up your operation and cause less fatigue on you having to pick them up every time to make a cut.  I like to use scissors that have big finger rings.   These fit comfortable in your hand and are easy to use.  Also invest in a small inexpensive sharpener.  Keeping your scissors nice and sharp will save you much frustration at the vise.

TIP #2

Decide what pattern you would like to tie.  Get all your materials & tools ready before you begin.  If you are tying flies with a hair wing, stack all your hair before you start.  Organizing your materials and having them ready for the hook will speed up your tying considerably.

TIP #3

Don't worry about your speed.  Worrying that you aren't tying fast enough will bring the quality of your flies way down.  Take your time and tie a  quality fly.  You will be delighted when you are fishing your flies and they aren't falling apart.  Many tiers I talk to are always worried that they don't tie fast enough.   Once you have been tying for a while your speed will increase and you won't have to worry about the quality!

  TIP #4

Working with a good vise is essential when tying quality flies.  Whether at home or at your favorite fishing hole.  The market is flooded with all types of vises, from the standard to the full rotary and for the beginning fly tyer it may be somewhat difficult to chose from the large selection that is offered.. 

For the beginning fly tyer you might find the rotary vises to be somewhat difficult.  They usually require a certain amount of tying skills to operate successfully.  Once you have mastered several skills of fly tying, the rotary vise may help speed up your operation.  Remember though, speed isn't always a good thing when tying a quality fly. 

Most quality standard vises are built with a 360 degree rotation, which allows you to turn the fly to perform certain functions.  Most vises are offered with a C-Clamp or a Pedestal stand.  It is really a matter of preference for the tyer and how they like his or her operation to flow.   I myself prefer the C-Clamp.  It is bolted to your workstation, where the Pedestal is not and may tend to move around on your table. 

The Pedestal vises are weighted, but you may still experience some movement when tying different patterns.   The most important option in a vise is its hook holding capabilities.  You want a vise that will hold your hook in place, even when extreme pressure is being applied.  A hook that slips and slides in your hook jaws will create frustrating moments at the tying table.  Most vises that you find today are built very well and should last you for a life-time of fly tying.  Many manufactures even add a life-time warranty one there vises.  This is always something to consider when making a major purchase.

TIP #5

The Hair Stacker was probably one of the best tools invented for the hobby of fly tying.  It greatly improved the look of flies and speeds up a tyers operation considerably.  There are several different models to chose from in hair stackers.  There are standard, adjustable, and large models.   It may come down to a tyers personal preference in the model that he or she decides to work with.  For me, I like the large.  It can be filled with a large amount of hair, has a big mouth on it so there is no fumbling  and very easy to use.   It also makes your operation quicker.  The more hair you can stack at one time, the better off you will be,  I believe.  Before I begin my tying for the day I always stack 3 or 4 dozen bundles of hair.  I lay the hair out on my table in neat little piles.  When you begin your tying and need to tie in your wing it is already to go.  Grab the small bundle of deer or elk hair and tie it in.  Easy as that.

TIP #6

The most important part of any fly is the material that you tie it with.  Their are many different and unique materials available for a fly tyer these days and for the beginning fly tyer it may be quite overwhelming.  Trying to decide which material looks the best and also feels right.  If you are inexperienced at choosing the right materials, ask as many questions as you can about them.  The first thing that you should see is quality.  Even an untrained eye can spot that.  It should jump out of the package at you, especially when you are picking out deer, elk, or moose hair.  Look to see that the hair is all uniform in length, has unbroken tips and very minimum underfur.  This will save you a lot of frustration at the bench.  Also look at the color, texture and straightness of the hair product.   If it is dyed, take it out of the package.  If it feels ruff or abnormal coarse, throw it back, it is no good.

I have recently be introduced to the best tying materials on the market today and we are the only fly shop online to offer them to you.        Nature's Spirit products are unequaled in the industry.  They are meticulous about all their products and wont' sell anything to their dealers that doesn't meet their stringent standards.   The quality of their products, especially their hair products, (Elk, Deer, & Moose) jump out of the package at you.  I was so excited when I saw their products and was overjoyed that someone in the industry actually cared about what they are selling to the fly tying public.  The people at Nature's Spirit are committed to bringing only the best.  Their products are unique in a way that almost all their products are Preen Oil Processed.  No other company in the industry devotes the extra time to this process, and it shows!  If you have any questions about Nature's Spirit products, feel free to contact us.  We will be offering them in the Online Shop the first week in May.

TIP #7

As everyone knows the base of any great fly depends primarily on the hook and it ability to set properly and maintain it strength while playing a fish.  Choosing the right hook for the many patterns that are out there may be overwhelming for a beginning fly tier.   Following the tying direction for the pattern is handy, but if there isn't a hook description supplied one may be lost.  Many of the hook manufactures will supply you with a catalog of there hooks and the complete descriptions for each of the hooks uses.   For those that may be new to fly tying and would like to learn more about hooks, click the link below.  If you need more information on hooks, feel free to contact us.

TIP #8

For the beginning fly tyer deciding what type and grade of hackle to choose can at times be very frustrating and costly.  With a wide range of hackle one can become confused and frustrated very quickly.  Hackle is broke down into several different categories.  With manufactures constantly introducing new lines of hackle, look to your fly shop owners to keep you well informed.  Rooster necks use to be the norm for tying dry flies.  They are costly, but the hackle on these necks is top of the line.  Now hackle manufactures, such as Hoffman, have breed roosters to produce even the tiniest hackle from their saddles.  These saddles are great for tying small dries, even down to the 20's (depending on grade).  Usually the grade 1 will produce these smaller hackles.  Even the higher grades such as 2's & 3's will produce hackle that will tie flies down to size 16-18.  The great thing about these saddles is their feathers are between 4 and 6 inches long and you can tie 4 or 5 flies with one hackle.  With most Grade 1 saddles you can tie well over 800 dry flies.  This is something you can't do with the necks.  Usually the one neck hackle produces one fly.   When you break this down, you may be paying between $15-80 dollars for a saddle, but you are tying twice or sometimes three times as many flies.  A great value for your hard earned dollar.



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