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Get Started with Fly Tying: The Basic Kit

Once a fly fishing angler has decided to undertake making his own flies, it is important that he acquire some basic tools and equipment in order to be successful at the craft.

Tools fall into two general categories: essential and optional.

Essential tools include:

• A vise to hold the hook: A good fly-tying vise is mandatory for anyone undertaking the hobby. Either pedestal based or clamp attachment; the vise should adjust easily and smoothly.

• Bobbins: A good quality ceramic bobbin is recommended; cheaper types of bobbins break the thread and lead to needless frustration. The bobbin should have a tube to guide the thread to the hook.

• Magnifying glass: as many of the components of flies are tiny or hair thin, a good quality magnifying glass (a free- standing glass on its own pedestal for hands free use is recommended)

• Hackle pliers: specialized pliers that hold feathers and other fly-tying materials together while being bound to the hook, usually spring loaded with a rubber disk to hold the feathers).

• Hackle gauges: specialized ruler used to insure that the size of the hackle feather fibers is appropriate for the hook.

• Hair stackers: cylindrical shaped device used to get the feathers and fibers aligned properly for tails and wings and other components of a fly.

• Lights: a well-lit workspace is essential to avoid eye-strain, fly tying is a delicate and precise process..

• Scissors: used for cutting threads, fibers and other materials. Small scissors are best for cutting fine threads and fibers, a heavier duty pair is also needed to cut wire.

Optional tools include:

• Bodkins: in terms of fly tying, this a needle affixed to a wooden dowel 9which functions as a handle0 used for depositing cement or lacquer on flies.

• Bobbin threaders: for spooling tying thread onto the ceramic bobbin

• Whip finishers: knot tying can be accomplished with fingers, but this specialized tool makes securely tying the knots on the flies a snap.

• Wing burners: cutters used to shape wings and wing cases and cut them to proper size.

• Dubbing twisters: implements used to wrap fibrous materials around thread to approximate the body of the insect being mimicked by the fly.

• Tweezers: useful for picking up beads, glass weights and other tiny components used in fly tying.

The old saying says that you need the proper tools to do a job properly, and this is particularly true in fly tying. The toolkit described above is recommended by the experts as the best for the beginning fly tier. Click the link for fly tying and fly fishing videos.

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