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Old 01-04-2005, 11:35 PM
Armando Armando is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 206
Fly tying tips

I think there should be a sticky thread on fly tying tips, it's very helpful and theres always something new to learn.
For instance:
-Champagne bottles are wrapped in a sheet of lead that works great shaping Zonker bodies or adding extra weight on flies.
-Bucktail hairs are hollow at the base of the tail, not good for streamers but great for muddlers or bass bugs.
-Mono eyes are best burnt with a lighter to get a more natural dark brown color than with a candle.
-Hackle pliers are great to hold mono when burning it for eyes.
-Warming up epoxy, thins it up a little and prevents bubbles.
-Always glue materials between wraps when tying big flies to prevent them from spinning.
-Wraping some wool or chenille on a straight hook before gluing a popper head also prevents it from spining.
-You can color up epoxy mixing it up with any marker over wax paper.
-Christmas is a good month to find fly tying materials.

Ok guys help me out, I know there are thousands of tips to submit
Best regards
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:24 AM
rhino rhino is offline
fly fishing nut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: southeast michigan
Posts: 164
Arrow here's some

1. when tying wooly buggers tye the hackle in tip first and use colse to dry fly grade so it look like a nymph

2. instead of whip finishing use mutiple wraps around a wip finisher to tye off

3. throw away dull scissors so you can clip those fine spots

4. use gx2 tying thread for deer hair when tying bass bugs etc..

5. try sepratng glo bug yarn in to two pieces in one inch lengths and a third color seprated for a blood dot on salmon eggs cut 1/8 above hook and cut strait across

6. use a dresser as a metrials chest

7. buy a rotating vice for rotating your flise wile drying epoxy

8. some bobbins are not ment for salt water

9. if you have a problem breaking thread bend your bobbin open i have ben knowen to tye whit 17/0 trico thread on salt water bobbins

10. leave crystal flash or flashabu in package in push the point of your scissors throught the package at the top of the hank and pull through package and cut out wht you need less mess

11. never use super glue around hair or when ever you plan on using floss because if you get it on you fingers it will shread the floss

12. use a pinch wrap when tying in alantic salmon flies wings to post them strait

13. evey one at tying shows use a very hevy breaking strength thread that is super thin called gx2 made of gel spun poly this is how they get such perfect bugs whith out breaking the thread

14. keep all feathers and metrials out from under were you are drying epoxy or they will get wet from epoxy dripings

15. to build a perfect head try clear nail polish in multi coats

16. try using a 1 x longer hook when tying every thing this way you dont run out of room

17. use washer and 1/4 inch screws that are one inch long and mount razor blades in betwen every 4-5 washers to cut rabbit strips from full pelts

i could go on and on but i will try to spare you

good luck and tight lines rhino

Last edited by rhino; 01-05-2005 at 01:28 AM..
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:49 PM
Armando Armando is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 206
Great Rhino

-Dipping hackles and marabou in water to keep them out of the way and in control when tying.
-Making a bundle of thread at the end of the shank helps tying in biots and hackles.
-Dogs and cats have great dubbing materials, all you need is a comb, or ask owners to keep some hair when they groom their pets.
-A rack for crystal flash and flashabous helps a lot to pick the ones you want.
-When tying with flat strong thread, you can thin it up by spinning your bobbin.
-A comb is also good to get rid of those fluffy hairs in bucktails, fox skins, etc..
-Cut pencils. pens, brushes etc in different diameters to paint eyes in flies, poppers or even crankbaits.
-Old underwear has superb rubber leg material.
-Old damaged fly lines are good for tying antennae, tails etc in shrimp, damselfly, etc patterns.
-Threaders for dental floss when you have braces, are also good as bobbin threaders.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:11 PM
Pucho Pucho is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: puerto rico
Posts: 84

To get all my fly tying equipment in order I get this white plastic foam that is inside the boxes to hold and keep all electrical equipment in place of the boxes, that is the best organizer, if you are lucky you can get one in different steps, only have to push the bobbins, scissors, etc, etc and with a kitchen knife cut the base form of your liquids and cements, when they get lots of holes, throw it away and get a new one.

I use Velcro glued to an ice cream stick to brush fur.

The picture film can with wire sponge inside to clean bodkins, also the cans are great to keep bead chains, lead eyes and other small stuff.

Golf tees to form a nice cup when making crease flies.

In the art store get a nice clear plastic for stencil making and make your own stencil for different bodies shapes for poppers like the crease flies.

Go to your aunt, grandmother, mother inlaw house and get all that nice yarn, chenille and other similar stuff in different colors to make beautiful crabs flies...LOL.

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Old 05-06-2005, 09:41 AM
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brushfly brushfly is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North Shore Long Island
Posts: 1,042

- Love the golf tee idea !!!!
- VCR boxes make nice sized fly boxes. Glue 1/4" foam sheets for fly holders.
- The back end of the dubbing needle presses stick on eyes in the best. Didn't know that's why there concave in shape, or should be.


You are a wealth of information. Sounds like you source everything for the fly table with the exception of last nights leftovers. (maybe good for chum!)
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:14 PM
Armando Armando is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 206
Thanks brushfly
And you are right, keeping leftovers handy economizes, tying materials.
-Steam helps shaping flies back to their original and mented figure.
-You can tie a kind of muddler with the marabou end of saddle hackles, tie like a bugger and wrap those fluffy feathers too, trim to shape and voi la.
-Soap for the washing machine prevents hooks from rusting and also dries up flies after a saltwater day. Some soap in a box to dip flies in.
-Tying is wonderful, but a lot of flies in a box will never let you now what you really have, before a trip we all tie like nuts, in the spot we use no more than half of the box, keeping it simple helps more.
-A rusted hook eye is a weak point in the fight, mono or even shock tippets end up breaking loose.
-If you want a deceiver or any other fly to be really large, tie the the whole pattern as you always do but also tie in a piece of mono with a loop to tie in more glued feathers beyond the tail.
-Also some mono in flies with long tails prevent the materials to wrap around the gap, plus a loop will make a nice tandem.

Oh boy those are the ones that came to my mind right now it's been a long time, more research needed to post more tips.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:52 PM
L Carr L Carr is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8
Many thanks from a newbie tier

I am a relative newcomer to this addidiction and find that these kind of posts are absolutely fantastic for learning the little things that you expereinced tying veterans have learned the hard way. Thanks to all that have posted here.

I am also finding that this fly tying can be VERY addictive. I am tying more than I am fishing. Anyone have an idea how to cure that problem?

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Old 09-26-2005, 01:12 PM
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Nikonjedi Nikonjedi is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado now headed home to SC
Posts: 6
New Salt tier

Hello all. I am new to the forum and I am about a month away from headed back home to South Carolina and back to salt water! I am stationed in Colorado Springs right now and over the last 3 years have taught myself to fly fish and wih the help of videos and the local tying shops have learned to tie flies myself. I saw this thread on tips and I was wondering.... What is the big difference between tying salt and fresh water flies, besids the size of the hooks? All the patterns I have seen look like giant clouser minows with different colors and there is a lot of epoxy talk. I have heard that epoxy is messy and my wife is already not happy with me picking up every feather, peice of fur and clipping her ceiling fan chains for eyes I am rethinking the whole epoxy thing. Will all the skills I have learned fro freshwater tying be used for salt or are there new skills and techniquies I need to learn? Thanks Guys!

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Old 09-27-2005, 08:30 AM
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dudley dudley is offline
fly fisherman
Join Date: May 2002
Location: quietcorner, ct.
Posts: 251
Your fresh water skills will translate easily to saltwater flys.
The major differences being the use of more material on each fly, and ( most important for me) with the larger size, you can see what you're doing a lot easier.
As for the epoxy, don't use it if you don't want to. The main purpose of epoxy is to make the more durable. As a beginer you might not have that many flies that you wish to last forever
Keep it simple to start. Bucktails like blondes, deceivers ,and clousers. Then add
some simple shrimp (bonefish style) flies. No epoxy needed
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:41 AM
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Nikonjedi Nikonjedi is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado now headed home to SC
Posts: 6
Cool.... Thanks! I have been looking at some patterns online but my vice dosen't like the larger hooks I have my dremel tool and I am going to try and groove an extra set of jaws to see if they will fit better then I am going to try some larger patterns. You're right about the larger sizes... sometimes those size 18-20 nymphs and dries drive me insane! thanks again fo rthe tips and help.

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Old 04-19-2006, 02:30 PM
Armando Armando is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 206
The skills you get when tying small patterns are superb in terms of detail and material handling. You can be very detailed on saltwater flies and create beautiful baitfish, shrimp etc patterns.
I think big flies encourage the tyier to create patterns big enough to entice a big fish and light enough to cast them the further possible.
Sometimes keeping it simple is the answer.
Keep tying!!
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:18 AM
peterjay peterjay is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 104
Imagine opening up your tying materials after a summer of fishing and finding that your whole inventory has been devoured by moths. It happened to me years ago - the only stuff they left was synthetic - they ate bucktails and squirrel tails right down to the bone, and even wiped out all my silk floss - I may be a bit paranoid on the subject, but I now keep everything in plastic bags, the kind with sliding locks - mothballs would help as well - as John Gierach once said: "If your stuff doesn't smell like your grandmother's closet, you're living dangerously." (or words to that effect)
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:53 AM
Dumpcast Dumpcast is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Gloucester
Posts: 196
Lately I've been using smaller and lighter hooks for striper flies, which makes casting easier while not compromising hookups. Instead of 2/0 or 1/0 stainless-steel hooks, I've been tying with Mustad R74, size 2, 2X heavy, 4X long. The only difference in the finished fly is the hook. What other hook sizes do folks on the forum use?
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:32 AM
BillyD BillyD is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Manch-Vegas, NH.
Posts: 160
Fly desk top tip

I cover and tape off my tying desk table surface with parchment paper from the kitchen cupboard. It's treated with food grade silicone. So if you use any kind of foam or eyes with a release paper adhesive back. Not a problem if it lands glue side down on the desk top, you can pick it right and put them on your fly. As a matter of fact, I pre peel my dome eyes and put them on the paper glue side down just before I tie the fly. If I'm working with 5 min. epoxy I don't have to fumble around, I just pick them off the parchment with the tweezers in put them in place. It gives a nice white background to view your work as well.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:16 PM
novisibleleader novisibleleader is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Willow Grove, Pa
Posts: 29
tying bench tips

Post-its and toothpicks work wonders for me when tying epoxy flies when you are done with epoxy just tear of the top sheet and toss it. Also i have a strip of magnet with a sticky back on my bench for an easy access to some frequently used hooks.
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