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Putting Together Some Tying Tools


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#21 John S

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:25 PM

Here's a nice little diagram to help you get the proportions right. The 'Head' (as you probably already know) is usually the tying thread coated in varnish. The hackles should normally be long enough to just reach the point of the hook, but the best advice I can give is don't use too much, a lot of beginners make the mistake of trying to cram too much material on the hook - little is better.

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Btw, next time you make your 'nameless monstrosity', leave off the tail then you'll have tied a Black and Peacock Spider. Then leave off the hackle entirely and put a wing on made of black ostrich plume to make a Cormorant.... :thumbs:

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#22 Steve Walker

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:40 AM

Thanks chaps - I'm gradually getting a feel for how much space I need to leave for heads and collar hackles (take the amount that seems plenty and add 50%), but it's going to take lots of time and flies to get there. I'm really just trying to get to the point where what ends up on the hook is what I had in my head to begin with, before I start trying too hard to produce anything recognisable! I saw some nice buzzers on the web today using a couple of turns of peacock hurl for the thorax, so I had a go at that, and then tried to combine it with floss cheeks and a tinsel flash - ambition vaulting over ability, and not quite enough room left to fit it all in, but something learnt:

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This is the stuff I bought:

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I have a hare's mask (Or "bunny's face" as my horrified wife put it). I haven't tried making anything out of it yet - that's my next exercise.

#23 Vagabond

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:12 AM

Here's a nice little diagram to help you get the proportions right.



Yes, very useful. I remember a series of articles in one of the fly-fishing magazines that not only told you where on the hook everything should go, but how many turns of silk to use ! "Fly-tying by numbers" I think it was called.

Leaving insufficient space for the head is the commonest mistake amongst fly-tyers (including me)


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#24 Worms

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:56 AM

This is the stuff I bought:

Looking good Steve, only one problem............in a few months or as you get into tying flies on a fanatical basis (it will happen) you will wish that you had bought a much bigger box :D

The desk should be about big enough though, you'll just have to junk that office rubbish :P

Edited by Worms, 11 January 2010 - 11:58 AM.

Eating wild caught fish is good for my health, reduces food miles and keeps me fit trying to catch them........it's my choice to do it, not yours to stop me!

#25 Steve Walker

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:09 PM

Quite likely!

The box is just a stopgap - it's ugly. What I've already spent on tools and materials would have bought me enough flies to last me a very long time, but the point of tying my own is just that it's nice to do rather than an efficient way of acquiring flies. Rather like using fly tackle at all, really ;) So I will find myself something a bit more satisfying to own and use to keep my stuff in. It's my birthday in a couple of weeks, perhaps my mrs will get me something!

#26 chuby

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:11 PM

Quite likely!

The box is just a stopgap - it's ugly. What I've already spent on tools and materials would have bought me enough flies to last me a very long time, but the point of tying my own is just that it's nice to do rather than an efficient way of acquiring flies. Rather like using fly tackle at all, really ;) So I will find myself something a bit more satisfying to own and use to keep my stuff in. It's my birthday in a couple of weeks, perhaps my mrs will get me something!


A new wardrobe should just about be big enough :lol: :lol:

#27 Steve Walker

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

Bit awkward to lug about the house, though!

I've just bought a few more bits from the Orvis shop at Burford. Just a couple of little trays of coloured dubbings, some black floss, a bit of orange flex, some olive hackles, etc. Now having trouble closing the lid... :D

#28 Worms

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:26 PM

Bit awkward to lug about the house, though!

I've just bought a few more bits from the Orvis shop at Burford. Just a couple of little trays of coloured dubbings, some black floss, a bit of orange flex, some olive hackles, etc. Now having trouble closing the lid... :D

(To be read out loud with the voice of Rigsby from "Rising Damp")

"Yes, see I told you!"
Eating wild caught fish is good for my health, reduces food miles and keeps me fit trying to catch them........it's my choice to do it, not yours to stop me!

#29 Steve Walker

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:57 AM

Quite so :D

Tonight, I have mostly been making black gnats. The paired wings are coming on. The ones made with a silk floss body look better than the ones with a dubbed body, but I'm only just getting the hang of dubbing.

I tried a blue winged olive pattern. It looks as if it might catch a trout, but only by swooping down and plucking the fish from the water. More of a blue winged turkey vulture.

#30 Steve Walker

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 11:51 PM

Had a go at some nymphs this evening - bit scruffy, but what the hell, there are aspects of them I'm pleased about, even where the overall effect isn't so good.

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