i haven’t tried this yet but this little home-made gizmo found on In The Riffle’s Fb page gets a doubleplusgood for creativity and ingenuity. how does it stack up to pre-existing leg-knotting options is anyone’s guess which i suppose will be more down to personal preference rather than all-out efficiency but variety they say, is the spice of life or, as Americans would have us believe the popular (yet completely unheard of in France) french term: Vive la Différence !
we don’t see new fly tying tool concepts very often but this just-out razor blade holder should make more than one deer-hair aficionado very happy. not only is it a razor holder to not have to hold it whilst trimming hairs (the squeamish don’t need to worry as they’ll still have the possibility of slicing their fingers when placing or removing the blade) but there’s also an adjustable slider allowing the user to repeatably adjust the amount of bend in the blade. neato !
click here to order yours at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher and watch those fingers !
by Martin Joergensen at The Global FlyFisher
we’ve had several great tips from Martin in the past and here’s another that just might alleviate a bit of frustration when at the tying bench. not all bobbin holders are created equal and threads will all have different properties making for a different threading process dependant of what we’re using. getting to this seemingly simple result isn’t always as simple as it might seem… with several methods and just about everything one might need to know on this bobbin holder threading subject, here’s another most tiers don’t know yet that i can imagine becoming the norm in the future: dental floss threaders. click either image to access the complete article. thanks again Martin !
nifty, cool and a nice bug to boot. not bad at all for a five minute video.
drilling holes into a board to hold tying tools isn’t anything new and while i’ve seen the foam-feather-folder thing before it’s the first time i’ve seen the two together. maybe it’s because it looks like a little boat or simply because it’s a cheap and efficient tool but whatever it is, me like. just like Chris, i’m not much of a DIYer but this’ll be a cinch to make for any out there that are. nice too to see the foam thing in use, in this case, to help construct what might be considered as a Wooly-Bugger’s little bead-headed cousin (of sorts).
tying-wise, of most interest here is the idea of combining dubbing directly to the feather fibers in an easy and controllable manner before inserting it into the dubbing loop. the creative tier will find all sorts of uses for this foam-thing and possible combinations are endless. that’s the cool part. once again, nothing really new here as a lot of tiers know and use similar methods but i like the way its presented and besides, not everyone knows this neat, simple trick. enjoy !
‘Something new, something different, something really cool.
Fly tying stations aren’t new but this one is a modernized, simplified and very practical and functional rework of the basic design.
Fair enough, at first sight it’s a little strange to get all excited about a piece of plastic but here are it’s features with some plus and minus notes along the way.
45 x 27,5 x 2,5 cm (or 17 3/4 x 10,8 x 1 inches)
The workspace recess, tool and accessory holes are 2 cm deep (0,8 inch)
The easily accessible tools stay where they’re put and materials don’t roll out of the workspace. Whether using the tool holders or workspace, hooks, beads and other materials stay within the tray and standard varnish bottles don’t tip over. Everything’s always at hand right where they should be and this even when placed on the lap or other less than usual and uneven places such as car hoods or trunks: Nice
The base of smaller sized fly clips also fit in the tool holes, giving the tier an easily accessible area to deposit flies to dry after varnishing or to compare them when tying series of the same pattern: Nice
When assessing a product like this I ask myself things like “would it be better if it was bigger, smaller, etc, etc ?” and after a month of tying nothing came to mind meaning it’s size is just right, be it on my tying desk or anywhere else around the house or on the road. The compact yet ‘more than enough’ size makes it very easy to pick it up and go tie a fly or two while doing dumb things like cooking or watching tv or whatever !
As an aside, it easily fits inside my Fishpond tying bag or other similar tying carrying systems making it all the more easier to bring along anywhere, whether on an extended fishing trip or at fly shows: Nice
Is estimated at just under a kilo (2,2 pounds)
Not too heavy, not too light: Just right
the Fly Tidy is made of a single, food-grade, recyclable, highly resistant plastic: the same stuff used to make professional, industry-grade kitchen cutting boards.
With the exception of the vise screw, it’s hidden support thread and the four little rubber anti-slip feet, the whole board is machined from one solid piece and as such nothing could ever fall apart or become unglued. It’s not like we usually mistreat these kinds of objects, but I’m quite certain that even repeated hammer blows would hardly leave a dent on it’s surface: Nice
(The truly serious reviewer might resort to using an axe or chainsaw to thoroughly test this tool’s resistance to abuse but I guess I’m not serious enough !)
It’s white and as far as I’m concerned, white is best. It’s colour neutral and eliminates the need for a viewing plate behind the fly. Somewhere between shiny and matt, any object placed on the Tidy shows up right away regardless of the tying area’s light level. Locating and picking up the smallest of materials is simple and quick: Nice
Most of us have a lamp angled from above towards the fly and the white base reflects light back underneath our fly, evening out contrast, reducing eye strain and simply giving a better overall view: Nice
Having been told that it resists to varnishes, glues and UV resins I had a play with all of the above and confirm the claim. Simply let the gunk dry (or cure it with the UV light) and just chip it away with the thumbnail and the board looks like new, as if nothing had ever adhered to it: Nice
If your vise has a clamp, simply slide the stem in the board’s clamp and tighten the screw.
If you’re using a pedestal throw it away ! Once the vise stem is installed, the very stable contact area of the base makes that I can’t even make the Tidy rock or slide while purposely winding down hard on a big pike hook with 3/0 or GSP thread. Hooks where bent out of shape before anything moved. It’s like the stability of a clamp vise without having to work on the edge of a table, something the big fly tier might really appreciate: Nice
Now so far, there’s been nothing but ‘Nice‘ to sum up the Tidy’s features but as an assessor it’s my job to find what’s less than ideal so here goes:
As much as I like the vise clamp placement and board stability there’s one aspect here that left a minor frown however a quick, simple and cost-free solution took about one minute to fix this and in my opinion, made the vise connection even better.
The clamp hole’s diameter is a wee bit too wide for my Tiemco vise therefore it wobbles a little when tying even when the screw is tightened to the max. This vise is made in Japan and like any japanese product it’s in metric standards whereas almost every other vise on the market is in imperial (inches) making for a very small yet noticeable fitting difference. I don’t have access to a non-metric vise to measure it’s stem diameter but i’m pretty sure it’ll be just a tad wider than the metric. Others who have tried the Fly Tidy haven’t mentioned this issue so I’m reasonably certain almost any other vise will fit perfectly.
As such, it’s neither a design or production fault but simply a proof that universal fits aren’t usually very universal and I needed to point this out.
So, as a remedy I cut a slim sleeve from a plastic sheet 3cm x 8mm x 1 mm and inserted it into the hole and wedged the vise stem inside. (The plastic sleeve was left intact for illustration purposes. My ‘permanent’ version has been trimmed flush at the base of the board. You wouldn’t know it’s there)
This makes for a non-wobly, very solid hold while enabling the rotation of the vise by simply twisting it towards or away from me to make sure dumbbell eyes are on straight or for weaving fly bodies or simply to view or work on a fly at an oblique angle: Perfect !
– The Fly Tidy is a very nice accessory that’s a pleasure to use.
– The term ‘Tidy’ seems to be what sums up this product best as it makes for a more compact, organized and freer working space.
– It’s one of those items you don’t necessarily think of before actually using one but it’s also one of those things you miss when it’s not around.
– It’s not a necessary item but simply makes tying easier and as such I can only wholeheartedly recommend it.
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