Tips and Tricks


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Feature Tying Tips


Tying Tip #1

Submitted by 
Jim Herbold


Modifying a Thompson Whip Finisher to make it work better
Attached you will find three views of the modifications.

Figure 1 shows the tip has been twisted back into alignment with the shaft. In the unmodified tool, the tip is at a 90 degree angle to the shaft.

fig1.jpg (24174 bytes)

Figure 2 is probably the most meaningful. It shows all the important features. Notice the bottom bend of the "s" has been squashed. In this picture, the tool is laying flat on the (newly) bent part of the spring wire. Notice the "s" is laying flat as well.

Compare this picture to a Matarelli, and you will see the Matarelli's tip bend and the "hump" that holds the thread loop are in the same relative alignment.

fig2.jpg (23347 bytes)

Figure 3 show the modified tool in a three point stance, the wire loop end, the wire tip end, and the handle end. In this view, the 90 degree bend of the spring wire is very easy to see.

fig3.jpg (23957 bytes)

If you don't know how to use a Matarelli, get an experienced tier to show you. One demonstration and one or two practice tries and you'll have it. If you do know how to use a Matarelli, it should be evident how to use the modified tool.

Good tyin'



Tying Tip #2

Submitted by 
Pat Damico

This may be well known, but is very helpful to me. I tie a lot of Saltwater patterns and have a small tube of super glue constantly in hand to use sparingly to secure lead eyes, hair and other materials to the hook. Synthetic hair especially will behave better if a small drop is added when the first few wraps of thread are applied. Materials will last longer.


Tying Tip #3

Submitted by 
Pat Damico

To make a drying wheel for epoxy application, pick up a rotisserie from a backyard grill and mount a piece of styrofoam to the shaft. Mount it on a board and plug it in near your bench.


Tying Tip #4

Submitted by 
Brian Cole

Here's a tying trick that I learned in a fly tying class. It requires a simple modification to your whip finisher tool: using a jewelers file cut a small "V" notch in the end of the handle. One side of the notch should form a knife-edge.

Usage: When you have completed the whip finish on your fly, just flip the tool over, catch the thread in the notch and gently slide the tool down thread. When the end of the tool reaches the head, pull the thread gently, increasing the tension until the thread it cut.

It’s been a great help to me – it seems that my scissors are buried someplace on my bench by the time I complete a fly! It’s also much safer than using scissors because there’s no danger of cutting off part of the hackle, wing, etc … Image


Tying Tip #5

Submitted by 
Don Chattin

When you need a few strips or strands of mylar,flashabou,etc when you  buy a pack of material, just cut the corner of the pack and when you need a few strands pull them out through the corner and cut them off at the top..this way the material stays in the bag,and doesnt get crimped,  tangled, come loose, dirty, ....etc...

Submit a tip either Fly fishing or Fly tying. I will add it to the site in a couple days. If you add a tip from a book or magazine would you please give me the name and article it came from thanks.



Type of tip

Fly Fishing     Fly Tying

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