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 Post subject: Fly Tying Tip of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:49 pm 
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Here is a thread where you can post your tips to help us all become better at tying flies!


Last edited by AlanKulcak on Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Steps to making more realistic epoxy/bead eyes.

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1. Start off by cutting a piece of 30 or 25lb Hard type mono to a desired leangth
2. Place some super glue on the end of the mono and slip on a bead.
3. After glue as plenty of time to dry clip off any excess mono as close to the bead as you can.
4. Then take a permanent marker and color in the end of the bead where you cliped off the mono.
5. Coat the bead with a light coat of epoxy and place on a rotating wheel to dry.

They are quite easy to make and are very effective. They are much better than just plane burnt mono eyes. You can make them in just about any color and size. You can make single eyes or put on two beads to make a dumbbell. I often make about 50 at a time so they are ready when ever I need them, just clip them to what ever leangth desired..

The best beads I have found so far have been from HobbyLobby and are about $2.50 for about a 1000 of them. The glass beads with the metal flash in the middle (made by Bead Treasures or Czech Glass Beads) are very bright and reflect lots of light making it easy for the fish to see. There are also many diffrent sizes and colors. Best sizes are 10/0 or 11/0.

I learned about these eyes threw reading one of Casey Smartt's articles in GCC.


Last edited by AlanKulcak on Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:43 am 
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Here is an inexpensive way to make a weighted dubbing twister. Using a teardrop style weight you can bend out the metal insert to make a nice loop. Then coat the weight with epoxy to hold it in place and to keep the lead off your fingers. The weight allows you to stop in the middle of tying and always keeping tension on your thread, or when making those awkward wraps around feathers or legs, allowing you to free up both hands.

You can also get a egg style weight and drill it out so it fits over your bobbin. This way you can always keep tension on your thread when spinning deer hair.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:19 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TX
NIce ideas, Alan. Keep them coming!

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Fish Friendly - Life's too short not to enjoy every minute on the river.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:14 am 
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Small electrical tester clips from radio shack make cheap holding clips. They work great for holding goosebiots so you can glue them together, or what ever else needs to be held. Keeping your hands free to continue tying away! They can also be epoxied to a pin to be easly placed on a rotating drying wheel. I use these clips when making dumbbell epoxy/bead eyes so that I can put them on the wheel to dry. They sell similar items in flytying shops but are pretty expensive. I have found that radio shack sells them for 1/4 of the price and you can get them in many diffrent sizes and styles :lol:

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Last edited by AlanKulcak on Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:34 am 
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Cool! I bought some of the alligator clips thinking I could come up with a way to do this back in the summer when I was tying clousers. I went the cheapo route with my fly turner and just bought the motor, so the stand and wheel were home made. Just sticking the hooks directly into the foam wheel left a lot to be deisred, especially with the heavy flies...after a while of rotating the hook would sometimes work loose. The clips would hopefully prevent that...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:58 am 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Great idea for the goose biots. I always had trouble when tying my prince nymphs to get them to seperate at an appropriate angle. Glue them first and then tying them in should solve my problems. And those glass bead eyes, I think I would eat anything tied with those eyes. They look great. Now if you could suggest a way to keep me modivated to tie regularly. Jimbo


Last edited by Jimbo Roberts on Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:39 pm 
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I stay motivated in tying every day by trying to challenging myself with new inovative patterns and techniques. By striving to come up with something new it makes the reward so much more. Being able to tell your friends, yep thats my fly.. I came up with that one. Dont get stuck in a rut by tying the same old pattern all the time. Try new things and experiment with diffrent ways of tying. Dont be discouraged when you mess up, when trying something new for the first time it often dosnt go as planed. Find your weekness and improve on it, not only will this make you a much better tyier but will leave you feeling proud after finally nailing it. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:02 am 
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I learned this next tip while reading another fly tying forum. You can slip on a small piece of a straw over your thread and bobbin before you start tying. When you are ready to tie off or just want to keep things out of the way when making wraps you can slip the straw over the fly to hold back any feather fibers or hairs to keep them out of the way, making a much nicer finish. The beauty about this is that soda straws come in many diffrent sizes, from the tiny coffe straws to the big straws you can get at a grocery stor. The next time you are at a fast food place grab a couple extras. Just about every place has a diffrent size straw.

You can also acheive the same results with a small rubber band. Keep it around the jaw of your vice so you can strech it over your fly when you need it. Which is a saviour when you forgett to put the straw on before you start tying. Just be carefull when you are pulling the rubber band over your fly, it likes to grab stuff..

** Or what works even better is sliping a small metal washer over your tread before starting and when you need to tie do like you would the straw method. This holds back materials closer to the head allowing you to tie off clean, expecialy when spinning deer hair or palmering hackle.

*** this tip works great for tieing off woolly buggers!!!!!


Last edited by AlanKulcak on Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:06 pm 
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It is often hard to find a very thin vinyl rib in the colors you need at your fly shop, but by buying the "small rib" you can stretch it out before you tie helping you make smaller flies. Some times the rib is just to big and looks bulky... By stretching it out you can make it alot thinner, allowing you to tie midges and nymphs with it up to a size 22 or 24. It also saves on material which means more "bang for your buck".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:39 pm 
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this next tip came from the Autumn 2006 Fly Tyer magazine. Have you ever messed up a perfectly tied fly by puting on way to much fly cement? Well you can rub in a drop of cement on your thread right before you tie off! By doing this you can cement those heads on nymphs and dries where you couldnt before without it running into your feathers, peacock herl, or dubbing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:51 am 
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That's one I had seen Dave Whitlock do. It works great.

Alan, one thing I always seem to have trouble with is applying epoxy to heads of clousers of decievers in a nice even coat. I switched from 5 minute to 30 minute epoxy, and that helps, but do you have any epoxy tips?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:50 pm 
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I usually use 5 min. apoxy because it cuts down on the time my drying wheel has to be turning. But if you are applying epoxy to more than 5 flies its a good idea to switch to the 30 min. epoxy. For best results I would purchase a turning wheel or get a small motor at an electronics shop that spins at 7 rpm's and make your own. If you dont use epoxy that often and feal that it would not be worth the money, then use a tru rotory vice and continue to turn it slowly while it dries. Rotating the fly as it dries will leave the fly perfectly round and good looking.
For applying the epoxy I use a small screwdriver that had the tip broken off, then filed it down to a dull point. I use this tool to apply epoxy in large amounts, if you are only applying a little you can use a spare bobkin or needle. I use small plastic dishes to mix my epoxy on, I dont like to use a note pad in belief that some of the epoxy chemical bleed into the paper, making for a sticky finish. If the epoxy is still sticky after it has set up then the epoxy was not mixed at a 50:50 ratio. If so it can often take days for it stop being sticky.
Try not to apply to much at one time, it gets messy and will run into your fly. Apply several thin coats to acheive the thinkness desired. If you are having problems with the epoxy running into the fly, you can use a small piece of scotch tap to act as a border. Remove the tape after the epoxy has stoped being runny and is more of a gel.
When mixing the epoxy try and keep the tool you are using inside the glob of epoxy while you are mixing it up. Each time you remove the tool and put it back in you bring in tiny air bubbles with it.
I hope this helps, if you have any other problems tell me about it and I'll try my best to help out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:04 pm 
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A good hook sharpener is a must for every fly tier. The best ones I have found so far are made by Eze Lap. They have a dimond grit and come in a pack of 3 different grits; Medium, Fine, and Super Fine. They fit well in your hand and have alot of surface area to file on. I bought mine at Fishing Tackle Unlimited (the one off I-45 in houston) for about $12.

Just remember to always sharpen towards the bend of the hook and not toward the eye. File it at 4 diffrent angles making a diamond shape point.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:29 pm 
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When tying a fly with a weed gaurd you can crush down the hard type mono with some pliers to making it flat so it will not spin on the hook after tied. Use a set of pliers that has little teeth on the crusher part, these small teeth will leave little groves for the thread to fall into holding the mono better. I often use a multi-tool to crush down the mono beacuse the teeth are the perfect size to leave the groves. This also cuts down on a bulky head, making your fly look alot better at the end. I'd like to credit this tip to Cptn. Chris Phillips, fly fishing department manager at Fishing Tackle Unlimited (the one off I-45 in houson).


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