Fly tying season is upon us and as you start restocking, you may want to have a few techniques for tying your flies faster. Moving through this task in a slow and methodical fashion can be quite beneficial. When the pressure is on, however, these 10 tips are guaranteed to help.
- Never Put Down The Scissors
Putting your scissors down and picking them up again for each tie can waste a considerable amount of time. Try keeping your scissors constantly in your bobbin hand instead. It will take some practice to master this trick but soon, you’ll never have to reach down for these again when your materials need trimmed.
The more flies you tie, the quicker you’ll invariably become. Focus on increasing your speed, laying out your materials in a way that promotes optimal efficiency and learning your pattern well enough to tie it from memory. There are no quick tricks for speeding this process up. You have to gradually build your skills instead. You should also practice tying different patterns, even if you aren’t likely to fish with these. There’s a lesson in every pattern and the opportunity to learn new techniques. Everyone knows that you can never have too many flies, so practice as often as you can.
- Get Organized
Lay everything out in an order that makes sense. Create a system for your head cement and tools that feels comfortable for you. Make sure that you have only the essentials laid out so that you aren’t fumbling through a jumbled mess of things you don’t really need. Every time you practice, set your materials up in the same order so that you become familiar with the layout and can quickly collect what you’re looking for. You can keep your prepared materials close by and put your tools in a block of craft foam that has holes punched in for each item. This is a lot cheaper than investing in a high-end tool caddy.
- Separate And Prep Your Hooks
Shake hooks out of their packages and spread them around so that they aren’t a tangled mess. It takes far less time to grab a single, loose hook than it does slowly work one out of a knotted mound.
- Prep Materials
There are a number of steps that you can take to make this entire process far less complex. For instance, if you’re using weighted flies, wrap your lead wires onto the hooks in advance. You can also cut your flash strands to an appropriate length, select and size your tackle and cut usable lengths of spade hackles and poly yarn. Getting all of these things done ahead of time will make tying flies a smooth and seamless process.
- Commit To Tying Several Of One Pattern
Don’t jump from pattern to pattern. Spend time on a single pattern until you’ve found the easiest way to do it. You can then create your own, one-man production line so that you’re doing the same steps on a number of flies at once. This way, if you have several partially finished flies that have to dry, you can keep moving forward by starting another group.
- Use Two Vises
If you happen to have more than one vise lying around, set up both, put a hook in each and complete each step on both as you move forward. This will cut your production time significantly while keeping your results consistent.
- Fold Materials Back
You can save time and waste fewer materials by folding your materials back. When tying longer materials like rubber legs and flash, use half as much as you intend to use on the completed fly and then add more in as you go by using wraps. You can then fold these materials over and anchor them.
Apply your full focus to this project and your results will improve as will your speed. Concentrate on turning the thread quickly and efficiently, deftly applying every piece to the hook and making your hands go faster. You’ll be making better flies in almost no time at all.
- Use Good Tools & Materials
Don’t waste your time on rough bobbins and dull, clumsy scissors. Use quality materials and tools instead. You can make clean cuts on the first try and won’t have to worry frayed thread and other unnecessary setbacks. Quality materials will produce better results and make your tying more efficient overall.