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Old 06-07-2015, 09:01 PM
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Default The most important fly tying tool you can own

Trick Question – What’s the most important fly tying tool you can own?

Trick Answer - Your fingers.

DISCLAIMER - It takes a man who is comfortable in his own skin to talk about hand care

One thing I’ve found, it really pays to keep your fingers/nails in good shape when it comes to tying flies. Nothing gets in the way more than ragged finger nails and patches of rough skin. For a long time, I just put up with it.

It wasn’t until I started hanging around with my guitar playing buddies that I learned how to take care of my finger tips and nails. Guitar players are meticulous in the way they take care of their finger tips and nails. The need them smooth and well kept in order to make sure they don’t get in the way of fretting and plucking strings.

I found out what they use to smooth things out – glass nail files. A good glass nail file is worth its weight in gold when it comes to maintaining healthy smooth nails and removing rough patches of dead skin and such from finger tips.

It makes tying go so much smoother, wish I would have figured this out about 40 years ago. If you are tired of snagging materials and such, give one a try. (as with most things, don’t buy a cheap one, it pays to get a good quality file, they are guaranteed to last a life time, unless you drop and break it.) They work so much better than nail clippers, sandpaper, emery boards, ...

I ordered a batch directly from the Czech Republic (for some reason, they make the best files) for the folks in my fly fishing club. The guys and gals just love the way they smooth out the rough spots on their nails and finger tips. I actually have a few left, if you’d be interested in one, drop me a PM.

There, somehow I strangely feel better having come out of the closet and having talked about hand care.
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Last edited by pszy22; 06-08-2015 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

Nothing wrong with hand care. I work outside in -40f weather. Due to the nature of my business I spend my time writing. Can't really wear gloves. I usually have a great deal of time involved trying to care for my mits.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

Being a carpenter up here where the winters are brutal it really is impossible for me to go without some cracks in the mits, I keep a battery powered dremel tool loaded with a small abrasive drum, turn it on low and take off the dead skin, it works pretty well for me.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

Need to moisturize your hands as well. I found this foo foo stuff called Barr co. It's pretty awesome, most importantly the wife loves it . You can get a pretty big bottle of it. Scent is neutral too. I'm in Heath care so it's a must to keep after your hands.


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Old 06-08-2015, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

there's not a lot of opportunity to get rough hands when you've worked most of your life on a drafting board or computer designing submarines

in my early fly tying classes, it was mentioned that a pumice stone was the magic bullet for getting rough hands into fly tying condition

however, after long days of fly fishing i do use Neutrogena hand cream. works enough for me
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

Might have to try that. Hate when my thread gets caught on rough fingertips.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

I've tried alot of solutions when it comes to smoothing nails and finger tips over the past 40 years, the glass files works better than anything I've tried.

They work quickly to file nails and remove rough spots, but leave an extremely smooth finish. For less than $10 with a lifetime warranty, it was a no brainer for me.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: The most important fly tying tool you can own

When I spent my summers working and living with the Darbees they taught me to tie without a bobbin, as once you learn to tie this way, believe it or not, it's actually faster because you don't have to spend time letting out or taking in thread, and twists are take out instantly.

In any case, they had a lot of hard work on their hands in dealing with 500 plus chickens, gardening and basic country life. Their solution which I still use to day is to take a little sandpaper and gently sand your fingers. Sand paper works better than the sanding sticks as it bends to the contour of your fingers.

Then apply some skin moisturizer to your hands and rub it in well immediately. Wash you hands before tying to take off oil which is counter productive to thread wax.

When I get off on a wood carving kick (one of my other hobbies), I find that my fingers don't need this treatment, use of the sand paper is enough to keep them in tying shape.

Another important fly tying tool is your brain. Always keep thinking of new ways for you to perform a certain task and don't think the way you learned
is the only way to do it, try other methods, sometimes they are better and sometimes they aren't.
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