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Red Owl 08-12-2011 02:52 PM

Size #24- #20 flies
I know I could dole out dollars and get a vise to handle such small hooks but do any of you have a cheap way to hold such small hooks? Tweezers in a vise? Etc. :cool:

kglissmeyer1 08-12-2011 03:00 PM

Re: Size #24- #20 flies
I don't use anything special for my vise. I have and Apex Anvil vise and it holds down to the 24's I tie which are the smallest I use.


Frank Whiton 08-12-2011 03:14 PM

Re: Size #24- #20 flies
Hi Red Owl,

Get you a long nose vise grip. They are about ten bucks. You may have to file or grind the nose to square every up but they will hold the hook. Then clamp the vise grips in a utility vise. Its not a great set up unless you weld or bolt a bolt to the body of the vise grip that can be held in the utility vise. Then it works good.


Long Nose Vise Grip

Red Owl 08-13-2011 02:52 PM

Re: Size #24- #20 flies
Frank- that was what I was thinking. Sears sells precision needle nose pliers for $6 and I looked them over and they hold a sheet of paper so I am thinking that may be an option although the locking pliers are obviously better. It may be best to get a needle nose locking and grind away all but the tip so that area is in contact and then stone down.
Primitive. Yeah- I guess- but then you look at the vise Gordon used and the flies he tied with it and...for the amount of #22-#24 I'll probably try tying, the needle nose may be the best option.

Frank Whiton 08-13-2011 03:59 PM

Re: Size #24- #20 flies
Hi Red Owl,

You can modify the upper part of the vise grip shown like this.

1. Just behind the top jaw and above the pin drill a 5/16 or 3/8 inch hole. You have to position it so it doesn't interfere with the operation.

2. Take a 3 or 4 inch hex head bolt that has threads up to the head. You can use a piece of threaded rod if you have that.

3. Screw a nut all the way up against the vise grip and tighten. This will hold the bolt in place.

You now have the vise grips with a bolt sticking out the side that you can clamp in a utility vise. If you can't get a good grip with the utility vise you can file or grind the sides of the bolt flat.

Now you can clamp the vise grip in the utility vise and operate the vise grip jaws to change hooks.


Red Owl 09-25-2011 03:07 PM

Re: Size #24- #20 flies
Well, I went with just a pair of hemostats- got some that are good enough to hold the hook as long as I was sort of delicate- and, padded the hemostats and put them in a wood working vise- I only wanted to tie about 10 trico #24
I am currently reading Lee Wulff's "Trout on a Fly" and he just used his hands and tied #24's. Man, you have to be really good to do that.
BTW, pretty good book. He notes that caddis swim to the surface and take off, we all know that. When they deposit eggs they dip up and drop, they don't sit on the water like a mayfly. We all know that too. In any event, the point is most caddis flies imitate a resting insect with the wings folded over the back. Interesting. I always thought the adams was a may fly imitation because of the upright wings but I've had some folks say it is a caddis. Wulff wondered if a bivisible actually looks more like a caddis with the wings fluttering than typical elk hair caddis most of us are using. :cool:

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