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Thread: alternative tools for tying

  1. #1

    Default alternative tools for tying

    I was wondering if you had any ideas about tools around the house that can double as fly tying tools. I was looking specifically for an substitute for hackle pliers, but any ideas would help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    the only thing i can think of thats common is the end of a retractable ballpoint pen being used as a half hitch tool and a pusher to compact hair the other thing is a lipstick tube being used for a hair stacker---some places are selling electronic test leads for hackle pliers but i never liked them for that but they do work great for picking small flies out of a box and tying a clinch knot and the long ones are good hook disgorgers for deeply hooked fish
    "something is happening here but i dont know what it is"---dylan

  3. Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    I modified a pair of spring loaded tweezers to use as hackle pliers on extra small flies. This pair had a spring mounted between the fingers. Swapped out weak spring for a stronger one.

    "As The deer Thirts For Water, I thirst for you Oh Lord"

    North Woods Wanderings
    Adventure into the North Woods.......

    "Aroostook Flyers and Tyers"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    Push plungers they use for soldering small wire could be used for hackle pliers.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    Fingers are often used as a subsitute for hackle pliers . You can use
    the same hemostat that you hang on your vest, but heavy plier substitutes
    can often break the hackle when allowed to hang. Not everyone allows their
    hackle pliers to hang, but I do.

    The only home-made tools I use are bodkins and bobbin threaders. The
    bodkins are various size needles soldered into 1/8" brass tubes, and the
    bobbin threaders are narrow guage guitar strings crimped into the end of a
    slightly smaller brass tube. You can buy a single treble E string from any
    music store for a dollar, and make several threaders. I happen to play guitar,
    so I just use what's around.

  6. Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    I have a couple things that I was too cheap to buy, so I made.
    1. Hair stacker out of spare copper tubing used for water pipes and a cap
    2. Instead of a dubbing brush, I use a gun barrel brush (smallest I could find)
    3. To comb out antron/hair, i use an old mustache brush.

    I am always looking for things around the house that I can use


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Metuchen, N.J.

    Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    I got some wooden clothspins & put foam weatherstripping tape on them. I stick flies on them as I tie them & clip the clothspin to my light to dry them..... I use an old ballpoint tip to push clumps of deerhair tight on the hook after I spin them on the hook.... Cut an old toothbrush handle in half & put a needle ( I like the sewing machine needles, they're stiffer & will hold cement better) in the brush end & you have a bobkin that won't roll & a dubbing teaser all in one...... I use those mono loops that are for pulling floss as bobbin threaders .You can pick them up in most drug stores.......Those old film containers have many uses, use them for beads or drill a hole in the side & put a spool of floss or anything inside with some out the hole & you can pull what you need out easily & not have to worry about it unraveling. Use one of those magnetic parts bowls on your table to lay out your hooks before you start tying so you don't have to worry about knocking them over...... If you use "Hard as Nails" as head cement cut the brush that's in the cap into a point & It'll be easier to apply the cement on small flies...Speaking of small flies on anything smaller than a 22 I put about 1/2" or so of head cement on the thread & then whip finish, You don't have to put anymore on.......Get a small triangular piece of 1/2" or so thick heavy foam rubber & cut slots in it, When you use CDC push the stem into the slot & use a clip to grab The CDC fibers as you cut off the fibers from the stem..... I can go on & on

  8. Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    here is a method of making your own bobbin holders for about $1.50. tho this may not qualify as "around the house" it does speak to the issue of inexpensive/improvised tools. i like to have all of my threads, wire, mono, floss, etc. threaded and lined up ready to go. no fiddling with exchanging spools and rethreading. the attachment is too large for the post so i will send it by email to any who request it.

    i also happen to like the electrical test connector for hackling. it grips better than my "rotary" pliers. if more weight is needed just wrap some wire around the shaft or slip a few metal washers onto it.

    thanks for reading

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    LillestrÝm, Norway

    Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    A unit that you use to remove the thread in sewing.
    Nice to have in the hand when you do the tying and will cut the thread when you finish the fly. Also nice to loose up the dubbing. Also do the half stitch.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. Default Re: alternative tools for tying

    here are some humble offerings

    1st picture from the top- a darning tool to pull rubber legs thru foam bodies, length of chopstick tipped with 20lb mono and fine wire for clearing hook eyes, bobbin threader

    2nd - examples of homemade bobbins

    i love to putz with this stuff. will keep on the lookout for all your ideas.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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