The New Fly Tying Tips Thread;

Ard

Administrator
Messages
20,063
Reaction score
1,627
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Please feel free to place any and all of your best tips to help others tie their flies as beautifully and easily as you do your own into this thread.

I'll offer my best general tip; always try to get the best materials & tools available and whenever possible hand select your hackles or use a trusted supplier if you cannot find them locally.

Ard
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
You tied that perfect fly body and you just broke the thread?



Don't despair! It happens all the time.



Take your hackle pliers and attach it to the broken end of the thread. Reattach your tying thread and wrap over the broken end and you're ready to continue tying the rest of the fly.
 
Last edited:

dean_mt

Moderator
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
60
Location
Western Montana
Good idea Norm and thanks for starting the new thread Ard (you should fix your typo so that you are not Are for eternity on this sticky).

Thanks John, the e is right above the D and I tend to not look close when I type my name :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
lets talk about wire

1. ever wonder what the diameter of ultrawire is?



ultra wire diameters (yes i measured them with a micrometer)



i generally us the small and brassie sizes

if you prefer the craft shop wire (which can be too large for most fly tying applications) try looking for sizes of 30 gauge and smaller



2. another source of fly tying wire is that old appliance electrical cord. cut it into managable 6 inch lengths and strip off all but 1 inch of insulation.



3. gold, silver and copper colored wire is a good starting point for your wire collection. additional colors can be added later on as your fly tying progresses.

4. old appliance electrical cords is just one source of wire. electric motors, coils, speaker wire, old headphones etc all contain wires that can be used in fly tying

5. many recipes call for "fine gold, silver or copper" wire. thats when i will substitute either the x-small, small and even the brassie size ultra wire depending on the fly size.

however, i use the "brassie" size for most of my tying

i very seldom use the medium size wire. i think i have only 2 spools of it

if i were to pick 1 size of wire for bodies and ribbing it would be the brassie size

i'm not saying that you should all run out and buy ultra wire. if you currently have a "fine" or "medium" size wire use it. wire is there to provide a little glitter to the fly along with segmentation. some might even say its good for adding weight to the fly but i say thats nonsense when youre only wrapping an inch of wire (check the chart above for wire weight. do the math)
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
are you out of that embossed tinsel for those neat looking streamer bodies?



substitute some twisted wire. simply twist 2 strands of silver wire into a rope and youll get a reasonable substitute and a little added weight on the hook



this is purely meant as a substitute if you just happen to run out of the embossed tinsel. it is not intended for a production of 1000 flies

size of the wire is irrelevant
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
dubbing teaser



velcro glued to a coffee stirrer, popsicle stick, wooden dowel etc

use your imagination. be creative
 
Last edited:

hairwing530

Well-known member
Messages
3,347
Reaction score
145
Location
beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
Ard,

I'd also like to add my thanks to you for kicking off this fly-tying tips thread. In the coming months, I can see the contributions growing almost by the hour, helping this thread grow into one of those "must see" spots on the forum. Kudos to you for jump-starting the thread.

And, kudos to you as well, Norm, for weighing in with some great tips right out of the gate. Nicely done.

Have a great Sunday, guys, and tie 'em all like you mean it. And, always remember... even the "ugly ones" will fish...

Jerry, aka hairwing530
 

eastfly66

Well-known member
Messages
3,909
Reaction score
132
Location
MA
Does thin wire become brittle with age ? (I'm talking about decade old) or am I just wrapping it too tight ? Might be real cheap stuff too , can't recall where I got it..........

---------- Post added at 04:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:38 AM ----------

Second question if I may , I took inventory of my tying stock and noted I have a limited variety of thread. Some of which the little sticky label is gone and some might actually be sewing tread for all I know. I also have limited colors.

Do one of the suppliers have a "starter kit" or do you guys have a recommendation for sizes and colors that would be a good base to start ?
 

ia_trouter

Senior Member
Messages
8,518
Reaction score
67
Location
Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
Does thin wire become brittle with age ? (I'm talking about decade old) or am I just wrapping it too tight ? Might be real cheap stuff too , can't recall where I got it..........

---------- Post added at 04:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:38 AM ----------

Second question if I may , I took inventory of my tying stock and noted I have a limited variety of thread. Some of which the little sticky label is gone and some might actually be sewing tread for all I know. I also have limited colors.

Do one of the suppliers have a "starter kit" or do you guys have a recommendation for sizes and colors that would be a good base to start ?
I'll leave the trout specific advice to those more qualified. But I would have olive and black on hand in a variety of trout sizes so you aren't forced to use the wrong stuff when you decide to tie.

Before I go farther read one of the threads with charts on thread size and breaking strength. Sizing varies with brand and makes it confusing at first.

For larger flies from panfish to predator, I find myself using a small selection of thread 90% of the time. Black, olive and red will mostly get it done. If you have a few spools of 6/0 or 140 denier the panfish and smaller bass flies are covered for now. I tie almost all my huge flies with 210 denier, but I do keep one roll of real heavy stuff around I rarely use. (280 denier or one of the other heavy ultra strong threads). Black and red gets it done on predator flies.

If you get into tying heavily it might not be long before you have 50 spools of thread. :) It's not necessary, but it happens if you start following recipes exactly.
 
Last edited:

dean_mt

Moderator
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
60
Location
Western Montana
eastfly; there is a lengthy thread discussion here somewhere that you might find with some advanced searches. I remember it and it's not too old, maybe last winter.

For the sake of this tying tips thread I won't go into detail but I do have a wide variety of thread, both sizes and colors. One could get away with a few colors (dark, light, olive, tan) but I use thread color as the base of my flies.

When tying dries and wets with dubbed bodies, the thread color that you dub on has a major effect on the color of the fly once wet. For example, I encounter PMDs with a pinkish hue around here. I use a pale pink thread and dub pale yellow over it for the body. When wet, this body has a wonderful effect. Also with loose, spiky dubbing like hare's ear, the color thread underneath will have a great effect on the overall color in the water.

My Tip is: Consider how the color of thread will effect the overall color of your fly in the water.
 

ia_trouter

Senior Member
Messages
8,518
Reaction score
67
Location
Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
For the purposes of a quality tip thread, we should probably ask a mod to delete a few posts to eliminate chatter as we go so it remains a useful and uncluttered reference. Please don't be offended by that Paul. You can start threads as you please in the Fly Tying section. Some will yield tips for this thread as your questions are answered and they can be added here as necessary. A search will indeed get you halfway there on thread.

Updating this thread is a GREAT IDEA.
 

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
thank you

hopefully this thread will return to its intended purpose: tying tips

other fly tying discussions should be introduced in the regular fly tying section

back to tips

break your tying tying thread. its how you learn the threads breaking strength

use the lightest thread you can get away with. yes, recipes might call for a certain size thread but its only a guide

color: white and a pallet of sharpie pens

thread control. tight wraps of thread is better than loose wraps

spin your thread counterclockwise for a ribbon makes nice flat wraps and heads

use white or light colored threads under light colored floss

1 - 3 wraps of thread is really enough to tie in and hold most materials

you dont need to make 129 wraps of thread to make a head

use a larger thread to wrap tapered bodies on flies then switch to a smaller thread to finish

bookmark these thread articles

http://frontrangeanglers.com/choosing-the-right-fly-tying-thread/

http://globalflyfisher.com/tie-better/fly-tying-thread-table

https://www.google.com/search?q=fly...ved=0ahUKEwiDssbqgL3PAhUGRSYKHdjdB-AQ_AUIBigB
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
i thought this thread would have been more populated by some of the more experience tyers on this forum offering some of their tying tips but i guess not

heres one last tip for a while

dont crowd the eye of the hook



when beginning a new fly try to stay at lest one hook eye away from the eye of the hook. this will allow for the tying off of materials and for the head of the fly

happy tying
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT


if you need to step away from the vise for a period of time, add a half hitch or a dab of crazy glue at the point of where you left off. it just might save you some tying time if somehow your fly got bumped (cat, kids, pissed off significant other, drunkedness, stoned out of your gourd etc) and it unravelled

:D:D
 

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
when tying a quantity of one fly pattern, lets say a dozen, and you want them to be more or less the same weight, wrap one hook with whatever diameter of lead wire the number of wraps you want to use and then unwrap that length of wire.

on your tying bench or a piece of paper, mark the length and then cut all of your lead wire to that size



wrap all of the hooks at the same time



finish off the flies

 
Last edited:

moucheur2003

Well-known member
Messages
3,241
Reaction score
45
Location
Boston, Mass.
Distinguish your weighted wet flies and nymphs from the unweighted ones by using a different color thread to tie off the head -- for example, dark red for weighted, black for unweighted. You can even use different colors to designate different degrees of weight if you are that precise.

Alternatively, you can use different colors of nail polish to color-code your heads.
 
Last edited:

flytire

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
881
Location
Norwich, CT
mylar piping comes on a bunch of colors and different core materials. i usually search for mylar piping that has the z-lon type of inner core material vs the old style butchers twine

the piping can be used for its intended purpose or unbraided for additional colors of mylar tinsel

 
Last edited:

moucheur2003

Well-known member
Messages
3,241
Reaction score
45
Location
Boston, Mass.
Grey squirrel tail hair is specified for the wings of a lot of wet fly and streamer patterns. However, (1) it's awfully slippery and difficult to tie in so that it doesn't pull out, and (2) the white tip section on the hair of many squirrel tails is too long to make the ideal balance of colors in a well-proportioned wing for all but the largest flies.

Solution: Substitute white-tipped woodchuck guard hair. You can take it from the hide with (some of) the underfur combed out, or if you're lucky, you can find a whole woodchuck tail with white-tipped hair.

There aren't as many patterns that call for red fox squirrel tail wings, but they have the same challenges. I haven't found a substitute that solves the slipperiness problem, but at least for smaller flies the barring on Canadian pine squirrel tails provides better proportions.

---------- Post added at 07:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:27 AM ----------

Craft stores, dollar stores, and the crafts and seasonal departments of big-box stores are great places to scour for braids, yarns, tinsels, beads, etc. The holiday season (i. e., right now) is a great time to do it. I am still tying flies with a pack of pearlescent Christmas tree tinsel that I bought years ago, and I've hardly put a dent in it. Look for discounts beginning next week when all the leftovers go on sale.

A word on braids: Don't just think of using them in the fat braided condition they come in. You can also unravel them and use just the fibers. Yellow and orange synthetic braid fibers make nice hopper and Stimulator bodies, for example.
 
Top