A first for me [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A first for me


John Desjardins
11-14-2003, 10:25 AM
All of us have our little idiosyncrasieswhen we tie that affect our abilities. For me the major one has been that I had a fool for a teacher (myself) who didn't know which side of the tier a vise went on and learned to tie lefty rather than the right handed that I am. I've been noticing for a long time that my production was much slower than I thought it should be.

Last night I decided that since I hadn't tied in months, maybe it was time to try to reverse hands and tie as I should. The fly below is my first tying right handed.


So what are your Idiosyncrasies?

flytyer
11-14-2003, 04:14 PM
I tie not less than a half dozen of any given pattern and size. I can't stand to tie on a non-rotary vise. I never tie a whip finish without the use of a Materelli whip finisher. I hold my scissors in my hand at all time by placing a finger loop over my ring finger so that I don't have to pick up scissors everytime I need to cut something. I pre-size a whole dry fly neck or saddle and put the sized hackles in marked zip-lock bags to improve tying efficiency fly consistency. I split my tying thread with a bodkin instead of making a dubbing loop. I use S&M bobbins for my 6/0 and 8/0 thread and Griffin Ceramics for larger threads, flat waxed nylon, and UNI-Stretch. Lastly, I have 22 bobbins loaded with different colors of 6/0 or 8/0 thread and 14 ceramic bobbins loaded with different colors of 3/0 thread, flat waxed nylon, and UNI-Stretch.

SDHflyfisher
11-14-2003, 05:54 PM
some one has too much time on their hands:D

i have tried holding my scissors but i constantly think i am going to stab myself in the eye

fredaevans
11-14-2003, 06:24 PM
"I use S&M bobbins for my 6/0 and 8/0 thread and Griffin Ceramics for larger threads, flat waxed nylon, and UNI-Stretch. Lastly, I have 22 bobbins loaded with different colors of 6/0 or 8/0 thread and 14 ceramic bobbins loaded with different colors of 3/0 thread, flat waxed nylon, and UNI-Stretch."

At the bench anyway, I'm small patatos.
:D

Only 'unusual' thing I do is (as I learned at about age 10) is to do all my whip finishing with my fingers. Never did get the hang of the tool.

SDHflyfisher
11-14-2003, 06:49 PM
i always use a tool tried with my hands but they came loose

Willie Gunn
11-14-2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by SDHflyfisher
i always use a tool tried with my hands but they came loose

Worrying, how did you tighten up your hands?:hehe: :hehe: :hehe:

SDHflyfisher
11-14-2003, 07:08 PM
very funny
i was talking about the whip finish but of course you knew that i least i hope you did

Willie Gunn
11-14-2003, 07:11 PM
Of course I did but I could not resist.

I cannot use a whip finish tool too set in my ways.

SDHflyfisher
11-14-2003, 07:14 PM
i have only been tying for about five or so years so i'll try just about anything
did it with my hands when i started but i don't know if i was doing it right

flytyer
11-14-2003, 08:53 PM
Fred,

And the worse part is, I could use another 3 S&M and 6 more Griffin Ceramic bobbins.

And I didn't list the other tying tools I can't seem to get along without. Like the 3 different sized bodkins, 2 different sized Materelli whip finishers, a hair stacker made by a machinist friend that stacks 7 bunches of hair at one time, 3 different types of scissors that are used for different things when tying, 4 different types of cement used for locking in different types of materials, 2 different material combs, 2 different tweezers, 4 different hackle pliers (although I use the rotating one the most), 3 different bullet head tools, 2 different hair packers, and 3 different dubbing twisters.

Keep in mind that I have been a pro tyer for 20 years (and tying for 41 years) and every tool I have makes tying easier, makes the flies more consistent, or ensures they are of high quality. I am very particular about the tying tools I use and I have disgarded many (either threw them away or gave them away to some unsuspecting person who thought he had to have it) tying tools that don't help in the tying of quality flies (this inclused tying vises).

The only reason I don't have more rods (I have4 single-hand and 3 two-hand), is the cost of raising kids who like to fish and buying them decent equipment. Between my wife and 2 boys there are another 13 rods.

SDHflyfisher
11-14-2003, 08:58 PM
i am going to be getting more rods soon if i get the job that i applied for so far i only have a three weight and some bad rods then there is my bamboo rod i don't use it too often a little longer than i would like it

by the way john what is that fly supposed to be looks like a mix of a dry fly and a bugger

fredaevans
11-14-2003, 10:12 PM
and mine.

"Keep in mind that I have been a pro tyer for 20 years..."

I'm a klutz when it come to tieing, you can't afford to be that way. Blessings be upon you.
fae :D

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by flytyer


Keep in mind that I have been a pro tyer for 20 years


you have been a pro for longer than i have been alive

John Desjardins
11-15-2003, 10:16 AM
Ok, Besides tying with the wrong hand I have the following idiosyncracies. 4 copies of a fly at a time min, 8 max. Barbs bent down and beads added before tying the first fly, and hooks held on a magnet on the pedestal base. Materials arranged clockwise in a semicircle around the vise in the order they will be used. Deer hair flys tied in 3 parts, all bodies spin all hair, then trim all.

Flytyer, thanks for the response. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has 3 bodkins. I'll have to find a pair of scissors that feel comfortable on the hand.


Fred 'Ill bet all the tools with the vise excepted don't add up to one spey rod.
:devil:

Sean, the fly was meant to be a bugger, but looks more like a hackle fly. I had problems in 3 things, the dubbing kept unwinding, I put too much hackle on, and the whip finish took a couple of trys.

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 11:46 AM
definitly way too much hackle

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 02:05 PM
this is my first try at ataching an image black and olive bugger

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 02:19 PM
its too big

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 02:28 PM
here it goes

SDHflyfisher
11-15-2003, 02:29 PM
woohoo:D :D

flytyer
11-15-2003, 09:42 PM
Fred,

The big problem with having become a pro tyer is I never buy just a package of anything. I have so much fly tying material that it takes up one complete long wall, floor-to-truss bottoms in my garage. I buy things in dozen, thousand, pound, half-dozen, etc. size of a single item. I don't even know the total value of my inventory of tuing material other than it is more than some small shops have as their stock.

John,

I have been holding my scissors in my hand since the second year I was tying flies and that was way back in 1962 when I was 9 years old. I learned how to tie from Herter's PROFESSIONAL FLY TYING, SPINNER, AND TACKLE MAKING book and in it he mentioned that a pro tyer by the name of Leon Wronski of Pennsylvania tied with his scissors held in his hand by looping a finger loop over his ring finger and holding the closed scissors in his palm. I was tired of having to stop and pick up then put them back down each time I needed to cut something, I decided to try and hold the scissors the way Wronski did.

I cut materials by simply putting my thumb through the thymb loop and operate the scissors with my thumb and ring finger. Scissors with adjustable finger loops work best for holding them in your hand. I use Anvil curved blade standard scissors for my all-purpose scissors because I found they are among the best scissors on the market, the and they have adjustable finger loops.

Also, the Anvil standard scissors have long enough blades that the blade barely sticks out above your hand when being held in your palm. This is important so that you don't stick yourself with the scissors when holding them while tying. And the curved blades are more versatile than the straight blade ones because they allow you to trim spun deer hair after it is spun.

Like you John, I tie as many spun deer hair bodies as I need (usually between 2 and 5 dozen) before I trim any of them. And I lay my materials out clockwise for the most part. I do place animal tails on my thigh though because it makes it easier to pick them up and cut the amount I need than having them on the tying table. And I never cement any fly heads until all the flies are tied that I tied in a given tying session. This means that I may have 10 dozen flies to put head cement on at one time. My steelhead and salmon flies (streamers too) always get 2 or 3 coats of medium viscosity head cement because doing so completely fills the voids in the thread and the flies not only look nicer, they last longer as a result.

BobK
11-16-2003, 10:14 AM
When you want to whip finish the head of a fly, try the old way - double over a piece of 4x tippet mat'l, place it on the head of the fly, make 10 wraps of thread over the head/tippet, place the thread through the open "loop" of tippet, then pull through using the tag ends of the tippet. Trim the pulled-through thread.

After putting on head cement, you will be surprised at the durability of the fly!

Haven't used a whip finisher in years! This beats virtually all of 'em for speed and resulting durability.

BobK

SDHflyfisher
11-16-2003, 10:16 AM
neat little trick same thing someone would do with guide wrappings

flytyer
11-16-2003, 06:01 PM
BobK,

I respectfully disagree on the use of a whip finisher being slower than using the loop method, or the hand/finger method of tying a whip finish. The Materelli style whip finisher will tie the whip finish faster and place it more accurately than either the loop or hand methods. All it takes is a little practice.

I will grant you that the vast majority of whip finishers on the market, which are copies of the Thompson whip finisher, are slow and clumsy compared to the loop method or hand/finger methods. The Materelli style whip finishers are in a different category altogether than the Thompson style ones and allow you to produce the whip finish very quickly and accurately.

Dble Haul
11-17-2003, 12:24 PM
I have to agree with flytyer here....the Matarelli finisher is far faster than doubling over a piece of 4X.

My idiosyncracies? If I'm not fishing, then I'm tying. And if I'm not tying, then I'm fishing. And if I'm not doing either one, chances are that I'm thinking about them. :p

I suppose that my one habit for years was that I couldn't wrap my mind around the concept of "less is more", especially when it came to thread wraps. For some time my ties were too bulky, but I thought that I'd be compromising durability if I reduced the thread wraps. Then I eventually put some faith in the advice of others, turned a corner, and began to make flies with the right proportions without compromising durablity. Eureka!

My other habits include having a ball game of some sort on the tube (but not to the point of distraction), occasionally having a cold beer (but not to the point of sloppy tying), and putting things back so I can find them later (but not to the point of being immaculate).

FrenchCreek
11-17-2003, 02:04 PM
A.K.A as personal oddity!
When I started tying many many moons ago, we were of modest means so my Dad (and I learned this form him, among many other things) would be extremely frugal.
I mean close to being cheap, one thing that has stuck with me over the yeras is working real hard at maximizizing every inch or pinch or dubb of material and creating the tools that we could not afford. I still "make" a lot of my tying material(s) no longer to be so frugal but just for the fun of it.
Being an avid hunter as well as FFsher, I have an extensive collection of deer, moose, elk and caribou hair, of various lengths, coarseness, and color! More than I'll ever be able to use in 999 lifetimes, But what the heck, it's an obsession right? Or oddity!

Don Johnson
11-19-2003, 04:24 PM
Why go through all the trouble to have everything optimized for maximum efficiency only to have to pick up a tool to tie a simple knot?

The best whip finisher is at the end of your arm. You don't need to pick it up because it's right there (or left there depending on your perrogative). It was free. If you lose it, you have other problems to worry about besides finishing the head of a fly. Accuracy, as it pertains to finishing the head of a fly, is moreso a trait of the user not the tool, in my opinion. The hand whip-finish is vastly more versatile than any tool on the market. As an example I offer the scenario of performing a whip finish at the end of a Carrie Stevens streamer hook, or any long-shank hook for that matter, or over a bullethead with rubber hackle hanging out or, well, you get the point. The hand whip-finish is also faster, hands down, no pun intended.

For me, about the only advantages I see a tool having over my fingers is that it doesn't have callouses or anything else that frays thread. Given a few more years and the potential dwindling nimbleness of the digits, I might have to get a tool to combat arthritis. We'll see. Maybe by then they'll have one with batteries so it'll be faster than my manual thread manipulation.


Don Johnson
Shelton, WA

flyfisha1
11-19-2003, 10:11 PM
I typically have a mug of green tea or a cold beer on hand, the clock radio on to NPR (which works out well since I typically tie in the evenings and that's when they have their jazz shows playing). Otherwise, since I've only been tying a few years, I don't have any set ways; I just do whatever is required of the pattern to get "something fishy".

I'll have to try one of those whip finishers you guys are talking about; I must admit, the one part of my tying that needs the practice is using a whip-finishing tool. I'll have a look at Hunter's and see what's cooking. I finish my flies with (gasp) a few overhand knots... and they look fine and are very durable. Still, I'd still like to learn to whip finish.

John - I had to do a double take on that fly. At first, I thought the tail was olive-dyed deer hair... that would be an interesting pattern. Oh, and frankly I don't think that the fish really care if the hackle is a bit too long; bass, for instance, aren't noted for being picky about such things. ;)

SDHflyfisher
11-19-2003, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by flyfisha1
; bass, for instance, aren't noted for being picky about such things. ;)


tell that to a pro bass fisherman and he or she will laugh in your face

I think it depends on the conditions

flytyer
11-19-2003, 10:29 PM
To all of you who worry about not being able to use a whip finish tool to tie a whip finish at the bend end of a large, or extra-long shank hook, Materelli has both a standard length and an extended reach whip finisher. I own both.

I also feel a need to say that before I began usijng the Materelli whip finisher about 22 years ago, I tied whip finishes with my hand. The Materelli is far faster, and I never need to worry about the thread getting caught on a piece of skin, a cut from a hook point, or a callous.

flyfisha1
11-19-2003, 10:50 PM
Hmmm, my point was that a hackle that's a smidge too long won't matter for this particular attractor pattern.

Don Johnson
11-20-2003, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by flytyer
To all of you who worry about not being able to use a whip finish tool to tie a whip finish at the bend end of a large, or extra-long shank hook, Materelli has both a standard length and an extended reach whip finisher. I own both.

I also feel a need to say that before I began usijng the Materelli whip finisher about 22 years ago, I tied whip finishes with my hand. The Materelli is far faster, and I never need to worry about the thread getting caught on a piece of skin, a cut from a hook point, or a callous.

Flytyer,
To begin, I fully realize material and tools usage is highly subjective and so please don't take my questions/comments as a personal jab. They are not intended as such.

I'm not worried about using a whip finisher anywhere, but if you sell those on eBay you might be able to get those extra S&M bobbins you wanted.

I must admit the speed concept still baffles me; maybe I'm dillusional. I say we meet Saturday (11/22/03) at the Caddis for Kids event held at the Avid Angler, High Noon for a Whip-Finish shoot out (insert the famous whistling from the Clint Eastwood movie). If you really think you can pick up a tool, whip and clip faster than someone operating sans tool then I say "Bring It On". I'd say "mano-y-mano" but you will be cheating.

Anyway, I win, you donate 5 bucks to the charity. You win, you can have a Miracle Caddis Pack AND I'll take my first whip finisher lesson from you.

Your advantage: I will have been tying for 24 hours and will be seeing 4 or 5 of everything so even tying my shoes will be tough.
My advantage: I will have done at least 500 hand whip-finishes by then and should be warmed up...I hope!

Looking forward to the opportunity to at least put a face and a handshake to the username!

Take care,
Don Johnson
salmn8r@yahoo.com
caddisforkids@yahoo.com

flytyer
11-20-2003, 01:26 AM
Don,

I love that wicked sense of humor you have, it is very refreshing.

Be assured there was no offense taken.

I had originally planned on getting down to Avid Angler this Saturday since I haven't had the chance to see and visit with Alec for the last year. I also wanted to meet Stu and Scotty so I could put a face to the names, and it would be an honor to also meet you. Unfortunately, my wife informed me last week that we have another commitment for the Saturday that starts at 9:00 a,m, and ends at 4:00 p.m. so it looks like I'm not going to be able to get down (domestic tranquility is important).

Don't you just hate it when there is more than one thing going on that you want to do?

Don Johnson
11-20-2003, 02:14 AM
Well, I'm there from Friday at noon until Saturday evening...maybe you can show Friday night for a bit if you get a chance. Scott will be there from about 6:30 or so.

To be honest, I'm kind of relieved. I had a vision of you swaggerin' in with a Magnum finisher on one hip, a Standard on the other and two full bandoliers of S&M bobbins draped across you like Pancho Villa. You could hear a sz 28 emerger fart as the dust settled then, in a wicked display of ambidextrous speed, you simultaneously double whip a Fore and Aft before I can say "Go!". Really embarassing after all the hype.

The other vision I had was you dislocating your pinkie finger trying to go too fast then impaling your forehead on the hook as you winced in agony...all while the ABC "Wide World of Sports" theme resonates "...and the Agony of Defeat..." in the background. As we call 911 to come cart you to the ER I spiked my Nor-Vise in the corner and high-fived my water boy, not that I would ever try to rub it in or anything.

Either way, it would have been ugly.

Take care!
Don Johnson

John Desjardins
11-20-2003, 10:02 AM
Salmn8r, thats quite an image you paint there. Tears came to my eyes from laughing.

SDHflyfisher
11-20-2003, 03:24 PM
that's one hell of an imagination you got there

flytyer
11-20-2003, 04:13 PM
Don,

Don't know if I can make it Friday because I have to be in Stanwood at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening. If I can get down, it would be in the early afternooon.

Spiking a Nor-vise would probably entail a penalty being imposed by the referees at Avid Angler, possibly by Norm himself. And what's a hook imbedded in one's anatomy anyway? If a person has not impaled himself on a hook when tying, he is not worthy of the title fly tyer.:D