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flyfisha1 11-02-2003 05:12 PM

Fly Tying Light
Tried a search for this, but had no real luck, so...

Does anyone have any preferences about the light they use on their tying desk? Additionally, do any of you use magnified lights?

Ronn Lucas 11-02-2003 06:07 PM

Hi Chris,

I use a 100W Halogen light over my vise and work benches at work. The more light the better. I used to get headaches when working under lower output lights and when I went to the 100W halogen, no more headaches.

I find magnifiers between me and my work annoying. I do wear glasses though, one pair for reading and everyday and another stronger pair for work/tying. The only time I need more magnification is when doing tiny flies (#28 or so), or when I really want to see the fine details in my work or flies. In these cases, I use a head mounted loupe.

Happy Trails!

Steelheader69 11-02-2003 06:21 PM

I agree
I have one of the cheaper ones. You can get them off ebay for about $20, think I bought mine for about $10. Comes with built in magnifyer. I find I never use it, but I never tie small flies either. I too have as many lights on as possible.

Actually, I may try and get one of those Ott lights. Want to find a few more that have actually USED them. Have seen them, tied under one at a show (but, tons of lights around anyways). But want something different on my bench. Don't like the clamp and swing of the one I have now.

Ron Metzger 11-02-2003 06:48 PM

The Giraffe light and 2x magnifier are very eazy to like. The
lens is in focus at pretty much all angles and distances. I would be lost without mine.

Stu Farnham 11-02-2003 07:02 PM

My setup
I used to use a 100W halogen similar to the one Ronn uses -- mine on a swing arm setup. The halogen light gave a bright, clear light, along with a fair amount of heat. When that unit died, I couldn't find an exact replacement. I tried an Ott Lite (inherited when the company I worked for went out of business), but found that the 18 watt bulb was not bright enough.

Now I use a dual-tube, 15 watt fluourescent swing arm lamp (30 watts total). The bulbs are designed for graphics arts applications. The swing arm lets me adjust the height of the lamp relative to the work.

For magnification I use a visor made by OptiVisor. Like Ronn, I don' tlike having a stationary magnifier between me and my work.


juro 11-02-2003 08:14 PM

I like the OTT lite for convenience and portability but it's not the brightest light out there. It folds up and fits in my travel bag though, and is plenty of light to make a hotel table work wonders. Natural color lighting looks more like daylight so they say, seems to hold true. I got it cheap at Costco.

At home I either use my halogen high intensity lamp and the naked eye or an incandescent manifier lens lamp (under $25 at any big office store nowadays) for trout flies and mixed wing salmon flies,etc.

My favorite place to tie is on the tailgate of my truck at Chatham light parking lot. :)

Eddie 11-02-2003 08:27 PM

I bought two cheap (20 bucks?) halogen desk lamps (flexible goose necks). I have them on each side of the vice. Bright, and no shadows. Not too hot either.
I am trying to put off needing magnification. I am afraid that I couldn't do with out it if I got used to it.

BigDave 11-03-2003 08:03 AM

I have the McKenzie halogen lamp which is very bright but does not cast a very wide beam onto the tying area. Makes a good gallow/bobbin hanger though and doesn't get in the way!

striblue 11-03-2003 08:40 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I have two and unfortunatly I can not remember the names but both are Halogen... Here is a picture of what they look like if that helps. The first is attached to my vise which you can see on the left... very good beam. The second is the one I used before but it is table top and is to the right and black .It has a silver colored type cup for the shade. Both move like hoses and are perfect. The attachable one stays on the vise which is convienent.

Sprocket 11-03-2003 09:49 AM

Ott light
Basically any fluorescent light with a 3000 degrees Kelvin temp rating will perform the same - Ott just markets his product that way and gets that kind of $$ for it.

Costco has a knock off with a 13w lamp for like $20 or so. The key is the 3000 K rating.

flyfisha1 11-03-2003 10:17 AM

True daylight has a Kelvin temperature of approximately 6500; I had been looking for a light source with a K of near this, as well as high CRI (at least 90). I haven't been able to find something like that in a compact fluorescent.

Sprocket 11-03-2003 10:49 AM

and you won't in CF lamps. Best you'll get is 4100K & 82 CRI...

stick to incandescent sources

Stu Farnham 11-03-2003 10:50 AM

Try Vita Lite
Take a look at

They have a series of fluorescents rated at 5500 K with a CRI of 91.


flyfisha1 11-03-2003 11:04 AM

Stu - I had forgotten about them! I've used their bulbs for years in aquarium applications, didn't realize that they offered compact fluorescent. I'm ordering the standard 5500K and the 6700K bubls, will compare them.

flytyer 11-03-2003 02:21 PM

I've been using a Halogen that has a table top base for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, the plastic lens on mine has yellowed from lots of use due to the ultraviolet light emitted by the halogen bulb and I cannot find a replacement for it because this particular lamp is no longer made. It is not the type of halogen that emits a small pin-point light. Rather, it has a larger reflector and disperses the light over a larger area because it was designed for the fabric and crafting folks. It is also much cooler than the architecs lights with 100 watt bulbs I used to use, an important consideration if you are going to spend 4 or more hours tying at a time.

I never use a magnifier, they simply get in my way and are nothing more than a nuisance when tying several dozen flies at a sitting, including when tying #20 and smaller.

I like the OTT swing arm lamp and am seriously considering it despite its $130.00 price tag. It has a nice large light pattern, has an adjustable goose neck, stays out of your way when tying, and is much cooler than an incandescent lamp, which is important to me when I sit for hours to tie several dozen flies. I've seen the cheap lamp that COSTCO is selling and I'm not impressed because it is way too small. I also do not like the small so-called desk lights made by OTT because they are also too small and do not emit enough light for good tying.

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