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The Right Tying Tools for the Job
Mike Huffman
Quality fly-tying tools will produce better results and a more pleasurable tying experience.
Mike Huffman

As with any other craft, having the right tools can make a big difference in the quality of the finished product, or the ease and speed with which the product is produced. In fly tying most of us begin with a kit and the tools that come with it. The tools that come with these kits are adequate to get you started, but there will come a point when you'll see the need to place or upgrade.

Scissors often are replaced first. During your learning curve, you'll soon discover that cutting wire with your scissors and expecting them to stay sharp is not such a good idea. (Get some small wire cutters at the hardware store.) Also, because tying scissors look so cute, other members of the family may "borrow" them and cut paper and other materials, which will dull them. Best to hide your good scissors and make clear to your people that they are not to be borrowed for other uses. The best scissor for trimming a variety of hairs and feathers with precision will have at least one serrated blade. The serrated blade will grip better, preventing fibers from "squirting" out the tips.

It never hurts to have more than one bobbin, which allows you to keep a variety of threads ready for use. Bobbins employing ceramic material resist burring, which can nick or cut the thread and ruin your fly. Specialty tools like hair evening "stackers," hackle measuring gauges, deer hair "packers" and dubbing tools are rarely included in kits, and you may find yourself adding these to your toolbox at some point, depending on what type of patterns you take interest in tying.

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