Sunday, June 1, 2008

How To Attach A Thread To A Hook In Fly Tying

When a sportsman becomes really interested in fly fishing, he/she will inevitably decide to tie their own flies. As insects can differ in size, shape, and color from one region to another, its difficult and expensive to either hunt down or commission specialized fly-hooks. Tying one's own flies allows the sportsman to perfectly mimic the local insects that fish prefer to feed on. This guide will give a run through of how to start making one's own flies by attaching thread to hook. From that point on, how the flies are made are up to the imagination and ingenuity of the sportsman.

Things You’ll Need:
Fly Tying Vise
Bobbin W/thread
Hackle Pliers
Whip Finisher
Fly Hook

The Right Equipment
Fly Tying Vise- A fly tying vise is an absolute must when tying one's own flies. Remember that all of the components of the fly are very small and diverse. It would be incredibly frustrating to try to do this all by hand. Some of the more complex flies may take many hours of work over a period of days to complete. A vise allows you to walk away from your work and be sure you'll find it in the same condition you left it. There are many such vises on the market that range in price from ten dollars to nearly a thousand. Price does not exactly indicate quality though. What you need to remember is that the purpose of a vise is to hold the fly immobile. It should not shift or jiggle at all. If you can find a vise that does this, you're set.

Bobbin- A fly tying bobbin is simply a device to help control the spool of fly tying thread as it is wound around a fly. The only thing you need look for here is a tube at the end of the bobbin which does not damage, crimp, or fray the thread as it unspools. If such a thing happens the thread may break and you would have to start tying the fly all over again. For this reason many bobbins come with a flared tube, while others may come with ceramic tubes or inserts that cause the threads less friction.

Hackle Pliers- hackle pliers are used to firmly grasp and manipulate small pieces used to make a fly. Typically they would be bits of feather and down called "hackle" that come from game birds. Its hackle that usually makes up the body of the fly and gives it the illusion of being a real fly. They also in a non-slip type of hackle plier that has rubber grips at the end to avoid crushing the hackle and hold it more securely.

Whip Finisher- A whip finisher is a tool employed by lots of tiers to finish a fly with a smooth knot. A whip finish is applied in order to keep the materials from unwinding after the thread is cut. There are three types of whip finishers available on the market today, the Simple, the Thompson and the Matarelli. They all create a nice finish on a fly, but accomplish it in different ways.

Bodkin- A bodkin is simply a needle with a handle. Bodkins are a very general tool in fly tying. They are often used to untrap hackle fibers, add head cement to the knot ending a fly's tying, punch holes into foam popper bodies, etc.

Attaching The Thread To The Hook
Step 1:
Take the hook and clamp it securely in the vice.

Step 2:
Use the bobbin to lay down some thread parallel to the shaft of the hook, hold the thread along the shank of the hook.

Step 3:
Wind the bobbin around the thread, trapping it beneath the windings. Take as many wraps as necessary until the thread is securely attached to the hook. There, your thread is attached and the fly is ready to be decorated.

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