Sunday Classic / Tie Twice the Flies in Half the Time

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Prepping your fly tying in advance eliminates time wasted at the vise. Photo Louis Cahill

If you tie flies and you’re looking for a way to increase your fly output, I’ve got a great fly tying tip for you today.

I personally don’t have the luxury of extra time on my hands these days with running two companies and managing my family time. When my fly boxes start getting bare, I have to restock them as fast as possible. For years, I’ve been an advanced fly tier but I’ve never been one of those guys who can rip out a dozen flies in thirty minutes. I take that back, I can bust out a dozen san juan worms in thirty minutes, but that goes for most of us. For more complex fly patterns, it can be very beneficial to us if we take the time to get organized prior to wrapping the thread on the hook.

A while back, I took a serious look at the clock during my tying sessions and I found out that I needed to make some serious changes if I wanted to get the most out of my tying efforts. The first thing I realized is that I was wasting far too much time tying each fly, which was mostly due to me making the mistake of getting the materials out one at a time during the tying process. Little things like picking up and putting down scissors inbetween tying steps adds up quick. Then you add to that, taking one hook and bead out of the packet and cutting one piece of ribbing or other fly tying material at a time, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this isn’t the most efficient way to go about fly tying. You can tie much quicker if you first commit to tying several of one pattern, and secondly, take the time to prepare your fly tying materials in advance.

The header picture above should give you a good idea of how I go about tying with efficiency these days. Notice that I’ve de-barbed and pre-beaded several hooks and then cut and organized many of the fly tying materials in advance that I’ll be using in the fly pattern. Unfortunately, you can’t do this for all tying materials. Some require you to tie them in as soon as you cut them off with scissors or pull them out of the packet, but that’s usually for just one or two materials in a fly recipe. Try this fly tying tip out next time you sit down at your vise. I think you’ll find like I did that you can tie up twice as many flies in half the time if you prep as much as you can in advance.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Tie Twice the Flies in Half the Time

  1. I started tying in 2009 and as I have always followed at least the 3Es and the 7Ps, Use the most effective, efficient, economic procedure to do everything and Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance so I have always set out my materials, crimped barbs and place all of the hooks in a magnetic container. I learnt how to tie with my scissor in my hand so all I have to do is drop the bobbin use the scissors and get going again. I also hand whip so any where in the fly where it needs to be secure I can do a 2 or 3 turn whip with the scissors in my hand and do what’s next. One has to be organised. I am a planner, trainer by temperament so it does help and I worked as a systems analyst for 33 years so tying flies is easy peasy after some of the systems I designed, developed, maintained or upgraded over the years. Cheers BM

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