Fly drying rack

Fly drying rack

Viking Lars | Saturday, 19 June 2021

When you sit down to tie a batch of flies, you need somewhere to put them after the first coat of varnish (or super glue, if you are so inclined). I've placed them in a piece of foam, stuck them in my tool holder, hackle pliers, clothed hangers etc. for years. And all of these work fine, but I wanted something more convenient, where I could place the fly and get on with the next easier.

I was making a knife a while back, using a lovely hard wood that Piffen kindly sent me. I can't remember the name, but it's a lovely, deep reddish colour and full of oils. Anyway, the details really don't matter.

I had some pieces some thin strips lefter over after resawing handle scales on the band saw, and I made this little, handy rack. Not excellent craftsmanship as it's just quickly put togehter to test the idea.

I had all the materials, the brass rod I use for riveting scales onto full tagn knives and since the wood already had good dimensions, it was just some quick shaping on the belt sander (which was already out for the knife-making-project, which I'll parade once the sheath is done). A dab of glue and srews from the bottom so keep the sides in place, and a small dab of epoxy tp hold the brass rod in place and done.

And it worls really well and although not up furniture-maker-standards, I'm of course not going to remake it. I might make a bigger one, but that's another story. I'll most likely make a block of some other wood (maybe some bog oak I have that I dug up myself), drill some holes at appropriate angles and place some toothpicks to hold tubeflies as they dry. On the other hand, who am I kidding - I'll most likely end up cutting and shaping more brass rods :-).

And haning the flies up side down has two advantages: The varnish dloesn't flow into the wing and hackles, and because of the way the fly hangs, if any varnish is running/pooling a little, it'll do so over the wing, whch tends to soak up the most varnish.

A nice little project that I enjoy using when I tie flies.

Have a great weekend!