sexyloops fly tying school part 7 - needs

sexyloops fly tying school part 7 - needs

t.z. | Friday, 20 November 2015

You do not need all this, really. Don´t get confused by all the paraphernalia „they“ try to sell to you. A little tool for this and a little tool for that. No worries.


So follow the SFTS and learn the essential techniques of fly tying - with a twist.

Fly tying is a matter of getting thread and some fur and feather to a hook. That´s it really. As simpler you approach the issue as better your results will be. The „INDUSTRY“ will of course disagree. They live on selling dubbing in at least 50 shades of olive. 

But no worries - you do not need all this. However, if you are into collecting „stuff“  - 50 shades of olive can be exactly your thing.

In part 2 we talked about THREAD. How to attach it to the hook and how to finish the fly with a whip finish knot. What happens when it breaks and so on. Check it out if you haven´t done that already.

Than we right away hopped in to cold water tying a tiny little dry fly - the black gnat. A killer pattern by the way. This fly features a technique I use very often - twisting brittle stuff around the thread to reinforce the construction. Part 3 -

In part 4 that „twisting-brittle-around-sturdy“ technique is used again to tie the famous Pheasant Tail Nymph in it´s original way Two new modules were added as well. The TAIL, and the WING CASE module, if you so will. Part 4 -

So in part 5 - we put the „TBAS“ technique into use again. The Red Tag is consisting of three parts. Tail, body and hackle. The tail is made from red wool, the body consists of peacock herl and the hackle is done with a cock feather. Pretty straight forward. If you have mastered the Black Gnat, the Red Tag will be piece of cake. It is a „separated“ Gnat if you so will. 

In part 6 we stepped up quite a bit and learned to tie a pretty complex pattern. The famous Klinkhamer. Some say it was sort of a revolution in fly design. Even though halv of the fly is submerged, it´s a dry fly. Even purists agree, I hope. Anyway - you will benefit fully from the modules and techniques we have covered so far.

So part 7 is about tools and how to organise your materials. This was covered for the most part in this article

tying desk
I like to have a dark surface under the materials and in my view. It really helps when trying to focus on the fly in the vice. A busy backdrop confuses the eye and is tiresome.  

make sure you have enough light when tying. I found a nice daylight lamp with a magnifying lens for rather small money.  

I mostly tie with very thin Dyneema in white. It is very hard to break and the thread is mostly a means to hold the materials. Of course one can use thread as „tying material“ as well which results in a different choice of thread based on the fy designs various parameters - as in North Country Spiders for example.

a set of small, very sharp scissors / a larger pair of scissors for cutting rougher materials

bobbin holders - it is handy to have two at least. It is essential for some patterns and can be a live saver when one thread breaks and one needs to continue tying without having to redo the whole fly

material clamps - regular paper clips sold in office supply stores are very sufficient for the job, however - there is several specialised clamps and even clamping systems on the market. 

knotting tool - I use a very simple version or my fingers

bodkin needle - basically a needle with a handle. Stick a sewing needle in a winecork if you can´t find one 

a piece of velcro or an old toothbrush for roughing up the flies

fly tying vise
The vise is a tool holding the hook. In the older days flies were tied on hand, meaning by holding materials and the hook in the hands without any vise. A vise is very handy though. In my mind it has two main functions

a) holding the hook and
b) support the hand which is offering the material onto the hook. I prefer vises with pedestals. Clamping a vise to a table did not work so well for me, but this is personal preference really. The drawback on pedestal version is the weight.

all Partridge of Redditch 

CZ - 10 to 18 -
SLD 2 - 10 to 18 -
CS 54 SE -

- dubbing
I mostly use seals fur or hare dubbing. The dubbing is stored in small plastic pouches. I cut one corner of the pouch to access the dubbing. The other storing method is to stuff the dubbing in to see through drinking straws or in a plastic container made from greenhouse window material. I got that tip from the famous Norwegian fly tying woman Marit Kronen.

- wing materials
fibres from an arctic hares foot , also known as snowshoe hare. Beware of copies, the arctic hare is not a rabbit.
deer hair - I trie to get it directly from a hunter. The stuff sold in shops is softer.
antron yarn for wingpost of parachute flies 

- materials for extended bodies
  - synthetic yarn like antron or polyester nylon
  - foam
  - deer hair

- body materials for nymphs
I mostly use Virtual Nymph nymphskin products. They are easy to use and quite reliable in their quality.

- feathers
I have a whole skin from a partridge, a few pheasant tail feathers and a big bundle of peacock herl.

- hackle
I use very little genetic rooster hackle in my flies and keep it to either black or grizzly.

- fur
a hares mask is very useful and can be used for many flies. It supplies hackle, dubbing, tails & legs ... you name it
squirrel skin, mink zonkers

- ribbing materials
  - copper wire, tinsel

- beads & lead
Tungsten beads are a good choice. Due to the high specific weight of tungsten beads from that material can be of smaller size as other materials. Lately some new form of tungesten heads cam onto the market featuring up with eyes and such. Nice to look at but not necessary.

- adhesive lead foil 
Veniard has some, but this stuff can also be found in stores selling gear for Golfing or Tennis rackets (much cheaper than flyshops of course)

- storing pouch
I found a pouch for - believe or not - orthopaedic stockings (not mine in a shop). This bag is really „it“ - all material & tools (except the vises pedestal) has place in it. It simply is rolled together for transport.

So you can see that it does not need halv a house for a quite a fly tying kit. All the flies below are tied with what you see on the table.





















picture by Al Pyke 

Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. You can book Thomas for guided trips, flytying classes and presentations. He regularly gives speeches and demonstrations at fly fishing fairs. Thomas is member of the ProTeam at Partridge of Redditch as well as Regal Vises.

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