Essential Tools

by Jonathan

  • Vice – Today you can buy an adequate vice for as little as £20, but you can pay hundreds.  Buy the best you can afford.
  • Scissors – You will need a pair of fine pointed very sharp scissors. Embroidery scissors are good. A good pair should last you for years as long as you don’t go cutting wire with them.
  • Bobbin Holder – The early models had no ceramic inserts in the tube and eventually started fraying the threads. It is worth the extra cost to buy ceramic models.
  • Hackle Pliers – Basic models are not expensive and will do the job adequately. I still have my original one that my mentor made for me from thick wire, and it still works.
  • Dubbing Needle – I still use hat pins. They are handy for cleaning out varnish from the hook eye and applying varnish to the head of the finished fly. You can buy the proper tool cheaply.
  • Threader – An indispensable tool for feeding your thread onto the bobbin holder.
  • Whip Finish Tool – If you can use one of these then use it. If you cannot , tie off with the traditional double half hitch ( like me ).
  • Varnish – You only need clear to start with. Apply with dubbing needle. Very good advice is to remember to put the lid straight back on the bottle when finished.
  • Beeswax – Indispensable for dubbing.
  • Pliers – A pair of small fine nosed pliers for de-barbing hooks
  • Dubbing Brush – Used for raising dubbed hair. Make one easily yourself using an old lollipop stick and glueing velcro to both sides at one end.

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