Congratulations George for a great column! This one marks
a YEAR of terrific tips for fly tiers. Our sincere thanks for the
time and effort!
Most of us began our tying with very simple, sturdy, basic vises.
Many are still in use today and are almost universally the vise of
choice for beginners.
Rotary vises are great for any number of reasons, but they are not
the subject of this article. More than a few tiers simply can not afford
them. Additionally new tiers are faced with the outlay of rather
significant sums of money just to get started with the necessary
materials used in our art. (Actually this is a cost which seemingly
is without end, thank goodness!)
There are actually many of us who use non-rotating vises simply
because we like them. They are very rugged and hold the hook
There are operations however which can be a bit difficult to perform
on a non-rotating vise, such as locating eyes, or aligning wings on the
near and offsides of a fly. Even ribbing can sometimes be difficult
to control on the offside of the fly.
Rotary vises, or those that offer 360 degree rotation, make seeing the
offside of the fly a snap. Just rotate the fly 180 degrees and viola!
We immediately have access to an advantage that the stationary vise
does not offer.
But what can we do to overcome this shortcoming of our non-rotating
vise? You may have the solution for this difficulty right there in your
house. Or, for the small sum of a couple of dollars and a quick trip
to the 'dollar store' or your local drug store, you can purchase a simple
mirror. The type with an integral stand, many have two mirrors, one
standard and the second a magnifying type, is ideal for our use.
If you will place this on the bench behind the fly and aim it properly,
you can now see both sides of the fly.
You will be able to perform operations on the offside of the fly with
greater ease and accuracy than you have ever known.
The quality of your flies will improve. You will be a much happier tier,
and you may well subject those with whom you share your home to far
fewer colorful epitaphs as you tie.
Next time you are not satisfied with the offside of your flies, remember,
the solution is as simple as looking in the mirror!
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too!~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)