While production fly tying might not be for everyone, there is a lot that the recreational fly tier can learn from the guys that crank out patterns not by the dozen but by the bin full. Here are a couple of quick points that are easily incorporated into your tying that can help make your flies more consistent, durable and faster to tie.
|Measure twice, cut lots. Production tying prep work saves time.|
Prep Work Saves Time
This single tip can change you from a few flies a night guy to a dozen an hour pro. Picture the average fly tying desk and what do you think of? A mess. Production tiers minimize mess, and maximize output.
When most of us head to the vise to tie a few flies, we tend to start the fly and measure materials straight from the spool, card or package, one at a time. Before you know it you’ve tied a few flies and an unholy mess lies around the vise. Pretty soon you’re digging through it looking for the next material. Switch patterns and the pile grows.
Production tiers measure materials first, and lay out each step. For example, when working with rabbit strips, stick a hook in the vise and measure your strips, pile them in easy reach and measure your next material. Consistent material measurement minimizes waste. This will also make your fly dimensions similar and you’ll have better looking flies. Cleanup is a breeze as well, which makes switching patterns fast and flying feather free.
|I whip my hair back and forth.
Whip finishing should be second nature to add speed to your tying.
Know your Basics
The techniques that are necessary for fast tying take practice. Lots of it. Every fly you tie makes you better if you learn the basics correctly and consistently. There are dozens of resources that can be used to learn techniques like palmering hackle, tying durable parachutes, and working with specific materials. YouTube is my favorite, where tiers have shared some great video tutorials for lots of the techniques needed to tie like the pros. That said, there is no substitute for practice. If you run into a particular skill that drives you insane and just doesn’t seem to come out right, keep at it. A much better tier than I claimed that a tier couldn’t say they knew a pattern until they’d tied at least 100 of them. Looks like you just got your excuse to buy your next hooks by the 100-pack.