Vise Advice: Staging Flies

Whenever I’m at the vise for some production tying, my first step is always staging my materials. Staging materials is simply measuring, cutting and organizing materials for a particular fly ahead of time, and when you’re tying at any amount more than half a dozen it will save you a ton of time. When I’m filling holes in my guide boxes or tying the staple flies I know will be necessary to make it through the season, I’ll tie one fly to my liking, then using the measurements I used for the fly, begin to lay out the necessary materials at the pre-measured lengths for the bunch. This makes my tying faster, eliminates waste, and cleanup is a breeze. In fact, most of the time the spools and packages of the bulk material can go right back to their places, while I’m left with a few piles of each ready at my fingertips.

This magnum nymph box has 522 slots. I wouldn’t even attempt filling it without having my materials for each fly laid out ahead of time. Most of these flies I tie in groups of 6 to 12, though some odds and ends are in lesser numbers. 

Staging your materials, even for a small bunch of flies will make you a better fly tyer. It will help you make your flies more uniform, which means a more consistent product with every tie, and your use of materials will be more economical as well. Pick a pattern you know you’ll be wanting a lot of come fishing season, and give tying in bulk a shot, staging your materials for the lot beforehand. You’ll have them done in no time.


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