A clean fly tying area is super important when you’re trying to crank out bugs. For me, it can be tough to just tie one type of fly when I sit down at the vise for a couple of hours. Things get wild and crazy and it looks like I murdered the whole animal kingdom on my desk. I flick the light off and leave it for later… When I sit down at my bench the next time I feel unmotivated and out of sorts. Keeping a clean tying area means better tying.
Here 5 quick things you can do to keep a cleaner bench.
1. Find all your tools at home
Caddies, holders, holsters, vise attachments (like the Tywheel), whatever… Make sure you got a spot for every tool with your most heavily used tools in an easily accessible spot. Personally, I like my tools laid out neatly on the table next to my right hand.
2. Find yourself a quick easy way to get rid of your waste material.
If you are tying meaty flies, chances are you will have some waste that builds up. A trash can next to you, a vise trash attachment, a bowl, something. Hareline Dubbin makes a couple of cool trash attachments for your vise.
3. Tidy up loose beads, hooks, and material you have laying around your workspace.
It’s easy to let stuff wander from its respected bin or spot. That goes for all your materials… Like items with like items, seems to work for me. I use large 21 compartment clear plastic boxes also made by Hareline to store dubbing, hooks, threads, and wire. A fellow tier recently shared that using a docket/accordion binder is ideal for keeping your capes and hackle organized. Genius! These solutions are also great when you’re tying on the go. Fishpond makes a couple of sweet soft travel cases you should check out for road trips.
4. Prep your materials.
Lay out what you need and roughly how much you need for a couple of flies. You can always go back for more. Hareline also makes a foam fly prep station designed with slits to hold material or hooks so you can tie stuff up using measured out material. Super handy when tying big flies or working with certain wild materials. Some sort of ruler aside from your hackle gauge on your bench or table is also a great tool for consistency. Measure once, cut twice… right?
5. Lastly, keep a lint roller nearby.
Having a lint roller helps to clean up loose hairs, feathers, fibers, synthetics, scraps, or whatever else is left floating around. Rabbit especially… seems to end up everywhere. It feels good to work in a clean environment and is easy to stay dialed in on the vise when getting ready for that trip you have planned tomorrow.
Life hacks are good. Fly fishing hacks are better. Tight lines.
Now that you have your bench all cleaned up. Submit your photo during our Fly Tying Month photo contest to have a chance to win some amazing prizes!
Written by Max Pavel
Born and raised in Colorado, you can find me on the river or the baseball field in my free time. I’ve guided the rough terrain of Alaska and also forged the waters all over Colorado. If you want to catch a fish, come with me and we’ll have fun! Visit my Instagram page here