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Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
Posts: 214
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I am a firm believer that it's the mechanic and NOT the tools. I actually was a decent mechanic in a former life. However, one thing I've learned is that each sport has introductory level equipment but most of it can only be used effectively by those more experienced in whatever the sport or "art" is. Oh the irony...

Anyway, I have the Bass Pro Trout tying kit that I bought from another forum member. Everthing is there and I'm sure I can tie Woolys and others just fine. However, I plan on attending the Fish N' Chips and wanted to tie some of Al's Tricos and variants. While my eyes have not much of an issue with the 24 hooks, wrapping in this vise is not working out so well. Yes, this is my VERY first fly tying session.

The problem I'm having is that in trying to get close to the arch of the hook, without knowing it, I get caught on the tip of the hook as well. Even tying the hackle on, it's a bear to keep the thread (12/0) on just the shank, without catching and shredding it on the hook. I am going ridiculously slow, but just can't see it because it's underneath. I noticed on the rotary vises, you can set the hook and the vise at a better angle making it not only easier to see, but having the hook at a better angle would make it much easier to tie. Watching the YouTube video, he was winging that thread around a 24 hook like it was nothing. He's obviously a pro, but I noticed he had the hook at an angle that my vise cannot achieve. For larger hooks, it should be fine.

Am I wrong about this?

What vises would you recommend? I doubt I'll be tying a ton of flies, so I don't want to really spend a fortune. However, I also want to enjoy the experience and be able to tie in a G rated environment...

Posted on: 2012/7/13 19:33


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

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2008/8/10 18:44
From lebanon, pa
Posts: 246
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does your vice hold the hook securely? it does not let the hook pull up or down as you wrap does it?
as long as it holds tight, you can use it to get the basics under control before choosing to upgrade to a better vice.
the rotary vices are neat, but i have been using a basic thompson vice for 15 years with no problems. one of the bigger problems with cheap vices, is the jaws are not very hard. in short order they will mushroom out right where you like to clamp the hooks, they will then be unable to securely hold your hooks.

Posted on: 2012/7/13 19:44

Edited by brain on 2012/7/13 20:07:56


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
Posts: 214
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I have to say, it holds the hooks pretty well. In fact, I reached underneath to adjust the light and my hand hit the hook hard enough to bend it, but it stayed tight in the vise. That said, I have to bring the 24 size hook out so far to avoid catching or shreading the thread, that it does become too lose.

Posted on: 2012/7/13 19:59


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9237
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Josey,
Kudos to you for starting out with #24 hooks.

To be perfectly frank, it would be much better if you had some practice tying on larger hooks - such as basic patterns like the Hare's Ear on a #12 or something similar. With some practice on larger sizes, you'll develop a feel for avoiding the hook point.

Starting your first tying session doing #24 Al's Rats is like trying to learn the basics of marksmanship..... at 500 yard targets

Posted on: 2012/7/13 20:38


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
Posts: 214
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Thanks. I took that into consideration. I was just so damn close to tying a decent fly. I need study the videos a couple more times. Still not sure my whip knot is being done correctly, nor could I get the figure 8 on the wings. Just couldn't make out what he was doing. I'll take another whack at it soon though.

Posted on: 2012/7/13 20:56


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3342
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OJW - Bring your tying stuff to the newbie gathering, and we'll show you how to tie those tricos. I'll give you some to get you through the morning.

I suspect your vise is OK - there's things you can do to help keep the thread away from the hook point as you wrap, like keeping the amount of thread out of the bobbin pretty short, hook placement in the jaws, wrapping technique, etc.

Before you spend money to solve this problem, you might want to take advantage of some shared knowledge at this event. That's what they're for....

Posted on: 2012/7/13 21:07
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Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

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2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
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Yes, trying a #24 with 12/0 thread the first time you sit at the vise is not likely to keep your language G-rated!
I'm not sure I understand why moving the hook further out would help you miss the point, but any vise will slip if you don't give it enough hook to grab. I agree with the advice given above, and would suggest working on your mechanics before buying another vice. Then you will have a better feel for what you want from the vice so you can make an informed purchase.
A few tips on your problem that might help. First off, slow down. Speed will come with time, but when you are first starting out there is no need to try to and whip the thread on like you see some of the guys on youtube do it. I still have to remind myself to slow down when I get near the point, and the way I do that is to leave the tag on to guide the wraps in place right up to the point. This forces me to pause to break or cut the tag and proceed a bit more slowly after that point. But even so, I still catch the thread sometimes. Second, if you do catch the thread start over. The frayed thread creates a weak point that could make for a less durable fly, especially in a thread bodied fly like Al's rat. Starting over also will annoy you into being more careful. Lastly, use the thickest thread that you can. It will be easier to see where the wraps are laying and less likely to fray. It's easy to get carried away with 12/0 or 14/0 thread, and it is forgiving enough that you don't even realize you are using 5 time the number of wraps that you need. I tie a lot of smaller flys with 14/0, but when I tie a new pattern I usually switch to 6/0 until I feel comfortable with the pattern. It is harder, but it makes you think about every wrap.
Good luck, and keep asking question.
Mike.

Posted on: 2012/7/13 21:12
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Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
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I didn't even attempt to tie #24's until I had been tying for a few years.
That said, if you're determined to tie them - besides keeping the hook out toward the end of the jaws, you need to keep the thread short, and at more of a horizontal angle to the hook shank to keep it away from the point. It's a little tricky and something you'll need to get a feel for.
I would recommend starting with larger flies, and gradually working your way down to the small stuff

Posted on: 2012/7/14 9:00


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
Posts: 214
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Ok. At one point the thread was "short", but then I was afraid the 12/0 would snap, which it had already done a couple times. My brother said he doesn't tie with less than 8? for that very reason.

I actually dug up a decent hard case that works well as a travel case, so I'll bring it to the Fish N' Chips. I was hoping to tie a couple at home and figured I'd bring the kit on vacation and crank some more out. I picked up a male/female trico at the shop (for comparison, etc.), so I have those to start and might have some variants from years ago. We'll sort it out on the 28th.

For now, it's off to the dock with the kids for some flounder!

Posted on: 2012/7/14 13:36


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

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2011/3/23 22:10
From Delaware River
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Well, there are really only three reasons your thread should be breaking. 1, hit the hook point. 2, your bobbin tube cuts your thread. 3, you are past breaking point with your thread tension. I'm guessing it was 3. For flies that small, and especially al's rats because you're not tying anything down, you only need normal touching turn thread wrapping tension. You aren't tying anything down that needs to be ultra secure. Think of it in proportions; Big fly, big thread, more tension-----Small Fly, Small Thread, Less Tension. So it really has nothing to do with your thread being "short." To combat this, I just loosen my bobbin and apply the needed tension with the palm of my hand. Hopefully this will help solve the problem, and for anyone willing to contradict my comments, go ahead, but these are just my opinions.

Posted on: 2012/7/14 13:47
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Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

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Quote:

gaeronf wrote:
Well, there are really only three reasons your thread should be breaking. 1, hit the hook point. 2, your bobbin tube cuts your thread. 3, you are past breaking point with your thread tension. I'm guessing it was 3. For flies that small, and especially al's rats because you're not tying anything down, you only need normal touching turn thread wrapping tension. You aren't tying anything down that needs to be ultra secure. Think of it in proportions; Big fly, big thread, more tension-----Small Fly, Small Thread, Less Tension. So it really has nothing to do with your thread being "short." To combat this, I just loosen my bobbin and apply the needed tension with the palm of my hand. Hopefully this will help solve the problem, and for anyone willing to contradict my comments, go ahead, but these are just my opinions.


Thanks. Actually my thread sperated more than it actually broke. I did wrap the thread once around the bobbin "arm?" to give tension, so that might have contributed to the breaking. I undid that for the second fly. There's actually a 4th reason as well, at least for the seperating.

4) No one told me to use aloe first! You need smooooth skin to tie these flies and the smallest crack, or dry skin will catch and seperate the thread. Now, more experienced folks might not use their finger tips as much as I, but damn if that thread didn't catch every dry spot.

Posted on: 2012/7/14 14:12


Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11385
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i'll make your life easier by sayign size 24 is too small, anyways.

i'll make it easier again by suggesting that 12/0 is unneeded on the size 20 fly you should be tying.

unwrap the thread from the arm of the bobbin. that's pointless. if you don't have enough tension, remove the spool and squeeze the arms closer. if you have too much, remove it and pull the arms apart. wrapping the thread around the arm sounds like someone's stupid misguided pro-tip, ignore that person's advise.

buy some 8/0 or 70 denier, whatever. buy some size 20 hooks.

Posted on: 2012/7/14 16:28
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Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
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Quote:

gfen wrote:
i'll make your life easier by sayign size 24 is too small, anyways.

i'll make it easier again by suggesting that 12/0 is unneeded on the size 20 fly you should be tying.

unwrap the thread from the arm of the bobbin. that's pointless. if you don't have enough tension, remove the spool and squeeze the arms closer. if you have too much, remove it and pull the arms apart. wrapping the thread around the arm sounds like someone's stupid misguided pro-tip, ignore that person's advise.

buy some 8/0 or 70 denier, whatever. buy some size 20 hooks.


Geez. No wonder you hate fishing tricos so much.

Here's a dose of reality:

Tricos are 4.5mm in body length. Duns as large as 6mm, but the spinners are 4.5mm. Like it or not, that's the way it is. I didn't come up with this measurement, but I do agree with it. These figures are from entomologists that actually measured the bugs in samplings across the state.

You can tie tricos on whatever hook you want. The various hook manufacturers hooks are all different in shank length. The previous "standard" was Mustad's 94840. The hook size that matches tricos is a size 24 in that brand/style. Tiemco 100/101 hook size would be a sz 26. A great substitute would be a Tiemco 2488 in a sz 22 - it's got a shorter shank length, but a bigger gap. Easier to tie on, and the bigger gap helps hold/hook fish better.

Tying a larger trico isn't matching the bug. Will fish eat bigger ones? Sometimes, but fish also eat cigarette butts and strike indicators. If you want to match the bug, use the right body length on the hook of your choice.

I'm guessing that the 12/0 thread he used is Bennechi 12/0. That's perfect. It has a 16 oz breaking strength - same as Griffith's 14/0, Uni 8/0, UTC 70, and Danville 6/0. See this LINK - I didn't make this up.

If all this matters to you, there it is. If it doesn't, just tie on a sz 20 Griffith's Gnat, and flail away.

Posted on: 2012/7/14 22:25
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Re: Tied my first fly, but need recommendations on a vise?

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
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Wait...how do I tie a cigarrette butt??? That sounds easier.

HA nailed it though. I was using the Tiemco 100/101. I can't recall what the black thread was and I'm away now. I think the strength is fine and it really only broke after I tried rewrapping sections, which I'm guessing is a no-no anyway. Sounds mostly like an ID10T error on my part and not a real "need" for a better vise. We'll get it squeared.

Posted on: 2012/7/15 6:38






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