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Organization Tips & Tricks

Terry Dodge

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Is it ever possible to organize a fly tying bench and the materials in which we use for tying flies?

Is it ever possible to get to such an organized point that the constant organization is no longer needed?

What "Tips or Tricks" can you share from your bench to help others get their mess organized?

Please share....


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i have tyed flies for almost 50 yrs. i worked in a fly shop for some years. i've been associated with several pro tyers. i will be happy to share from the benefit of my personal experience. i set my vice directly before me with my tools on the right and adhesive on the left. the materials i am using for the fly i am tying at the moment are arranged in a straight row on the table behind the vice. everything i do not need at the moment is swept off the table in a single swoop into a big box. when that box is full i get another box. i always know where my materials are. they are in the one box or the other. CHEERS! timothy troester

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I just have a cheap rubbermaid or tupperware brand 5 drawer stand. It stands about 30" tall, and I have the drawers broken down into Feathers/Hackle, Fur/Hair, synthetics, dubbing/chenille, and the bottom drawer is a larger drawer that has my smaller plastic 3 drawer stand with my thread and tools in it, and a larger tupperware bin with all my glues, eyes, beads, etc. The two stands together were maybe $35? I do have an old, small duffel bag also in my tying corner that just holds some of my larger tying materials, such as my bucktails(lots), and my large cuts of "premium deer hair". Nothing crazy, but it gets the job done. I'm definitely overflowing though, but I dont have a dedicated tying area, just at the kitchen table. My number one priority in a new house is a basement with my own tying area! Basically this, but with two more drawers on top, and a miniature one of these kept in bottom drawer with tools, thread. Ryan


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Guest rich mc

lucky for me my kids moved out and I have taken over one bedroom for tying. in the center is a dining room table on blocks so it is higher . under it is a metal 4 drawer shop cabinet . top drawer threads, second maribou, 3rd craft hair and bottom extra chenille.on my left is an old 4 drawer dresser top drawer is common used chenille and eyelash yarns,second is more chenille, 3rd is fur tails and hair4th is more chenille.

in order to keep things organized it try to tie up 6 or 10 at a time. then clear away what it did and start another color or pattern. the thing that clutters my area more than anything is when it go to tie at a show or meeting. I place what I need and then some in a few duffles or storage boxes and everything gets mixed together.

I have found that being organized has to be on my mind constantly as it wasn't trained into me early. now where did I put my new years drink! rich mc

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These box solutions seem to be working for a lot of guys. rich's converted bedroom is just a big box. In a variation of that, my wife sometime suggests that I rent one of the empty storefronts in Pecatonica and open a fly shop. I think she wants me to get the fly stuff out of the house.

Christmas this year marked the 59th anniversary of the day I got the Tack-l-tyers Kit that got me started; it all fit in a shoe box. I have a lot of experience with the problem-58 years. I have discovered not one but two solutions. First, by trial and error, I discovered the rule of "only one."Tie only one pattern, in only one color, on only one size of hook. Everything you need fits comfortably on a snack tray and stores in a shoe box with room to spare for the pint of snake bite medicine your wife doesn't know about. Besides, a black number 8 Wooly Bugger is all you really need to catch fish, bluegills, trout, bass, carp, muskies, marlin.

The second solution is both more theoretical and more practical. Apply Chaos Theory. Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. Got it? Your bench is already organized; it just does not look like you thought it would.


Stop worrying and tie some flies. You ain't gonna live forever.

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Cleaning dried glue off a bodkin using the backside of a scissors blade is not the best idea.

Try finding a film roll container and punch a few holes in the top. Pack the inside of the film container with steel wool. Insert the glued up bodkin needle into one of the holes in the lid and remove. The glue is now gone.

When stabbing the bodkin through one of the holes in the lid the steel wool works its magic.




Steel wool in a film canister is an excellent tool

for removing glue from a bodkin.

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