What’s a fly catcher?

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A fly tying vise holds a fish hook while string, feathers, and fur are wrapped around it to create a fly lure. The vise can rotate 360 degrees and has adjustable jaws and a magnifying glass. Fly tying is an art form and can be done for recreation or resale. Proper maintenance is important for longevity.

A fly tying vise is used to hold a fish hook as it is made into a fly through the wrapping of string, feathers, and fur onto the shank of the hook. Often, this type of vise is called a rotary vise because of the way the fly tying vise can be manipulated 360 degrees to access all areas of the hook. Small, often serrated jaws assist the fly tying vice in gripping the tiny fish hooks used in fly tying. Some of the best vices incorporate a large magnifying glass into the base of the vice to help levels see their work more clearly.

An activity perhaps as old as fishing itself is fly tying. Creating an artificial lure that will entice a fish to bite is aided by the use of the fly tying vice. Once properly set up, a fly tying vice is almost like having a third hand for the serious fly tying craftsman. The adjustments on a typical type of fly tying vice are nearly the same as those used on many medical instruments. Finely adjustable to allow the fly to be held in any imaginable position, the vise is able to securely hold and position the fly hook to allow materials to be glued, tied and trimmed into the final fish catching shape.

Although associated with fishing, many owners of a fly tying vice do not fish at all. Many fly tyers simply tie flies as it is an art form or they do it for recreation and resale. The very high cost of quality flies makes the initial investment in an expensive fly tying vice easier to handle for some creative levels. Other fly tying supplies, such as feathers and fur, can often be obtained through local taxidermists and fur buyers. For those who do not have access to any taxidermists, quality fly tying supplies can be purchased online from several suppliers.

The key to keeping a fly vise working properly is to avoid overtightening the jaws and nicking the serrations. Jaws are easily damaged by overtightening them against the shank of a hook. It is also imperative that no adhesives, glues or paints come into contact with the threads on any of the set screws. Proper cleaning and lubrication of your construction vise with a quality light weight oil will help the vise perform properly for many years.

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