A Fly Tying station so I could “watch” television with the family and not isolate myself , or just relax in an armchair with a glass of red ned, or tie more or less anywhere…Now, there are a number of great models out there and a quick search on Google will lead you to a number of far more elaborate models than mine. But then I try to keep it as simple as I can.
I based this on what I really needed and just about always used when tying flies. That meant I needed a station which could hold
- the vice (Okay, okay I can tie flies without one…really by hand… but it’s more of a party trick than fun)
- the tools (we’ll come to which ones in a moment)
- the varnishes & flytying wax (mostly I forget to use the wax)
- the magnifying glasses (probably, at my age and eyesight, the most needed of all)
- the sharpie (for dotting the “i’s” of course) & a yellow fabric pen (for making the eyes).
Now apart from number 5, everything on that list is used for just about every fly I tie. Number 5 was included because I had the space with the glasses. Everything else depended on what flies I was tying: the hook, the tying thread, the ribbing etc etc.; so all that stuff could be stored somewhere else and brought to the station as needed.
Making the station was pretty simple. I had some grooved boards left over from renovations (good Tasmanian oak). So I glued the boards to make the base. Now you could use a cutting board (wooden or nylon) or any flat base.
The tool holder and the oddments were made from hard foam packaging used for a PC. Just glued on and then the tools pushed in to make the necessary holes. I coloured around the holes with the Sharpie (not recommended as it will mark the tools); I’d suggest marking the holes with acrylic paint instead.
One great advantage of using this material was that I can stick the drying flies onto it.
The vice stem was separated from the clamp base and mounted in a small block of wood previously glued onto the board. “Mounted” is probably overstating the process of jamming the stem into a hole slightly smaller than the stem’s diameter.
I also added a trash collector (cut off from a plastic juice bottle). I was going to use velcro to position this, but having used it I won’t bother.
One thing I might change. Increase the height of the vice. It’s a tad low.
Scissors, clips, bobbin holder, hackle pliers, ordinary pliers (for mashing down the barb, mostly), tube for aligning deer hair, velcro stuck onto a piece of old credit card for teasing out fur.
So there you go. Not the greatest piece of workmanship, but simple and effective.