View Full Version : Tying Background

10-27-2006, 01:50 PM
OK, this is stupid :-[ but I want to know where you should tie flys and what kind of background. By that I mean lighting and table and room, well you get it. Sorry this is a complicated question but that is why I'm asking it ;D


10-27-2006, 03:58 PM
There is no such thing as a stupid question. I have a 15 year old son. I purchased him a small fly tying desk that he has in his bedroom. Make sure that you have an area large enough to work with, a good vise and storage space for materials. Also, have an area where you can place a light and/or magnifier. One thing my son has found handy is the desk I purchased him has a drop leaf front that he can close when not in use but also has a top shelf where he puts his laptop computer for looking at animated fly tying patterns to copy.

11-03-2006, 02:56 PM
I built a fly tying table for myself. Has a nice mounting hole for my vise, and a little trash bin so I don't miss when i wbrush them off the edge. I made the choice on background, and got two different results.

First, my mistake. I thought a nice oak look would be attractive, so I got some oak formica. It does look very nice with my green cabinet. Now for the but.... materials like to hide on it. I wish I had a solid color, and maybe lighter as well.

Now I figured I need a background to actually tye against. I see all these pretty pictures of flies in magazines against this light blue background. I went to a local engraving shop (where they engrave plastic name tags, door signs, etc.), and bought a 12" x 12" piece for $1. I used double sticky tap to adhere it to the table directly below my vise. This was a great choice. The flies stand out great. You can see the colors of the material well. Head cement scraps right off if you get a little sloppy.

I just got a nice bright light on an arm from a hobby shop that I can move where I want. It attaches to my table with a little clamp.

Hope this helps.

11-04-2006, 01:24 PM
hey Giantfish.......you sure seem to carry alot of passion in your new venture of FF......you were talking of tying and I thought I would share something with you ......when I was mid 30's, I had a gentleman work for me who was in his 80's and became a very good friend. Gene (my friend) was extremely handy with woodworking and always entering his projects in the county fair ( and usually winning). As I was just getting into FF and even fly tying, I showed him a tying box that I was looking at and asked if he thought it would be worth the $75 they were asking......he told me to wait a week or two and he would get me a materials list and maybe he would work with me to build my own. Unknown to me, Gene had taken some very old cabinets from the basement of our work building to strip down and had started to build to surprise me.....approx 12 days went by and I asked Gene if he had the list yet as I was eager to learn from his craftsmanship and to get a fly box....just be patient he told me, I will bring it in Friday ( this was Wednesday)....Friday came, but no Gene.....I waited for a call to see if he called in sick or had some other problem...no call. This was so unlike Gene so at lunch, I went by his house to check on him. Gene's truck was there but nobody was home. After work, I returned to check on Gene to make sure all was well. As I walked up the steps, I saw Gene's wife in the doorway with the tears flowing. She told me that Gene had passed in his sleep and she was sorry for me to have to find out in this manner. She told me there was something that I could do for her and she took me to Gene's garage workshop. Sitting on the bench was a box that she told me Gene was working on for the last week or so, and that even though it wasn't completely done....she knew Gene would want me to have it and finish it ( basically all I needed to do was a good oil rub)....

You never know where good friendships are going to come from and you should always cherish any freindship and knowledge you gain from elders...... I have attached several pics of the fly box and thought you may enjoy it as you are getting started.......on two seperate occasions I have been offered big money for this box ($500 once and $550 once), but this is a priceless piece of memory for me and will stay in my family as I intend to hand it down to my daughter who has recently moved to E. TN and is now enjoying FF.....hope you enjoy the pics and good luck with your passion in this life of FF





11-05-2006, 09:41 PM
As I read your question you want to know what background to place behind the fly so your clutter and their colors don't interferr with your work. I use a piece of aluminum sheet metal 8-9 inches wide and maybe a little taller. I bend the metal on one edge so that I can put the "lip" under the base of my vise to hold it in place. I have one painted a light gray and another painted a medium to dark gray. Gray is the color photographers used to get their light readings. The light one for dark flis, the dark gray for light colored flies.
As for light I use several different lamps some for traveling some for home, just be sure you have enough light and the lamp doesn't get in your way when tying. I am not sure that the "100%" natural light lengths are not all that important in tying, only in taking color pictures.


11-06-2006, 02:57 PM
The main thing with light is that it works for you. *I used to use just natural light and a table lamp. *Then I moved to one of those hobby lamps on a clamp and moveable arm. *It is nice because I can move it during different stpes of tying. *I have thought about getting one of those magnifiers with the flourescent tube around the edge to try.

If I had to do my table again, I would gowith a light gray table top to eliminate glare, and make materials easy to see. *I have experimented with other background colors, and really like my light blue.

11-07-2006, 02:41 PM
Thanks guys that will help. now all I have to do is convence my dad to go out and get it and I found the perfect spot. *;D I will start my first fly soon. I'll tell you guys how it goes. *Thanks P.S. Buckeyetrouter I loved that story, I had an old wise man help me spin fish when I was 11 and I have done wonderful since. He had a googd idea too. ;)

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