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Thread: Parachute tool?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Parachute tool?

    Seems like every so often when I am tying parachutes I get this urge to get a vise add-on that you clip your parachute to while wrapping thread around base to make it stand and while you wrap hackle wing (I guess that is how you use one). I have never convinced myself to actually get one as it may end up on a shelf not used, too much stuff.

    I thought I would ask what others think about using this or experience they have had.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I bought one from Daniel a few weeks ago and have no regrets! I tie on a Renzetti Traveler and bought the Griffin parachute attachment which can also be used for tying extended bodies. I've used it quite a bit already and have no complaints.

    What I liked about the Griffin in that the extension bars are plenty long and can easily swing out of the way so that they don't interfere when I'm not using it.

    One vote for.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Langley, Ky.

    Default Parachute Tool

    FredEx, I had some of the same thoughts. After the intermediate fly tying class at LRO. We used Fish'n Glue, Fish'n Glue is available in a small bottle with a built-in brush. It is perfect for all parachute flies. The glue will make the post stiff and durable. Also the post will be easier to wrap hackle around if it is treated with Fish'n Glue. It dries in about 4 seconds and is waterproof. You can get it at Little River Outfitters. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Maryville, TN


    I have never used the attachment you are talking about. I have heard of hackle pliers that have a handle that rotates so that you can easily spin the hackle around the post. I have never used those either, but have heard a few folks rave about them on the web (for what its worth).

    I used to hate tying parachutes until about two months ago. Here are a few things that I learned that have helped tremendously:

    1) I use the yarn like parachute post material from LRO for my parachutes. I watched Walter Babb take a small amount of the material (less than a full "strand") and wrap it around the hook, pull up on it and then tied it off with thread to secure it to the hook. The post material is not as pretty as the traditional methods, but its a lot quicker to tie this way. You can also mix a few fibers of white and chartreuse to make them more visible in lots of conditions.

    2) After securing the parachute and creating a thread base up the 'chute, I dab a small amount of super glue (the kind that has a brush in it) on each side of the post. LRO carries the tying type, but I was in a hurry late one night and bought some super glue brand at Wal-mart that works just fine. If you have the time, get the fly tying kind, its less messy...

    3) If I work quickly enough, I can tie in the hackle(s) to the hook and then the post while the super glue is drying and create a very strong/solid post.

    4) Then when wrapping the hackle down the post, I use my fingers and thumb on my left hand to wrap the hackle and the thumb on my right hand to keep pressure on the wrapped hackle to make sure that they don't unravel. By having the post stiff from the super glue you can use both hand to make sure the hackles don't unravel.

    5) If you have the thread positioned right you can then bring the hackle forward and past the eye of the hook and lock your thread over just the end of the hackle and tie it off without pinching the other hackle fibers.

    6) Then use your fingers to tie a variation of the whip finish where you feed the thread under the remaining fibers without having to lift them. Its called the Double Hitch and a good demonstration of it can be found here (I usually tie two of them one after the other):

    My preference in the past has been to buy tools to do the job, but the more you can do with your hands (and fewer tools) the faster you can tie, and the faster you can tie the more progress you will feel like you are making. It used to take me about 20+ minutes to tie a parachute adams. Now I can do it in about 6-8 minutes and I'm hoping to get it down to even less than that. One of the main reasons it took so long was that no matter how well I thought the hackle pliers had the hackle, it either broke off or slipped out and I would have to start wrapping the hackle again (or worse: select and tie in a new one). Now I hardly ever use hackle pliers. But you need to find what works for you and practice, practice, practice....

    Not sure I answered your question...but hopefully it will help with tying parachutes...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC


    I have one, but it doesn't get much use. I use it more to tie extended bodies and paraloop type flies. A pair of rotary hackle plies will make tying them much easier though. With a parachute tool I still have to pass the pliers hand to hand while I am wrapping the hackle. With the rotary hackle pliers I can wrap the hackle with one hand and I am able to maintain much better control of the tension and angle of the hackle I am wrapping
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

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