by Paul Egan


Phone: (916) 640-5126



I would like to apologize for not getting an article in on time for the September Leader. The camera I was using had to go in to the shop. It is fixed now and we are back in the swing of things.


Once again I sit at my vise and wonder what will be of use to some of the beginner tyers in the club.???? It seems most people (except Pete Peterson) have been fishing or tying midges and small flies as of late. One of the most frustrating things about tying small flies for me is to break that tiny strand of spider web like material the fly shops sell, labeled as thread. You know, the stuff marked 0/8 or 50 denier. (For some reason that doesn’t mean 50# test) and the worst possible place to break the thread is while pulling down the whip finish while sliding my bodkin through the loop. This usually happens when I have left a glob of head cement or Zap-A-Gap on the end of my bodkin from the last fly.


In the past, I was using a small piece of fine sand paper, like for model building. It would never fail, some time in my tying session I would forget or not get all of the glue off and “Tink”. Then I would see that nasty curly-Q piece of thread where a nicely formed head should be. Next, unraveling the wraps and re-tying the thread would leave a lumpy mess.


I saw this tool in a magazine I receive and then made an improvement on it.


To make the improved bodkin cleaner/holder you will need:


  1. One 35mm film case.

  2. Two one ounce sinkers from THE DARKSIDE (you know, your old bait tackle box).

  3. One Copper Chore Boy scrubber pad.

  4. A few drops of Zap-A-Gap

  5. A pair of kitchen shears




  1. Open the film canister

  2. Put a couple of drops of Zap-A-Gap on one side of one sinker.

  3. Drop it in the canister glue side down

  4. Put a few drops on the second sinker and drop it in glue side down

  5. Use kitchen shears to cut the copper scrubber in half

  6. Cut the seam or fold off and use the other side

  7. Smash the half of scrubber into the canister on top of the sinkers.


With the sinkers inside, this improved version won’t tip over and roll into the glue bottle, spilling all over the feathers and dubbing. Oh!  Sorry…we might cover that problem next month....




Please write back with any comments, suggestions or tips you would like to share with us:


Beyond the Vise

c/o Granite Bay Flycasters

4120 Douglas Blvd, #306-356

Granite Bay, CA 95746-5936

Or E-mail to: (please put “beyond the vise” in the subject line)


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