Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: The hobby knife

Back in my early newspaper days, when we actually used flats to lay pages out on lightboards, I never went anywhere without my trusty X-Acto knife. I used it to trim border tape, surgically slice columns to fit the allotted space and do all sorts of trimming once the actual journalism was done and producing the daily rag became a struggle against the news hole.

I don’t miss those late nights spent hovering over waxed printer paper glaring at flats in search of errors. Not one bit. But I do miss my X-Acto.

I watched the video above and was hit with one of those “Duh!” moments. Leave it to Tim Flagler to bring the good old hobby knife back into my life. It’ll perform a lot of great functions for fly tiers, from trimming craft foam to stripping worn out flies to allow the reuse of hooks or other components, like beads. It’s also a great tool for restarting a fly—when I try a new pattern, I generally consider th first effort or two “practice.” Using the X-Acto, I can simply strip the hook and try again.

Thanks Tim, for the blast from the past and the idea to use an old tool for a new purpose.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.