I can still remember the very first fly I tied. It was in the early 90's and I was no more than 12 years old. Since I don't think I had actually taken up fly fishing quite yet, I was equipped with absolutely NO fly tying materials or tools. Lucky for me, my mom came to the rescue! Her sewing kit in the hall closet had a nice selection of threads, so one day I poked around in there for a few minutes and emerged with some black and yellow thread.
Over the next hour, I constructed that very first fly—a bee pattern tied on a #8 Eagle Claw bronze bait holder hook. With no other materials to use for the body, I must have wrapped those threads around the hook a thousand times to build up enough thickness to resemble a bee's shape. Without a vise to hold the hook, this wasn't exactly easy! I then finished off my bug with some little silicone legs sourced from a bass flipping jig I had laying around. Viola! I was very proud of my creation!
I wish I had kept that fly for sentimental reasons, but that creative hour started my interest in fly tying which continues to this day over 20 years later. While I've had a fair amount of fly tying goodies for quite some time now, none of tools have ever been what I'd call premium. Well, that all changed when a box recently arrived from Loon Outdoors. Inside were four of their newest offerings: Ergo Micro Tip All-Purpose Scissors, Ergo Whip Finisher, Ergo Bobbin Threader, and Ergo Bobbin. Coincidentally, these arrived while I was at the bench whipping up some small peacock bass streamers!
(Blue Links to each product are included in each description)
Ergo Micro Tip All-Purpose Scissors: These precision scissors sport surgical-quality stainless construction and comfortable powder-coated grips with enough wiggle room for all finger sizes. The blades are quite sharp and cut fibers with ease, and the fine tips (shown above compared side-by-side to my old fly tying scissors) are sweet for making tiny trims. As the name implies, these are ideal for general tying duties, but I especially appreciate them for getting rid of any unruly fibers at the front of the fly before building a head or even after whip-finishing. Useful for all fly sizes, I can see these being super handy for folks tying small patterns like dries and nymphs. Length: 4 inches / Price: $18.95
Ergo Bobbin: Here's a pretty slick bobbin that is anything but basic. First, there's an extra-long tube that has nicely rounded-off ends to prevent thread chafes or cuts. In the center of the tube is the ergonomic powder-coated grip that cradles the thumb and forefinger extremely well for a very high level of comfort. To hold the thread spool, there's a spring steel tension spool holder made from Japanese steel. When grasping the bobbin properly, it's easy to apply additional tension to the spool by slightly squeezing the spool holder between your remaining three fingers and palm. Additionally, the rounded ends of the spool holder allows thread spools to spin smoothly, but often with quite a bit of squeaking. Also, I occasionally experience spools slipping out of the holder while under tension—issues my old bobbin didn't have. Length: approx 5 inches / Price: $19.95
Ergo Bobbin Threader: Featuring an extra-long wire length of approximately 4 3/4 inches, the Loon Bobbin Threader is made with plenty of length to thread any bobbin I've ever come across. In addition, there's a powder-coated handle with that familiar yellow ergonomic grip. This handle has some hefty weight to it which can cause the threader to easily slide back out of the bobbin tube while threading, so beware of that. This threader is a necessity for the Loon Ergo Bobbin since it has such a long tube—my old, shorter bobbin threader wouldn't work with it! Length (including handle): approx 7 inches / Price: $9.95
Ergo Whip Finisher: Along with the obvious yellow grip, two notable features include an ultra-thin end point allowing for a very seamless transition of thread from tool to hook when the knot is completed, along with a sharpened end at the back of the handle for cutting thread and finishing the fly. When using this whip finisher, I find that it doesn't always spin as smoothly or quietly as my old no-name one. When the thread is held under tension the sharpened end slices the thread quite well, but I also think the tool would be more comfortable to use/hold without it. Length: approx 4 1/4 inches / Price: $12.95
Sure these new tools all match nicely and look damn cool, but the color is helpful, too. The bright-yellow handles make them much easier to locate should they get lost on a cluttered desk or in storage. If desired, the center opening of the ergonomic grips also allows them to be hung up easily.
Don't forget that Loon offers an array of other fly tying and fishing products extending way beyond the four new tools we've looked at here. Finally, scope out LOON LIVE live fly tying demonstrations the first and third Thursday of every month at 6pm PST!
Interested in Loon Tools and Accessories?