I have been reading this forum for a while now. Even reading responses to basic questions (from beginners like what rod should I buy?) I have learned so many neat little tips.

I would like to get a thread started to share tips and pointers on fishing and tying (or anything else you want to share).

For example, somebody shared in a tying thread that you can buy a bodkin at an art store, and it will be cheaper than at the fly shop. Who knew???

My little tip by way of example: If you are looking for a storage flybox, something that you might not take into the field, buy a plastic storage box at a sewing store, or the sewing section of a large store like Fred Meyers. It will cost you approximatly $3.50 and hold about 100 files in 20 little comparments and have a locking lid.

What other little tips do you know? I think it would be great to share some information, and see if we all learn something.

The Ol' Supeglue Trick and a Question

Here's a tying tip I've been meaning to try, but have not yet attempted due to laziness:

Tip: Apparently, you can skip the step of tying a finishing knot on most flies. Instead, just seal the head with Superglue, and you're ready to rock and roll.

And since we're in the tip department, here's a question:

I've heard that there's some sort of household moisturizer that you can substitute for floatant. It's supposed to work just a well as fly-shop floatant, and it costs like 99 cents for a bucket of the stuff. For the life of me, I can't remember what the product's called. A little help?

The Other Floatant

Hey all,
I just answered my own question, if you're interested in cheap floatant. Here's a nugget I just dug up on the web:

Albolene, a cosmetic cream for dry skin, has long been used as a fly floatant. It does a excellent job of floating the fly, melts at skin temperature, and leaves no oily or sticky mess on your hands. A lifetime supply of twelve ounces is available for $9 - $11 at most pharmacies. The best container for this is the accordion-like reel grease containers, they make squirting the gel quite easy. Heat the Albolene by the double boiler method and pour it into your chosen container for streamside use.

And here's a description from the manufacturer (Who knew that there'd be side benefits?):

Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser liquefies on contact with your skin to gently and thoroughly dissolve makeup, dirt, and even mascara. Smooth on Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser,tissue off and see how much cleaner and softer your skin can be. Leaves no soap-and-water dryness. Used daily, Albolene helps skin stay soft and younger looking

One lingering question. What's the double-boiler method? And another question, does anyone have a cheap substitue for the dry silica powder floatant?
Dave's bug float...

is a popular floatant made of Albolene... they throw a little anise oil in there as well...

Dont ask how I know this... I just do..



The Other Floatant

If your married,just ask your wife what it is. If your not I will tell you. It's two pots one that sits inside of the other. In the bottom one you add water and the top one sits in the bottom pan. You put what ever in the top pan and when the water boils in the bottom pan what ever you have in the top will melt or cook.

I hope this helps. Jim S. :BIGSMILE
The Other Floatant

Another inexpensive floatant is Carmex lip balm. I have used it many times in a pinch. 99 cents a Fred Myer. Always have some in truck, works when out of the real stuff.
I've set up/organized my fly-tying station using storage drawers from office-supply and the hardware store. Banks of screw-bin drawers work great for organizing tools, hooks, dubbing, beadheads/lead-eyes, etc, and the bigger plastic office-supply drawers are great for necks and saddles, skins and pelts, hares masks, bucktails, etc. I have an efficient station for a fraction of the cost of your very nice tying cabinets. Now if I could only train myself (after a dozen years) to actually put the stuff back in the drawers!


I did the same thing I made extra storage areas on the bench that I use.Put all feathers in same drawer,made things to put thread on,tools in. But my problem is like yours. I take things out but don't put antything back. My desk top is a total mess. I've tried to stay neat, but being a man I guess that I just sloppy. :DUNNO Jim S.


Ignored Member
I tie weighted and non- weighted versions of the same flies. How to tell them apart when in the fly box? Mark the heads of the weighted flies with a small dab of white (or your preferred color) model paint. Now you can easily tell which ones are the weighted ones at a glance.
Lanyards are a convenient way to keep forceps, nippers, hook hones and a variety of other tools or materials conveniently at hand. Cabela's Siera Guide model sells for $20.00 and Orvis' Gallatin model sells for $35. You can easily make your own to resemble Orvis' Gallatin Lanyard much cheaper. All you need is a pair of long leather boot laces (about $1.98), a package of mixed size wooden beads from your local craft store (about $2.99) and a package of large snap swivels (about $6.00 for a pkg of 48 .) The wooden beads come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can get pretty creative in the design of the lanyard. Slide the snap swivels and beads onto the lace separating the snap swivels with several beads. Once you've got the snap swivels and beads threaded onto the leather lace to your liking, slide both tag ends through a single large bead and tie an overhand knot in the end so the large bead won't slip off...this will allow you to shorten or lengthen the amount of lanyard dangling on your chest by sliding the large bead.

There's enough materials there to make two lanyards for a total cost of about $5.50 each. Keep one, give the other to a fishing buddy as a Christmas present.

12 Guage Shotgun cleaning patches are 100% cotton and $5.00 will by a package of 1000. They are soft, lint-free and won't scratch surfaces. Several uses include applying and/or buffing out fly line conditioners/dressings, evenly spreading floatant or sinking solutions onto leaders, wiping WD-40, CorrosionX or other protectants on and off fly reels, or for cleaning/polishing that prized rod with soapy water or liquid urethane car polish. Lightly spray the soft side with WD-40 and run it through the guides on your rod to protect the metal, reduce friction and detect sharp ridges. Discard the patch after using. Recycle those small plastic zip-lock bags that hooks and various tying materials come in by placing a few patches in one and slipping it into your vest or pocket. No need to find a rag made of 100% cotton or keep a lubricant soaked rag in your tackle bag any more.

Without a dedicated desk and with a bird dog that eats tying material, I have to keep everything in a securely closed plastic bin. To make everything conveniently accessable I use clip rings to keep plastic bags together by category. For example, one ring has several bags of various hair materials and another ring has several bags of chenille, or fur, or hackle. You get the picture. Pretty much everything you buy comes in a plastic bag with a hole to hang on a display rack. If It isn't in a bag, I just put it in a ziploc and punch a hole to slip the ring through. It works great for me. I can toss everything in the bin and if I need a piece of hair, I just grab the nearest piece of hair and it all comes out. These clip rings are about two inches in diameter and made of two pieces. They are hinged on one end and clip together on the other. Imagine a 3-ring binder loop on it's own. I dont know exactly what they are called but they are available at office supply stores.

I believe WD-40 WILL damage fly line coatings and don't use it directly on the lines. I use things like SA's Fly Line Dressing, Glide etc. on the lines. I don't think I suggested using it on the fly lines, but apologize if what I wrote leads someone to think they should. If your concern was putting it on the guides or wiping it on the reels, then I guess I should have clarified by saying let it sit on the guides for a few minutes and then buff it out. In the case of reels, I remove coated lines from the spool before cleaning to ensure I get all the salt out. I don't think that process harms the line, or at least I haven't noticed any damage to mine and I've been doing it that way for at least 12 years. Do you think by cleaning the guides and reel in that manner I'm actually harming the line? Always willing to change if what I'm doing is contraindicated.