What do you guys do seeing and tying small flies? I typically tie down to a 2x short 18, but the midges on one of my home waters are quite a bit smaller. Lots of days the fish don't care but there are days when they do. I am am going to take the sub 20 plunge, but need some more magnification over my readers:confused:.
Desk mounted magnifyier and lamp combo.
I also use a desk mounted magnifier with the built in light and it has worked very well for me for the past 15 years. I find the biggest difference between the cheap desk mounted magnifier and the more expensive ones is in the articulating arm that holds the magnifier and light. On the cheap ones, the extension arm tends to be weak and will not stay where you position it. It will sloooowly creep down until you find yourself all scrunched up trying to see the vise and fly. On the more expensive models like Luxo, the arm stays exactly where you put it. I also think that the magnifier and the light are bit better on the Luxo, but the biggest difference is in how the arm stays in place. If you decide to go with a desk mounted magnifier with the built in light, I would strongly recommend that you look on Craig's list or Ebay and buy a used Luxo rather than a cheap model from your local office supply store chain. Just one man's opinion...
I have a pair of 5x magnifying reading glasses that I now tie with. As I said in another post, the desk magnifier w/light that I had kept getting in my way when I wrapped materials. But that was just me. Everything depends on the amount of help to see that you personally need. I tied everything for many years with no help at all. Not any more.....
You may also want to try the Daiichi Large Eye Hooks (#1100), 16 - 26 for some ease at tying them on when in the stream.
Orvis also sol Big Eye hooks.
My daughter gave me one of those little threading guides, in practice it works like a dream, it's on my lanyard. For tying I have a floor stand lighted magnifier that has me spoiled.
I have a Magnivisor. It works well. The good thing is you can tie anywhere you want. In front of the TV, on a tray and I take it to the mountains and tie there. I tie down to a size 22 with no problem.
I'm with Beaver...or a variation there of...
For me the fixed magnifiers and the flip downs ,etc... mean you always have to have your eyes in an exact fixed position...you have to maintain that focal point.....doesn't work for me.
With the right glasses I don't think you'll need magnification. Reading glasses are not normally the right glasses! Put your readers on and hold a book where you can see it best. Is that the same distance that you tie at? If not then there is a problem. I find tying distance can be up to 50% different to tying distance. The simple solution is to go to an optician that offers 2 for 1 deal for your next set of readers. Measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the vice jaws, get the optician to set the focus of the glasses at that distance. This is a simple adjustment if it is done when the lenses are ground to shape.
I've worn glasses for normal vision for well over 30 years. Only in the last few have I needed them for close work. Before I simply took my distance glasses off. I was starting to struggle with 16 and 18s. Now I'm back to tying as small as I like with just the right glasses.
These are on hooks labelled size 24, however the same hooks in size 18 have a similar gap to Partridge Vincent Mariarno size 24. They are small.
The problem I have with magnification is that it makes everything bigger. You go from winding fine thread on a small hook to winding rope on an anchor. I need clarity not magnification. However, I do know that some people find magnification helpful, one is my friend Barry Ord-Clark. Here is what he uses. His come from the UK but with the correct name for them you may be able to find a local supplier to you. If you look at the standard of his tying you'll see it is a great recommendation for these.