January 25th, 1999
"Getting Organized, Part 6"
Hooks, and Dubbing Paints and Glue
And other things that trouble you

by George Emanuel (aka Muddler)

Photos by the author


Ok you now have all of your feathers, furs, threads, tinsels and etc all neatly stowed in your various boxes, and accurately recorded in you data base, right?

Now you are looking at Hooks and dubbing and paints.

Well quit looking and gather them up, sort them out into general piles, pints here, hooks there, dubbing over there.

Hooks are fairly easy, you have two choices. You can leave them in the boxes supplied by the manufacturer, or you can get a hook box and transfer them into that for storage. If you get your hooks in bags, a box is a much more appealing idea.

Now when I say a box, I am talking about a box designed for hook storage. They are available at just about all fly shops for about $8.00, which they are well worth.

These have appropriate size molded compartments with a radiused front in the bottom of each compartment. This aids greatly in getting the hooks out, especially those pesky little buggers.

The first thing you do, before putting any hooks into the box, is to throw a magnet into the bottom of each compartment. These will keep the hooks from running away from home when you aren't looking. You can get magnets at craft stores for a few cents each. (I know stainless hooks will not be attracted to magnets, so either don't use a magnet, or do what I do and don't use stainless hooks (they take too long to dissolve if unremoved))

Now get all of your dry fly hooks, arranged by size into the box. then your wet/nymph hooks. streamer hooks and etc. Add each of these to your data base also. If you tie fresh and saltwater it is a good idea to use separate boxes for each.

Next comes paints, which are easy. Make sure the lids are on securely and put them into a numbered box and enter into your data base. I do the same thing with my various glues, but I keep them in a separate box, which is also recorded using our system.

Dubbing is a rather interesting commodity. It comes in more colors than are commonly found in nature herself and you can never keep all of those little envelopes straight, right?

Well, if you have those little cubes ala SLF congrats, that is one solution, as are the multi lidded boxes with the little hole through which you pull your dubbing. The later are available through most fly tying catalogues.

I like my way the best, but feel free to use whatever works for you.

Some years ago, when I was first getting started in fly tying I purchased a complete Ligas Dubbing Wallet filled with 36 or so colors. I was not giving any particular thought to it as a storage devise. I just figured I would never have to buy another package of dubbing as long as I lived. Yeah right!

Now many years later I have accumulated a gargantuan quantity of dubbing in all sorts of material. There is antron, there is poly, there is fine and dry, there is beaver, ad infinitum.

Now, one day, looking at the pile of bags containing my dubbings, the one of which you need today never being at hand, a light bulb was turned on within the recesses of my cranial cavity. The wallet that Ligas had put their dubbing into was not just a neat idea, it was brilliant.

Off to the local stationary store and to the area where they have the plastic business card pages for three ring binders. (This was also suggested by John Brkich, in an EMail he sent me, Thanks John) I purchased a sufficient number these for my needs and headed home to the bench. First, I made up a label for each and every color, and type of material. These are indispensable to me as I am color blind. (gee could that be why the fish gaze so quizzically at some of my offerings) anyhow, this has solved that problem.

The labels are made up from the alphabetical list generated by our data base, and affixed to each little compartment on the page.

All of the pages having been stuffed and recorded are put into the binder according to type. This way if I want an antron, but am not sure which color, they are all together in a group. The same for the beaver etc.

You know what is in all of your boxes!

Ok you now have all of your feathers, furs, threads, tinsels aly tying materials. Now when you want to tie up a few, you will know right where to go for the materials you need. Since you now know what you have, you hopefully will not duplicate a material and waste money you might have used to purchase something else.

Your spouse and family are happy, cause your "junk" is finally cleaned up, and they can sit without fear of being your next catch. And you are now able to tie nicer looking flies, because your blood pressure was not elevated searching for the "eyelashes of a Colombian newt" which you can now find with ease.

"You are now officially Organized" Good luck, and good tying, George E. Emanuel ~ George Emanuel

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
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