JC wrote in his column (Week 162, September 25th, 2000),
about a product that everyone who does fly tying just has
to get. It is the ultimate tool for removing wayward
feather hackle, thread tags, or clearing up obstructions
around the eye of the hook.
Bob Mead (AKA: Mantis) was at the 2001 Fish-In at the Delaware
River Club, he and I talked until the early morning hours.
I shared some of my tricks (puny in relation to his knowledge)
and even gave him some of my best attempts at fly tying.
He reciprocated with the item JC had written about. Asking
me if I wanted it, I gulped, and said, "Ya sur yah betcha!"
You just have to have one of these, they are well worth the
money. So if you really want the ultimate high-tech tool for
fly tying I highly recommend you get one. ~ Parnelli
This is not 'Gonzo' journalism. This really is a hot tip,
a hot tip about something that does not exist anymore. At
least not in the same way it did. This tool is darn near
indispensable for tying leaders, cutting the new braided
lines, cutting mono, tying flies and just about everything
else related to fly-fishing. Sound good? What is it? Where
has it been? Is it new? How fast can I get one? Do I need it?
The answer is a 'cauterizing battery operated gizmo resembling
a miniature soldering gun.' The wire is very fine and heats up
by a single battery, a two battery model is optional. You can't
possibly live a day longer without one now you know it exists.
The Cortland Line Company used to sell them for all of the
previously mentioned uses but does not anymore. I found them
a few years back and got six. Over the years I have given some
away to buddies and am down to just two. With some digging there
is a way of picking the end off and replacing the battery,
(about the fifth one on the one I am using these days). They
are not indestructible, the tip-wire will eventually burn through.
They are shot then.
Now for the good news! I found some more! You can find them
at your doctor's office and veterinary clinic. They are used
for sealing blood vessels and other places where they need
fine pin-point heat. They won't have the Cortland name on them
anymore, may have some medical name or such. Never mind the
name, get one.
I use mine mostly when tying flies. At my age I get a bit uneven
in my work and this thing burns off any errant stuff poking out
from under my whip-finish. Amazing what happens to a bit of feather
when hit by the hot wire. A small puff of smoke and I am redeemed
as a fly-tier.
The thing works great for cutting that nasty braided line too.
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to