Part Twenty-seven

Cutting Lead, Wire and Heavy Mono
By George E. Emanuel

One of the essential tools all fly tiers should have on their bench is a quality pair of scissors. Actually as you can afford them several pair are a better idea. But, until your ship finally docks, or you hit the lottery, one really good pair will do.

Tiemco, Dr. Slick, Ice and several other manufacturers all make a quality scissors for between 15 and 25 dollars, and they are well worth the investment. Several European manufacturers produce products that sell for better than sixty dollars in this country, if you can afford those and wish to indulge yourself, by all means do so.

After you have put your hard-earned dollars out to acquire these necessary implements, it is a good idea to take care of them, and provide for their security. Depending on the make up of your household this may mean no more than placing them in your Styrofoam block after a tying session, or it could mean locking them in the safe to keep others in your house from cutting their toe nails with them. This is particularly damaging to any scissors, especially a precision pair like we use in tying.

The only thing in fact that toe nails have in common with fly tying is the employment of toe nail clippers to cut lead wire, ribbing wire, heavy mono, and those sorts of single stranded material that will instantly spring your scissors, especially if you use the tip of the scissors to do the cutting.

If you absolutely insist on using your scissors to cut these materials, please use the extreme rear of the scissors, and then be careful with heavy materials, chenille is deceptive, it is tougher than you might think. With toenail clippers being sold everywhere for less than a buck, I have no idea why you wouldn't want to use them!

The same holds for deer and other hairs. If you cut hair with the tips of your scissors, you will I guarantee spring a delicate pair. Instead use the rear of the scissors, closest to the hinge to cut hair, and cut only a sufficient sized bunch to tie your fly. Most of us in fact have at least two pairs of scissors. One we use specifically for very delicate work, the other, or "general purpose", we use for hairs etc.

Synthetic materials play absolute havoc with all scissors. This stuff has the ability to dull scissors faster than cutting your mother-in-laws hair. It is just plain nasty stuff. A third pair of heavier scissors is really in order here.

When you travel with your scissors, a small piece of surgical tubing placed over the points will insure that they remain in good shape during your journey. You might further place them in a small zip top bag with a piece of foam on either side to make a sort of sheath that they may snuggle into for added security.

Last but not least, loan out your wife before you loan out your scissors, you have a better chance of getting her back in the same condition you loaned her out in than you do with a pair of good scissors.

If you have not yet bought a quality pair of scissors yet, do so. They are a pleasure to use, and properly employed and cared for, they will last several lifetimes as well.

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too!~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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