Hand Position
By A.K. Best

It's been said that location is the key to success in many of our endeavors. When it comes to tying flies, hand position is the key. I'm talking about the position of your materials hand and how the materials are held in it. If you're a right-hander, it would be your left hand. Your right hand is the bobbin hand. But before I get into hand position in the following hints, I believe it's most important to get the angle of the vise collet set in the proper position. I've taught a lot of fly-tying classes in the past twenty years and often see tyers having trouble getting material tied onto the hook simply because they have the vise collet set at a horizontal position. This makes it nearly impossible for the materials hand to be placed in a position that will allow the tyer to wrap thread around almost anything.

Set the angle of the collet to a 45 - to 50 degree angle. This angle will allow you to place your materials hand on the vise in a more normal position when you hold material against the hook...

...If you're tying with your materials hand in a thumbs-down position, your elbow will be raised and extended away from your body, which may cause aching neck muscles, a tired arm, and a sore elbow. Any hand position from palms vertical to palms horizontal can be considered normal hand position, with a 45-degree palm position being the most comfortable.

Vise at horizontal with materials hand. Notice unnatural hand position.

Vise at 45-degree angle with materials hand. Notice the natural hand position.

~ AK Best

Credits: This article is an excerpt from Advanced Fly Tying, by A.K. Best, published by Lyons Press.

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 publisher@flyanglersonline.com

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