OK I lied—the Material of the Week this week is not a material. It’s a couple tools. But tools are the most important part of your fly-tying acquisitions, and the right scissors in particular can make the difference between decent flies and great ones. And the right scissors can save you many hours of cursing over the years.
If you just tie trout dry flies, you probably only need one good pair of scissors, with a pair of fine wire cutters in reserve for cutting nasty stuff, such as wire and heavy tinsel. But most tiers these days switch from tying musky flies to tiny emergers to tarpon streamers in one season, and with the advent of the giant articulated streamers we use these days for trout, you need more than one pair of scissors to make your flies the best they can be. You may already have a good pair of small, general purpose scissors, but the two new scissors we have added this year will broaden your horizons.
Large Loop Synthetic Scissors
By the name you might think the large finger loops are the big deal, and although they make it easy to keep scissors in your hand while tying (I don’t, I put them down), the real important part of these scissors is their blades. The blades are heavy yet razor sharp, with serrations on both sides. Why should you care? Because the blades make a clean, straight cut when trimming a bunch of synthetic hair, bucktail, Zonker strips, deer hair, and any other heavy material. You know how when you try to get a straight end on a piece of bucktail or EP Fiber when cutting a piece you always get a slanted cut because the material slips through the scissors when you cut? Not with these babies. You get a straight cut every time, so that you can make a neater tie-in point. And cutting a bunch of hair or fiber at an angle once you’ve attached it to the hook? These do a beautiful, precise job. Just an added bonus—because the blades are serrated they’ll stay sharp for years, just like those serrated knives you use in your kitchen
5” Ergo-Loop Scissors
What is it with the handles? Sure, they have these cool offset handles that are comfortable in the hand, but the big thing here is the blades. The long, five-inch blades are as sharp as any scissors I have seen, but the blades are micro-serrated—much finer and more delicate that the bigger serrations in the scissors above. I never realized how important a pair of scissors like this were until I watched Enrico Puglisi trim a couple of his patterns. With long, sharp scissors, you can make much smoother cuts and your flies don’t have the look of a kid who just got his hair cut in the back yard by his brother. And because the blades have that micro-serration, they grab every fiber and trim along a fly exactly where you want them to. If you tie big flies with synthetic fibers—for tarpon, striper, pike, muskies, bass, steelhead or trout—you will want a pair of these on your fly tying desk.