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Marc Fauvet – The Fly Tidy Review

fly tidy w:vise & toolsFly tying stations aren’t new but this one is a modernized, simplified and very practical and functional rework of  the basic design.

Fair enough, at first sight it’s a little strange to get all excited about a piece of plastic but here are it’s features with some plus and minus notes along the way.

– Size
45 x  27,5 x 2,5 cm (or 17 3/4 x 10,8 x 1 inches)
The workspace recess, tool and accessory holes are 2 cm deep (0,8 inch)
The easily accessible tools stay where they’re put and materials don’t roll out of the workspace. Whether using the tool holders or workspace, hooks, beads and other materials stay within the tray and standard varnish bottles don’t tip over. Everything’s always at hand right where they should be and this even when placed on the lap or other less than usual and uneven places such as car hoods or trunks: Nice
The base of smaller sized fly clips also fit in the tool holes, giving the tier an easily accessible area to deposit flies to dry after varnishing or to compare them when tying series of the same pattern: Nice
fly tidy tool holes

When assessing a product like this I ask myself things like “would it better if it was bigger, smaller, etc, etc ?”  and after a month of tying nothing came to mind meaning it’s size is just right, be it on my tying desk or anywhere else around the house or on the road. The compact yet ‘more than enough’ size  makes it very easy to pick it up and go tie a fly or two while doing dumb things like cooking or watching tv or whatever !
As an aside, it easily fits inside my Fishpond tying bag or other similar tying carrying system making it all the more easier to bring along anywhere, whether on an extended fishing trip or at fly shows: Nice

-Weight
Is estimated at just under a kilo (2,2 pounds)
Not too heavy, not too light:  Just right

-Material
the Fly Tidy is made of a single, food-grade, recyclable, highly resistant plastic: the same stuff used to make professional, industry-grade kitchen cutting boards.
With the exception of the vise screw, it’s hidden support thread  and the four little rubber anti-slip feet, the whole board is machined from one solid piece and as such nothing could ever fall apart or become unglued. It’s not like we usually mistreat these kinds of objects, but I’m quite certain that even repeated hammer blows would hardly leave a dent on it’s surface: Nice 
(The truly serious reviewer might resort to using an axe or chainsaw to thoroughly test this tool’s resistance to abuse but I guess I’m not serious enough !)

It’s white and as far as I’m concerned, white is best. It’s neutral and eliminates the need for a viewing plate behind the fly. Somewhere between shiny and matt, any object placed on the Tidy shows up right away regardless of the tying area’s light level. Locating and picking up the smallest of materials is simple and quick: Nice
Most of us have a lamp angled from above towards the fly and the white base reflects light back underneath our fly, evening out contrast, reducing eye strain and simply giving a better overall view: Nice
Having been told that it resists to varnishes, glues and UV resins I had a play with all of the above and confirm the claim. Simply let the gunk dry (or cure it with the UV light) and just chip  it away with the thumbnail and the board looks like new, as if nothing had ever adhered to it: Nice

fly tidy

-Vise Clamp
If your vise has a clamp, simply slide the stem in the board’s clamp and tighten the screw.
If you’re using a pedestal throw it away ! Once the vise stem is installed, the very stable contact area of the base makes that I can’t even make the Tidy rock or slide while purposely winding down hard on a big pike hook with 3/0 or GSP thread. Hooks where bent out of shape before anything moved. It’s like the stability of a clamp vise without having to work on the edge of a table, something the big fly tier might really appreciate:Nice

Now so far, there’s been nothing but ‘Nice‘ to sum up the Tidy’s features but as an assessor it’s my job to find what’s less than ideal so here goes:
As much as I like the vise clamp placement and board stability there’s one aspect here that left a minor frown however a quick, simple and cost-free solution took about one minute to fix this and in my opinion, made the vise connection even better.
The clamp hole’s diameter is a wee bit too wide for my Tiemco vise therefore it wobbles a little when tying even when the screw is tightened to the max. This vise is made in Japan and like any Japanese product it’s in metric standards whereas almost every other vise on the market is in imperial (inches) making for a very small yet noticeable fitting difference. I don’t have access to a non-metric vise to measure it’s stem diameter but i’m pretty sure it’ll be just a tad wider than the metric. Others who have tried the Fly Tidy haven’t mentioned  this issue so I’m reasonably certain almost any other vise will fit perfectly.
As such, it’s neither a design or production fault but simply a proof that universal fits aren’t usually very universal and I needed to point this out.

So, as a remedy I cut a slim sleeve from a plastic sheet 3cm x 8mm x 1 mm and inserted it into the hole and wedged the vise stem inside. fly tidy vise-clamp space filler

(The plastic sleeve was left intact for illustration purposes. My ‘permanent’ version has been trimmed flush at the base of the board. You wouldn’t know it’s there)

This makes for a non-wobly, very solid hold while enabling the rotation of the vise by simply twisting it towards or away from me to make sure dumbbell eyes are on straight or for weaving fly bodies or simply to view or work on a fly at an oblique angle: Perfect !

Conclusions
– The Fly Tidy is a very nice accessory that’s a pleasure to use.
– The term ‘Tidy’ seems to be what sums up this product best as it makes for a more compact, organized and freer working space.
– It’s one of those items you don’t necessarily think of before actually using one but it’s also one of those things you miss when it’s not around.
– It’s not a necessary item but simply makes tying easier and as such I can only wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Fly Tidy’s price is £40 (that’s roughly 47€ or 63 US$) + postage
Postage prices are:
£7.50 to anywhere in UK.
£15.00 to Europe.
£22.50 to worldwide.
Royal mail first class recorded
Payments are made through PayPal.

To order your fly tidy, go through the order page at the top of the screen or click here >ORDER THE FLY TIDY TODAY! 

The first 50 customers will receive 10 free, spring loaded fly clips that fit into the tool holes of the Fly Tidy to hold flies to dry after gluing or varnishing. More are available at £3.50 for another pack of 10 clips.

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Steve Cullen Total Flyfisher – FlyTidy Review!

SteveCullenOnTheFlyTidy

As part of my job I do a lot of fly tying, for step by steps and video stuff for You Tube. Nowt wrong with that I love fly tying BUT, try doing step by steps and tying and shooting complex stuff can be a real pain!

Lee sent me this Fly Tidy some time ago, and I’m glad he did!

The preformed hard plastic tray is great for getting all the tools on, and keeping everything nice neat and tidy, hence the name I guess?
26 pre-drilled holes are ideal for storing your tools – 26 of them if you want -safe and sound and out the way! There’s also a hole for your varnish bottle, something I manage to knock over on a weekly basis!

There’s some rubber nipples, ‘ooer missus’, on each corner which is great for keeping it safe and sound on a flat surface. I’ve stuck some foam on the bottom of mine so that I can tie with the tray on my lap, ace!

There’s even a screw clamp so that you can use your vice, you don’t need a pedestal or heavy bases anymore!

Being white it’s easy to tie against, the white background stops you getting eye strain, something I suffer from, I must get glasses!

The vice jaws, when the stem is inserted, hang over a beveled-out area, which is great for catching waste.7

A simple, product granted but well thought out and very, very usable..

If you fancy one get in touch with Lee here: ORDER A FLY TIDY

Nice one Lee!

Feedback! Yep – already!

Check out this post from Terry Bromwell on the Taff Diaries Blog – He has written a great review on the fly tidy which has put a big smile on my face!

The Fly Tidy Review

Using the fly tidy

Why Use The Fly Tidy

Why use The Fly Tidy?

I think The Fly Tidy would be of benefit to all types of fly tyers:-

  • Its large fixed base in which you can clamp your vice can be seated anywhere from the dinning room table to your lap in front of the TV to even a little bed side cabinet in a B&B when your away. No need to find a surface to clamp your vice securely and getting it in the neck from the other half or mother for scratching her cherished table.
  • The construction from white plastic gives you great contrast to the fly that you are tying and even lets you see the cut off materials like wire and tinsels you want to use again e.g. pearl tinsel, it’s like a UFO, the 1 I  loose all the time.
  • The Fly Tidy is lightweight and very robust even though its plastic. Its manufactured from a solid piece of material so there would be no bits falling off if you were ever to drop it.
  • Strategically positioned holes behind your vice lets you use fly clips to hold your flies whilst the varnish, glue or bug bond dries. These holes can also be used to store a sharp pair of scissors or your bobbing holder.

The-fly-tidy-front-shot

  • Chemically resistant to all varnishes and glues. whilst using all the new bug bond, head weld, super glues and varnishes to tie your flies you need not worry about them damaging The Fly Tidy in any way. e.g most other plastics would react or even get holes eaten into them from a drop of super glue but this is no the case with the Fly Tidy.
  • Tying on your travels or on your lap… with The Fly Tidy having a section with a recess. this would be the ideal place to store a few materials, feathers loose hooks and spools of tinsel and not worry about them rolling off and losing them.
  • For those who work or fish competitions away from home The Fly Tidy can easily be stored in most tackle boxes and material bags. So on your practice days you find the fish want the fly you only have 1 or 2 of in your box, in which case when you get back to your hotel or B&B you could get the fly tidy out and sit on your bed and knock a few deadly flies up ready for the next day…. If you work from home instead of just sitting around in the night wouldn’t it be nice to replenish some of the stocks in your boxes e.g you are running low on boobies so you could slip your Fly Tidy and the necessary materials into your suitcase and tie the night away..

the fly tidy is travel sized

  • Easily disposing of waste materials. Once you have finished your tying session you can pack all your tools and vice away then that is all you are left to do is to pick the Fly Tidy up and take it to a bin and brush the waste into it. As the Fly Tidy is manufactured from plastic it has some static which helps feathers like marabou stick to it and not to get blown off. No more nagging from the wife/mother/husband about the feathers and mess you have left behind.

using the fly tidy

The Fly Tidy

The Fly Tidy

The Fly Tidy

The Fly Tidy is constructed from white, food grade plastic. Not only is it free from corrosion from your basic household fluids E.g Tea, Coffee and Water, but also chemically resistant to varnishes, bug bond, super glue and head weld. So unlike most other plastics once the spilled, excess glue or varnish has dried you can then dispose of it correctly.

I designed the Fly Tidy in white plastic for many reasons, one of which is that you get brilliant contrast to the fly that you are tying. e.g. you are tying a small dry fly and you need to see all the small fine hackle fibres so that you don’t tie them down accidentally. Another was that most of your materials and off cuts can be seen, such as pearl tinsel, copper and silver but also all hooks, feathers and beads.

The Fly Tidy

The Fly Tidy is made to keep homes and desks uncluttered and free from loose materials.

By housing all your tools and fly tying materials cut offs can be collected with ease and disposed of whenever you need.

To be used at a table, on your travels or on your lap the fixed vice base keeps you hook hold solid wherever you are. The raised strageically positoned tool base houses items such as the removable fly clip, sharp scissors or bobbin holders. A larger diameter breach holds the biggest of varnish bottles so spillages are minimised.

The Fly Tidy