How to Taper Synthetic Fly Tying Materials Using the Scissor Method

Fly fishing is unique in that what makes our presentations so life-like is the use of natural materials in the flies we tie. Natural materials offer the ability of variety and ease of use when tying all types of flies. Although synthetic materials can be every bit as effective. Synthetic materials offer a similar look and feel to natural materials although they tend to be harder to work with. These materials are substituted most commonly in streamer or bait fish imitations. In this tips and tricks tutorial, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrates the twist and cut method for tapering synthetic tying materials.


How to Manage your Materials:

  1. Make sure you have a good and sharp pair of scissors but be sure to avoid using just the tips.
  2. Twist the fibers with your hand and use the other to push and slightly close the scissors as you work reward. (The twisting helps to evenly taper the fibers throughout the body of the fly.)
  3. Continue this process but do not close the scissors completely.
  4. To finish off the tail portion of the fly, twist the under-body to the top of the fly and continue to trim that way.
  5. For the very tip of the tail, trim the slightest amount of materials at a time.

By trimming and tapering your flies, the presentation will become much more life-like and will likely yield greater results. Now its time to hit the river and catch come fish! Tight lines!

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