FLY TYING BODKIN
FLY TYING INSTRUCTION

http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

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BODKIN OR DUBBING PICK
There are many uses for a fly tying bodkin. From applying and removing varnish or maneuvering fibers are just a few of the possible uses.

   Parts of a Bodkin

The average bodkin is about 6" long, but they are available in several different lengths. The handle could be made of metal, wood, plastic, ect., with a needle shank attached. The needle can be flexible or non-flexible. Some bodkins will have a narrow needle and fine point. (The point of bodkin needles are more rounded and less dangerous than sewing needles)

SEPARATING FIBERS
Bodkins are commonly used to separate fibers. For example, after tying on some dubbing you can pick at it to unlock any trapped fibers, giving the fly a larger profile and natural appearance. Can also be used to help separate clumpy hackle barbs, ect...

APPLYING VARNISH
A bodkin can be used to apply varnish to the head of a fly. Dip the point of the bodkin into the varnish and then touch the tip onto the head of the fly. Drops of excess varnish still on the needle's shank of the bodkin will drip onto the fly head. It works great and easy to control. Best for varnishing heads and small areas. (For larger areas you would use a brush to help spread the varnish more quickly and in a uniform fashion) It should also be noted that a bodkin needle is much easier to clean than a brush and will never wear out.

REMOVING VARNISH
You can also use it to clean any excess varnish that might of accidentally dripped into the hook eye.

SPLITTING THREAD
Some bodkins have a narrow shaft and finer point on the tip of the needle to facilitate splitting thread for dubbing purposes.

BURNISHING TOOL
The shaft of the needle can be used as a burnishing tool to help smooth out minor lumps and bumps. Would never use a bodkin needle to burnish silk or floss which are easy to damage and fray. When using a bodkin for burnishing purposes don't apply too much pressure or you could bend the needle. The needle shank near the handle will be stiff and less likely be damaged.

MISC...
Bodkins can help maneuver materials in place or hold materials and fibers out of the way, and the list of uses could go on and on. While you could survive without a bodkin, it is good to have and you might use it more often than expected.

Fly Tying Bodkin
Fly Tying Bodkin
This was made by a company called
Thompson and was made in the USA.
The company went out of business a few
years back and their tools could be considered
collector items.

Fly Tying Bodkins
These are some of the more common and
widely available brands found in most fly
tying shops. (Renzetti is made in the USA)

PRICING
Bodkins are inexpensive, but the cheaper bodkins can be easy to break or will fall apart if you look at them too hard. With such a simple design, a person would think they should last forever, but that is not always the case.

PHOTO HERE
Bodkin with custom made deer antler handle.

Custom made bodkins can be more expensive. Make sure the bodkin is properly balanced and fits comfortably in your hand. Good quality bodkins will be perfectly balanced.

Marabou Bug
Marabou Bug
Used a bodkin to pick at the marabou
on the underside of this fly giving the
appearance of legs or gills.

PHOTO HERE
Sewing Needles
Notice there are several different sizes. When
applying varnish to an extra small head, then
use the smallest size needle. Sewing needles
can be used, but are harder to hold and the
point is much sharper and dangerous. Several
times we have accidentally poked ourselves, but
nothing serious.

We also use sewing needles much the same as a bodkin, but a bodkin is much more convenient because the handle makes it easier to use. When using sewing needles it is a good idea to slightly round the point, which will help prevent accidentally poking yourself.

CLEANING A BODKIN
After using a bodkin to apply varnish, just wipe clean with a small piece from a paper towel. Should dried varnish build-up on the needle shank a piece of steel wool should work nicely. In extreme cases might have to scrap the needle shaft with a razor blade.

Bodkin Storage
Plastic Tube Sheath that slides over the needle
shank and point.

STORAGE
Your bodkin might have came with a little plastic sheath or cap that covers the needle point. It is easy to lose the plastic sheath and making a new cover is as simple as cutting a piece of small diameter plastic tubing that fits snug over the needle tip. If you just throw your bodkin in a box with all your other tools and materials is doubtful it would cause any damage, but it is more comforting to know the tip has a protective sheath.

PHOTO HERE
Fly Tier's Desktop Organizer with
a Bodkin Holder

Desktop organizers will have a bodkin holder, which is usually a hole drilled into the wood that the needle shank will fit in.

FLY TYING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT:
FLY TYING THREAD BOBBIN
FLY TYING SCISSORS
FLY TYING HAIR STACKER
FLY TYING BODKIN
FLY TYING HACKLE PLIERS
DUBBING TWISTER / SHEPHERD'S HOOK
FLY TYING DUBBING COMB, RAKE, ECT...
WHIP FINISH TOOL
FLY TYING TWEEZERS
FLY TYING FORCEPS
FLY TYING BURNISHING TOOL
MISC. FLY TYING TOOLS
FLY TYING VISES
LIGHTING AND VISUAL AIDS
BASIC FLY TYING TOOL KIT

DISCLAIMER:
flytyinginstruction.com does not sell
or endorse specific brands of products.
Descriptions and information contained
within this page is intended for instructional
purposes.

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

FLY TYING BODKINS