To me some things just feel right and seem like they belong together. Perhaps its easier to explain if I put it like this.... a pair of old jeans, your beat up old leather jacket, a ball cap that looks like its been hit by a truck... somehow these things just feel right. I think its pretty much the same with fly tying tools. When you pick up a tool it should have a natural feel to it and it should work without a great deal of thought, effort or concern.

Most of the tools I picked out are from Griffin and Matarelli. It's not that I really have any particular bias one way or another to any company. Very simply, these tools are well made, made in the USA ( I think this is important), they work as they should and they are reasonably priced..In otherwords, these companies don't charge an arm and a leg. I've handled alot of tools and tried all sorts of things and with these, you can't go wrong. Well here goes............sorry if the page is so long.........I think you'll like what you see......(Please note: The prices listed below are subject to change. Please check on the order info pages for the latest catalog.)


A bobbin is a tool designed to hold your thread. It should allow the thread to remain tight and the spool shouldn't slip or be so tight that it breaks your thread. Most bobbins have feet which hold the spool and have a tube through which the thread passes. Alot of other designs have been tried including some automatics which I think are awfully clunky to use.

Matarelli Bobbin

Without a doubt the best bobbin on the market is the Matarelli. It's very simple design has been bootlegged by almost every wannabe on the planet. I have used the same Matarelli for 8 years and have gone through miles of thread with it. No Problem Ever. The simple design of the Matarelli is also its biggest flaw. When you open the package of a new Matarelli bobbin the feet are crossed. To adjust the tension on your spool you pull the arms apart. The new bobbins are very snug and it takes some tinkering to get the feet set just right. This is only a small flaw and this is also why this bobbin is the doesn't slip at all. This bobbin sells for $ 19.95



Griffin Bobbins:

Below: Scans of Griffin Bobbins : Top Center: Magnum Jig Bobbin

Bottom From L to R: Stnd Bobbin, Material Bobbin, Ceramic Bobbin, Salt Bobbin

The Jig Bobbin is handy for deer hair work although some tiers prefer the longer saltwater bobbin. The jig bobbin sells for $13.75.

The standard bobbin is fine for oridinary trout work. I actually prefer using this bobbin with the new 14/0 thread as these spools are sightly larger then the Danivlle spools. This bobbin sells for $8.50

The Griffin material bobbin is great for working with lead wire, copper wire, floss or tinsel. The tip is flared to allow materials to pass easily through the tip. By using a bobbin for tinsels you can space your wraps evenly and consistantly throughout the body of your fly. The material bobbin is $8.50.

The ceramic bobbin is handy for deer hair work also. It doesn't have the double reinenforcement bands but I've yet to crack one. The price: $13.75

For deer hair work I like the Griffin Salt/Bass Bobbin. It has a ceramic tip and a long barrel. The feet are made of delrin plastic. The ceramic tip allows you to spin heavy thread and use alot of tension without breaking your thread. This Bobbin sells for $13.75.

Rite Mag Adjustable Bobbin: I meet the Mergs this summer. I liked the bobbin they make so much I ordered some in. The tube is ceramic with cap end style feet that adjust to fit any size standard spool. Simply turn the mag inside the hub to tighten or to adjust the thread tension. Very Nice! $22.00

Hair Stackers

A stacker is a tool which allows you to even the ends of deer for spinning bugs or for making wings. To use a stacker cut a clump of hair, insert the tips down and rap the tool on the table top. Gently pull the barrel out of the tool and the ends of the hair will be evenly matched and aligned.
Some companies are charging up to $64 for a set of stackers. These two (pictured above ) are really all you need.

The Griffin adjustable stacker has a locking ring which you twist up or down to adjust the height of the barrel for different sized materials. This is handy and will allow you to work with hair sized from short coastal deer to long bucktail hair. The adjustable stacker is $13.50
The Magnum stacker is great for making bass bugs. The large hole allows you to put a pencil or magic marker sized piece hair into the stacker and even the ends. If you do much deer hair work, the large size really makes life easier. The magnum stacker sells for $16.50

Dubbing Loop Tools

The "Dubbit" tool is the easiest dubbing tool I have found yet. Okay on one of my other pages I told you how to make one of these tools out of a paper clip...this really does work but it has some limitations.

The main advantage of the Dubbit tool is that the tool can spin freely.......This is done by holding the white colored barrel and spinning the the bottom. Think of it this way...imagine turning the stearing wheel of your car. The bottom wood section is the wheel and you hold the tube. With one hard flip/spin the wood wheel and you've spun all of the material in one stroke. The shape of the head also allows you to split the thread and easily insert your materials. The Dubbit Tool is $14.00.

Hackle Pliers

Hackle pliers are basically clips used to grap the ends of feathers to allow you to turn the hackle evenly. There are all kinds of hackle pliers on the market. Frankly most of them are pretty worthless. They don't hold the hackle, they slip or they grap so tight that they break the ends of the hackle.

My very best advise is to learn to work hackle with your fingers. If you are acquainted with an eye surgeon, nab a pair of micro artery clamps, these pups will hold anything...problem is they cost about$125 and the surgeons guard them with their lives...or so I'm told by my Paramedic Buds...they are still trying to nab me some......Since most of us need some help and we don't have unlimited cash, the pliers above are the best I've found.

Griffin's rotating hackle plier is pretty good for working with larger feathers. The head rotates on the handle and allows you to turn hackle with ease. The head makes a dandy clip for holding things....such as pinching off a tail or clipping a wing. It runs $ 9.75.

Import Hackle Pliers:

If you make dry flies or tiny flies the old Dorian style plier is pretty good. It doesn't slip and you can use your finger in the big loop on the end to turn the hackle evenly. The import one I sell isn't too bad. It runs $2.50


Glue Bottles

I've dumped glue on the floor more times than I care to count. The easiest solution to this problem is a needle tipped glue bottle. This bottle has a small wire which you stick in the tip to act as a stopper. When you need some glue, you just pull the wire out and add a drop. No matter how many times you dump it, drop it or whatever as long as the stop is in, the glue stays in the bottle. This bottle also keeps you from applying too much glue. The bottle costs $3.50





Hook & Hackle Gauges

A hackle gauge allows the fly tier to measure and select the correct size of dry fly hackle. To use the gauge, slide the guage down the stem of your vise through the center hole. Next select a feather and wrap it around the peg on the gauge. A series of rings indicate the size of the hackle. Hint you don't have to remove feathers to use the gauge...simply hold the gauge in your hand and turn the feather.

One problem is that typically I find the gauge to be to large or too small...If you are doing a parachute the hackle gauge is too small. For standard dries the gauge is a bit too big for my tastes. Depending on what I'm tying I use the gauge for a benchmark.

Another selecting the right size of hackle.... feathers of the same size on a neck or saddle are mostly located in the same section. In otherwords, if you find an 18 all of the 18's are located in the same area/row. For saddles there is a mirror on the other side of the piece which has exactly the same size in roughly the same area. Griffin's hackle gauge is 6.00.

Matarelli Whip Finishers

I have another page for instructions on using the Matarelli Whip Finisher. Please click back to the tools page or click here How to Use a Matarelli Whip Finisher for more info. The Matarelli Whip Finisher is $20.00








Finding a good pair of scissors at a decent price is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. I've tried all kinds of scissors and only a few seem to foot the bill. Either they dull easily, there is too big of gap between the blades or they have round tips or are way too expensive.




Mike's Arrow Point Scissors: Same great scissors you've seen at more than half price! High quality with extra sharp tips and serrated edges on this arrow point scissor make this the ideal tying scissor. $4.50 Specify Curved or Straight


Get Both for $8.00 (Specify: Curved and Straight)


The Wiss Quick Clips are spring clips with replaceable blades. These are fine for generalized work and some deer hair cutting. The scissors are $18.50. new blades are $7.50.

Right: Wiss Quick Clips

Bobbin Threaders/Cleaners

If you use waxed thread a cleaner is handy to punch the built up wax out of the thread tube. The threader is a tool to pull out the thread through the tube. The Griffin set sells for $4.75.


Right: Griffin Threaders and Cleaners




Brassie Hair Packer

The Brassie Hair Packer is a tool made by Chris Helms of Ohio to pack hair. To use the tool , put the notched front end on the hook shank and push against the hair. The packer makes the bug denser. The Brassie sells for $5.00


Import tools

For the beginner I have selected some nice tools which are well made and economical. The shoehorn stacker has an open end. Just lay the hair in it and tap at 45 degrees. The shoehorn stacker is $3.50 .The bodkin is for picking out hair, or adding glue or punching holes. It comes with a hex handle for $2.00. The import bobbin is just fine for starting out. It won't wear as well as a Griffin or Matarelli but is much cheaper. $3.50

From L to R: Shoehorn Stacker, Bodkin, Fine Tube Bobbin




All of the above tools are for sale on the order info page. To order just page through the stuff, add up what you want . Send me an e-mail and I'll tell you if it's on hand. Most of the time I have everything on hand. If you have a question about a tool, let me know. I'm always tinking with some new tools, so there is a chance that I don't have something listed that's just come out. I am working on getting a few things made for me so e-mail me for more info. Mike




For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068

Phone: 607-347-4946