Martinis and Thread Wraps

I’m sitting here tying some classic Fanwing Royal Coachman drys, just started on some #8 hooks; all two dozen hooks #8, #10,#12, have the wings already mounted, so the hard part is done! This thought hit me as I set the tinsel tag on the first hook:

What is the similarity between Martinis and thread wraps to secure tags, tails, floss, ribbing?

One is not enough, three is too many!

Yup. Tie in and wrap the tag, secure with two wraps. Add the tail, secure with two wraps. Add the peacock herl for the rear of the body, and here of course you have to wrap forward to the hook point. I’ll try to get photos to post before I ship the order.

8 comments on “Martinis and Thread Wraps


    no truer words where ever spoken my friend….

  2. Jon Andrew says:

    This is also true for gin and tonic.

  3. Bill says:

    I watched you set some fanwings in Somerset, DB, and marveled at the speed with which you do that sometimes daunting task. But then, that’s just one of the many reasons why you’re on that side of the table and the rest of us are standing in the aisle ;=)

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bill;
      In know there are different ways to do that; some set the wing feathers one at a time (I used to), or they tie them in repeatedly and re-mount them until they get it right; or they discard the feathers, find another pair, and start over. I don’t do any of that. I found a way, once you have a decent matched pair of breast feathers, to tie them in, and just tie them in, not worrying about their angle or attitude, because after they are secured, you stand them and then change, alter, and correct their respective positions with the thread wraps, posting around the base of each feather stem if necessary, right or left wraps, two to four times, taut, but not tight; then once around the shank and pull, which straightens out the feather. This is done to align each wing separately; and then maybe posting around both stems at once, again if necessary, until the alignment of both wings is perfect. I’ve got two dozen hooks here, all fan-winged up, and they are all perfect. It is all done with thread control, not worrying about having the “right feathers.” Thanks for your comment and compliment! Good seeing you last weekend!

  4. will says:

    You raise a great point Don. I like to call it “Economy of Wraps”. You need enough, but not to many. I know for me, if a fly turns out less well than I wanted, most of the time, it’s becuase I used to many wraps in one or more than one spot… I love the way you described this.


    • Don Bastian says:

      Thanks for your comment Will! I am a proponent of A K best’s counting wraps concept. Tying good flies is all about thread control, and thread control includes knowing how to use it effectively and efficiently. Glad you liked the analogy! Thanks again!

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