We are kicking off a new series in which our ambassadors will share their fly tying setups. Up first is Matt Grajewski. He recently received a new desk, and is excited to share it with you!
By: Matt Grajewski
My biggest struggle when it comes to a fly tying desk is having enough storage. Previously, I had a hodge-podge of plastic storage bins that were not the most eye appealing. It also meant that some materials were not always at arm’s reach. I frequently tie with bucktail and rooster saddle feathers, so I needed a desk with a lot of storage.
My family and I recently moved to a new home about a year ago. My fly tying area is now in a more visible area, and my wife had asked if there was a way to make it, uh, a little nicer. I knew just who to contact. Drew Allman of TieCraft. I had first seen his work from friend and fellow tier, Blane Chocklett. He made a beautiful desk for Blane in the past year. Blane connected us, and the planning began.
Drew truly creates the option for a custom piece, and does amazing work. I was able to select the specific piece of wood for the top, which in this case is pine. From there, we worked out a drawer setup that would fit what I was looking for.
The desk is very pleasing to the eye. More importantly, it functions as well as I hoped. It is big at 70″ wide so I have a large area to work with. There is plenty of room to have a number of large materials out while I am tying. When working on larger orders of big streamers, there is also space to stack the flies as I finish them and not be in the way. I often work with markers, so I added a mega tying mat from Hareline to protect this beautiful piece of work.
Since I typically tie on hooks that end in aught, my go-to vise is the Renzetti Saltwater Traveler. It holds large hooks extremely well, and I prefer the bent shaft to not interfere with the rear hook on articulated streamers. This vise is on a 6×6 Pedestal Base which is very stable, which is an ideal base for torqueing on the hook of large flies. I use a Hareline Low Profile Trash Bin that attaches to the stream. This is great because I trim a lot of materials before tying them on. This makes it easy to keep my desk clean.
While Renzetti makes great options for keeping your tools organized, I still use a mug my father gave me years ago. He passed away a couple years ago, so it holds a very special place in my heart.
As I mentioned before, I needed large drawers for storing materials. I have over 30 rooster saddles in one of the drawers and it could easily fit 20 more.
That is my desk in a nutshell. I spend a lot of time there. My tying has changed over the years, and its been fun to think back at the variety of setups I’ve used when writing this article. Thanks for coming along on the tour!