We a tie a lot of trailer-hook style flies on both tubes and shanks at our lodges in Alaska and British Columbia. That’s mostly because salmon, steelhead, and even trout in our neck of the woods typically prefer big flies, and a trailer hook allows us to fish large profile flies with fish-friendly sized hooks. Not to mention they fight fish better too..
When tying on tubes, we’ve used several tube specific adapters and vises with great success. However, we’ve yet to find a perfect solution for easily securing shanks. Yes, some generic tube adapters or vises work, but their tendency to slip on straight shanks (our favorite) has been inevitable.. Until now. Enter OPST’s Shank Chuck Tool.
OPST Shank Chuck Tool – Why We Like It
OPST’s Shank Chuck Tool is a tool designed specifically to hold slippery shanks securely while you spin up your best. The tool is clamped directly into the jaws of your vise and holds a wide range of shank diameters. We found it to work really well for many of the flies we like to tie, so today we thought we’d tell you why we like it.
- It’s made to fit in all vises. The Shank Chuck Tool fit in all the vises we tried it in. That said, we don’t own every vise on the market. However according to OPST, if it doesn’t fit in your vise they’ll give you a full refund. That’s a solid guarantee.
- It holds shanks tightly. Quite frankly, it provides a better hold on a shank than any other tool we’ve used, and eliminates the frustrating up and down ‘play’ common with clamping shanks directly into the standard jaws of a vise.
- Holds a wide range of shank sizes. Whether you’re tying on pre-made shanks like OPST’s Steelhead Shanks or are tying on a standard hook shank with the bend cut-off, the Shank Chuck Tool can accommodate most (if not all) diameters of shanks you might tie on.
- Allows for in-line rotary tying. Because the tool can be clamped in-line with the jaws of your vise, this allows flies to be tied ‘in the round’ using any standard rotary vise.
- Tightening is a cinch (painful pun intended). Locking in shanks is quick and easy. No tools or excess force needed. Slide the shank into the front of the tool, and lock it down by twisting the chuck. It really couldn’t be any easier.
- It’s compact. When it comes to fly tying tools, the last thing we need is one more thing to clutter up the desk. The Shank Chuck Tool is a much tidier option than an entirely separate vise just for shanks. That’s a big deal for people like us who’s tying tools travel over 10,000 miles each year.
If you’re like us and like to to trailer-hook style flies on shanks, you owe it to yourself to pick up OPST’s Shank Chuck Tool. It retails for $50.00 and can be found at your nearest OPST dealer. For for information, check it out on OPST’s website by clicking right here.