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Copyright:   Mike Sillett


1. Intro
2. Materials
3. Tools
4. Construction

Photo of a Streamside Vise. Yes, that's the front of a Ballpoint Pen you are looking at firmly clasping a fly.

1. Intro

Here is a nifty piece of fishing gear you can use for fly fishing or bait fishing.
It's a vise to hold the fishing hook in a tight grasp, whether a fly,
a plain hook or a hook full of bait, so that the fishing hook is held without using fingers.

There are plenty of photos in this tutorial to make it easy to understand.
Once completed you will have a portable pen vise you can use for trout and bass fishing.
A great addition to your flytying gear.

Before you jump right in and start tearing ballpoint pens apart you should read the entire
tutorial and review the photos to get a good idea what is involved and how to begin.

This project is reasonably easy and the parts are practically free.

I would bet money that you have some Epoxy or Krazy Glue, used ballpoint pens and toothpicks in the house.

Instead of throwing that useless ballpoint pen away make this Streamside Fishing Vise.
You will not regret having one, and if you are like some of those that have made one,
you will be telling other fishing friends what a really handy hook holder device this is.

2. Materials

A couple of Ballpoint Pens that have outlived their ink. ( or one pen and an extra spring from some other pen ).
Some Krazy glue or Epoxy.
Photo showing all parts for making a Streamside Fishing Vise
A Pen, it's parts, an extra spring from the other pen and some Crazy glue.

Here's a close-up of what you will be working with, or something similar.
Note that the part that had the ballpoint in it has been ground down.
Photo showing Close-up of the front end parts for making a Streamside Fishing Vise

Get the remaining ink out of the ink tube.
Some inks are water soluable, others alcohol. If water based run it under the water tap.
If solvent based soak in some alcohol.

3. Tools

A pocket knife,
Needle nose pliers,
Round toothpick.

4. Construction

Use the pliers to stretch out the extra spring a bit. Just grab it with your fingers and pull.
You need a straight piece that you can cut off with the pliers so that you can form a loop.
Photo showing Stretched piece of spring
Spring stretched.

Photo showing spring that was stretched, now with a loop
Use the straight portion for making the loop.

What you want is a piece of spring steel, cut from the straight portion,
about an inch long to make a loop.
Just bend it around a toothpick to form it and
then twist the legs with the needle nose pliers.
Photo showing how the formed spring ( on the right )is to be wrapped around a toothpick to make a looped wire that has an extension to be inserted into the ink tube.
Here is a loop being made.
The one on the right is the initial piece cut from the spring.
The one on the left is the finished product ready to be inserted.

Now take the ink tube, go to the tip area where the tiny ballpoint is.
The tip area is usually brass. Rarely steel.
I prefer the brass tipped ballpoint pens for making these.

You want to grind away the ball so that there is a hole in the end of the tube.
I just usually go outside and rub the ballpoint on a smooth part of my sidewalk.
A couple of passes and the ballpoint is gone.
There might still be a bit of ink inside the tube. Clean it out some more and let it dry.

Clean up the end where the hole is now, where the ball was, so you have a nice neat hole.
A fingernail board will work. So will a fine file.
Put the pen together now, as if you are going to use the pen to write with.
You'll see that too much of the front portion of the pen sticks
through the pen opening when it is clicked as if to write with. That's not good.

What you want to do is grind down the brass front portion, the inside part,
so that when you click the pen to let the inside tube recess,
the part you made a hole in is either level with or slightly below the pen's opening.
This is critical because it is the spring inside that controls the clicking of the pen
which holds the hook / fly against the pen's opening, the collar.(look at the last photo)
What I do is -
push the button so that the brass forward part of the inside tube sticks out all the way
through the pen's opening and while holding it rub/grind it some more on the sidewalk.

Keep working it, grinding it, working it, clicking it, checking it until, when in the'writing position',
that is, as if it were still a pen you would be writing with it, the inside tube is,
as I said before, level with or very slightly below the pen's opening.(look at the 1st photo next page)

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