Review: Lone Bison Heritage Fly Tying Table | Hatch magazine

I love tying my own flies. That doesn’t mean I’m particularly good at it.

I’ve reached a certain level of acceptable competence with my binding, though – I’ve got a few models down, and I can bind them pretty well and fairly quickly (the latter is important, because I often find myself binding until 11 hours before a fishing trip). That said, anything that can make my connection more efficient is something I’m interested in.

And, at least for me, that usually comes down to simple organization. A spotless binding table becomes a messy mess in minutes when I start binding. One minute, I’m tying him in the bucket for a Clouser, and the next, I’m trying to remember where I put the scissors, or digging under my cape to find the whip. It might be a little crazy, but the clutter is just a symptom of my creative mind at work. Ties flies like Nuke Laloosh tar (among others). I’m “kind of everywhere.”

Enter the Lone Bison Heritage fly tying table – my last ditch effort to curb my fur and feather disaster. Yes, I have used connecting tables in the past, with mixed results. But this particular custom chart might be just what I need to bring my mind back to my fly tying sessions while also helping me keep track of the gear I’m constantly picking up and throwing away. So far – and it’s been a few months – the results are encouraging.

It helps, too, that the desk is a nice addition to my small home office – just putting it on top of my desk is likely to encourage me to spend more time at the visa. Like I said, I love to tie, but I’m also a classic fly tying procrastinator, often waiting a day or two before a trip to really dig in. Now, with the Lone Bizon knitting table on my desk and somewhat organized with the essentials, yarn and hooks, I find it a little easier to engage in a knitting session than without it.

But, I’m still experimenting with it, trying to determine how best to use its features to meet that elusive efficiency goal.

What works

The Lone Bison Heritage sideboard is a thing of beauty. From a purely aesthetic perspective, it really adds some class to my link table. Its rich wood is stunning and the beautiful leather disc embossed with the Lone Bison logo is a nice addition. Its ample tool storage helps me keep a neater-than-usual bindery (efficiency, remember?). I also love how Cris Jackson, the mastermind behind Lone Bison, uses magnetic links creatively. This allows the leveler to remove certain board features that might hinder larger bonding projects, or to position certain board features to better serve the project.

The tool storage bar located at the back of the table – but always within line of sight of the level – is very useful and I think it encourages me to replace tools on the bar, which means I don’t have to dig under a pile connecting materials to find something simple, such as a pair of tweezers or a bunch of hair. The toolbar located on the front of the table is removable, but when in place, it is solid, thanks to a magnetic connection between the toolbar and the table base.

The feature I appreciate most is the vise clip that tightens and loosens easily, allowing me to raise or lower depending on the pattern I’m tying. This helps make the binding a little more ergonomic, which allows me to sit longer and be more comfortable on the dash. This means I will likely tie more flies per session.

lone bison fly tying table

Photo: Chris Hunt

Also love the inclusion of the three screw “bottles” and their respective compartments on the table. I got to use these to store hooks and beads on two of them, and then finished the flies on the third. These little brackets are a nice feature that levels can basically use at will.

One feature I had to work out was Jackson’s use of small magnetic holes on the board. I tried moving the front toolbar, using these magnets, but realized, instead, that they were in place to hold the hooks securely and make sure the finished flies didn’t slide off the table and disappear forever (who hasn’t found a fly or two in the dustbin at one point or another?).

What does not do

It’s a substantial addition to any fly tying area – unless you’re prepared for the table to become the focal point of your tying space, you probably won’t appreciate the table’s main functions, which, for me anyway, include more organization good, the ease of access to the tools and, again, the efficiency factor that I keep coming back to. The table is essential – it’s not something you just slide out of the way if you want to do something else with the space.

And this is small, but I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the two dozen storage holes in the rear toolbar – I’ve filled about two-thirds of them with fasteners, but the board looks a little incomplete without using the holes. Like I said, I’m still experimenting with how to make the desk work for me, and the more I connect, the more functional it becomes.

The last word

The Lone Bison connecting table is a work of art. Is it functional art? So far, I’d say it is, and it gets more useful and functional the more I connect with it. It’s not a cheap binding desk – it’s true craftsmanship and priced accordingly. Consider it an investment in your overall fly fishing game, with an emphasis on your associated productivity.

If you’re like me, you’ll find spending time on the dash a little easier, especially if you can figure out how to store your tools for ease of access and ease of use. The Lone Bison Table can help you do just that.

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