Make a fly tying profile plate for less than £5

A fly tying profile plate

Whatever fly patterns you tie a fly tying profile plate is a blessing, especially if, like me, the reading glasses have to come out to play more often than they use to!

For years the fly tying profile plate has been pretty essential to me. Not only do they help to put a good contrast between the fly and the background they also make tying so much easier. At this point I must point out that I’ve never bought one. I’ve never managed to persuade myself that they were worth the money. I remember being horrified at just how much they cost. Being a musician and having a recording studio I simply couldn’t understand how expensive they were when I could buy a pop shield for a microphone at a fraction of the price and they are so similar… That’s when I went and visited my good friend Rick who happens to have a super cool music shop – Marvel Guitars

Rick, who took up tenkara a couple of years ago (he calls it Ninja fishing!), sold me exactly what I was looking for.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was!

Leaving the pop shield aside for a couple of days turned out to be a blessing. Imagining the ways of making one side white and the other side black all involved more cost and to be honest, maybe a little too much work for what it was worth. Then as a bit of spare time arrived I revisited the project. I seriously couldn’t believe how easy it was. Within 10 minutes I’d finished it. Plus it worked even better than I had hoped.

Pablo who fishes with me and has been learning fly tying over the winter months said I should make a post showing how this fly tying profile plate was made. Plus he could have the new one I made! So here we go…

Step one, two, three and all the rest…

Make sure the pop shield has a “gooseneck”. Some have a solid bar on them and won’t sit right and certainly won’t move to where you actually need it to be. I found these on-line and they were only £3.98






This has a gooseneck and the right connection for your fly tying vice. Remove the bolts that hold the gooseneck to the shield and prise apart the two sections of the shield. There maybe a small amount of glue holding the two parts together. I found they came apart easy by putting a pair of round nose pliers between them and carefully twisting so the two sections moved apart from each other.

That should leave you with the whole thing in pieces.






Now for some thick card – I’d suggest 200gsm or thicker. Take the center part of the pop shield as shown on the photo above and use this as the template to drawer round the card.






Cut this out place on one side of the center part and reassemble the pop shield.











Now you have a really good fly tying profile plate and all for less than £5!


Type 2 – still under £10

I bought some 2mm plastic sheets and tried them in place of the white card. I don’t feel you need to but once this project was started my feeling was to try to make it more like the fly tying profile plate you would buy.

As you can see below, once the pop shield has been taken apart, remove the fabric material to reveal the plastic circle inside. This is used as the template to draw on the plastic. I used a bandsaw to cut the circles of  plastic. It really doesn’t matter if they are not perfect as the lip of the pop shield will cover up any slight errors. Both circles along with the inner plastic ring will be too thick to go back into the pop shield and too thin without it so I used some self adhesive foam insulating tape to make up desired size.










































I really don’t think this one is any better than the one I made with just the card. It was still worth the effort and Pablo can now have a fly tying profile plate!