Flames erupted. Fur, plastic and flash morphed and blackened.  Smoke everywhere.  It stank -the whole house. But the DIY fluff incinerator worked. Next time I will wait for the glue solvent to dry – duh.

My fly tying is usually scruffy. I never leave enough space for the head. I forget to add weed guards. Annoying little fibres evade every trimming attempt.

A red hot bodkin or fine soldering iron works superbly to clear blocked eyes, melt back any fibres or singe away offending fluff. But heating a bodkin with a lighter, candle or gas stove takes time.
On Alphlexo Crabs, the flexo material leaves a hard, sharp transition where you tie it in. I found that a hot bodkin can shape the edge into a smooth plastic ramp. It makes the finish neater and simpler.

Then I read about a DIY cauteriser. I had to make one. It is cheap and only took me 30 min for the rough version pictured.

The concept is simple.  4.5V flowing through two hypodermic needles. The tip is white hot instantly.

Trim off two hypodermic needles. Connect them to some wire. Hot melt glue or epoxy them into an old pen.

Bend the needles so that they are just touching at tip .  The contact point is critical. Too much connection and you won’t get your hot tip.

I used some jack connector plugs to connect an on-off switch and to the 4.5V power source. I used one of these adjustable walk plug convertors. You could also use a USB connection. 4.5V seemed to be the optimum voltage. You can bump it up to 6V. Above that it stops working.  At least for me.

My first order of business was to add weed guards to several of my pike flies. I had regretted the lack of guards recently while fishing some very shallow and weedy areas.

Melt down the head. Tie in a fluorcarbon guard. Melt down any overlap into the hook eye. Good to go. A bit rough looking, but the pike don’t mind.

A final note – be safe. Sharp needle stabs… fires… severe burns… smoke inhalation are all real possibilities.