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Eyestrain...at the vise!

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My eyes give me trouble no matter what hobby I take a crack at. So far I have been using fairly big to medium sized hooks, so not a great issue but if I spend too much time on a fly it becomes a factor. On all of the pics of desk setups I've seen on this site no one shows a background to help the fly stand out from the desk. I tried a piece of paper under the vise and that helped but I can see that bright white would eventually cause eyestrain too, do you guys generally use anything or is proper illumination the key? Magnifier? I don't even know if I could handle working on a small fly!

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It helped me when I put a profile plate on my Dyna-King. It's a white background, but it's not a really gaudy white. It takes some of the "busyness" away from behind the vise and (for me anyway) does make it easier. I also have bad eyes and will probably end up having cataract surgery later in the year. The plate definitely helps me though. Experiment with the background. The plate I use comes in a few different colors. If white doesn't work for you, try a different color. I may try the light blue plate next.

 

 

Mike

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Very useful info, Mike, thanks. Yah, harsh white background would be bad and the same with lighting that is too bright too. There is a fine line between what adds strain and what doesn't, at least for my eyes. Hope your peepers hold out for ya.

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I use a piece of black sheet foam behind my vise, it blocks out everything, but the fly. I also use a magnifier, that has a fluorescent light. With two clamp on desk lamps with 60 watt bulbs. One above the fly and the other pointed at the eye of the hook. I recently got a daylight lamp, and it is bright, too bright. I find that I have to angle it away from the fly or everything has a shiny glare. When I dont use the magnifier I wear a cheap pair of reading glasses from the dollar store.

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! also use a profile plate on the vise, light blue. I wear 2.75 power reading glasses from the drugstore when tying. Tried a light with a magnifying lens in the center, but it messes up my depth of field badly. Also use an Ott lite, find that helps with eye strain, too.

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Good lighting is essential as you get older. I use a daylight lamp similar to the Ott light, it is made for my Nor-Vise and attaches to it so that it isn't ever in the way. I also use on stream magnifiers that attach to the bill of a cap. I can flip them up out of the way when I don't need them and as long as you have your hat on they're always within reach.

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If not for my 2x reading glasses, fly tying would not happen any more. I need to heed Peterjay's advice and see an eye doc... But the over the counter glasses make everything clear and sharp. The reading glasses at Barnes and Noble are half the price of Lens Crafters... About $15...

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that's some good advise and suggestions guys. My eyes coldn't get used to bifocals or reading glasses, I will look into Lazik surgery one day. Look forward to testing out some of those options you suggested.

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Like you, I have not been blessed with great eyesight.

 

Two suggestions for eye strain. Better lighting and a contrasting, soft background. Take some flies with you to an art supply store and check out various colors of the mat board that they use to make picture frames. I find a light blue or green works best for me but everyone is different.

 

Also, I find if I keep the area behind the fly clear of tools and materials it helps a great deal.

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