Copper Wire for Fly Tying

Well used Christmas lights

A source for a lifetime of copper wire


You are thinking that these look like Christmas lights, right? You are correct. If you are like me, every couple years a strand or two get tossed out. Doesn’t work, wrong colors, Wife’s tastes have moved on- – whatever the reason. Well, I love this wire for copper ribbing. It is free, easier to use than a spool, nice and small for ribbing those tiny nymphs, and copper is a great color on flies. You can use it instead of gold wire on Hare’s Ears or other patterns.

So this is what I do. When I need copper wire, I dig out this jumble of lights that I have stashed in a bottom drawer of my tying boxes. Then I trim off about 6 pieces of wire around 6 inches long. I grab a pair of electrical pliers and strip both ends. I throw one on top of my bench and the others in a drawer. I’m good for a few months. Couldn’t be easier. And I love the wire. Fine diameter that wraps super. Below you can see the trimmed and stripped sections. Try this next Christmas!


Trimmed Wire

A length of wire trimmed from the string of lights


Stripped wire

Wire ready to use

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