Last week when we talked about the survey listing the [most popular fly fishing brands](/blogs/fishing/ 2010/03/survey-reveals-top-fly-brands), a number of you in the comment thread asked what my favorite brands are. I promise you this isn’t a cop-out, but I really don’t have a favorite rod, or reel. I’m lucky enough in this job to play with a lot of stuff, and I’ve grown to like certain rods and reels for different situations.
But there are some things I use all the time, no matter where I am. And that’s why we started this feature on Fly Talk, called [“Stuff That Works.”](/blogs/fishing/2010/02/ stuff-works-mojo-mud ) Seldom flashy, always functional, these are the things that I think help me fish better. Period.
So the latest installment on the list is the Tie-Fast Knot Tyer tool… a simple little hunk of formed metal that helps you tie one of the most important knots of all, the nail knot. I use this knot to splice a leader to a fly line. [Click here](http://sierrastreamflyshop.com/index.php/? main_page=page&id=4&zenid=ed3cbdcd9f015ad8472f82c4e40b150b) for a description of the product, with a video clip of how to tie the knot.
You can tie this knot with a cocktail straw, or on a nail, or a swizzle stick. But for $7, this tool is a pretty good deal. I have three of them. One I keep stuffed at the bottom of a vest pocket, in case my leader breaks and I need to re-leader on the water. One is in the truck, where I organize for any given day. And the backup is on my desk at home. I have a thumb that’s been broken a couple times and doesn’t work quite right… but even in cold conditions when my fingers aren’t so nimble, I can whip off a nail knot in seconds when I use this thing. Anyone else swear by it?