Here’s one for all the fly tiers and lure makers out there, though I suppose if you like miniature soldiers or model airplanes, you should listen up too. Back in the day, I dabbled with a real airbrush—compressor, thinning paint, gunked up nozzles—and it really wasn’t that much fun. In fact, I found it giant pain, which is why I’ve always had the utmost respect for anyone in any field that was handy with the paint sprayer. Then along comes the Copic Airbrush, which has roots in the arts and crafts world, but has been lovingly adopted by fly tiers all over the country. No paint, no compressor (though you can use one if you’d like), and no mess. The Copic works with specially made markers that snap in and out of the gun, and they’re double sided for thick or thin lines. I’m kind of late to the party on this one, as some very well known tiers have been using them for a while, but I finally got the chance to play around with a Copic starter kit this week. And I can tell you there are two things about it that make it a dream for anyone that’s ever wanted to dabble in airbrushing.
Perhaps most importantly, you don’t really need any airbrushing skills to use the Copic to make cooler flies and lures. I certainly don’t have any (see photo), but a little mesh netting, a dot here and a dot there, and you’ve got some pretty nice accents on your bugs. I’m hoping I’ll get better over time. The air can, if you’re wondering, has about 45 minutes worth of juice, which should last a while considering how little you actually spray on each fly. What’s also great is the price. For about $75, you get the complete kit, icluding gun, one big air can, and a smaller can with a hose that connects to a compressor. Grab you some markers (which vary in price based on sets versus individuals) and off you go. Now, my plan was to shoot a little tutorial video on how this works, but then I realized my buddy Brian Wise at Fly Fishing The Ozarks beat me to it, and I will not be able to produce a more thorough video, especially considering Brian is far more talented. Check it out, and have a great weekend.