There’s no doubt that Loon’s new Ergo fly tying gear is unique. With their bright, yellow, ergonomic handles, they strike quite a profile. The question is, does Loon’s new design work or is it a solution looking for a problem. I sat down at my tying vise to figure it out.
Loon Razor Scissors
We’ll start with the best one first. I love these scissors. Granted, I’ve had pretty crappy ones for a while. But, the Loon Razor Scissors blew them away. Since we’re talking about scissors, maybe a cutting metaphor is more appropriate. The Loon Razor Scissors shredded them. Cut them into little pieces? Something.
A few key features – One blade is smooth, the other slightly serrated. This helps to grip material as you’re cutting. Finally, there’s a small bumper between the handles to keep things from colliding. You’ll notice the adjustment knob at the hinge. It’s not unique in the tying scissors world – Dr. Slick makes a nice one as well. But, it’s well executed, easy to adjust, and uses Japanese spring steel for long term durability and consistency. The spring spreads the tension adjustment across a larger area on the pivot, increasing the life of the scissors. There are tightly spaced detents to make adjustments accurate and repeatable.
Why would you want to adjust tension? Best to give an example – let’s say you’re tying a Killer Bugger and using the Loon scissors exclusively. You get the wire wrap done and open the tension up on the scissors to cut the wire. Then you tie in the marabou tail. If you were to keep the tension open while cutting the marabou, it would slide between the blades instead of getting cut, so you crank the tension back down.
Suffice to say, Loon’s Razor Scissors are brilliant. They’re available in both 4″ and 5″ variants.
Loon Ergo Bobbin
Loon sells the Ergo Bobbin as “giving tyers complete control over thread tension.” Given that the Loon bobbin lists for $20 and you can get a standard bobbin for half that or less, it seems the Loon should be twice as nice to justify the price. Of course, you can also spend $100 on a TMC magnetic bobbin. It’s all relative.
The major feature of the Loon Ergo Bobbin is the yellow, ergonomic grip that dominates the center of the piece. It’s powdercoated for smooth handling. The handle does feel good in the hand and, I felt, leads to more accurate handling of the bobbin.
Loon uses Japanese spring steel to hold the spool. It holds things securely and is easily adjustable.
For some reason, the tube on Loon’s bobbin is extremely long. I don’t think it needs to be that long to be useful. My bobbin threader was not long enough that I could use it to thread the Loon bobbin. Compare to the generic, ceramic bobbin. I will say that the Loon tube is smooth enough that I was able to thread it by simply pushing the thread through. I think that speaks well about the quality.
Loon Ergo Dubbing Brush
At $10, the Loon Ergo Dubbing Brush is more in line with standard dubbing brush prices. Where some brushes, like the Dr. Slick, feature dual working ends, the Loon has a nice, if thick, brush on one end only. And where the Dr. Slick has small velcro hook strips for delicate brushing, the Loon only has its Ergo handle.
It’s not hard to make a dubbing brush and Loon’s performs. You can see how it puffed up the UKB I tied when testing everything out.
Loon’s Razor Scissors are great. The ergo handles on the bobbin and dubbing brush are nice as well and, while they make a small difference, aren’t necessary for me. I could see someone really appreciating them in certain circumstances, though – they’d make a huge difference for someone with arthritic hands, for example. That said, even without the ergo handles, the bobbin is is well made. The dubbing brush? Well, it does dubbing!
You can pick up Loon’s new Ergo series from your local shop or online from the links above. Also available on Amazon with Prime shipping.