Guest Blogger & FOM Tyer: Paul Beel, J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team Leader and owner of FrankenFly

On a regular basis I keep a pair of general purpose scissors handy on my tying desk. I like to keep my good scissors as sharp as possible and not dull them by cutting things I don’t need to cut. So this is the reason I use general purpose scissors.

I noticed J.Stockard had new scissors available from Umpqua and I picked up some Umpqua Dreamstream+ All Purpose scissors coming in at 4 inches. The general information on these scissors reads;

“Medium length, micro-serrated blades make these a great all-purpose scissor. Sharp, serrated blades grab and cut a wide variety of natural and synthetic materials for all-around use.”

I’ve now been using the Dreamstream scissors for several weeks and completely agree, these are great for all-around use. The serrated blades make these scissors really excel at cutting synthetics, because they are able to grab a hold of the material and it doesn’t slip out of the blades. The serrated blades also make these clinch together as they cut, so you can feel them grab. I’ve also cut natural materials with them and they do that just fine too.

I haven’t been easy on these scissors the last few weeks either. I have cut Intruder wire, Fireline fishing line, lead wire, copper wire, flashabou, synthetic hair and fibers, and many types of natural feathers and furs. I’ve even used them to scrape off the stiff glue from my dubbing needles. They are still working just fine and cutting just fine. I wouldn’t say they are as exactly as sharp as they were out of the package, but they are still plenty sharp enough to cut the materials I need to cut.

They fit into my hand just fine and the finger holes are made just like almost any other scissors. So nothing out of the ordinary there.

To be honest, I would say as general purpose scissors go, these are just as good or better than anything out there right now. I would not hesitate to pick up another pair when I need them.


  1. Not too wise to cut lead and copper wire with scissors. That’s what wire nipppers
    are for. Use the right tool for the job at hand. A pro tier team leader should know better.

    1. I think you forgot the fact that I was reviewing these scissors and putting them through the paces.

      1. That’s like saying, “Gee, I drove my rear-wheel drive automobile into a mud bog and couldn’t drive it out.” It’s not made for that!

  2. I suspect what constitutes the right tool in this case is that it shields the more valuable, more precision tool from dubious use. It becomes a sacrificial device, on hand because we have a much better one we need to protect. When we replace a sacrificial tool, we don’t cry–it’s done its job. I too use a cheap nearly-throw-away scissors for everything I don’t want to cut with my good ones.

    It’s kinda like a tree saw–the logger does not use his high quality saw on “private logs” of unknown history because there are all too often nails or bits of barbwire inside the wood that the tree has grown around. Instead he uses a far less valuable saw that he keeps on hand. It’s still a saw, still not originally designed to encounter bits of metal, but it takes the risk to protect the good saw. A bit heroic of it, I’d say. : )

    On the bench I use a 99c fingernail clipper for wire (which is not the “right tool” either but it’s 100% the right tool on my bench). But now and then it’s not handy, like if wire somehow unwinds out on the stream, and so I also carry a very cheap sacrificial scissors, for any and all unknown needs.

    Shears are in fact made for whatever needs shearing. Some are rugged enough for small wire and will last a decade or more doing that (and note that our fly-tying wire is hardly a tempered piece of steel–it’s almost malleable enough that strong fingernails could cut into it).

    My very best tying scissors I don’t even cut paper with (paper will dull a fine pair of shears). I cut anything I want to with shears of various kinds I keep in the garage…even sheet metal. And I keep a cheap pair of general purpose scissors on the bench and one on the stream.

    I love how J.Stockard provides not only highest quality tying tools but knock-around tools too, to augment and fill in, so that we can be selective on what we use our best implements for.

    All that said, Marty echos a classic & noteworthy point about shielding one’s very best tools from tasks likely to degrade them. If anybody in my family gets closer than the “social distancing” range to my tying bench, I descend upon them like thunder itself.

    – Mike

    1. I agree with you, Mike. I use a small side-cutter plier for wire and lead. A nail clipper also works well. I use general purpose scissors for synthetics and hair. I own a couple of very expensive but incredibly sharp scissors I reserve for trimming hackle and like materials. For the past couple of years I’ve been trimming thread with a razor blade I’ve re-purposed from shaving when it becomes a little dull. I trim thread by putting pressure on the tag end and quickly moving it to the edge of the blade. The thread is cut cleaning and any vestige of tag disappears under the last wrap. Like you, I don’t allow anyone near my tying table much less touch my tools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *