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Old 05-15-2012, 04:20 PM
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Default your source for online flies?

Just curious what website everybody uses to get their flies from. Myself, I order from The Fly Stop. It's hard to beat 2 flies for just a little over $1 and shipping is 3 dollars no matter how many you buy. I have some fly tying equipment, but until I actually learn how to use it, this is my online source for flies. Anybody have other sources that they use regularly?
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

I found a guy thru ebay, that sells them pretty cheap, with $1.99 shipping. I can either buy them by ebay auction or direct from him. Can usually get the dzn for less than $7, and they come in various sizes.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

Use caution when ordering from the 'low cost' vendors. I will relay my experience for your consideration. Prior to tying flies myself, I frequently purchased large quantities of flies from such a vendor (~ $0.65 / fly).

I found that, although the flies looked very nice visually, the hook quality was extremely poor (several of the flies became worthless after the hook points fractured) and the fly construction was below par. In more than one occasion I had the hackles & tails come apart on a remote stream that I spent considerable time and effort to hike to.

Net, these days I tie most of my own and only purchase specialized patterns at the fishing location for e.g. in case of a specific Nymph pattern that is popular in the Appalachian streams. Buying a few 'local' patterns at the local fly shop is a nice way to repay any fishing advice they provide so freely.

I am merely relaying my experience, others may have had better luck with the 'low cost' fly vendors.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

I've done the cheap (flyshack, bluefly cafe?) and the other (cabelas, orvis, local orvis dealer) and have to say the latter are better. Hooks are better, materials last longer and the tying is better. Orvis has never treated me wrong. I've had a few bad one's from cabelas.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

I have had great success with the flies from The FlyStop. I generally get several trips out of one fly, and that is after catching dozens of fish on them. I guess I don't dive deep enough into the sport to know whether the hooks and materials are quality. All i know is that I have never had a fly break and catch half a dozen to a couple dozen fish on every trip. I do recommend checking out The FlyStop.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

Here is an article from Midcurrent about discount flies. It is an interesting read.

Dennis
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

Good article. Thanks for the read, Dennis.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

I've bought a few flies from millersflyshop.com before and had good luck. Now that I tie most of my own stuff, I still shop them for supplies occasionally.

If I am travelling and there is a local fly that seems to be working, I will often hit up the nearest local fly shop in that area and buy from them.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

I tie most of my own, but when I have ordered online in the past I used "the Trout Spot".

Flies are about $.75 each, quality is decent, I have never had an issue with one of thier flies, and they have a 30 day return policy due to defects in materials or craftsmanship.

I don't know if they tie the flies themselves or import them, but the small business address is in California and per there about us page, the owner is a trout fisherman himself. they also have a phone and email contact info on thier page if there is a problem though I have never had to use it.

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Old 05-16-2012, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: your source for online flies?

Dennis, that is a good article! I have to agree with it. You could look at it another way too. A fly costing $0.65 retail has excise tax on it, which is 10% of the sale price. Even imported flies are subject to the excise tax when sold in the US. It's hard to tell the exact wholesale price, which may be 50% but let's say it's 60% of the retail price. that would be $.39 per fly, and 10% excise tax on that would be $.039. So with a 40% mark-up that $.65 fly has a cost of about $0.35. However, this includes the labor to tie that fly & there is also shipping costs in that price, so the actual wholesale price at the factory is much lower.

Granted the fly factories likely buy in bulk & get discounts on their wholesale materials, but still that only goes so far. Good materials & hooks at the best wholesale price will still cost more than flies like these. As that article stated, the only way to sell flies that cheap is to use poor quality hooks & materials, and very cheap labor.

Compare that to the cost of tying flies yourself. Good hooks can cost more than the price of that fly. It's highly doubtful that good hackle is being used in cheap imports. I would not expect Whiting for example to be selling their products extremely cheap, to an overseas fly factory just to sell in volume. They don't have to.

When I was tying commercially I often received mail or email from overseas fly factories. Even got samples a few times. Generally some were not too bad in quality, and appeared to be well tied but they were often inconsistent. Many were just junk, and it was obvious they were both constructed with poor quality materials & poorly tied. Prices were always cheap. The cheapest I recall was about $3 per dozen, and then the excise tax & shipping would have to be added to that.

Once, I even sent some sample flies to one of the factories in Kenya, who had sent me samples that appeared to be very good. They were simple 2/0 bucktail streamers for saltwater in 3 color combinations, chartreuse & white, blue & white, olive & white with about 6-8 strands of holographic flash on each side. They were not to have eyes on them, and no epoxy. I had intended to do that myself, wanting them to look like the flies I tied. I wanted consistency. Wrote out exactly what I wanted & requested samples.

What I got back did not even come close to the samples I sent. I received a dull yellow over a dirty white, a light faded blue over a dirty white, and something that looked like Kelly green over a dirty white, and each fly had two strands of holographic flash on each side. Plus, the heads had eyes painted on them, very poorly painted & what looked like epoxy, except it was very yellowed & sagging. It was obvious the dyeing was poor, as was the cleanliness of the hair, and the wrong colors anyway.

Needless to say, that ended my interest in imported flies.
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