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Old 11-21-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Flies are hard to come by in my area and I have given some thought to making them. It looks like a big investment and I wonder if it really is less expensive in the end. Or... do you make them for the satisfaction of doing it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Uh, yeah. It's, um, less expensive...at least that is what I keep telling myself!!

I don't think you can look at it that way. I think you tie flies because you LIKE it and because you can make flies your way.

Oh, and there is nothing int he world like catching a fish on a fly that you have tied, especially one you made up on your own and not a specific recipe you found in a book or on-line.

I originally made the mistake that this would be a harmless hobby. After a couple years, I now know why you tell the wife that all the stuff is worth about 20%-25% of what you really paid for it; otherwise, you may be on the outside looking in.

And it's winter.

You don't want to do that.

Don't ask me how I know this....
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:16 PM
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Wink Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Cody, I just have ventured into fly tying late this summer and fall,,more to learn the 'craft' than anything else. I can't answer you about the money savings..I've invested a bit in getting started,,but on the plus side,,,I should not have to purchase another retail fly.

I 'think' the big thing is catching a fish on YOUR creation. That has been very satisfying for me. And, as I mentioned in a post a couple weeks ago,,sometimes I'll set up and experiment...for my 'own way'...might end up making a 'Frankenfly'...but I have learned what I think are a couple neat ways to do this or that.....on my own.

I suppose it's like reloading,,,I can't imagine shooting factory ammo,,just doesn't cross my mind. But that doesn't mean factory is bad. My early life, I fly fished and didn't tie...nor didn't tie much. Still enjoyed the fishing though !

And tying a fly beats the heck out of whatever is on that sorry arsed TV.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

if you're looking to break even then it isnt for you.

I cant tell you this year i've spent close to, if not more than, $1000 on materials for tying flies.
If you're gonna spend that each year on flies, then consider tying. If not, just keep buying them

i also wrote a post on my blog about this not so long ago.

Here's what i wrote.

You start fly tying, buy materials for a fly , get home, tie said flies and like them. then you post them on forum, "hey, i tied some nice flies, my first" and ask for critique.
You get great positive comments, but also some stuff to improve which entails buying more materials to better fit the same flies you just tied, ex, hackles.
So you go to the store again and buy the hackles recommended.
Now, you've been to the store twice, lets say the second time you pick up some extra stuff for the next fly you want to tie, 'since you're already at the store'.
Two trips, and maybe you're out $50 including gas etc.

Now, would you have spent $50 on flies for the fishing trip. Maybe, but here's the thing, the materials will tie you more flies than 10 or 20, they crossover to other patterns. But thats materials for just two patterns, and simple patterns at that.

6 Months down the line, you're well into fly tying, its relaxing, you enjoy it. Lets say two trips to the tackle store for fly tying materials per month, for 6 months, = 12 trips, $30 a trip = $360. (more if you shop online, but we'll not count that yet)
Now ask yourself this - if you were to buy flies, would you spend $360 in 6 months. or $720 in year? I think not, unless you're buying display flies.

5 years down the line, you like the look of display flies, want to start tying them.
Materials are in some instances rare and expensive, even the hooks ($12 each), you start to buy those materials, lets say the budget entry level subs in case you dont stick with it. You end up sticking with it and get pretty decent at tying display flies. You start to search out rare and expensive materials. The purchases in one week from three different sources >$120. Always searching ebay and other sites, picking up what you can find when you find it, in case you never see it again, lets say an Argus pheasant feather from Netherlands for $35 shipped - ONE FEATHER.

Now ask yourself, are you doing it to save money, or are you doing it because you love it. If the answer is the first, its time to get help. If the answer is the second, you tie because you love it, its relaxing, its creative, your addicted to it, its still time to get help, but you can put it off for a while

This is drawn from two real life experiences. My own, and that of a forum member.
From my own standpoint, this year alone i've spent way more on fly tying materials than I have on flies ($0) - guess how many times i've been fishing - - - lets say i can count it on one hand.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

The investment has been much more than I could have dreamed. I don't have a clue as to how many flies to tie to break even. Surely I will break even before I'm unable to fish any longer. Has been fun learning a new hobby and have met many people that I would never have come into contact with. Joined up with fly tying club and that has been informative and fun.

The best part is catching a fish on my hand tied fly. I also catch them on fly rod I built. I say go for it as the worst that can happen is you don't like it and sell everything at a steep discount to what you paid.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

I do it for enjoyment and the challenge of it. It's a chance to make something and learn in the process. I get satisfaction tying flies and even more when I can catch fish with flies I've tied. I've found I really enjoy it when other people catch fish in flies I tie. My younger brother has benefited quite a bit, as have friends, and even total strangers - a few months ago we were hiking down from a mountain lake and passed a couple walking up to fish it. I asked the guy if he had the particular type of fly the fish were hitting for us, he said no, I gave him some, I hope he caught some cutthroats with them. In addition to all that, it's also nice to modify existing patterns.

If you know you're just going to fish black and olive wooly buggers in 2 and 4 and just buy a cheap vise and the materials for only those flies, perhaps you could figure out how to break even. But, as s fontinalis said, you keep finding new patterns to tie that require different materials. It's all part of the fun.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

I started in July, and have came to the fact, I will probably break even in about ten years. If you are looking at pure economics then buy them online at discount places.

As others have stated it is a challenge to tie, but very rewarding to catch fish on flies you tied. Other benefits of tying is the art of experimenting. I recently seeing flies where tiers were creating body segmentation. So I thought what the heck and I tied Black/Silver duo tone rubber legged brassie and it came out looking great.Then it also caught fish

Here is the other benefits....presents / gifts for your friends you fish with. I just tied two of my buddies each one of these boxes for Christmas.....next year they get refills or a box of dries

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Quote:
Originally Posted by comeonavs View Post

Click the image to open in full size.
That is how you learn to tie flies, and fast.....great looking box.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Hi Cody,

I think that it's all about wanting to be good at whatever you are involved in. Tying flies is perhaps a step that a person makes when they have decided that they, in fact, intend to be a well rounded fly fisher. If a fellow or a lady wants to dive in and have all of the latest cutting edge tools and materials and to acquire these all at once then the expense would be substantial. There is much debate over whether or not fly tying kits are smart choices for beginners. Rather than enter into this either pro or con the kit, I do believe that for some they offer a good introductory package for fly tying. Once you experiment with the tools and materials provided you will know whether or not you will be a life long tier.

My introduction was via a kit that was a gift when I was 13 years old. I had no instruction other than the booklet that came with and I puttered along on and off for years but having some basics kept tying on my mind. By the time I was 23 I had up graded the vise 2 times and purchased additional materials and better pattern guides. I still bought flies but only really well tied flies to use as models for my own work. I don't believe I ever thought about all of this in a sense of 'was I saving money' but more of an education of sorts. I have tied almost every fly that I have used over the past 40+ years but can't say it was more affordable than buying them.

When you are making your own flies you have the ability to make anything, as you would get the materials for something new. between knowing how to fish and how to create something that will catch fish for you this becomes a continuing education that never seems to stop. There is also a certain sense of pride and modesty when someone looks into one of your boxes or wallets and says, "You made all of those?" I love doing it but I only make what I need any more, unless I get into a fly swap then I do it for fun I guess and hope whatever I make will work for others.

In the end it's your decision to make, I'm sorry that's where all of what I wrote led but it's true. I didn't go for it because anyone told me to, I just kinda did it and maybe you will too.

Ard
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: How many flies do you have to make to break even?

Quote:
Originally Posted by comeonavs View Post
I started in July, and have came to the fact, I will probably break even in about ten years. If you are looking at pure economics then buy them online at discount places.
Wow, you're a quick study, based on your pic below.

Quote:
As others have stated it is a challenge to tie, but very rewarding to catch fish on flies you tied. Other benefits of tying is the art of experimenting. I recently seeing flies where tiers were creating body segmentation. So I thought what the heck and I tied Black/Silver duo tone rubber legged brassie and it came out looking great.Then it also caught fish
I like to catch fish on flies I tie, I might fish a store bought popper once in a while, but I put those together too.

That \/ is a great gift for your buddies. Well done.
Quote:
Here is the other benefits....presents / gifts for your friends you fish with. I just tied two of my buddies each one of these boxes for Christmas.....next year they get refills or a box of dries

Click the image to open in full size.


---------- Post added at 04:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:35 PM ----------

Forgot to add. With what I keep spending on tying materials compared to what it would cost for me to buy the flies I use...I could have that fancy new premium rod. But I'd rather tie my own flies.
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