You will save tons of money tying. A buddy of mine and I tried to figure it out once and we determined that it costs about a dime to tie a fly. Compare that to the $1.75 they are charging in my state right now.
You will also learn a ton about aquatic life. And you will learn to tie according to your own geographic area. Tying has opened up a whole new dimension for me. Plus it gives you something to do on the days that it is just too damn cold.
Plenty of free online sites to help you get started. Check out Charlie's Flybox on line.
tying is great! once you start catching fish with the flies you tied it all comes full circle! I find that tying can be a expensive hobby at 1st to get all the materials but once you do u make out in the long run. its more like a investment! lol
I get my flies online for 50 - 70 cents each. With work, a wife , four kids, and church responsibilities...I definitely wouldn't have time for tying my own. I don't knock people who do...it just isn't practical for me.
I'm fairly new at tying and love it, but gotta laugh at this one. Not at you, at myself. I'm addicted to buying fly tying stuff. There's enough peacock hurl and pheasant feathers in my house to tie flies for all of us forever. Currently looking at catalogs to buy some hopper legs, lol, and other stuff of course. How many bobbins does a guy need?
Hmmm, 10 cents a fly. You obviously didn't include your tools, vise, magnifier, light, bench, and all the materials you need just in case you might want to tye a certain fly. You can put hundreds into just necks if you want the best. You can tye flies cheaper than you can buy them but my flies cost a lot more than 10 cents each.
I really enjoy tying- but i can't say I "save" any money.. (Quite the opposite.) I encourage folks to take up tying, but the saving money part is really hard to justify unless you'll be tying a lot of mostly nymphs, eggs and or warmwater/saltwater stuff in a few patterns. The temptation is to start tying a few flies each from a lot of different patterns requiring a lot of different materials.
Sure, the "per fly cost" is lower than a shop, but if you tie a lot of different patterns you'll need a lot of different materials, and you'll sink a lot of money into the initial outlay. It takes a lot of tying to recoup the "fixed cost" of vise and tools and the total you sink into the stuff like hooks an materials that make up the "variable cost" that you use up with each fly- especially if you use dry fly hackle, lots of different sizes/styles of hooks etc.
Sort of like Microsoft--- every time they sell another copy of windows it costs them just 1.00 for the CD--- but it cost a bazillion for the first one in software development.
That said, it's a great way to really get into the sport, and you'll learn a ton. And there are ways to save money, especially if you tie a lot of flies that use inexpensive materials--- but I always seem to be unable to resist new patterns, new materials or specialized stuff for a couple patterns that i have enough material for 3 lifetimes worth of tying.
I'd say that I definitely save money tying my own and that $.10 each might even be on the high side.
I've tied for a good number of years and I've gradually accumulated enough materials so that I rarely need to buy anything other than stuff I've run out of.
The vice I currently use over 20 years old and most of my other tools I've had longer than that
I tie only to have flies to fish with, never just for fun, so there's no need for me to run out and buy 'the latest thing'
This year, so far, all I've purchased was $10 worth of saddle hackles and two boxes of deeply discounted hooks....around 10 bucks also, I think
The other day I used those hackles and hooks to tie up 2 dozen large saltwater flies. At least $75 worth in a shop. Lots of material left over too. Years worth.
Your mileage will vary
I started fly fishing with a $49.95 Pflueger rod/reel/line/flies combo.
My first real rod was a $150 Sage.
Now I fish with a $650 G Loomis and a $200 BLA with 5 $100 spools and $350 of fly lines.
Everything gets upgraded. Your '86 Yugo becomes a '94 Escort becomes an '01 Civic becomes an '09 C-Class Mercedes. And on and on and on.
How many flies will I own in my life? 1000? 2000? Let's say for arguments sake that I'll buy 1000 flies in my life of fishing. Let's say that they cost three bucks each. $3000 on flies.
Well, for God's sake, the stupid box with drawers for feathers that I am looking at right now is made from Cherry and has nickel and brass hardware and is made by some woodworker in Belgium and costs $700 bucks. A couple of nice hen necks and pheasant tails go for $20. I have a bottle of GLUE that costs $13.95!!!
Why buy the $100 vise when I can buy the $500 Renzetti??! And well, guess I'm going to bonefish Christmas Island, think I'll have to buy the $200 travel vise and $47 of materials to tie the 11 crab imitations that I will possibly use ONE or TWO more times in my life.
I am an economist. I can only explain it to myself in the terms that the opportunity cost of not tying your own flies is the gaining of time and effort which would have been lost on tying your own flies and utilizing that time for fishing.
I tie flies. I probably tie 10% of the flies I fish with. It isn't as pleasurable an endeavor for me as others. Though I understand why it is important and rewarding for those who enjoy it. Before I studied economics I was an entomologist. I liked bugs. I didn't need to tie my own cicada fly and land a Drum on it in order to have some semblance of total fly-fishing unity, but I can respect those that feel more connected to those roots.
Money comes and goes, but pleasure and satisfaction are a different animal.
If you get your money's worth in fly tying and make up the difference in the retail cost of purchasing flies, then you will likely have missed a massive amount of time fishing. But some folks like tying flies and appreciating the artistry therein more than they enjoy fishing.
I know guys who have tied 5000 flies and haven't fished more than 200 of them. Everyone is different.
This is only a hobby. Some people own and fly planes. Things cost money.
The answer is pretty simple. If you love tying flies, you should absolutely spend time tying flies.