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Old 07-14-2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Online Material Stores

Do you guys buy most of your stuff and a small mom and pop shop, retail chain store like bass pro or from online sources?

I would love to be able to support a mom and pop store around me but it's a min. half hour drive to the nearest one and sometimes on a tight schedule i dont have time for that. Therefore I usually get my supplies from the nearest bass pro which has a good, but not great selection.

That leads me to online sources. I found a site called Angler's Workshop - Fishing Rods, Reels, Rod Building and Fly Tying and they seem to have GREAT prices. What I dont know is the quality of the materials or there customer service as I have never heard of them. I mean approx 3 feet of rabbit strips at bass pro is just under five dollars, this site has the same for $1.65.

Has anyone every bought from or dealt with this site as I plan on it eventually and want to know what to expect (especially with biots, mallard flanks, and rabbit).

p.s. anyone have any experience with Captain Hook's Discount Warehouse either?
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

I have not dealt with either of the sources you named. I stop at a shop in Anchorage when I am in town (52 miles to the store) and like to select the materials myself. For things that are specialty items but do not require hands on examination I order from an online store.

If you can, buy in person,

Ard
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer09 View Post
Do you guys buy most of your stuff and a small mom and pop shop, retail chain store like bass pro or from online sources?
Hi Lancer,
My disclaimer is that I work in a shop. But before I got involved in the industry, I bought my materials locally. I always find the need to inspect the materials. If one looks hard enough, one may find inconsistencies in color, texture, and size that may not work for one's quality control.

I know a guy who ties deer hair flies commercially. He always pulls all the packages of deer hair belly fur off the peg and inspects each package for the best ones.

Sometimes I find a new material that I would had not thought of unless I had it in my hand. One of my favorite materials is Spirit River Mottlebou. The online pictures don't do it any justice.

MP
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

I buy from small shops where I've met the guys or have had interaction. I just call them. I was buying from Charlie Craven before he got his online operation set up (it's going now). He always steered me in the right direction. I like the personal touch and thought that someone has your best interest. For example; I've got no shops close so it's nice to ask things like could you please send the best hair to tie an Elk Hair Caddis, or what do you think of this or that tool.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

I try to buy at the small shops as often as possible. When I'm on a trip to my favorite fishing spots I spend money at the shops that are local to the area streams. Most of these guys will happily give you accurate information on current conditions.

I do buy on-line also; FeatherCraft is one of my favorites, as is Fly Tyers' Dungeon. I looked at your link for hooks, I may be checking them out.

Dan
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

I agree with what's been said about the ability to personally inspect materials when you're buying them, especially when it comes to high-end items like hackles (capes and saddles) and dyed materials where you're looking for a certain color. Rust, Olive, Gold, even Red come in so many shades that what you get when you order it may not be what you're expecting.

Similar to the other comments, I'm picky when it comes to deer and elk hair- lots of it is brittle or too coarse for what you may want for smaller sized flies or certain purposes and it may not flare right, or may flare too much.

A couple of shops I've had decent luck with online are www.mwflyting.com and Feather-Craft Fly Fishing | Fly Fishing Rods, Reels, Waders, Flies, Fly Tying Materials | Sage Rods | Simms Waders | Since 1955. I first met Mike at Midwest through a few fly swaps and he's easy to talk to and ask about materials- and because he's a tyer, he knows what you want when you say "fine hair for tying XYZ, or stiff hackles for palmering". Ed Storey, may he rest in peace, at Feather Craft was one of a kind... his son (Bob) and daughter (Robin) have kept the business afloat, and they're another group that will open packages and check materials for you to make sure they're what you want... and if you don't like 'em, you can send 'em back. I was fortunate enough to meet Ed when I was on a business trip to the St. Louis area- drove an extra 40+ miles to meet him because I heard he was in town that week. =)

If you know the size and style of hooks you want or you're buying beads or wire or other materials that are the same no matter where you buy them, no problem with shopping for the best price... but if you have local shops, it's nice to get to know the owners, maybe get a chance to network with some other tyers from your area there and help keep them afloat. Lots of them have 'Tying Circles" or other opportunities for you to work with other tyers which is always enjoyable.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

Hi Everyone,

I like to be able to look at the materials but here is the problem I have found over the years buying capes or natural hair. Local shops has a tendency to stock lower quality capes and hair. Of course this is not true with all shops and some of them with good fly tiers running them, have really good stuff. A lot of fly tiers don't want to pay top dollar for the best capes so the stores stock what sells the most.

As most of you know I am a big fan of Feather-Craft and Ed Story was a great guy to work with. I think that most beginners would be better off buying from Feather-Craft until they know what a good quality cape or tail looks like. If you call and say "I want a top quality dry fly cape for tying small size flies" you can expect to get one. Or say, "I want to tie some Prince Nymphs, send me what I need." You could expect to get just what you needed. This is the type of service I have always gotten from Feather-Craft. If you buy supplies from a Place like Cabela's it is a **** shoot on what you might receive and what the quality might be.

Frank
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

Angler's workshop is about an hours drive north of me. It's a smaller shop that used to be mainly focused on rod building. It is right next door to the Lamiglass rod building facility. I'd call them and ask about what you want in particular. There selection of fly tying materials is not as good as the other 3 fly shops within the same distance from me so I don't deal with them a great deal.

I m blessed with a good number of high end shops in the area.

I tend to deal with Mark and his crew up at www.flyfishusa.com more often. He really knows fly fishing and tying. He isn't cheap but has good stuff and lots of it.

Another local to me is Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters. Also good people. Not quite as much stuff but if you ask for specific items to tie with they will know what you are looking for.

http://www.kaufmannsstreamborn.com used to be a main haunt but they moved down the street and the new shop doesn't stock as much of the stuff in the fly tying shop as it used to. Still a good shop though.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

Lancer, i ordered some stuff from Angler's Workshop this last winter and was very happy with the price, quality and service.

Most of the shops around here have disappeared so most of the stuff i get is from online fly shops - i bounce around a lot depending on what I'm tying.

I haven't used Capt Hook before.

But I wish I had a local shop to go to for stuff--- and to any of you folks out there that still have them, they are well worth supporting. And if they are somewhat limited in the stuff they carry, they can usually get what you need through special order with their suppliers.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Online Material Stores

Surprised no one has mentioned J Stockard JS Fly Fishing: Rod Building Supplies, Fly Tying Materials, which has great selection, good prices and - unlike Feathercraft, which is also a great source - monthly specials that are meaningful.
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