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Old 12-11-2012, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s fontinalis View Post
i should also add this in addition to my warning.

Tying is one of the greatest things i ever started to do -- EVER --!

Its a stress reliever, helps me focus, let out my limited creativity and generally makes me a few bucks too. Not profit, but it some what covers my latest material expenses.
I've in no way broken even, but if you get into it, you dont worry about where the materials are coming from, some how you find the money.

I'll quote a post from my blog, which I also put in a similar thread to this about a week ago.

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.

Great information. Perhaps what would be helpful, is a guide to the simpler general attractors, which would involve a lower start up cost for the beginners.
Also, a guide to a few simple hooks with a general useage, so that beginners do not have to buy many different kinds of hooks to start.

I noticed lately, that many of the basic Dry Mayfly immitations
(White Wulff & Adams) and their variants (March Brown, Blue-Winged Olive "BWO" etc...) require few simple materials. What do you think?

Hare's Ear's of course, and Wets also can be simple efforts. I think beginners need clear guidance in this, so that they don't have to leave the Fly Store, having dropped $50.00 more than they planned, or even $100.00 more than they planned.

Also, what you wrote about Fly Tying being a stress reliever, is absolutely true. Many perhaps do not realize the benefits of
being able to Do---Something---For---Yourself; but I have learned exactly what you are talking about. I get "buoyed up" and uplifted by the feelings associated
with tying another fly. My search for materials to cut costs is one of the most exciting things I have done, and my mind is working on "the problem" all the time.

Royce Dam, author of "The Practical Fly Tier" was a WWII Marine who made the landing on Iwo Jima. In the Introduction to his book, he talks about
his discovery of Fly Tying. It was never clear how he got into it, but it was very healing for him.

So I am able to take something out of it, that is really worth the money. The world seems nuts to many, and this wonderful abstraction
is a powerful benefit. Fly Tying is one of those things that gives back. There is no Monetary Value for a kind of Self-Therapy.
It's common sense. Sitting down at a tying vise slows the breathing just as a start. It encourages concentration. In many ways, it is like Chess, because one has to think about what one is doing. It is one occasion where a man or woman doesn't have to "worry".

So there are compensations for the expense that go beyond simple calculations of ...."Gee, ...I spent That Much Money!"
A beginner won't know these things at first. It looks like the proverb about the definition for a Boat. "It's a Hole in the water that you throw money into!"

These benefits are, by and large, hidden from all beginners. A beginner, might not work at it enough to see that they have been changed in a subtle and gradual way.

The changes may become evident, when on some evening, the chance to watch TV appears, or to go out, and the Beginner thinks;
"What I would like to do, is to get down on that tying vise and start a new pattern. Yeah!"

Another aspect of Fly Tying, and its benefits, has to do with being able to be alone, and be comfortable with one's self, and turning off the Thousand Screaming Thoughts and Worries that go whizzing around in the modern person's mind, brought on by the Information Glut and clamor of world affairs.
The ability to be relaxed within one's self, with a single clear purpose in mind, is a hallmark of good mental health and emotional well-being.
Tying improves Self-Esteem, regardless of self-esteem associated with poor early efforts. Even an ugly first attempt can to be stuck right in the fly box, and fished with the others.

Another benefit is a general knowledge of many subjects that is the natural result of reading, study, and thinking on Streams, Insects, locations etc.

In the end, I think one of the poorest life decisions that one can make, is to be discouraged about something, and decide to...well...not do anything.
People who make a commitment to something, always seem to be self-possessed, calm, and knowledgeable about what they are doing.
Not doing something, is something that seems very odd.

So I think for the hesitant beginner, a decision to buy one of the simple vises for under $15.00 is wise, along with an intention to tie only some simple things, like a Griffith's Gnat, a Wooly Booger, and a Hare's Ear or the like, would be wise. Given those options, any beginner can give it a go, without regrets. Tying those few things will not be a financial loss, but will indeed, save money on the costs of Fly Fishing.

I don't know if I would want to drop a store-bought $2.50 each nymph into some hole, only to lose it on an unseen log.
I would rather drop a hand-tied Wooly Booger in there, to explore it, and possibly lose it. It's common sense.

So I agree with you. It is one of the Greatest EVER things to do.

Maybe there could be a label put on our Fly Tying Boxes; "Made---In---The---USA".

.

.
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Last edited by brucerducer; 12-11-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:53 AM
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Great points. I know we have all been talking about how expensive it is, and I know I've spent a lot of money. But realistically, if you went out a bought a really nice vice and a whiting starter pack you would be out the price of a basic fly rod. After that if you are buying for a specific pattern, you would probably spend less than $10. I'd guess that nobody gets out of a fly shop for less if they are buying flies. A lot of us see materials and think about what we can tie with it. I don't know about everyone else, but it usually goes home with me at that point.

To save costs up front, buy a less expensive vise and 100 pack hackle. Or start with the nice vise and consider it a Christmas present!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

I've been making flies for close to 40 years. I just bought my 3rd vise. I paid a whole 40 dollars for it. The other vise still works but would not always hold a hook. It only cost me about 15 dollars about 25 years ago.

Tying flies is not expensive. The vise is the most expensive item and there are very decent vises at around 40 to 50 dollars. Your next most expensive item will be good scissors for cutting feathers....feathers only. The rest of the stuff is surprisingly inexpensive.

Get some good lighting.

I also teach fly tying...no more than a couple of students. It takes only 1 short evening and sometimes a second evening a few weeks later to cover any problems and new questions.

The internet is now full of good (free) advice and videos on fly tying.

Bugs are mostly brown. From pale brown to dark brown so start with that colour in mind.

Decent hooks sell for about 10 to 20 cents each. Costs go down when you buy larger quantities.

If you want to make dry flies....forget any hook over size 10. If you want to make streamers....forget any hook under size 8.

For thread, buy Danville's monocord in a small size....colour dark brown. Forget the floss unless you want to make classic Salmon flies.

Hackles will be your most expensive item. I've been using cheap Chinese capes for years and they keep my dry flies above the water quite well. I may someday buy an expensive cape of very long narrow hackles of dark blue dun size 16 or 14.....but I doubt it.

By all means....learn fly tying. I know some guys who bought fly fishing stuff but never did much fly fishing. Adding fly tying to your fly fishing will ensure that you will not give up fly fishing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

Didn't read all the replies, so it's probable someone already mentioned this, but just in case . . .

You will never save money tying your own flies.


However, tying can be fun, and very educational. Through tying you can learn alot about the lifecycle stages of the bugs you are trying to imitate, helping you to 'match the hatch.' Or, you can go the 'representational' route as I did, and learn how to judge size, shape and color. Either way, you learn quite a bit about how your target fish sees its prey, which can only help you be a better fisherman.

I read that you are just starting out, so my recommendation to you would be not to start tying yet. Get a few fish under your belt and work on your cast first. But along the way, you could put a few dollars away every now and then for the day when you decide to go ahead and get your first vise.

Peace.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

OP as others have stated, you will NOT save money unless u only tie few of the same patterns and 100's of flies,

im in very similar position as you
started fly fishing in July, very much intuit
2 weeks ago i started fly tying as well. and have already spent few hundred bucks. (enough to buy 500+ flies online)
Fly tying is hard but very rewarding and fun at the same time.
if you have the extra cash, then yes get into it,
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

I heartily disagree with the two post above.
You can save money tying your own. I do and I've tied every one of my own flies for nearly 40 years.
You just have to know what you really need to get the job done and then practice a little self control.
Tying your own can be very cheap
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

fly tying, like anything else can be as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it.

there is no requirement for anybody to buy the most expensive hook holder known to man. a hand made LAW vise used to go for about $700 and now that laurence waldron is no longer making them they are in high demand at premium prices. will that vise make you a better tyer, in my opinion no. its the tyer who knows how to use specific techiques. ya gotta know how to put thread and feathers onto a hook. the vise cant do that for you.

as you can read from other posts, there are many folks tying on inexpensive vises and turning out good flies.

so what about materials? if you are a hunter or know some hunters that will give you some aninal skins, you will hav a good supply of tying materials. FREE
there is a lot of flies that can be tied using a variety of bird feathers and deer skins.

that big auction site is another source of good inexpensive tying materials.

a beginner shouldnt have to throw out $1000 to buy tools and materials only to find out they dont really like tying flies. some folks just dont like tying flies. its that simple.

tying tools! do you need to buy them? yes, some you may have to but others you can make.

whip finisher: you could buy one but you have the best whip finisher on your hand and its FREE.

bodkin: stick a needle into the end of a dowel. done

half hitch tools: got some empty ball point pens? the make great half hitch tools

dubbing picker: stick some velcro onto a popsicle stick. done

the list could go on but i'll stop here for now.

good luck with your decision. but remember: TAKE LESSONS!
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s fontinalis View Post
if you think you're gonna save money by tying your own flies, then dont start tying.
Never were truer words ever spoken. It is possible to save money but not the way most of us, including me do it. If you look at where I keep my tying materials, I look like I am about to open a fly shop. Not going to save money that way.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

Years ago there was an old timer in our club who used to "tie" nymphs made only from fuse wire and electrical tape.
I didn't know him personally but I got the idea that these were the only flies that he ever fished with and he did quite well for himself.
I won some of these nymphs in a raffle and they were nicer than you'd think.
He didn't need any tools to tie his flies other than scissors and I doubt he even used a vise.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: To tie or not to tie?

years ago when i started tying there was a guy in colorado that used a rio grande king exclusively. caught a ton of fish too!
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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