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Old 06-20-2013, 07:42 AM
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Default Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

I was looking to compile a general list of what I can get at the craft store for tying materials to save a few bux vs. what I definately need from a fly shop. Is there specific items that are of better quality from a fly shop? Please fill me in on your shopping habbits
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

Foam from the craft stores. Got a hobby lobby around? They sell this brick of foam thats like 32 colors, 2 sheets of each and its 6 bucks. Best buy on foam I've found yet.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

I buy foam sheets for tying (depends on color) and the thick foam sheets and cut to size when when I hand out flies. Glass beads are OK for some patterns, it just comes down to size. Overall, the materials I've purchased from craft stores haven't really given me the end results I was looking for. So my experience has been money wasted. Perhaps it was the materials I chose, the selection at the craft store I was at, etc. I know lots of folks swear by them for materials. Hey whatever works! You may just have to try and see for yourself. I'm sure there will be others that can offer more craft store suggestions but for anything else I go to or order from a fly shop.

Feathers and deer/elk hair are certainly one thing I'd suggest that you buy in a shop when possible. I have a few shops in my mail order rotation that haven't let me down with ordering them without seeing them. JS Fly fishing runs monthly specials, occasionally offers up coupons, and also has a Frequent Tier program where you get points with each order that translate into $$. They have a good selection of materials and are a staple source of my materials.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

It's surprising what you can find at The Craft & $2 Shops especially around Xmas time I mentioned before where I bought Reels of Holo Tinsel for over $2each for 15 yards then one Xmas I bought enough for $2 to last a lifetime.
Also there's always Fancy Dress Things made from Feathers,Beads Marabou etc, which also works out cheaper than buying The Packeted Stuff from all The Fly Tying Gear Suppliers so it pays to visit them occasionally.
Another great item I've also bought are Feather Dusters which contain beaut Hackle Feathers of all Colours as well as ones made from Ostrich.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

I probably should've mentioned what I would normally tie.

Nymphs and dry flies. I also would tinker with streamers but I never got the knack of "deer hair" so I usually buy those related flies. I do actually need to buckle down and get better with deer hair.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

If you use floss for things like royal wulffs and nymph bodies, embrodery floss works great, I get it at Joann Fabrics. Tons of different colors and tons of floss for cheap. The stuff I buy has around 6 strands and I usually pull off one or two strands for tying.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
If you use floss for things like royal wulffs and nymph bodies, embrodery floss works great, I get it at Joann Fabrics. Tons of different colors and tons of floss for cheap. The stuff I buy has around 6 strands and I usually pull off one or two strands for tying.
Good to know. The two largest places here (with big selections) are JoAnne Fabrics and Michaels so I was going to venture to those places.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

short list.

walk around and find other stuff. be creative. experiment

beads

ribbons

foam sheets (i feel fly shop foam is better)

acrylic paints

spray paint

model paint

paint brushes

glues of all kinds

tinsel

yarns (chopped up yarn = dubbing)

embroidery threads

plastic storage boxes

small zip lock bags

some feathers but not hackle (most is **** anyway)

balsa/bass wood for making poppers

stretch magic

copper wire (some sizes too big for fly tying)

airbrushes

polyester sewing thread (use it for ribbing flies not for tying)

needles for homemade bodkins

balsa/bass wood dowels to make bodkins

craft fur

peacock herl

pheasant tails

etc etc etc

HOWEVER: please support your local fly shop. they need your business too!
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

Feathers suitable for dry fly hackles are pretty much a fly shop item for me. Craft store feathers are great otherwise for most other applications.

I find craft shops sufficient for Beads, yarn, rabbit fur, ribbons, etc. Peacock herl is another. Thread, too, though it tends to be a thicker strand.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Craft Store vs. Fly Shop (for materials)

I used to use alot of the craft store craft fur before they began selling it in fly shops. The fly shop stuff that they have now is so superior that the old stuff is a waste of money.
But with acrylic rug hooking yarn especially the Aunt Lydia's brand you're far better off getting it from a craft shop instead of shelling out for fly shop spooled "Antron" yarn or little packs of antron dubbing.

I think the real finds are the seasonal stuff especially Christmas tinsels and Halloween wigs

This hollow fleye is tied entirely from a "Don King" fright wig

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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