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Old 03-08-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default Fly Tying Materials???

Ok, I just started in the other side of fly fishing: Fly Tying. My question is what is the difference in thread, yarn or other materials that you can buy from Walmart as opposed to buying materials from a fly shop.

Since I'm just getting started I want to save money where I can and this seems to be a logical place to do it but I don't want to sacrifice my qaulity of my fly material.

What's your thoughts?

Thanks,
Terry
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Materials???

Tying thread is sold in several different configurations. Most tying thread has a floss-like construction of multiple parallel fibers, creating a flat thread that can come with varying amounts of twist. Thread that can be flattened (untwisted before you wrap) makes it easier to produce a smooth head on the fly. Flat thread also tends to lie flatter on the hook and cause less bulk on the hook shank. Flat thread is also less prone to cut materials such as foam. Round thread, like rod-building or sewing thread, is built like rope, with a number of threads or plys twisted together.

Heavy twisted-ply thread, like sewing thread, holds material by biting into it and is a good choice if you need to spin deer hair, or build up mass with your thread, as in some saltwater flies. For most trout flies it tends to build up a little fast and can cause problems with crowding the head.

I know some folks who use sewing thread on a regular basis. However, I would suggest trying to save money somewhere else and purchase a good quality tying thread like from UNI or Danville.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Materials???

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkknight
Ok, I just started in the other side of fly fishing: Fly Tying. My question is what is the difference in thread, yarn or other materials that you can buy from Walmart as opposed to buying materials from a fly shop.Since I'm just getting started I want to save money where I can and this seems to be a logical place to do it but I don't want to sacrifice my qaulity of my fly material.What's your thoughts?Thanks,Terry
Terry,

One place that we have found to save money is in our yarn. You can buy chenille from wal-mart, hobby lobby or just about anywhere else for a fraction of the cost. We pay $3-$5 a skein for it as opposed to about the same price for a a matter of 20 feet or so. Hobby lobby is a good place to get feathers also. We pick up our marrabou there on a black nylon piece.(don't get the boa's though) You'll pay about $5 for 6 feet of this. Colors will vary. If you also look you can get rooster feathers for about the same price. We got 6 feet of rooster feathers for $5 compared to $3 for a 3x5 baggie at a fly shop. Another place to check is Cabelas they have a feather bag for around $10. I posted pictures of this on here in a earlier post. It's by Whiting and I believe it's manly smaller pieces that they can't use for anything else. Lots of good feathers in them though for a cheap price. For our bucktails Bigdon found he can get them from a deer processing place by him for free. We just have to clean them and process them ourselves. Another thing is floss for bodies. You can find bags of this at different places and each skein is usually 8 yards. We paid $14 for a 144 different colors. If you pm Bigdon he should be able to tell you where we got them from. Or pm me and i'll ask him for you.

As you can see there are ways to save money. Just remember that more than likely you can find the same item or something so close to it elsewhere.
And in doing so saving a lot of money. And it's actually rather interesting.

One thing we do is one of us will buy one thing and the other buys something else or another color. Then we split it up. Thereby getting twice the product for half the price. Works good with the yarn.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Materials???

I appreciate ya'lls help. Steve, that is exactly what I was looking for. An explanation of the difference in the threads. The flatness of it makes sense now. Thanks!

Hey, Freezy Man thanks for the great advise. I was planning to check out Hobby Lobby tonight.

If anyone else has suggestions or information please ring in.
Thanks,
Terry
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Materials???

Another big difference on fly tying thread versus sewing thread is the fiber it is made out of. Most sewing threads will be at least partly cotton, which is not nearly as strong as nylon. Nylon also has some stretch, which I love.

If you can find it, Gudebrod makes great tying thread as well. I use their 6/0 size more than anything else on flies size 8 and smaller. On bigger stuff I usually use Danville's flat waxed nylon. It lays down very flat and has good stretch. Gudebrod's 3/0 is about the same bulk and strength, but doesn't lay down nearly so flat.

For tying flies in sizes that end in /0, I love Gudebrod's size G thread. It's super strong, builds up bulk quickly, and is the best stuff out there for spining hair, in my opinion. Kevlar is still stronger but is prone to cutting hair in this application. (You rod builders may already know that size is one step smaller than the common rod wrapping thread) Last I checked, "orvis thread" comes out of the Gudebrod factory.

For materials, also check out any local needlepoint/knitting/sewing specialty shops. Their prices on chenille and braided materials aren't wal-mart cheap, but they have stuff you'll find in no fly shop and are fairly affordable. You might actually see "Gudebrod" on some of the packaging as well.
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