Thanks Thanks:  2
Likes Likes:  10
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    It can’t have escaped everyone’s notice that there is more and more concern over synthetics and plastics escaping into our environment and there is even legislation being proposed to greatly reduce their use.
    What has this to do with fly fishing?, well we fly fishers seem to have moved more and more towards the use of synthetics in almost every aspect of our sport, even the flies we use rely more and more on synthetics to create the patterns people crave.
    One of my favorite dubbing's consists of seals fur and hairs ear but, I have learned through this forum that seals fur is apparently a no no for those in the US.
    This seems strange to me if the purpose is to preserve a particular species. By that I mean, if an animal has value it is more likely to be protected from over exploitation. An Elephants tusks or Rhino's horn has an immediate value (thanks to the stupidity of the Chinese and poachers) but then it is gone, those same two animals are worth hundreds, if not thousands of times more to the tourism and safari industry provided they are protected. Imagine, if you will, that humans didn’t eat cattle nor drink milk, how many cows would there be in the world?, my guess would be zero.
    Conservationists and vegans might argue otherwise but they would be the first to complain if all their veggies got eaten by the bunnies and Bambi. Add to that the fact that we would all be walking around barefoot in the snow (no synthetics remember) and you can see why cattle are so numerous and Dodo’s aren’t.

    This brings me to the main thrust of my ramblings, what percentage of natural materials do you think you use in all your fishing and how would you change things if synthetics were slowly phased out.

    PS got a silk line now and I am on the lookout for a cane rod for the near future. Not too sure about a wooden reel
    though.
    I do struggle to find silk tying thread that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg mind.(I miss the old days when it was
    everywhere and cost pennies)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Franklin, West Virginia
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    Hooks, beads, lead (kind of), Zelon, Antron, Chenille, plastic worm, glass beads etc.... the list goes on. Personally I am fine with it, I believe the US does well with the disposal and/or recycling of plastic and synthetics, the problem lies with the way other countries deal with it. It has become a necessary part of all of our lifestyles.
    I like seal and use it in a lot of my flies, it's not verboten for me.

  3. Likes bumble54 liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    9,215

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    Years ago I conducted a less than scientific test with Clouser Deep Minnows
    Bucktail verses synthetics. Equal time in equal situations.
    It wasn't even a contest. The bucktail Clousers were far more effective than the synthetics.
    Since that time, I've applied that discovery to most of my other salty flies and I firmly believe that natural materials will out fish synthetics every time.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  5. Thanks bigjim5589 thanked for this post
    Likes bumble54, Bigfly, hairwing530 liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Brazoria County, SE Texas
    Posts
    2,044
    Blog Entries
    14

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    Adapt. I use patterns that range from fully synthetic materials to ones that are a blend of natural and synthetic materials. I can’t think of a pattern I use that’s fully natural. But, I’ve found many materials can be substituted for others and still be effective. Some of the natural fibers don’t hold up as well as synthetics so I guess I’d have to be tying more flies if synthetics were banned.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

  7. Likes bumble54, hairwing530 liked this post
  8. #5

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsagebrush View Post
    Hooks, beads, lead (kind of), Zelon, Antron, Chenille, plastic worm, glass beads etc.... the list goes on. Personally I am fine with it, I believe the US does well with the disposal and/or recycling of plastic and synthetics, the problem lies with the way other countries deal with it. It has become a necessary part of all of our lifestyles.
    I like seal and use it in a lot of my flies, it's not verboten for me.
    I hear where your coming from, the UK exports or at least exported the majority of it's waste until the third world countries said "enough". I find it totally irresponsible for any country to push it's filth onto someone else's doorstep, as the UK has for so long.
    I must admit that I use very little synthetic materials for tying my flies, this is not because I object to them necessarily but because that's what I prefer and what I was brought up on, still catch plenty of fish.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest New Jersey, Big Flatbrook right over the hill
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    The bulk of irresponsible plastic disposal is coming from SE Asia and China. More people = more plastic. However, No country is innocent from this abuse.

  10. Likes bumble54 liked this post
  11. #7

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    I use just about 100 percent natural materials on flies except for sometimes I use some crystal flash on bugger patterns for dirty water. I use copper/brass beads for weight but consider them a natural element. I use Lead wire too as lead is a natural element in our world....I do stay away from plastics as much as possible.
    North America is good a recycling however we should have stayed using brown paper grocery bags and glass bottles to recycle as paper /pulp is a crop and can be grown and recycled much easier than plastic. Gloss bottles can be cleaned and crushed and melted more efficiently than all the plastic bottles and bags we use today...JMHO

    Anything natural used for a fly is good. If people have a problem using seal fur then each to their own but seals eat fish....many fish....seals are not endangered! I use Squirrel Dubbing and Seal Dubbing...Hell I had a 50% half Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab that had under fur after brushing was perfect for dubbing
    Life is too short to not own at least one piece of Hardy fly fishing gear

  12. Likes bumble54 liked this post
  13. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    I primarily tie with natural materials, but also use some synthetics. This a product of using natural materials for a very long time, starting before we had all these synthetics available, what Rip said about them as I share the same opinion, and for the most part, natural materials are now both readily available and sustainable, where that may not be the case for synthetics, since their existence is based on petroleum and it's processing.

    So, choose your poison. Having hunted & trapped a good portion of my life, my perspective and opinion about natural materials is different than someone who may not have also engaged in these endeavors.

    I have no issue with the use of synthetics in fly tying either, some have greatly improved flies I've tied, but should they be "discontinued", I'm sure I'll survive.

    No matter which view or opinion any of us may have there's going to be an opposite view and opinion. For now, I'll do what I feel is best for my situation. Whether or not any of this is best for our worldly environment remains to be seen. As far as fly tying goes, I doubt we are talking about the same scale as that of waste disposal around the globe, but I'm sure some will feel every little bit adds to the problem. That certainly may be a valid point.

    I still pour & use lead based lures, and in a recent discussion on a different venue, there was some strong views, and opinions about lead. Some of what was added to the discussion, was purely based of hearsay, fiction & misconception, and not facts. Someone even suggested we, primarily hobbyists, should convert to using tungsten for our pouring, until it was pointed out to that person that tungsten's melting point is higher than steel. Not everyone is on the same page with knowledge.

    So, there certainly needs to be a separation of fact & fiction with any of this, but being this is a "human" issue, we know that will be the most difficult part of solving any real problem that may actually exist.

    For myself, I don't lose a lot of flies, so feel what I may contribute is insignificant and as I said, the majority is "natural" and will degrade. If I thought it was really an issue, then it might be time to quit, however, I don't so I won't.
    Last edited by bigjim5589; 01-16-2019 at 07:59 PM.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  14. Likes bumble54 liked this post
  15. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    2,257

    Default Re: Synthetics versus Natural and the true value of conservation.

    A couple of years ago there was news that synthetic microfibers from fleece clothing was showing up in fish because water treatment facilities weren't designed to filter them from waste water and the fibers don't biodegrade. The story wasn't around long.
    I hadn't really thought about it but I think I've always assumed that seal tying material wasn't really seal but some other natural or synthetic fiber designed to be substituted for real seal called for in older recipes. Are there seal ranches somewhere?
    For a while there was a lot of promise in glass recycling; One popular use was grinding it into little round bits to add to road stripes for reflection. Several of the recycling start-ups locally went bust and got stuck with big piles of glass that no one could make a buck on.
    I tend to tie with what ever I have on hand that will make my fly look like the one in the picture. It keeps me out of the fly shops and makes for a happier home life since I have fewer opportunities to go a little overboard on the tying stuff.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

  16. Thanks ratchet thanked for this post
    Likes bumble54 liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...
    By glacierjohn in forum Fly Rods
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 09:40 PM
  2. your thoughts on synthetics
    By rogue runner in forum General Fly Tying Discussions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-19-2013, 01:50 PM
  3. synthetics
    By grassonfly in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-09-2011, 04:21 PM
  4. synthetics
    By grassonfly in forum General Fly Tying Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-08-2011, 01:00 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-12-2009, 01:10 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •