Flytying - It's been an expensive year

micka

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As Cam was suggesting, it's really about the sense of achievement you gain from catching fish on flies you've tied yourself - YOU actually made the trap you set. Somehow it's not the same if it's something you've bought.

On the subject of acquiring masses of materials, and sometimes purchasing stuff from fly fairs that you had forgotten you had in the first place, ask yourself if you were locked away in your fly tying 'room' whatever and wherever that might be, how long could you keep tying for before you ran out of materials. My own collection is nothing special I'm sure but it would have kept Robinson Crusoe going for all his castaway years.

Mick
 
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baca157

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As I've said in a previous post - I don't tie my own flies - I buy them at an average cost of £1.00 each.

So, the question is to all fly tiers out there - Does it cost you less or more to tie a quality fly - Assuming that you have all the initial hardware set up equipment, vice etc.



Douglas
Less (for a trout fly). Even using best materials, hooks, etc. A trout fly will come at less than a £1. Unless you are using Jungle Cock, of course.

The trouble is that “fly tying materials” is a synonym for bottomless pit (or should be). There is never enough. I started 6 years ago and still keep buying stuff every month😳

The thing is that fly tying is hobby on its own so I don‘t really care how much it costs, especially since I started tying classic salmon flies. When a single hook costs you £15, you just have to stop thinking about how much it costs in order to stay sane.

Cost aside, being able to tie any fly you want to your own specification is priceless. I often tie flies just before going fishing. Can’t do that with bought ones.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

easker1

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try the Scrap heap challenge with your tying use what you can find around I use things like The mesh sack that oranges come in, red onions come in a nice claret colour, cutting strips from crisp packets gives you the inside silver, plenty other things I have a mole skin coat from a charity shop and an old Grannies fox fur wrap, easker1
 

codyarrow

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Less (for a trout fly). Even using best materials, hooks, etc. A trout fly will come at less than a £1. Unless you are using Jungle Cock, of course.

The trouble is that “fly tying materials” is a synonym for bottomless pit (or should be). There is never enough. I started 6 years ago and still keep buying stuff every month😳

The thing is that fly tying is hobby on its own so I don‘t really care how much it costs, especially since I started tying classic salmon flies. When a single hook costs you £15, you just have to stop thinking about how much it costs in order to stay sane.

Cost aside, being able to tie any fly you want to your own specification is priceless. I often tie flies just before going fishing. Can’t do that with bought ones.

Cheers,
Sebastian

Sorry I sort of mis understood the question. Of course you can ty a nice fly for less than a £1 but I was thinking about all the stuff I have which has cost more than my rods and reels put together. Will never work out cost effective. Buying flies individually is always going to work out cheaper than tying - unless you are easker! :)
 

baca157

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Sorry I sort of mis understood the question. Of course you can ty a nice fly for less than a £1 but I was thinking about all the stuff I have which has cost more than my rods and reels put together. Will never work out cost effective. Buying flies individually is always going to work out cheaper than tying - unless you are easker! :)
Of course. Anyone who thinks they will save money by tying their own flies is just kidding themselves. The only people that are saving money on my fly tying are my friends who have a never ending supply of flies😂

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

baca157

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try the Scrap heap challenge with your tying use what you can find around I use things like The mesh sack that oranges come in, red onions come in a nice claret colour, cutting strips from crisp packets gives you the inside silver, plenty other things I have a mole skin coat from a charity shop and an old Grannies fox fur wrap, easker1
The mesh sack makes amazing woven nymphs👍My favourite is the yellow one from lemons:

DC610452-2D63-4F64-847C-36DE40A3115B.jpeg

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

petevicar

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I have this idea that I may at some stage be able to tie beautiful flies.
I am struggling with my own incompetence but have invested a **** load of money in feathers and eyeless hooks.
At the moment it is not quite as expensive as my last shut down idea of building rods but who knows?
My attempts so far could be classified as fishing flies rather than flies to show to other people but I am still working on my techniques.

I hope I don't get to the stage too soon when I have to admit on this board that I have a lot of fly tying stuff that I am willing to donate to a worthy cause.

Pete
 

Paul_B

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I was fortunate enough to inherit quite a substantial amount of fly tying materials over the years, I'm well into my 60's & the generous donators had been far older than I. Sadly missed a very many of them.
I had a lot of friends who worked for YGA before it outgrew itself and have lots of tying stuff ;)
to add to that I saved a lot of feathers from my own hens and have family who breed fancy fowl and rare breeds :)
Times change, where I had plenty of pheasants turn up on the doorstep for eating and took a feather as and when I wanted one, no ones shooting and I've had to buy! a knotted feather 😰
I bought some little silver beads too
 

Bongoch

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Bristol
Another advantage of tying your own is your not limited to what's available commercially. The majority of the patterns I fish you can't actually buy or if you can you can't get the right size. The ability to vary the recipe is also an advantage. I've been fortunate enough to fish in NZ a few times and whilst standard patterns (PTN, GRHE, etc) work well, due to the size of the fish it's hugely advantageous to tie them on a heavier hook than normal. This was a hard lesson as the first time I went out several commercially bought flies opened out on several good fish leading to some colourful language on the bank! :mad:
 

len1

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Feb 20, 2013
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Scotland
As a practical example of the benefits of tying your own flies a fly called Craftye Devil appeared in a recent Trout and Salmon. I tied up a few. 10 of my last 12 rainbows have been caught on it. I now have to go and tie up more as my mates have nicked my spare ones.
 

baca157

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I have this idea that I may at some stage be able to tie beautiful flies.
I am struggling with my own incompetence but have invested a **** load of money in feathers and eyeless hooks.
At the moment it is not quite as expensive as my last shut down idea of building rods but who knows?
My attempts so far could be classified as fishing flies rather than flies to show to other people but I am still working on my techniques.

I hope I don't get to the stage too soon when I have to admit on this board that I have a lot of fly tying stuff that I am willing to donate to a worthy cause.

Pete
Just keep at it Pete. You should post your efforts regardless of how they look as you’ll get a lot of valuable feedback.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

flathead

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Aug 18, 2014
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Cambridgeshire
I look at fly tying as something beyond simply saving money on flies to fish with.

I have enough flies already to see me out and enough fly tying materials to last a few lifetimes....even very expensive genetic capes which I have had for years and are hardly touched!

I found myself looking at another very expensive vice this evening despite having a couple of (very expensive) vices in perfectly good nick.

For me fly tying is an end in itself....I am getting a bit old to fish the way I used to but can still sit in my fly tying room and enjoy myself and dream even though I won’t ever use most of what I tie.

I am also thinking of building a few rods, coarse as well as fly rods even though I already have about 60!....
I find doing theses things enjoyable in themselves....not simply a means to an end.
 

dooodlebug

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Aug 13, 2010
Messages
2
As Cam was suggesting, it's really about the sense of achievement you gain from catching fish on flies you've tied yourself - YOU actually made the trap you set. Somehow it's not the same if it's something you've bought.

On the subject of acquiring masses of materials, and sometimes purchasing stuff from fly fairs that you had forgotten you had in the first place, ask yourself if you were locked away in your fly tying 'room' whatever and wherever that might be, how long could you keep tying for before you ran out of materials. My own collection is nothing special I'm sure but it would have kept Robinson Crusoe going for all his castaway years.

Mick
I think my grandchildren or great grandchildren might start to run out of some stuff (the Heron hackles first probably):confused:
 

running bear

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Oct 23, 2009
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I used to have buyers regret when I spent loads on materials, knowing they'd probably out live me and i'd never maxmise the outlay. Especially when I tied a style of fly and then had to buy 10 colours of the materials so I could tie a dozen of each colour variant.

Then I realised how much I just like tying flies and saw it as an activity in itself, it suddenly changed in my head, thinking of it as the cost of an activity (with a great by product, that I couldn't buy to my spec anyway), in comparison to say what I'd spend on a meal out (or a day on the beer when younger), or a day at the cricket or rugby etc, never mind day tickets.

My new "vice" during lockdown is buying 70/80/90's vintage reels on ebay. Got a lovely looking old Hardy Ultralight tonight, then saw a numbered Ultralight 2/3/4 for very little money - I have so far resisted, someone PLEASE buy it, before I fold and hit buy it now. What makes it really tempting, the seller thinks the number stamped is the model number!
 

dave b

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UK
The key to tying good flies is using quality material starting with the hook. It's not uncommon to pay £4.00 for 20 hooks. A quality Whiting saddle now costs around £85, almost double what it used to be 4-5 yrs ago. Tungsten beads have also increased significantly.

It isn't a cheap hobby, however you can tie a lot of very effective patterns using CDC and deer hair which can cut costs considerably.

Providing you can tie to a good standard I feel it's worth the investment as it's a great hobby that will give you a whole new insight to not only tying but also what makes a fly work, how it sits in the water, what the profile should look like and a better understanding of what you are trying to imitate.

When I first started tying my early attempts where pretty poor however with a little encouragement, help and determination, not to mention lots of hours spent practicing at the vice, I'm happy to have reached a good standard where the time invested has made it all worthwhile.

It's not as cheap as buying but when you can tailor and adapt patterns to you own specification putting your own spin on a pattern it makes it all worth it. Plus you also gain an insight and understanding you may not have developed using shop bought patterns.

 

mr_eejit

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Jul 1, 2009
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Derry/North of Ireland
I've a friend that didn't know I tied, a few months ago he said to me his brother in law was looking to sell him flies at £1 a go, (he thought that was a lot) I had to explain to him that he had to feature in the cost of materials and good quality hooks, don't think he was convinced, anyway I gave him 2 fly boxes full with about 300 flies that I wasn't using as I've to many, so he won't need to ask his brother in law for any for a while. (unless he sold all mine on for a pound each) 😕
 

petevicar

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Just keep at it Pete. You should post your efforts regardless of how they look as you’ll get a lot of valuable feedback.

Cheers,
Sebastian
Thanks Sebastian.
I have a certain amount of personal pride and I will not show you guys anything that I can't pull to pieces on my own.
I am having problems with simply tying wings. This is something that I have not practiced in the past as most of my flies were for tropical saltwater or hairwing salmon flies.

I am trying to learn a lot of basic stuff and I don't think it is appropriate to burden you guys with my inadequacy at the moment.

I am in Robert the Bruce mode,

Thanks anyway.

Pete
 

baca157

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Thanks Sebastian.
I have a certain amount of personal pride and I will not show you guys anything that I can't pull to pieces on my own.
I am having problems with simply tying wings. This is something that I have not practiced in the past as most of my flies were for tropical saltwater or hairwing salmon flies.

I am trying to learn a lot of basic stuff and I don't think it is appropriate to burden you guys with my inadequacy at the moment.

I am in Robert the Bruce mode,

Thanks anyway.

Pete

You won’t burden anyone Pete. Constructive criticism at the early stages of tying classics will be invaluable. Getting this advice will be very helpful.

Wings are the most difficult part. I still struggle with wings 18 months on.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

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