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mhackney

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About mhackney

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/07/1958

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  • Favorite Species
    trout
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  • Location
    NE Massachusetts

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  1. Wow, some over achievers here! I've been off the board for a few years, thanks pickin6ofem for remembering me from the past!
  2. Synthetic Flies, Flies with an 'Edited Hackle' and Catch the Hatch is now available for pre-order! This book is a compilation of three works John Betts published in the early 80s and 2000. The originals are rare gems and we hope this book will re-introduce John's use of synthetic materials, fly design, and tying techniques to new generations of fly tiers and anglers. Flies with an 'Edited Hackle' is especially interesting. John predicted the possibility of a global hackle shortage in the late 1970s! Little did he know that it would be driven by the fashion industry. This book introduces an alternative to traditional hackle using natural or synthetic fibers. The design has other significant benefits too - very easy to tie, the fly always lands right-side up, and, arguably, presents a more realistic insect profile to the trout. The softcover edition will be available the last week of October. The Limited Edition of 100 numbered hardcover books will include a signed and dated remarque and will be available in mid to late November. All pre-ordered books will include one of John's original full-color 3" x 4 1/2" waterproof Pocket Guides for Mayfly identification (these will also be offered separately). BOOK OVERVIEW 118 pages • handwritten and illustrated • 11" x 8.5" • printed in the USA LIMITED EDITION DETAILS Limited Edition of 100 books • mocha vellum cover with gold embossing • each book features a unique remarque and is individually signed, dated and numbered SOFTCOVER DETAILS Identical to the Limited Edition but with an attractive softcover binding. Here is a short description of the included books: Synthetic Flies (1980) explores the use of synthetic materials and introduces innovative materials along with tying and coloration techniques. Flies with an 'Edited Hackle' (1982) examines alternative materials and techniques to traditionally hackled dry flies. Catch the Hatch (second edition, 2000) was published as a stream-side guide to mayfly duns. Although reprinted here in gray scale, fly tiers will find the descriptions, sizes and coloration an invaluable aid to tying imitations. Visit www.ReelLinesPress.com to pre-order or get more information. Published by Reel Lines Press in association with The Whitefish Press. Regards, Michael
  3. I just got the proof for John Betts' Synthetic Flies, Flies with an 'Edited Hackle" and Catch the Hatch today. It looks spectacular! We are proceeding with the printing of 100 Limited Edition hard covers each with remarque hand-drawn, signed and dated by John and a Perfect bound softcover edition. I'll post more information about pre-ordering when I have a publication date (expected to be 3rd week of October). Meanwhile, here are a few example pages: Synthetic Files Table of Contents The Ant Flies with an "Edited Hackle" original cover Excerpt page from Catch the Hatch Reprint of the fold-out from Catch the Hatch We are also working on a couple of special "surprises" to accompany the launch for this book. Cheers, Michael
  4. Thanks tidewaterfly. The 2nd book in the compilation - Flies with an "Edited Hackle" is less about synthetics and more about using hair and other natural fibers to replace the traditional dry fly hackle. These flies float fantastically, always land right side up and are fast and easy to tie (and look great). With the recent jump in hackle price and difficulty in finding it - due to the fashion industry - dry fly tiers might be interested in these alternatives! cheers, Michael
  5. Just wanted to give an update. The book is complete and at the printer for proofing. The process from here is I either approve or reject the proof and re-proof. Once the proof is complete, the books are put into the print queue and I'm provided a delivery date. Based on several year's experience with my printer, they are very fast and accurate on their dates. I usually get the proof right the first time! So, it looks like the book could be ready as early as mid October. regards, Michael
  6. We've created a sign-up form so you can receive emails when the book is available for pre-ordering and ordering. Cheers, Michael
  7. Hello all! Over the years I've become friends with John Betts and have published two of his original works; Reels & Making Them and Remarques. Many of you may know John was Fly Rod & Reel's Angler of the Year in 2006 for his life-long innovations and contributions to our sport. John is credited with the introduction of synthetics in fly tying in the early 1970s (in fact, his tailing material, Microfibetts is still popular today and was named by him). In 1980, John wrote and self-published Synthetic Flies which is credited by many to have opened fly tyer's eyes to the use of synthetics and included innovative materials, tying techniques, and coloration. The book was completely hand written and illustrated (beautifully!) but a small number of copies were produced. Those copies sell for hundreds (and in one case $2500) today! You may not know that he wrote a lesser known and just as interesting book Flies with an Edited Hackle in 1981. There were also several smaller editions of Catch the Hatch (with hand-painted mayflies, 1984); and Catch the Hatch (second edition, 2000). I'd been looking for copies of these books for years and mentioned that to John. He graciously gave me copies. After reading and re-reading them (many times!) I was simply amazed at his innovative use of materials, tying techniques and coloring and the artistry of his writing and illustrations. Even though John wrote a few articles on his flys and tying in magazines, many fly fishers and tyers have not had the pleasure of seeing his work and techniques. I've convinced John to allow me to re-publish these books as a single volume made up of each of the individual books exactly as they were originally written and illustrated. We are nearing completion and preparing for printing and I wanted to gauge interest in Synthetic Flies, Flies with an Edited Hackle and Catch the Hatch by John Betts to help guide the process. I would also really enjoy hearing from anyone who has read these books, knows John or has fished with his flies. Best regards, Michael The Eclectic Angler
  8. Many of you may know the name John Betts. He was Fly Rod & Reel's Angler of the Year in 2006, and author of Synthetic Flies which was a significant influence to many fly tyers, and Making Strip-built Fly Rods. John is also an accomplished reel maker. Recently, John transcribed hundreds of pages of his personal shop notes made over a period of three decades. The manuscript consists of over 400 pages of beautifully hand-written text and illustrations. More than 450 color photographs illustrate the background, ideas, procedures, and sequence of steps used to make reels of aluminum, brass and exotic woods. John has asked me to publish his book as a digital edition and make it FREE to everyone to download, use and print for personal use (the book is copyrighted and you are not permitted to redistribute or sell it). It will take many months of scanning and formatting to complete the work and the plan is to post new sections on a monthly basis over the course of a year. The first sections of the book - about 100 pages - have been posted and are now available here: Reels & Making Them. These first sections include the Cover, Frontis Plate, Front Art, Table of Contents, Introduction, Section 1 - Shop Drawings, Section 2 - Practice and Section 3 - A Diary. Regards, Michael
  9. I'd love to hear about your method of making this line if you don't mind sharing. Cheers, Michael
  10. Hi, I'm the admin for the reelsmithing forum and furl silk lines. The tools you saw are for furling horse hair. Horse hair is only about 30" long so you need to add in new hairs as you reach the end of a segment. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to furl a 35' horse hair line. There is a post on the silk lines I make with info on furling and coatings. For these I use a furling engine (I make these too) but you can use a rotary tool or drill exactly like furled leader makers use. Before the Industrial Revolution, silk lines were furled. These were most likely 3 strand furls and that is how I make them. They have superior properties to the braided lines in my opinion. The surface texture of the furl creates less friction as the line passes through the guides. This is very similar in principle to the expensive Sharkskin synthetic lines that Scientific Anglers manufactures. cheers, Michael The Eclectic Angler
  11. Thanks guys. Check out the posts in the Reel Showcase on the Reelsmithing forum. Lots of guys are building these reels and having a great time. I teach people how to build one of these in a single-day workshop. I've spent a lot of time experimenting with materials and techniques - as you'll see in the presentation - to make reelsmithing accessible to everyone. cheers, Michael
  12. Hello everyone. I posted this in the rodbuildingforum a few weeks ago and received some suggestions to cross-post here. Basically, I've been hand-making brass fly reels for some time and teaching others how to do it. It really is a simple process and only requires an electric drill and some hand tools - no lathe or machine shop needed! To help people get started and show how straight-forward it is, I've created a presentation of my reelsmithing techniques that shows you how you can build fly reels using simple hand tools! It includes overviews of the tools, materials and techniques I use and teach and then steps through my entire reelbuilding process. Building this reel is a great place to start. You'll learn a lot of techniques and discover many ways to customize, improve, and personalize your reel. Here is a photo of one of my reels: Cheers, Michael
  13. Great ideas, thanks guys! The Steve's vice looks simple and I can get hobby knifes at Harbor Freight for real cheap. cheers, Michael
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