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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by neoFLYte

  1. My flies only fall apart after having been in use for maybe 20-30 minutes and in most cases having caught 2 or 3 fish or at least having had several strikes. The flies I use are mostly Wooly Bugger or Clouser Minnow variants, usually on a 10 or 12 hook. The wrapped and hackled "Wooly Buggers" are the ones that come apart. All of my fly-fishing to date has been limited to Central Texas. Since I don't have a boat (yet), that means stillwater stock ponds, creeks, and rivers. The only two kinds of fish I have caught so far are (small) largemouth bass and mostly respectable bluegills. My strike/catch rate with my fly rig is *much* better than I ever had with mainstream "bass" equipment, so even with flies that maybe don't last as long as I'd like, I am one happy camper. And maybe what I am seeing is just part of the game. If so, it is nothing that will keep me from enjoying something I wish I had thought to try many years ago. Thanks for all of the advice! NeoFLYte Austin, TX
  2. I think there is a good possibility that I'm crowding the eye with many of my finishes. I *know* that I have a tendency to make a thread "cone" on a lot of the heads. Those two things are probably the biggest errors I make, judging from all of your comments. So you are saying that the final whip finishes need to go down on bare or nearly bare wire, and NOT over a chunk of head thread? Guess I need to either get a good fly-tying book that explains basics in details or take some lessons. That's cool, though. What I like about the whole deal - fishing and tying - is that it takes a little learnin' to get good at it. :-) As I was stocking up on supplies, the first thread I got was Danville "210 Denier Flat Waxed Nylon". That thread kinda bugs me because it is so prone to separating into individual strands. I'm sure there is a good use for thread like that, but I don't like having to spin it back in to thread all of the time. I have since been using mostly UNI-Thread W (for waxed, I suppose) 6/0. I haven't been keeping track of whether my Danville flies fall apart more than my UNI flies. I suspect that this is more of a finishing flaw than a thread flaw. I'm pretty sure my thread tension is OK. I wouldn't say I pull everything to near the breaking point, but I have broken the thread more than once because of pulling too hard. My wraps are what I'd call pretty dang snug. Thanks for the comments! neoFLYte Austin TX
  3. First, I have been fly-fishing and tying for nearly a year now. I have a problem with my self-tied flies lacking durability. I haven't fished with "bought" flies, so I don't have experience for comparison. It seems like a fair number of my flies come apart at the head end after several uses. I am not bullwhipping the flies at the backcast/forward cast transition. I use a Matarelli-style whip finisher and usually tie 3 whip-finish knots. Most of the time I use Griff's "Thin" cement and apply 3 coats over the head threads. I have also been using Griff's Thick and Rumpf lately, but I'm nor sure that there has been much of a difference. So... either it's "normal" for flies to eventually come apart, or I'm not using enough, or the right kind of head cement, or... what? Any suggestions/comments welcome! Thanks, NeoFLYte Austin TX
  4. The best way to get the stuff you want is to go to a place that actually sells fly-tying supplies. You can see what you're getting, especially when it comes to fur and feathers. I prefer smaller shops to the chain stores. Most of the time, the folks in the smaller shops are very helpful. As far as online goes, I usually go first to J.Stockard (http://www.jsflyfishing.com/). I've ordered a bunch of stuff from them and have always been satisfied by their products and service. Good luck with your new addiction! neoFLYte Austin TX
  5. Overall I think the Peak is a good vice. I think if you're looking for "bang for the buck", I think the Peak is as good as anything out there. The Peak is the second vise I've bought. The first was a Griffin Montana that I still use (and prefer) for simple flies. I completely agree with JSzymczyk about the Peak vise and the jaw adjustment threads/collar. My flies are pretty much limited to Size 16 through Size 6 hooks, with most of them being on the smaller end of the spectrum. My personal preference is for "pointier" jaws such as Peak's "midge" jaws. Changing jaws is a minor pain, but I don't have jaw-changing experience with another vise to compare it to. It's not something I'd care to do more than maybe once a week. Peak recommends their midge jaws for Size 16 hooks and smaller. The rotary aspect is nice, and it looks pretty nice on the Peak pedestal with all of the brass options. Another good thing is that the Griffin vise fits in the Peak pedestal - both have a 3/8" stem. neoFLYte Austin TX
  6. Personally, I don't quite buy this "barbed" theory. I'll have to stay with barbless hooks. Disclaimer: I am in Texas. My fishing experience, with some deep-sea and trout stream exceptions, my catched have included bluegills, bass, catfish and some other warm-water species. In my younger days, I never considered using (or had even heard of) a barbless hook. For keepers, I never worried about hook injury. I always hated when I had problems getting the hook out of a juvenile fish. I don't know about everyone else, but my ratio of keepers to throwbacks is fairly low - maybe one keeper per 20 catches. I've had a ton more problems removing barbed hooks. Now, all of my hooks are either de-barbed or manufactured that way. If I lose a fish because of a barbless hook, so be it. For me, fishing is as much about making that perfect cast and relaxation as it is chalking up another catch.
  7. I also recommend a Matarelli whip finisher. Or you can whip finish by hand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-WqowBsrBY I hated my whip finisher before I got the hang of it. Sometimes I use it now two or three times on the body of the fly before I do the finish on the head. neoFLYte Austin TX
  8. Coppola Claret. The perfect wine for tying flies. :-) neoFLYte Austin TX
  9. One thing. We usually see the fish with a fly in its mouth rather than the fisherman with the pole in his mouth. Just kidding! Those are some nice fish! Bet they were a blast to land! neoFLYte Austin TX
  10. The first fly I tied with the intent to take it to the water was a wooly bugger. Before that, I fooled around with some simple flies that weren't much more complicated than tying on a small tail of some sort and wrapping a bunch of thread on the hook. Someone earlier here said they'd heard if you can tie a wooly bugger, you can tie anything. I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but wooly buggers do give you a good introduction to "planning" your fly if you get interested in tying variations or coming up with the next famous fly pattern. neoFLYte Austin TX
  11. Quite a gizmo. I'm not sure that a "dubbing brush" is the proper term for this machine. I'd think you'd need the kind of brushes you see in automatic car washes to use as actual dubbing brushes for the products of that monster. For me, the "old fashioned" dubbing techniques work just fine. neoFLYte Austin TX
  12. Welcome, HungnTree! I am a newbie to the forum myself. I find it very useful. There are some very interesting fly patterns being posted here.
  13. Very nice! Thanks for posting!
  14. Interesting. I have access to a Martin 6/7wt. 8' 3-piece rod with a Heddon "10" Automatic reel. I have no idea what line is on the reel, or how old it is, etc. Except for the fact that the reel is way heavy, the rod casts well. One day I'd like to attach a modern reel loaded with 7wt line to the rod and do a little fishing with it.
  15. Definitely get one with either ceramic tips or a full ceramic cylinder. Dr. Slick makes bobbins with titanium inserts. Sounds pretty cool, but I haven't used those yet.
  16. I don't have a Mongoose, but I have a Montana Pro. I also have a Peak Rotary. In my opinion, my Griffin vise is WAY better as a pure vise. If I could put the Griffin jaw mechanism on the Peak rotary mechanism, I'd have what I would consider to be a very good vise.
  17. I have a Peak Rotary vise. The rotary aspect of it is nice , but overall I'm not terribly fond of it. For me, the jaws are too "fat" and the hook size adjustment is too finicky. Lately, I'm doing most of my tying on a plain-jane Griffin Montana Pro.
  18. I agree with previous replies: Tying flies and saving money are two things most people don't do at the same time. However, you might be able to help pay for your new habit if you can sell some of your flies.
  19. David Cammiss at this site got me interested in tying. http://learnflytying.co.uk/ Don't know what you're fishing for, but Wooly Buggers are pretty easy to tie and work well on bass/panfish. Cheers!
  20. You did better than I, number-wise. I only got 2 bluegills on my first outing this season. In fact, it was my first fly outing ever! The first was about 3" long. The second was a fat, hand-sized keeper. I bought a fly rig in December and have been practicing casting and tying flies since. I LOVE this stuff! Wish I'd gotten into it many years ago!
  21. I use unleaded wire. J Stockard carries it http://www.jsflyfishing.com/cgi-bin/item/T...-Free-Wire.html . I haven't use any leaded wire, but I doubt that this stuff is as heavy inch-for-inch as the same diameter as lead. I have .015, .025, and .035. I use the heaviest size I think I can get by with without distorting the profile of the fly.
  22. I'd also like a recommendation for a good beginner fly line. For the time being, my quarry is stillwater panfish. Mainly bluegills and the occasional bass. Despite the apparent popularity of panfish popper flies, I have much better luck with weighted wooly buggers and such. I already have Cortland 444 WF5F "Rocket Taper" line on a 5wt rod. Does anyone have any experience with this line and how it compares to other line? It seems hard to properly cast with it. I know... I'm a beginner and the best thing is practice and all of that. But a friend has a 7wt setup (he doesn't remember what kind of line is on it) and despite the fact that his rod is an old fiberglass model that weighs a ton, I can cast reasonably consistently with his setup. I'd hate to have to sling that thing all day, though! Thanks!
  23. Interesting. Guess F&S isn't into catch and release. Notice the barbs?
  24. Most of the time I use a Peak Rotary Vise. As I'm writing this, I'm actually wondering why I use the thing. The only thing I like about the vise is the rotary aspect because I can rotate the fly to check for "balance" as I'm tying. I don't like the fatness or the finish of the standard jaws. If you let your thread flatten, the surface of the jaws can actually catch the fibers and cause problems. The Peak midge jaws are finer but, as indicated by their "midge" designation, you'd better want to tie true midges if you use these jaws. Overall, the Peak vise takes a lot of patience to work around its quirks. I also have a Griffin Montana vise that I like fairly well. It's a no-brainer vise for when I'm tying "easy" flies. The jaws are nice and pointed and they don't snag flattened thread fibers. I am on the verge of buying an HMH Spartan vise.
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