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Fly Tying


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About poksal

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/07/1947

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    bass, brim. trout
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    North Texas

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  1. As far as getting started on a budget... many experienced fly tyers have a kit vise or similar laying around and may would give it to a starting tyer who is sincere and will pay postage just to see it get used and help someone get started. Here is a good consideration to evaluate that is not all that popular at the moment, but is quickly gaining an awful lot of momentum in a hurry. Look into tenkara fly fishing. This kind of fly fishing is most likely going to be VERY popular in a few years, because it catches more fish and tends to shun away from all the complicated learning of modern western fly fishing which these days makes it so difficult, taking us back to basics again. Tenkara is an accident form of fly fishing that was apparently developed in Japan during the shogun period and was taught and learned to be able to eat and survive. Tenkara fly fishing doesnt use any kind of fly reel. Much of the opinions you will hear are not based on facts, so research it out for yourself. This is a serious well established, EFFECTIVE method. It takes much less hardware to fish and the flys are mostly simpler to tie and can be tied with sewing thread and the feathers found in your yard. Some famous champion tenkara fly fishers only fish with one fly pattern, period, ever. Tenkara fly fishing uses a different philosophy in which you seduce the fish into taking the bait. It doesnt use conventional fly line and you usually dont let any line get into the water to spook the fish. You frequently let only a couple of inches or so of the tippit in the water, if any . There are casting methods to learn but they are more natural to pick-up. Tenkara concentrates more on the presentation and less on the fly. A tenkara fisherman believes if you present the fly correctly you can seduce the fish into biting with most any decent fly, having reverse hackles, of the correct sizeof which you can cause to act alive. I am presently converting to tenkara and continuing to love to tie flys for a hobby. ...AND you CAN use them very effectively while fishing the tenkara method.
  2. Actually.... I think your set-up is kool! .. but won't work for my personality. I'd totally wreck the place with that set-up... and end up with a pile to dig through.
  3. I store all my materials in compartmental clear plastic boxes from the craft stores. I use the kinds that allow me to choose where the divisions divide for larger materials such as hackle, furs, and basic feathers, and marabou. For the smaller materials I buy boxes with built in divisions, for example for my home blended dubbings, hooks, rubber legs, flashings, congo hair, chenille, wraps, beads, and eyes. I then label the boxes on the front with a marker and they stack within easy reach. In boxes with fur or feathers I put cloves and cedar in the boxes to deter critters. If I change the contents of a box, alcohol removes the marker and I re-marker the name of the new contents. Hooks are in boxes with about 30 small compartments, with a full information 1/2" x 1-3/8" label stuck in at the back of each compartment where the brand, size, type, configuration, and stock number can be easily read while selecting hooks. For dubbing blends, I have an Excel sheet that tells me what formula I used to blend each compartment of each box in the stack. So, If I was to use one up I can reblend it literally in a few seconds. In my humble opinion digging through and resealing stacks of zip-locs sux. With clear plastic boxes, you pull a box from the stack and choose a material form a group of similar, close the box and place it back on top of the stack. The most often used boxes tend to be near or at the top of the stack for a given fly tying session. There are two exceptions to this method, I keep raw materials for blending my dubbings in zip-locs. I rarely need to get into those zip-locs, if I do it will be for a short time because you can blend a heck of a lot of dubbing colors in a couple of hours. Also, I keep bulk feathers in non-compartmental clear plastic boxes stacked elsewhere, then I keep a selection of those in the compartmental boxes stacked at my tying station and bench. Be sure to add cloves and cedar to those bulk boxes! Now, a stack of division boxes is a fly tyer's Christmas gift to cherish. What could possibly be more logical or easier?
  4. Nice, for one thing is Is nice, and for another it is VERY similar to my set-up. I even have a Gerstner tool box, except mine has the middle drawer at the top to fit the Machinist Handbook. And that tool box is at my back left, because my set-up is at a surround desk. My computer and dual screens is at my back while I tye. My screen with grounds cameras displays at my right shoulder. My coffee grinder, soldering iron, and hair blower are at the right side of my station. Materials are in compartmental boxes on shelves above my station. My station is very simialr to yours. My version of the Gerstner is like this one, but a good bit more banged up.
  5. I use a coffee grinder and have no problems.. either way is fine. If you are blending already sized dubbing you may grind it finer in a coffee grinder if you aren't quick on the pulse button. As for keeping mixes one of the following images shows how I keep my dubbing blends. I have three of these containers. The other photo shows a resource for natural wool roving at JoAnn's for, I think, $1.5 a package of 5" x 3" x 2". This is all the selection my JoAnn's had, if you can't custom mix a color with these... well, you have a problem. Adding in texture such as furs late in the blend is a snap. I use this most of the time and often mix in various furs and dubbing materials I have purchased from commercial providers. The containers are numbered and I use an MS Excel sheet to track what mixture forumla I have in what compartment. As fate has it under control this is a picture of my worst selection... shrugg...oh well. To not "wind it around the blades" in a grinder, use short pulses and pause to let it stop whriling between pulses. You have to do this to look at the progress anyway. To not melt synthetics.... if you use short pulses.. you WON'T. Never just hold down the button on any dubbing mix.. you need to stop and see how it is doing a few times. You will NOT melt any of them if you use this method!!! You can pick up a coffee grinder from a selection at Wallymart for $20 or less.. I paid under $16 brand new.... and it does an amazing job of it.
  6. I like the way you have stored the bobbins in slots and the scissors with just the loops up. Nice new to me concept... I may steal it. Did you drop a pair or two of scissors and hemostats through the slots before you added the guides?
  7. I'd say this is no less a fly that a balsa wood popper. Both have a feather or other material tail. Some of us have been tying mylar braided tube mosquito fish with feather tails. No one has called any names as far as I know. Good for the goose is good for the gander.
  8. Nice desk and tying station. The desk is about perfect. I too do wood working and made my station. Are those engraved wooden drawer labels? I have a phaograph machine and never thought to make my container lables. What machine did you use?
  9. "Wooopeee" It is the night before Christmas and here at our house grandmas still cooking, with silver bells on her blouse. Im still busy at the bench tying tiny flys for next year, but tomorrow is Christmas, and therell be lots of cheer. Yes with the bird in the oven, and the pies high on the shelf, the kids and our grands are all coming, and therell be no stealth. Therell be plenty of running and climbing and shouting, Im counting on the grands and their energy no doubting. As sure as theres a Santa on the shelf with a sleigh, Ill be putting my prized collection of tiny flys all away. With the house full with family that Ill be tickled to see, My feathers will be tucked away just as safe as can be. My tying station wont fit where my grands cannot see, So Ill have to hide it in the attic where safe it will be. With my dubbing and hackle and hooks and all tucked away All my grands are all welcome to hang with me for a stay. Though I wonder and am asking you with good cheers, Could there less shouting without buds in their ears? Yes, is the night before Christmas and here under our tree, Tomorrow will bring grands full of energy and glee. Wooopeee -randy- (poksal) Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday to each of you and your families from Kaye and I ..... and the kids and grands.
  10. It has everything to do with what you are painting on. Modern paints have to have a base coat or be designed to stick to the very product you are spraying, and it must be compeltely dust and oil free. Yes, it may be ok to use an automotive sanding sealer first, but follow that with a primer coat. The sealer has to be compatable with the material you are painting. The primer has to be compatible with the top coat your are painting with. To rephrase, the sealer, primer, base coat, top coat and or clear coat all have to be purchased as a matching system. Gone are the days that any paint can be used with other products. Spray cans from the home repair store will still do this for the most part, but you will need to test to see if you have a good bond to the product. It may be as simple as the fact that you handled the product with your hands before you painted it. Did you strip all oil first with a solvent that leaves no residue, such as alcohol?? Most folk don't realize that 90% of the time in a paint job of any kind is in the preperation stage & post processes, not in spraying the paint on. For those suggesting different masking.. no... blue painter's tape is the right tape.. it is not a tape problem but a paint sticking to the product problem. Blue painter's tape is the best non stick to paint tape and it has the true non fuzzy straight edges. One trick is to apply a thin coat of clear over the paint. But if your base coat does not adhear to the product nothing will fix it. Also, if you base coat, or primer, or paint are not compatible, even a well stuck primer or sealer will change chemically and turn loose. However, I suggest you use a liner brush next time... found at a craft store the one you need is about 3/32" round and 1-1/2" long, AND yes, they are called "liner brushes". Mount the fly and place a steady straight object near the fly. Place something under your had that slides well on the straight object. Trace the brush down the length of the fly while your hand slides down the straight object for a clean straight steady line. Practice first on junk. Believe me I know... take my word for it. My son is "color me crazy", if you know him you know I know what I'm talking about.
  11. My vote is it was a store display for something.
  12. Got mine saturday too.. and got all that stuff sorted and boxed tonight.
  13. I'm using a DanVise and have tied many many flys at this time. But hear this. I have recently started doing something that makes a lot of sense. When I was a tool maker years ago we used a trick to hold hard materials in the toolmaker vises. We put paper between the tool steel and the vise jaws. It took a few hook grabs to get the trick down but now I place a magic object between my hook and my jaws. It does four amazing things. It gives me incredible grip on my hooks, let me say that again, I said incredible. It does not do ANY HARM TO ANY JAWS. It does not mark or harm the hook. It prevents me from cutting my thread or tensil on the hook point. That magic object is a small piece of the semi-hard tough clear plastic like most small store bought products come packaged in to prevent shop lifting. I cut a few pieces about 1/8" X 3/8" and fold them in half. Then I slip the hook bend in between the layers of the folded plastic and then put the sandwich into the vise. I have learned to trim that top corner so it isn't in the way and clamp in such a way that my hook point is not exposed outside the plastic. You will quickly figure out your own shape to make them which is best for you. I got the idea by watching some of the masters tie show class streamers using something similar for protecting the hooks from marks. I was so impressed with the grip using less vise stress that I now do that on every fly I tie. The cold fact is we are holding hardened hooks with hardened jaws... this is why we have various jaw problems.... hook after hook after hook until the jaws pay for it. You owe to yourself to play around with it at least once. At first it is a little cluttzy. Remember, nothing is easy the first time. This gets just as easy as not using the sandwich combo in a few flys.
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