Jump to content
Fly Tying

Mark Knapp

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Mark Knapp

  1. Tied on the new vise a few more hours last night. I tied some more dry flies in 12, 14 and 16 sizes. Here's a Borcher special I also spun some sweet little dubbing "noodles", Norvise style, for the Light Hendrecksons but I can't get the camera to focus on the noodle. I'll have to work on that some more. I also put some small bolts in the threaded holes on the palm wheel to experiment with that. With a bolt in the hole on the outside diameter of the palm wheel it worked well as a "finger knob". But when I put it in the hole on the end of the palm wheel it did not perform well as a crank. It's like the arch of the knob is too small, too close to the center of the axis. You may have better luck.
  2. Lucian, those nymphs are the best. Wr1nkles, That's pretty funny. The fly tying room is where I go when I'm "cutting the threads" in all the other things I do. I go there to hide, where no one can find me. They're catching on though. Even the tying room isn't safe anymore. I've been tying on my new HMH TRV. I like it. I've been spinning some sweet little dubbing noodles on it, Norvise style, My camera won't focus on them though. Gotta work on that too. I tied some Borcher Specials and some Light Hendricksons. I've also been working on the photography.
  3. I tied on mine for a few hours last night. First off, I found the jaw tips a lot more accommodating than my previous vise especially for small hooks. I tied in sizes from 12 to 16. I especially like that the tails of the flies weren't crammed into the jaws like they were on my other vise. I was also able to spin dubbing around the thread as was shown in the Norvise video on the dubbing spinner thread. I found that to be a lot easier than applying dubbing in the conventional way. Not as nice as it was on the Norvise but still very nice.
  4. You are exactly right, I took a closer look and saw that I was wrong. I ran down to edit my post, hoping that no one caught my mistake but you guys are too fast. I just put a 7/0, a 9/0 and an 11/0 (all Owners) hook in the vise and the 7/0 held really well in the smallest groove, the 9/0 wouldn't fit in a groove but held fine and the 11/0 wouldn't fit in a groove but it did clamp between the ends of the jaws, not well. The jaws don't open wide enough for the two bigger hooks to fit into the grooves.
  5. Mine came today and I am pretty happy about it. I agree with most of flytires review. I did find that I could pull vise angle clamp screw and put it on the near side of the vise for convenience. Now all my screw heads are on the same side of the vise. I also found the two threaded knob screw holes on the brass palm wheel, it appears they are provided solely for a finger knob or rod if you want one, there is no other use for them. Mine did not come with any set screws in them. The jaws are investment casted and super strong. I'm not sure why strength of the jaws became part of this discussion. Investment casting is used on the space shuttle (was), firearms and knives. Tool steel is often times investment casted with great success. These jaws are not going to break. IMO it would be un-necessary and cost prohibitive to have machined jaws on this vise. It may be the reason the LAW vise is no longer made. It's for that reason I went to some cast parts on my knives. I found it easy enough to adjust the vise jaws to hold the hook dead on center on the up/down axis. However, the hook was not on center in the side to side axis so when the vise was rotated the hook was an eighth inch high on one side and eighth inch low when rotated to the other side. A little polishing in the right places and now the hook is very close to dead center all the way around it's rotation. I honestly don't know how the hook grooves are going to work, they are shallow and far back in the jaws, especially the largest one. In my mind they will be mostly ineffective. That's the bad news, the good news is, I don't think you need the hook grooves. I put a few hooks in my vise and it holds them all quite well from size 24 to the biggest hooks I use, like 10/0. I may have some trouble with the heavy shank 10/0s. If I do I will go back to my other vise for those flies. I was quite intrigued by the Norvise, and tried to do the Norvise thing with this vise, it was not impossible but not like the Norvise either. I'm going to toy with a small fly wheel on the palm wheel so I can spin the vise. It will be counter balanced to offset the weight of the vise. I may even make a new knuckle for the top of the stem with bearings in it so the vise shaft spins nicely in it.
  6. Now I think your getting it, Mike. I like this one.
  7. Hi Capt. Bob, I quite agree with you on every point. As I said to the O.P. earlier in this thread, it would be a poor decision to go into business tying flies for a living. As for the case of opening a fly shop, that would have to be on a case by case basis. The location, ties to the industry, your resources (ie, financially, your connections etc.) would all have to be considered. The local fly shop (fly shop, is a misnomer it had to be a fly fishing shop) owner up here, a local legend really, deceased now, told me once that the money was not in the merchandise, it was in the fishing trip promotion and brokering. If he didn't arrange trips he wouldn't have made it. By arranging the trips, he also got to outfit the fisherman. I'm talking exotic destination trips for locals to exotic (to us) places like Florida for tarpon. Fly fishing for him was not a business opportunity it was his passion, his reason for living and the only thing he could do. After he died (he was here over thirty years), the fly shop went away and no one else even attempted one, it would have been foolish. For me, the passion is custom knife making. Nobody should attempt to make a living making custom knives, it's silly, it's foolish. But, I have spent my life doing things that everyone else said I couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't do. I have made mistakes, and sacrifices but I am the happiest person I know, and have been the luckiest person I know. Anyone with the passion to have a fly shop, or tie flies for a living will not listen to any of us telling him not to. He would do some research, do the math, find out it's going to be really hard and then do what ever it takes to make it happen. They will have to work hard every day for very long hours at first. When I started my shop, the world didn't need a custom knife shop in Fairbanks but it did need a tool sharpening shop, I worked 12 hours a day in the shop everyday. Then worked a few more hours a day, every day, on the shop, fixing the roof, repairing equipment, making fixtures etc. I worked even on Christmas day for five years when I was getting started. It affected my health. I quit hunting, fishing and trapping for the first seven or eight years I was in business. When I got most of my machinery paid for I was able to start doing those things again. We still have struggles, things change, you have to adapt. Find out what's wrong and find a way to fix it. Business is like that. Living a dream isn't easy, that's why they call it a dream. There's no security in living a dream, if you want security (not you Bob, you're living your dream) don't chase a dream. Check with me in five years, we'll see if my story has changed.
  8. You may be providing a kid in the far east the only income his family has available to them, or helping someone make at least a little bit in the love/hate occupation he or she chose. If I was running a fly shop, I would have my people tying flies during down time. They would be the best local flies available, and they would cost just a little more.
  9. Yep, we have the 2nd largest tidal difference in the world up here in Cook Inlet, 28 feet.
  10. In my quest to tie all of the flies in the two Orvis manuals I have, and get better at photographing flies, I tied several of these and took some pictures. Here's a blue wing quill and here's a Hendricson Dry.
  11. If you ever get up here, come by and say "HI" Let me know well enough in advance and maybe we could set something up. I could show you how we do it, or at least how I do it. The Almar is a semi V so it's not bad in the ocean (up to about 4 feet). In any given day we will be in the ocean fly fishing rock fish, pollock and cod, in the river fly casting for silvers and at the outlet of the lake casting for steelhead and dollies. That's when we go to Kodiak. We go on three or four extended trips a year (two weeks) and then a bunch of 1 to four day trips a year. Didn't mean to high jack this thread.
  12. Some of our lakes have very shallow accesses, many of our lakes are accessed by shallow rivers. But mostly I wanted one boat that I can use on rivers, lakes and small ocean set up for fly fishing with most of my junk in it. I go to Kodiak Island sometimes, We start out on the highway, to the ferry, launch at Kodiak Island in the ocean, go around the North West corner of the island and into the shallow rivers. The Almar has 35 inch high sides so it's not totally uncommon to put one in the ocean.
  13. So sorry to hear about "your" fire.
  14. That just blew me away. I bet I can do that with my new HMH TRV, with some practice. Now what am I gunna do with the dubbing spinners that just came in the mail today?
  15. No, it's an Almar that I rebuilt from the hull up. 460 Ford marine with new fuel injection. I set it up for fly fishing in lakes, river and ocean. Small ocean though. Congratulations on your retirement.
  16. OK, I'm still working on the photography but here's some of the stuff I've been working on. G.R. Hairs ear nymph. Letorte Hopper Classic Clouser Minnow A variation with polar bear hair. Woolly Bugger. Hairs ear soft hackle. A variation. a Mosquito. Blue Wing Olive Bead head hairs ear soft hackle. I've been adapting flies for fishing through the ice, to be fished vertically. I'm putting beads in front of the eye on many flies I fish in the summer so I can fish them in the winter. I like to watch through the ice to see how different species will approach different flies. This one is a scud. I've also done the Adams, the Borcher Special and the Pale Evening Dun but I'll have to work on photos a bit more to post them.
  17. I don't think you should stop yourself from achieving bigger goals because you have this romantic view of what work should be. Study hard, challenge yourself. Be smart with your money and retire early, then tie and fly all you want, wherever you want. But that's just my over-analytical opinion... That was sarcasm at its best! I always told my kids to get a real degree that will lead to a real job That pays a livable wage and then they can do what they love to do on the weekends like every other successful person. Of course I was constantly fighting against the teachers and other parents who preach to kids to, "go to school for something you love doing and you will never work a day in your lives." Fortunately my kids listened to me. Their friends who listened to the romantic view are still living in their parents basement paying off massive student loans while driving beer trucks for work. I agree with your over analytical opinion 110%. Dream big dreams, work hard towards those dreams and aim high. I retired yesterday in my mid 50's not because I tied flies for a living. both kids never came home from college and started jobs right out of school paying more then enough for them to get their own places and live a very comfortable life. I can see arguments both ways. I became a machinist out of high school, quit that at age 24, moved to Alaska, in '84 and became a big game guide, commercial fisherman and professional trapper. Started my own machine shop in 2000 started making knives full time in 2007. I work hard every day and never worked a day in my life. I go fishing three days a week, for myself but sometimes I guide when I want to. I don't live high off the hog but I have several boats, nothing fancy, the biggest is a 24 foot inboard jet. I never went "back home" I never spent a day in a job I didn't like and have never wanted for anything. The days I'm fishing or running around in the mountains, I'm still working and when I'm working (in the shop) I'm still having fun.
  18. I don't have much to contribute but I love this kind of discussion.
  19. I'm not sure you can rationalize the time and effort you put into that vise just for a picture, but I love it. As long as it was worth it to you. Now, what are you going to do with it? I suppose you could sell it to a collector. Also, I think it needs a crank handle. I suppose if I didn't copy the picture every time I commented on something we wouldn't have as much trouble with Band Width space.
  20. I got two northern deer hides in today, and a bunch of tails. On first look, the belly hair is softer and finer than tail hair. It's over two inches long. I have to flesh the hides but I will post pictures when I get them cleaned up.
  21. When I get my vise, I will make a few knobs.
  22. Well, It has that "goose neck" shape that get's the vise out of the way of my left hand while I'm applying materials to the hook. The "pinch technique" tie down comes to mind. My vise is always in the way. This one has pointier jaws than mine, to hold small hooks. It sounds like it will accommodate a much larger variety of hooks than mine. A little bit of frustration goes a long way for me. I spend quite a bit of time at my vise and I really want to enjoy it as much as I can. It's official, mine has been ordered. I'm more excited about this than many things I have acquired lately. Besides all this, it's a true rotary vise. Not all vises are that.
  23. Well, It has that "goose neck" shape that get's the vise out of the way of my left hand while I'm applying materials to the hook. The "pinch technique" tie down comes to mind. My vise is always in the way. This one has pointier jaws than mine, to hold small hooks. It sounds like it will accommodate a much larger variety of hooks than mine. A little bit of frustration goes a long way for me. I spend quite a bit of time at my vise and I really want to enjoy it as much as I can. It's official, mine has been ordered. I'm more excited about this than many things I have acquired lately.
  24. Now you guys are getting me excited about a new vise. No point in fighting it I guess.
  • Create New...