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Colt1911

Tying on a non-existent budget - extreme beginner

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Stumbled on this forum and found tons of what looks like useful info but, I am trying to get into tying on a non existent budget. I have cobbled together a few fly like THANGS (won't elevate them to actual fly status) using miscellaneous snelled hooks (stripped - bought 41 packages mixed sizes at a yard sale .10 cents a pack) various thread, feathers picked up from the fence at the zoo - frozen to kill bugs, course hair from the dogs grooming brush (Chesapeake bay retriever very wiry/stiff), popper heads from disposable yellow/orange ear plugs, and a few other scraps of nothing.

I have absolutely nothing that resembles fly tying tools other than a few good pairs of scissors.

 

Here is the question, Have any of you MADE or Modified things into workable tools?

 

been using krazy glue and wooden skewers stuck into a block of styrofoam as a vice (glue the hook just above the point pop it lose with a razor when done)

 

made a few bodkins

 

And I would rather not be told to invest, I have not been able to fish at all for a few years and still cant really afford it. I have now found a way to get a babysitter for a few hours every weekend - and my choice was either buy a fishing license or buy gizmos and gadgets to make things to sit and look at.

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Welcome to the Forum. Don't get discouraged for not having all the fancy things to use right now. None of us had anything when we started either and as circumstances change you can gain what you need but most importantly always remember to make it as much fun as you can. There is much help here and you never know what might catch fish. Tie it and fish it, just have fun with it.

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Vice grips for a vice

just use your hand as a bobbin holder (stick a bolt threw the bobbin to give it some weight)

i used random crap for the first while i tied

yarn, dog fir, yard birds, its all fair game as long as there are no legal isues

remember the old flytiers didnt have the cool stuff we do now

 

 

paper clips for dubbin twirlers

velcro for brushing

sewing supplies

easter grass

 

 

man everything can be used

 

and RIT makes great dyes to change up your color combos

 

and those snelled hooks you got make sure to clamp the barbs on top

 

 

super glue and sally hansons are good for head cement

 

ok on to some red neck tools

 

bulldog clamps (spring loaded paperclips) great for grabin hairs or fer for dubbing and hackle pliers

soder in place of lead

save all magnents to hold hooks and small boxes for dubbing

 

 

i guess thats it from me

 

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Thanks for the welcome,

Just wanted to add - In 10 years off and on in this area I have yet to see anyone else out with a fly rod around here and to the best of my knowledge you cant buy a over the counter fly within 100 miles of me.

 

Im deep in catfish country and have decided that a good 7-10 pound channel cat on a 5/6 wt rod is as close to heaven as I'll ever get. However it doesn't take many of those to turn a purty wooly bugger into a splat.

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First off, welcome to this site, Colt1911. To answer your question, yes, I have made tools from various items I have scrounged around the house. Here are some simple examples:

 

1) I've made a handy half-hitch tool out of an old Bic pen. Just pull the ink cartridge out of the center and you can use it to make the final knots to hold the flies together. It also makes a good hair packer tool.

2) I've made make a bodkin by simply inserting a long sewing needle into an old wine cork, or a wooden dowel.

3) I've made dubbing blocks out of old pieces of wood and a few small brass nails.

4) I've made a head cement applicator out of an old feather quill (sharpen the point with a razor and use it like an old ink quill).

5) I've taken an old wooden dowel and chopped it up into short sections and then sharpened them in a pencil sharpener. I use these to paint eyes on flies (Painting Eyes).

6) I've made lots of flies on simple plastic tube bodies (the center stems of Q-tips). Tube flies are very effective and much less expensive than hooks to learn on. You will still need the hooks later for fishing, though.

 

7) You can use the handle of an Exact-O knife to hold hooks (Exact-O Vise - Brilliant idea Alex!).

 

Foam flies are very budget friendly. You can pick up sheets of craft foam very cheap, or better yet by saving the foam that comes in many packaging material these days. I have saved a bunch of different types of foam from work, when they unwrap new equipment.

 

If you can get your hand on any old clear shower curtains, or sandwich bags, they can make nice wing material.

 

Ear plugs make great popper bodies.

 

You can get copper wire from an old electrical plug. Just strip off the insulation and you get lots of wire strands which can be used for ribbing and wire bodies.

 

Yarn makes great body material. You can chop it up into short sections to make your own dubbing.

 

Christmas tree tinsel can be used as flash material.

 

Clear nail polish makes a great head cement.

 

Other handy tools you pay be able to find around the house include, finger nail clippers (cutting wire), single blade razors (super handy), electrical wire clip, an old tooth brush (dubbing brush to fuzz up fly bodies), small piece of Velcro stuck on an old Popsicle stick (dubbing brush), a broken piece of hacksaw blade (dubbing rake).

 

Once you start looking around for material and tools, you find a lot of options. I hope this was helpful.

 

Here is a link to post discussing catfish flies. I posted a simple leach pattern that I have used to catch catfish. (just a hook, thread and black rabbit strip).Catfish Fly Link

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thanks for the link, Im going to sit down and see if i cant conjure up something similar. Don't have any rabbit but have several several bobcat pelts in the freezer awaiting the next furrier who wants them more than i do.

 

Now to build my own thread holder/bobbin.

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I'm assuming you are in the deep south. If you can, find some bird hunters. They can't legally sell any feathers from wild game, but most hunters simply skin a bird and throw the feathers in the trash. I came across a turkey hunter that didn't want to waste the feathers of two turkeys, so the plucked feathers have sat in a box and I am picking up all kinds of stuff. Also talked to a duck hunter that knows to pluck flanks for me this fall too. They are generally just happy to see the stuff get used. Pheasants, partridge, geese, they can all be used. I'd like to get my hands of a dove skin and chukar skin myself.

 

Our daycare lady has a Chesapeake. You should have a pretty limitless supply of dubbing there.

 

I know there was even discussion of a tyer with a slowly dissolving couch in their tying room. The yarn from the upholstery was just right for a particular pattern that worked well for him.

 

Materials are all over the place.

 

Deeky

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welcome to the addiction Colt now a few tips to help out dryer lint makes great dubbing paint brush bristles for legs or tails bungee cords the nylon wrapped type for rubber leg material you got 3 kids so a visit to the doctor is inevitable so be sure to grab a couple of latex gloves to cut into strips for scud backs and or body wrapping for nymphs

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colt i was just looking at my bobbin holder... metal coat hanger duct tape and a metal tube flared on the ends and you'll have it man

it would be just like the real thing instead of just usin a weighted spool like i said earlier

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One custom macguyverized bobbin - err bobbin holder

 

One highlighter or dry erase marker (used = Free)

One small wooden dowl (bamboo shish-kabob skewer 50 for a dollar)

bobbins from sewing machine (got prob 30 of them for the sewing machine, can use them later on sewing machine and refill them from sewing machine so free for this)

end off of a dead bic pen

 

empty the guts/tip from the highlighter, notch the big end so the bobbin fits snugly - spool tension is created by the gap

punch holes in the 'ears' created by the notching

heat end of highlighter to soften and insert the point of the bic pen, just like you were putting it bac on the pen tube.

pop the bobbin in the slot, put your trimmed to length piece of down through the holes creating an axle (for more weight use a bolt, anything that fits)

thread through the body of the highlighter and out the pen tip

 

Cost=15 minutes for the first one, 3 minutes each for the next 4 and some stuff that was cluttering up my desk.

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One custom macguyverized bobbin - err bobbin holder

 

One highlighter or dry erase marker (used = Free)

One small wooden dowl (bamboo shish-kabob skewer 50 for a dollar)

bobbins from sewing machine (got prob 30 of them for the sewing machine, can use them later on sewing machine and refill them from sewing machine so free for this)

end off of a dead bic pen

 

empty the guts/tip from the highlighter, notch the big end so the bobbin fits snugly - spool tension is created by the gap

punch holes in the 'ears' created by the notching

heat end of highlighter to soften and insert the point of the bic pen, just like you were putting it bac on the pen tube.

pop the bobbin in the slot, put your trimmed to length piece of down through the holes creating an axle (for more weight use a bolt, anything that fits)

thread through the body of the highlighter and out the pen tip

 

Cost=15 minutes for the first one, 3 minutes each for the next 4 and some stuff that was cluttering up my desk.

 

 

 

 

id like to see that picture

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One custom macguyverized bobbin - err bobbin holder

 

One highlighter or dry erase marker (used = Free)

One small wooden dowl (bamboo shish-kabob skewer 50 for a dollar)

bobbins from sewing machine (got prob 30 of them for the sewing machine, can use them later on sewing machine and refill them from sewing machine so free for this)

end off of a dead bic pen

 

empty the guts/tip from the highlighter, notch the big end so the bobbin fits snugly - spool tension is created by the gap

punch holes in the 'ears' created by the notching

heat end of highlighter to soften and insert the point of the bic pen, just like you were putting it bac on the pen tube.

pop the bobbin in the slot, put your trimmed to length piece of down through the holes creating an axle (for more weight use a bolt, anything that fits)

thread through the body of the highlighter and out the pen tip

 

Cost=15 minutes for the first one, 3 minutes each for the next 4 and some stuff that was cluttering up my desk.

 

 

 

 

id like to see that picture

 

ditto...

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