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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by 92Esquire

  1. I normally buy what I can find in stock in the color I'm looking for. F'rinstance, I had been looking for a saltwater Cree cape, and the first one I came across was a Bronze. I'm very happy with it. If I'm buying online, I'm more likely to buy a higher grade cape as insurance. I've got a couple of silver grade dry fly capes that have been outstanding for the smaller dries I normally tie.
  2. Chartreuse/White is my go to. If that's not working, I'll use grey/white, olive/orange with barred markings, or red/white.
  3. UNI for most of my trout flies. I use a ton of 8/0 in black, red, olive, and brown. I have come to prefer UTC for anything saltwater or bass, because I like the way it lays down for clouser heads. I also feel that the UTC 140 allows me to torque a bit more than UNI 6/0 while still laying flat.
  4. Trout flies are all on Tiemco. Love the hooks. Saltwater flies are either on Tiemco (if I'm feeling flush, &*^#$% they are pricey), Mustad (still haven't forgiven them for jacking the price up on 34007 and 34011's a few years back) or Eagle Claw (the 413 is my current favorite hook to "play" with). Bass flies are either on Tiemco 811's or (I prefer) Gamakatsu B10S.
  5. Nope, not a pro. But he is an engineer who is incredibly compentent with tools and problem solving. He's actually a bit ashamed of this as it was one of the earlier things he did. He says when he sees it, he only sees the mistakes. I'm blessed to have it.
  6. Here's the custom tying bench my dad made for me a few years ago. Cherry and birdseye maple, made to the dimensions I wanted. He also inset a replaceable Melamine top into it so that if I drip glue, I'm not ruining nice hardwood. Also makes hooks easier to find.
  7. My Spartan is my travel vise, but I tie on it quite a bit at home, too. The HMH Midge jaws are the best I've found. It holds stable, and I've been able to tie from saltwater 1/0 hooks down to size 28 midges with the two sets of jaws. The only thing I have trouble with is the distance from the upright to the jaws. My bobbin is continually knocking into the upright. The Standard would be better, but it's also a bunch more money, and takes up more space in my tying kit. For what it's worth, I've owned a Peak as well. The Peak is a nice vise, too.
  8. I like the Hopper Juan mentioned above and the Charlie Boy (CB) Hopper: http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/detail.cfm?parentID=16 The CB may be slightly easier to tie.
  9. I'm glad you like that vise. I've always been curious about the C&F tying tools, but have never seen them "in the flesh". Based on their fishing accessories I've used, I have no doubt that the vise would be first rate. My local shops are no longer stocking vises in the price range over about $250, so there was no chance of getting to mess with one of the C&F's. What do you like best about the vise? What design choice did they make that's superior to the other vises you've used?
  10. That's a Toho seed bead, size 11/0 in silver lined brown. I tie with those down to size 22. I use a 15/0 bead for size 24 and 26 flies. Your local beading supply store will sell you them in hundreds of colors. Your fly shop will also have them as "killer caddis" beads.
  11. This discussion is interesting to me because I typically don't post pictures of my flies. First, my level of talent is nowhere near what is displayed by a number of posters here. Second, the things I tie that make me happy wouldn't do much for anyone else. Does anyone really want to see my version of the Hare's Ear Nymph that uses a mylar thread from JoAnn instead of a wire rib? Probably not. Not so different that you can't visualize it without a picture. I am doing my first tying demonstration at this year's TroutFest. I'm nervous as all heck about it, and trying to figure out what to tie. In the end, I'm going to tie three flies that I fish more than any others for trout. All of them are patterns that I've seen somewhere else, but all of them use materials that I've found outside of fly shops that make them a bit more "mine". Nothing earth-shattering, but if you caught me on my local tailwater and asked to see my leader, one of these three would be on the end at least 90% of the time. One of them I thought I'd invented until I saw an old Fly Tyer magazine with nearly the same pattern in it. Oh well. Hopefully some of the folks will enjoy the patterns - that is if they can see me tying them - the largest is a size 18! Here's one of them. I can promise you I've caught fish with this fly:
  12. I've got several, mostly Griffin, but I have a Renzetti and a Rite as well. I like the Rite especially for tying with 8/0 thread (in fact, my Rite lives with brown UNI 8/0 on it). The Renzetti is my saltwater bobbin. However, my favorite bobbin is a Griffin Rod Wrapping bobbin. Why that one? Because it allows me to use the "wide" spools of Guterman and Sulky rayon and silk threads that I buy at JoAnn fabric.
  13. One thing to consider if you're looking at the modular fishing bags that hold Plano-style boxes - I've looked all over and it appears that only the 3700 size allows you to get a box with no dividers. Why is that important? That size allows you to hold a rotary vise, or a bunch of tools like needle nose pliers without cutting dividers. My local Wal-Mart had this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Plano-Large-Bag-...lities/13283389 I bought one last week and am currently refitting it to be my travel tying bag. It looks like I'm going to be tying at a local show this spring, and I need to be sure I've got all my stuff in one sack. This should easily hold all I need to carry for a show.
  14. I've had mixed experience with some of the less expensive vises. A couple years ago I bought my niece a vise for her birthday and flew to her house to teach her how to tie. The vise was a Terra Silverado that I bought at my local Gander Mountain. That vise failed in less than 15 flies - the pivot pin that the tensioner rides on bent almost immediately. I was pretty embarrassed - she learned to tie on my HMH Spartan and I bought her a new vise when I got home - a Griffin model 2A: http://www.flyfishohio.com/Vise%20Review%2...superior_2a.htm It's not fancy. It doesn't rotate. But what it does do is hold a hook very, very well, and pack down to a tiny size. I've had two of them now and they are great. I've found them on sale for $35 before and kicked myself for not buying more. What I like about it is that it is an inexpensive lifetime vise - there are really no materials compromises on the Griffin, and you'll find a use for it as long as you are tying.
  15. Vises are very much a personal preference. Some of the best tyers I've ever met won't use anything other than a Regal. Others won't touch it if it does not say Dyna King. Still others tie on Renzetti, HMH, LAW, Peak, or on an old pair of vise grips. Save your money. In the mean time, find a shop (might be local, might be while you're on a vacation) that has different vise styles. Or find a way to get to a fly fishing show - watch what people tie on and ask questions. Most folks have been through a couple different vises, and are more than happy to tell you why they chose what they did. But understand that there isn't a bad choice, or a wrong one. Every vise is a compromise in some way. Every vise has things it does very well, and things that it isn't the best at. Every tyer has learned to work with and around his/her vise to tie what they normally tie. You'll do the same. The Regal is a very good vise. So are the rest of them. Save your money, make your choice, and tie on it. I'd bet a nice hackle patch that it won't be your last.
  16. I tied on the PEAK for a few years. I now have a Dyna King Barracuda and an HMH Spartan. The 'cuda is my bench vise, the Spartan is my travel/backup. The PEAK is a very well made vise, and does a lot of things very, very well. I think the midge jaws are tied with the HMH for "best in class" for tying on very small hooks. The PEAK does trout/bass/panfish and large saltwater very well.
  17. I currently tie on a Dyna King Barracuda Indexer as my primary vise. I will tell you that I enjoy the vise very much. I personally prefer tying on a true rotary, just for the sake of being able to wrap materials easier. The index feature I use primarily to cure epoxy. That said, I've had my eye on a Supreme as well. My travel vise is an HMH Spartan. Nothing inherently wrong with the Spartan, but it doesn't hold saltwater hooks quite as well as the Dyna King. For bench use, I prefer the Barracuda. If you're someone who ties a lot on the road, I'd buy the Supreme and use the heck out of it.
  18. Nothing keeps my local fly shop from competing in service. I'd love to be able to handle really small beads prior to buying them, to see what the color really is - but the fly shops (if they stock glass beads) will stock Killer Caddis beads in sizes too large, and colors I'm not interested in. Wouldn't be too hard for a fly shop to establish some sort of relationship with a local bead shop to restock rather than paying what I'm assuming is higher prices from Wapsi to transfer the beads from boxes to plastic containers. Love my local shop to death, and I buy everything I can from them. But when I can find a source and get stuff the shop won't/can't carry, I'm going to buy there with a clear conscience.
  19. For the patterns in "Modern Midges" I like size 11/0 Toho and Delica beads down for size 18 and 20 midges, and size 15/0 for size 22 and 24 midges. I can find the 11/0 sizes in a number of colors locally, but I buy all the 15/0's and colors of 11/0 I can't find on eBay. Lots of colors available, with different finishes and transparencies. Not hard to get 3 - 4000 beads for about $4.
  20. My top choice in that range is the HMH Spartan. I bought one to use primarily as a travel vise, but I've found that I I actually prefer the Spartan for trout stuff over my Dyna King. The Spartan midge jaws may be the finest small-fly jaws on the planet. Also in that price range is the PEAK vise. I tied on a PEAK for several years, and really enjoyed it. There are things about the PEAK I preferred over both my Dyna King and my Spartan. Note that you will not be able to tie the whole range of sizes you mentioned with the standard jaws on the PEAK. For that matter, I'll bet that the standard jaws on the Spartan may struggle a bit at the high end of that range, as well.
  21. Lionus, I tied on a PEAK for about two years. I'm not going to disagree with Rick's experience, but I will tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my PEAK. For trout flies I think its about as good as it gets. The midge jaws are spectacular if you tie tiny stuff on scud hooks (as I do frequently). The jaw adjustment is a bit coarser than some other vises, but it's a well-made piece of hardware. Understand that every vise (even the Nor-Vise) is a series of compromises to meet the design goals of the person putting it together. I've found that most vises have a type of tying or size of hook that they're just not great at. For my Dyna-King Barraduda, with the standard jaws, that's about the 8-10 range. Above and below that, no sweat. But I have a bugger of a time getting a size 8 streamer hook to hold without wobbling. On my PEAK, it was a size 4 and 6 Mustad saltwater hook. As long as you're dropping more than about $150 on a vise, you're pretty well guaranteed to get something that will work well. Whether it's an HMH, Renzetti, PEAK, Dyna-King, Regal, or Nor-Vise, they all allow you to hold the hook to tie materials on. The trick is finding one that works the way you do.
  22. I've owned the PEAK, the HMH Spartan, and the Dyna-King Barracuda Indexer. I no longer own the PEAK. It is a very well made vise (best base in the industry), and it did a great job for me before I got my Barracuda. All of them are well made, highly functional vises. The PEAK with the midge jaws and the HMH with their midge jaw are about as good as it gets if you tie dinky stuff (I tie a bunch of 20 and smaller beadhead midges). The Barracuda is the absolute bomb for bass and saltwater tying - I love tying clousers on this vise. Any of them will give you years of service and do what they are supposed to.
  23. Find a tailwater with trouts. Tie on a size 18 to 22 "Zebra Midge' - that's a tungsten bead head (silver), black thread body, silver wire ribbing. Hold on. Post later to say how amazing silver wire is.
  24. For pretty much all of my East TN fishing, I carry a single box in a chest pack. It's one of those Scientific Anglers slotted ones that holds about 400 flies. I probably have it about 80% full at any given time. However, I'm typically fishing two ways - either a dry/dropper combo in the small streams, or a indicator rig with two midges underneath. So the inside of one lid is midges, the facing middle page is nymphs, the other side of the middle page is dries, and the other lid is buggers and soft hackles. However, my selection is pretty simple. For midges, I tie: Zebra midges, size 18 - 22 in black/silver, brown/gold, olive/gold, and black/red Brassies, size 20 - 22 HL Midges (kind of like a jujube midge) in size 20, red/orange and olive/chartreuse Pheasant tails in size 18 and 20. Nymphs: Pheasant Tails in 14 and 16 Sparkle Back Pheasant Tails (my number one go-to fly) in size 14 and 16 Hare's Ear in 12 - 16 Prince Nymphs in 12 - 16 Orange Scuds in 12 (tied by the man who made my bamboo rod, Dave Norling) Scuds in 14 and 16, tan and olive Dries: Stimulators in 12 and 14 Elk Hair Caddis in 12 - 16 Parachute Adams in 12 - 16 Madame X in 12 and 14 Foam Beetles in 12 - 18 Foam Ants in 14 and 16 Hare's Ear parachutes in 14 and 16 (my nod to Geirach) Wet stuff: Woolly Buggers, size 8 and 10, olive, black, and brown Conehead Buggers as above Soft Hackles, some with glass bead, size 14 and 16, orange, red, brown, and pheasant tail It all really does fit in one small box, and gives me a pretty wide assortment of choices to throw at trouts.
  25. In my opinion, if you're looking for an inexpensive "Lifetime" vise, buy a Griffin model 2A and be done with it. No, it is not rotary, but it holds a hook solidly, weighs next to nothing, and packs down small. When you decide to move up to some type of rotary (or more heavy vise) the 2A will still be there, ready to come with you on fishing trips to tie in the cabin or the motel. That'd be my choice, anyway.
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