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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by Runarsson

  1. Finishing up a bunch of swap flies - 'Peacock Bitch Creek'. Chenille is old-school. Time for a peacock/antron facelift :
  2. Cool stuff indeed. I wouldn't have done this with anything else... Foam Beetle on Mustad 277, size #32
  3. I don't understand what there is to 'ASSume' regarding the topic and my post. I'm not the one who brought packing foam into the discussion, if that's what you mean. Only foams I've mentioned are the common foam sheets (2mm) and Wapsi's foam sheets (1.5mm and 3mm).
  4. I chose my foam depending on the fly it's going to be used for. A hopper with a body made of 2-3 foam strips or a Mohican Mayfly will not need the foam with the largest air cells to stay on the water. But when it comes to flies like emergers etc, on which the foam will be a smaller part of the flies, I get pickier and chose one with larger air cells... often one from a fly-shop, but I have some good sheets from craft shops too. In England, at Hobbycraft Superstore, I bought a pack with 40 foam sheets (I'd say 35 different colours) and among those sheets you could see big differences in the densities... some very good and some very poor. The foam with the (without competition) best boyancy qualities I have seen is the one from Wapsi (the one that comes in 1/8" and 1/16" thickness). http://www.wapsifly.com/foams.html That one has very large air cells and float much higher than any other foam I have tried. It's a little different from the "regular" foam also when it comes to tying. As the density decreases, the deeper the thread will collaps when tying. Good when little bulk is of the essense, but not as good for extended mayfly abdomens, since the wraps go so deep that it makes it look more like a series of balls than a segmented body. Another difference is also its durability, not in the same direction as the boyancy difference though. /Nick
  5. I use true rotary most of the time... Dyna-King Barracuda Ultimate Indexer. It was an Indian cheapo rotary that put me on the track and I said to myself: 'Never a conventional vise again.' Then I went from that Indian to a Danvise, from that to a Mongoose, from that to a DK Barracuda Junior (not Trekker) and from that to the DK Barracuda Ultimate Indexer. Early last year I got a got myself a Dyna-King Supreme (conventional), despite the earlier "never again". Today I tie on that one almost as often as the Barracuda. With the body positioned horizontally, I could see it as an "almost true rotary"... with the jaws in the same angle as the hook shank's center line (a little like the Norvise). A little more rotary drag than on a true rotary vise, not a perfect center line match (height) and not so good for high speed rotary tying. But works just as good for even ribbing, palmering hackle... and, of course, comfortable "always right side of the fly" tying. For the poll, 'true rotary', but I think they both have their advantages. A conventional vise offers more space behind the fly and more space on the tying bench... and its size is more suited for livingroom sessions, tying nights etc (thinking Barracuda Mastodont point of view here. The true rotary, however, is better suited for weaving flies since the extension/spindle offers more space for the hands under the fly... and is of course unbeatable when it comes to the really "nasty" wrapping jobs, like wire bodies and floss bodies etc. I wrote a little article about true rotary vises for my homepage not too long ago, including some illustrations. Pretty basic stuff that I'm sure most of you already know (judging by poll result and comments), but might be interesting for the fly-tying newbies: http://www.swedneckflyfishing.com/rotaryvise.htm /Nick
  6. In my own experience, much of the craft store foam has been more dense than foam I have bought in fly-shops and I think much of my fly-shop foam has a higher boyancy than my craft store foam. But there is "good" foam and there is "bad" foam. I also have craft store foam that seems better than some of my fly-shop foam. There are no rules without exceptions... /Nick
  7. My backwards "step-by-step": The "active" ones these days would be these two... Dyna-King Barracuda Deluxe and Dyna-King Supreme. Before that: Griffin Montana Mongoose - Now used as monopod for the camera (C-clamp + stem) while the padded carrying case has a Dyna-King sticker on it. Before that: Danvise - Now making a good job displaying one of Ronald Pop's beautiful creations in my tying room. Before that: Eagle Vise - Now (together with the rest of the "Moosegoose" parts) with a task to take up a little space under something else in the drawer. Before that, Noname vise a.k.a. "Comes With The Kit Vise" - Now used for getting nostalgic feelings in the tying breaks... and for preventing the rolling board to move in under the bench all the time. Other than those, an ornamental miniature vise/tool kit, gift from Tony Spezio when I tied at Sowbug 2006. - A couple of the tools used for #32's, but mostly just being pretty on the shelf... and for educational purposes of course. /Nick
  8. When you quit tying and decide that you'll rather nail the door closed and put wallpaper on it than carry out the stuff to empty the room.
  9. 'Tidy' isn't even in the same dictionary as 'tying'... just don't mix. /Nick
  10. It's easy to get careless when the deal is "equal tension and don't let them slip whatever you do". It's not that far from 'holding tight' to 'pulling hard', especially if you're more focused on the first... and <SNAP> A tip useful to this weave is to use a bobbin (or two). I often use a bobbin for the material that goes on the bottom side. It makes it much easier to reach, gives better control and the material doesn't slip through my hands. It makes it much more comfortable. Then if I need a hand free, I lay the bottom material (temporarily) over the hook and then leave it hanging on the side. With two bobbins, both can be left hanging (again laying the bottom color over the hook first) and there you have the "coffee break luxury" that the overhand weave offers. 'Bitch Creek Slim & Sparkly'
  11. It makes great looking and durable bodies... and isn't hard once you "find your swing". Here's my 'Montana Slim & Sparkly', woven only to achieve the flat/wide/segmented body shape. Nothing says you must use different colors just because you can.
  12. Here's my own parallel weave favourite: Swimming Damsel Nymph... I also have a parallel weave step-by-step here if someone's interested... /Nick
  13. I have tried it once and it sure is a fine vise... but my opinion will still resemble the other's: Generally the quality of the vises start following the price, more money - better vise. But at a certain point the curves split apart and the value of the vises as 'tools' doesn't longer meet up to the value in $. You might get a more accurate time from a Rolex than you get from a Timex... ... but you don't need to go steeper than a Citizen to get a time you can trust.
  14. Not really "strange" material, but from a source I wouldn't have expected: I share my tying room with my fiancé's cat, who was given an old ugly armchair as her 'domain'. I had had it for almost 20 years and it wasn't until the cat had started "working" on it that I realized what it was made of and what I actually had there. An entire armchair made of chenille!!! Really nice "mottled brown" colors in different shades. The cat is getting old and her bladder isn't to be trusted anymore so she got a plastic chair instead... and the armchair was thrown away. But I was quick with the knife and before it was taken anywhere, the entire back was cut off. That piece will give me nice nymph chenille until I leave this world. (And if it doesn't, I think I still have the 2-seat sofa to it down somewhere in the basement. ) You find it where you least expect it. It sure can't be more 'armchair angling' than this... /Nick
  15. I(!) find the Griffin Montana Mongoose to be the vise with most design flaws I've ever used... as well as the most unergonomical. Unergonomical: The angle and the length of the jaws together with the length of the cam arm and the distance between it and the jaws, makes it very difficult to tie with it rotated 180 degrees. Lean to the right, twist your arm... and then you will still have your fingers above the fly, making it difficult to tie. In my opinion, the point with a rotary vise is that words like 'under' and 'far side' should be no more. This doesn't qualify as "accessible enough". More design flaws: The cam arm (again), its length and the distance from the jaws also takes away some freedom when "regular" tying. The tip of the arm reaches out almost to a point straight below the jaws. It's possible to tighten it in the other direction... but then its length won't allow it to pass the bobbin cradle and rotary tying will be out. (The third picture shows what I think is an older Mongoose model, with a cam arm that is WAY much better than the one today. Both shorter and closer.) And more...: The friction screw at the back is in my eyes a flaw since there is a little wobble (poor precision) that unscrews the thumb screw. When rotating counter clockwise (same direction as unscrewing the thumbscrew), the wobble before the actual rotating starts, takes hold of the thumb screw too and unscrews it a little bit. The spring inside helps by pushing the thumb screw out. But it doesn't work the same way in the other direction, since the pressure from the spring is too hard to allow it to tighten again. Slowly unscrewing, but quickly changing the drag. So having looked a few times at the fly's far and under side (rotating back and forth), the friction that was has to be reset again. During the time I used it, they made a modification by exchanging the rotary housing in aluminium to one in delrin. That was a step forward. No need for the rubber o-rings inside (subject of wear), no need for grease... and they had put a friction screw in it. It didn't do any difference to the wobble at the back of course, but with the new screw separate from the axle, the drag wasn't affected from any rotating movements. On the latest version (that I have only seen on Griffin's homepage), the design looks different... and I don't know how that works or if it made it any better. One might hope so, since I don't see that separate friction screw in the housing anymore. But it doesn't look much more ergonomical though... and I bet it will still also have the blunt jaws I didn't overly care for. But it always ends up in the same place. While a friend of mine, sharing my opinion, says "The Moosegoose should be melted down and sold for scraps."... I have friends who like it too. The only 'good' vises are the vises which you feel comfortable with yourself. TRY vises before buying. I was in a choice between the Mongoose or a DK Trekker... and I chose the Mongoose because the word 'Junior' in the name 'Barracuda Junior Trekker' scared me. Today I have learned which of them actually is the 'junior' in a size comparisment... and I have learned what I actually think about the Mongoose as a vise... and, since I today tie on a Barracuda and so can tell the difference, I have also learned HOW bad my choice was. Sloppy research - wasted cash. :wallbash: /Nick
  16. I got one of Don's Monster Muddlers. It's a very nice addition to my fly-tying room... ... something to catch focus, so the mess doesn't seem that bad. /Nick
  17. There's no cure for tying. Sometimes you can see people selling out their stuff "because they are quittingtheir tying". But they quit for a reason... quitting because you 'want to' isn't possible. If it's shopping madness you mean... no, there's no cure for that either. You just buy and buy and buy. Every now and then comes a time when you haven't bought anything for a while and you THINK you have it under control... but it's just an illusion. It's just hibernating. Suddenly you see something that you "just must have... and that looks neat too... and that..."... and you're back.
  18. I tie with the scissors in my hand and when it's tie off time, I just open them a little bit (creating that little 'V') and "push" the thread off. Hackles (and whatever it may be) unharmed. /Nick
  19. Put one or two (depending on thickness) black bristle pieces through a couple of glass beads and burn in both ends. Dumbell glass eyes with black pupils.
  20. It's the same everywhere you go. In large anonymous crowds you won't find ALL to be how you prefer to see them. It's just a choice between if you want to accept the fact that all are different and focus on what you like... or keep both your doors open and let yourself be disturbed by what you find disturbing. That's the way I see it and that's how I can like the many forums I'm a member of.
  21. 90 100m spools should work too...
  22. Polypropylene is also lighter than water (with a density of 0.95 g/ml I think. Floats... /Nick
  23. The posts have the same diameter, so there's no reason for it not to. (I use the Mongoose C-clamp for my own Dyna-King Supreme.) /Nick
  24. On our Swedish forum, I have been known as "the Foam Freak" for some time now. I just love the material. The real reason for starting using it was the waters I usually fish... small lakes where the branches are tickling your neck. Places where you can fish for an entire day and then return home without having made a single false cast. To not drown my dry flies within three roll casts, something "special" had to be added... like closed cells of air. But it's a fun and easy material to work with and it's also very durable. It can't replace everything, but there is a lot of things it can be used for. So why shouldn't it? I don't doubt they would have 150 years ago if they could... and the "purists" today wouldn't have said a word about the beetles and ants in our boxes. "I use the materials and tools available to tie what pleases me.", which is probably also what they did when it all started. So, as I do the same thing, I see myself as a purist too... just a "purist with much more available to chose from". /Nick
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