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Fly Tying


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About tidewaterfly

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/25/1955

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    Striped Bass
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    South Carolina, formerly MD & Chesapeake Bay Country

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  1. I have an old Medallion, made before they put the medallions on the head, and with regular jaws. I can use hooks up to about 3/0, depending on the wire diameter. Some larger hooks will fit, but again it depends. If I was looking for a vise only for bigger hooks, I would look at the Big Game or Monster jaws, and stay with the regular jaws too for smaller hooks. I've only tied down to about a 22, and the jaws shape could be finer for that, like the Midge jaws. If the Big game or Monster are wider, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be tying in sizes smaller than an 8, but if Regal says it will, then I would not question that. I've also never had any problems with hooks shooting across the room. As was said, there's a groove inside the jaws, which is where the hook should be positioned, any size hook, and if done otherwise, it's not in the jaws properly. For anyone to blame the vise for the lack of proper use, to me is unfounded.
  2. I'm approaching 56 years of tying, and have tied commercially for over 20 years. Speed, is relative. It's mostly about organization and reducing wasted effort, not about going faster. I tie many flies in an assembly line fashion, and organize and prepare before I start to tie. That takes time, but then the actual tying can be done more efficiently, and quickly. I very much agree with Norm, that speed can lead to mistakes. The real trick is knowing & understanding the difference between speed and efficient. It's not about fast, it's about smooth, and reducing wasted time, which results in spending less time tying for the same numbers. Repetitious tying is not for everyone. Most tyers do it, but on a very limited basis. It's one thing to sit and tie a dozen flies, it's another to sit and tie 15 dozen of the same pattern & size. I also agree that "crappy" materials, is a matter of perspective too. I very much dislike when folks relate a material to poor quality, just because it doesn't meet their need for a specific type of tying. To them it may be poor, but may be great for another tyer and purpose. Hackle is one of the materials that get these types of comments often. Not all hackle is or ever will be "dry fly quality", but not every fly tied with hackle is a dry fly. It does a disservice to recommend dry fly hackle for all flies, when there is other hackle types readily available and use the "quality" as reason. I was just in this type of discussion, and the topic was very large streamers. At the present time, there are no great supplies of large, long, webby hackle. Strung 6"-7" saddle hackle is the best available, but even with a good source, not all are well suited for the purpose of tying large streamers. It was suggested in the discussion to look at what Whiting offers and again, it's not big enough. The saddles are long, and narrow. Some make great flatwing streamers, but the point again is not everyone ties the same types of flies, and one of the limiting factors is material that is suited for the purpose. That does not make it "poor" quality, just not suited for all purposes. Learn the difference and as Norm said, a good tyer can tie a nice fly with less than desirable materials. Bucktail is another that gets those remarks. Just because a bucktail doesn't have 6" hair, does not make it poor quality. I buy a lot of small and medium tails, and look for finer hair, because I tie more smaller flies that don't need long hair. For my purpose, the tails I get are perfect. It makes no sense, to buy a premium tail and pay $10 or more for it, and chop it down to tie a 3" long fly, because of someone else's perceived idea that long equates to "quality". To pass that type of ideology to a new tyer again does them a disservice. If your opinion and buying habits are to buy those big tails, great! Just don't tell a new tyer that smaller tails with shorter but finer hair equates to poor quality, IF, those smaller tails will serve a good purpose for that person. There's a big difference between "qualities" and "quality". This is often a difference between hobby tyers and commercial tyers. I can use what I get, even though I do prefer to pick materials when possible, I don't always have that luxury. I will seek suppliers who are going to send good materials, but they don't sort & inspect every tail or every feather, and I understand that. I also understand that I can use "lesser" materials, with the better materials, to accomplish what I need, a good end result. Again, the "trick" is knowing how to do that, and it's not by complaining about the materials. The last thing I'll add, is tie what you're not necessarily comfortable with, so you can improve. If you struggle with a technique, or use of a specific material, the only way to improve is to do it. At times, I have tied flies that were not even of the type that I may use to fish with. It was done mostly to try it, and to hopefully learn something. I think that the many flies that Norm posts is a great example to follow. Over the many years, his flies have been an inspiration, because they're varied in styles, patterns and types. I would guess that he doesn't fish them all, but many of his flies are display quality IMO, so there's value in tying them beyond fishing with them. Thank you Norm! . I've been able to find uses for a lot of flies that I've tied, but not all. Just because a fly is intended for a specific fish species, doesn't mean it can't be used for others. There is likely not much that has not already been done, but if you keep an open mind and look beyond labels, the world opens up even more, Look at the possible use of the fly, it's potential, not just it's intended purpose and label. I'll often adapt/adopt to my own uses, and to me that's what tying is about.
  3. I agree, and it doesn't necessarily mean a form, but "fuzzy" and buggy could be used interchangeably IMO, in how they're tied, and materials used, so they create the illusion of life with how the materials move. I also agree that it is likely something we all know when we see it, but may define the term a bit differently in how we see it and they're all accurate.
  4. I drag raced a '70 Chevy Nova in my younger days, and like Steeldrifter, have not been in a "sanctioned" race car. Mid 12's in a quarter mile was fast enough for me. I had an LT-1 Corvette 350/370 in it with 4:11 gears, and It would pull the front wheels off the ground. When you change gears from the factory set, it changes the speedometer accuracy, so I would guess it ran in the 120 mph speed range plus or minus.
  5. I live right next to the Santee Cooper lakes here in SC, and will sometimes dunk baits for the catfish to bring home for a meal. I haven't as yet hooked one on a fly here. Catfishing is a big thing here, as it is in other southern states, and many folks fish at night for them when the big ones are most active. The state records for Blue, Channel and Flathead all came from these two lakes or the rivers that flow from the lakes. The record Blue is 113.8 lbs, Channel is 58.0 lbs and Flathead is almost 85 lbs, so they get very large here. The biggest ones I've caught so far have only been 3 or 4 lbs, Blue and Channel cats. The record Bullhead here was taken in the Broad River, and was over 6 lbs. so, that's a big Bullhead! The potential to possibly hook a big one on a fly is good, but I'm not going to go looking to do it intentionally.
  6. Good for you! I've worked on all kinds of engines and other things, and always had enough basic knowledge to know if a repair shop was telling me the truth. That is a problem with some of them. I had tires and an alignment done one time on my truck, and when they called to tell me it was ready, I went and of course checked the work, before I paid the bill. The tires were obvious, but when I raised the hood and none of the dirt on the suspension had been disturbed I questioned the shop manager how they did an alignment without even disturbing the dirt on the shims or the rust on the bolts? Many folks wouldn't even have know the difference and unfortunately shops will take advantage of people. That fellow was a bit pissed, and I don't know if it was because they got caught, or that he had to go and question his "mechanic" about it. Needless to say, the truck went back into the shop and they completed the job while I waited. 😠
  7. Capt Bob, your tying and advice is always inspiring! I'm sure we've discussed bendbacks in the past here. Your comment about how the commercial hooks are bent, seems to me it's been mentioned. I agree wholeheartedly. I tied some last year for a fellow in TX, and didn't bend the hooks at all. I did however, weight them along the shank so they would ride properly with the combination of bucktail in the wing. He wanted some flies that he could fish over deeper oyster beds, for both trout & redfish, didn't want barbells as he said they hung up too much, so I suggested bendback's and with epoxy bodies. These are what I came up with for him.
  8. Not for them, but have caught many over the years fishing for other species. Most grabbed a fly while I was fishing for bass, and most were Channel cats. I recall hooking a few Bullheads too, but not Blue cats. Those I've hooked on lures a few times. They can put a bend in a light weight rod and really get your heart pumping. I hooked a big Channel cat one time in PA, fishing the Susquehanna River for SM bass. I would say it was over 5 lbs, and I was only a little disappointed it wasn't a bass. On a 6 wt, it was a good battle! 😊
  9. I like that popper hook, but when you get that small, doubtful it makes any big difference. I used to make some size 12 poppers for a shop years ago, and used long shank dry fly hooks. A good thread base and epoxy, and the cork would come apart before the body to hook connection would fail.
  10. Across the top, L to R, looks like raccoon body. dyed rabbit, and silver fox Then L to R coyote, a small piece of bobcat in the center, grey fox, then the black & white and the white fur at the bottom look like rabbit. That black & white could also be skunk.
  11. It's not specifically fly tying related, but my oldest son has offered to pay for the construction to finish the room over my garage, which will be my fly tying room. Most of the framing was already done, so just needs electric, insulation, and sheet rock. plus a couple of doors framed and hung. I'll do the painting. I'm really looking forward to having a dedicated tying room again! 😊
  12. Yep, good stuff for double bunnies, but I like Liquid Fusion better for applying eyes. I've also had the same issue with Tear Mender drying out prematurely. It's a good product, but you have to use a lot of rabbit/fur strips in a short period to make the best use of it. Aileene's, mentioned by Sandan has other good glue/adhesive products too. Oh, and the Tear Mender is a latex based product, which is why it's not completely clear when dry. Try the Fabric Fusion or Liquid Fusion or the Fletch-Tite that Capt Bob mentioned. Used to be Zap a Gap was recommended for eyes on flies like bass bugs, but it didn't dry clear either.
  13. Some of the lines I have are getting old now, so may not be even still made. I've done fine with most any WF line I've used, and like some have said, I use a floating line most of the time. I can't always cast an entire line, but have no issue getting over 70' with most weights & rods/lines I have, but don't fish at that distance too often. I agree that being capable of making a long cast is an advantage, but I prefer to make shorter accurate casts, and fishing from a boat makes that possible. I fish a big lake now, Santee Cooper, so for bass & Stripers, and there's little need to constantly make long distance casts. Besides so far a lot of fishing has been around the cypress tree's and long distance casting isn't needed. As far as lines, I've purchased some of the various specialty lines, sold with names such as Tarpon Taper, or Salmon/Steelhead, and mostly SA, Cortland and Orvis brands. For my fishing, I see little difference even though the specs show some difference in the design of the taper. IMO, that's all well & good for marketing, but unless every fly you cast is the same in size, weight, and wind resistance, by the marketing claims, you should be changing lines every time you change flies if there's any appreciable difference in the flies. No way I'll be doing that as I toss some big flies, and if I need to go smaller, I'll switch to a lighter setup. I also buy lines that may be last years since they're often discounted. and as I mentioned, some of my lines are now getting old, in the 10-15 year old range, so I'll be replacing some of them soon. I did recently buy a line sold by & under the brand name of Irideus in CA. They sell them for Salmon/Steelhead & Trout. Most likely they're being made in China, but so far I'm pleased with them. I also picked up a Rio General Saltwater line for my 10 wt. and expect it will do what I need although I haven't even put in on a reel yet. I don't think I've ever paid more than $40 for a fly line either, and plan to keep it that way.
  14. I caught many of them when I was a kid, fishing for them in late February into April, when they would run up the brackish tidal rivers in MD to spawn. Any flashy fly seems to work, and I used a White Miller wet fly often. We used to catch them fishing for bass & Crappies too on a variety of flies and lures, such as small spinnerbaits. One of the better flies that I caught them on was a small, simple, white feather wing streamer, which I also used for Crappies in the shallow brackish rivers. Clouser Minnows worked too, but I didn't use them as often, unless tied with bead chain or small brass barbells. But toss those white streamers along the edges of the Spadderdock pads, something would usually slam them. These are tied on Gamakatsu B10S hooks in size 6. The fly in the upper right is a mini version of an all white Seaducer, which also is a good fly for Perch & Crappies.
  15. Welcome to Fly Tying! You'll never go wrong paying attention to anything that PT suggests. Generally any soft fibered type of feather can be used for soft hackle flies, but those from game birds & hen chickens are probably the most used. Hackle from birds such as Starlings are used too, so depending on the size of the flies you desire to tie, obtain hackle types that will provide suitable sized hackles. The rest of it is then mostly color or pattern preferences. Soft hackle flies are really not complicated, and shouldn't be over dressed. About two wraps of hackle is all you need. Obtain some of the books/information that PT and others have suggested, and start tying! 👍
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