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Fly Tying

Mars Rover

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About Mars Rover

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  • Favorite Species
    Rainbow Trout
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  • Location
    Central Pennsylvania

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  1. You're OK. I admit to being a workaholic to the point of never having a proper vacation in my adult life. No extended or overnight fishing trips or traveling for pleasure. My wife goes on vacations with my daughter and her friends and that ticks her off. However, I've been working from home since last April due the pandemic and I've managed to goof off a lot on company time (just like now). It's an easy groove to fall into. In fact I think that if I'm ever called back to the office, I'll continue to goof off!
  2. One just came up on eBay. Link below. That's how I got my Universal #1 and #2 a few years ago. I don't tie true rotary very often but I do bust it out if I'm tying a larger or longer fly with carded materials. I think the #1 is a fine vise, highly recommended. I'm not as enthusiastic about the Universal #2. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Unique-Vintage-Fly-Tying-Bench-Vise-Fly-Fishing-Fishing-Tool/133637729315?hash=item1f1d6dec23:g:J1UAAOSwnDxgAJW-
  3. Thanks for all the suggestions I guess I should get over the fact that they're not curved shanks and tie down the shank for emerger patterns and such - or go for a good body to gap ratio for some standard patterns. denduke - all of those flies look great on those bait hooks. You jogged my memory. I have used some of those Mustad 4xs hooks for extended mayflies and if I remember, they looked pretty good. I have to dig some up and see. Thanks again.
  4. Especially the shorties. I’ve tied some spider-skaters but I don’t really use them and they’re a bit boring to tie after a while. Any other suggestions? Mostly just for fun and something that’s challenging to tie. For the longer 94842s, I’ll probably just come up with some sparse Catskill patterns and leave some bare shank at the eye for a turle knot. Suggestions for what would look good? The dries I’ve tied with these so far just look a little bit “off”. THANKS! 94825 4x short, Ex. fine 94843 4x short, 3x fine 94842 No specs on boxes, but I think they’re just an up-eye 94840
  5. I recently noticed left forearm fatigue with my main setup - a Regal pedestal with the the 6 inch stem. At the preferred jaw angle, I'm thinking it's a bit too high at my tying station. I have some c-clamp options including the Regal 10 inch stem and clamp. So I may experiment. The thing is that it's barely noticeable and not at all painful - and it could have been something that was happening all along. But now that I've experienced it, it bugs me. This thread doesn't help. When stuff like this gets stuck in my head and I focus on it, I find that bourbon sometimes helps, so there's another option. Or maybe exercise - nah, just kidding. My casting arm / bobbin hand is OK so maybe I should just switch off between the two.
  6. I've posted this before but since it's been a couple years or more, I can report that the bullet bobbin eye dropper thingy is still going strong. It hasn't bitten the dust yet and it's smooth. A bit bulky but I do like it for larger flies - and floss.
  7. Thanks John. Back before the Materelli whip finisher, there was this E-Z Whipper. Never saw one but I copied it from pictures. When you think about it, all you really need is two hooks for the thread, set 90 degrees apart - and it puts the thread loop in the same figure 4 orientation, then whip finishing and releasing the loop is just as fast and easy as it is with a rotating tool. The difference is that this entire tool rotates between your fingers-instead of rotating within the handle. I find that I get a bit more control with these. I had an original Materelli back in the day but I sold it off and went back to these.
  8. I’ve never liked to have anything attached to the vise so I made a free-standing bobbin cradle. I can just slide it closer, slide it further away – or out of the way. It’s instantly adjustable for altitude because it’s an old radio or TV antenna! The pedestal base is some old scrap steel machine part with a hunk of leather glued to the bottom. The tip top section of the antenna is solid metal that bent easily into a cradle shape and polished up nicely - it may even be stainless steel. I also made the whip finishing tool – with a section of plated brass tubular antenna section - and bent spring wire, soldered to an old brass half hitch tool.
  9. Blue is one that I don't have in silk. Must be rare.
  10. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I guess I'm just accustomed to thread turning a shade or two darker, not turning black like this silk. I never tried silk before because I though my stash would be old, weak, stiff and brittle with no stretch but actually it was awesome to tie with. It only took a couple of minutes to get used to it (wax helps) - and there are some very pretty colors, but I'm not going to use it if it just turns black or the color of the hook. I thought there might be some (easy) old timer's trick. I'll just wait until I have some green nylon or something then re-tie. The fly I wanted to display is a Green Ass McGee because I have a connection to Pine Creek, PA - and it's head is supposed to be green as well a it's ass. Funny, in the image it looks like some emerald is peaking through - but I just took it out into bright sunlight and nah, it's black.
  11. I'm sure there's a trick or technique for for this but I couldn't find it. The medium green head on a display fly that I just tied turned black with the application of head cement so now it's a do-over. The lightest color of green that I have in synthetic thread is olive so I resorted to silk. After that happened, I experimented with four types of head cement - on just heads tied onto a hook. After drying, they all look black to the eye, except for one and it's way too dark. I've color-lacquered heads before but i'd rather not do that. Also, I don't think a dot of white-out on the hook would work in this case since the wing is black. So before I run out and buy some medium/light green nylon or other synthetic, is there a trick for the color retention of silk? I tried UV resin, water base head cement, head cement (the stuff that smells like nail polish) and flex cement. The the flex did the best but I don't think you can get a glossy head with that. Thanks!
  12. A few weeks ago, I was getting these ugly buggers on my deck. I didn't know that they could fly until I watched one take off and buzz me. Absolutely Terrifying . Why, God?
  13. Some cool stories here. I started fly fishing and tying when I was about 10 or 11 in the 1960’s. I fished a lot for a few years prior to that with spinning and spin-cast gear. My folks and siblings didn’t fish but we camped constantly in the Missouri Ozarks. Except for an older cousin who showed me how to wrap hackle by the light of a Coleman lantern, I’ve had no formal instruction on any of this, ever. I learned by watching and reading. There were some trout streams in state parks that we visited that had fly-only stretches, so of course I had to fish that water. I remember Mom buying my first fly rod that I picked out in a department store. I’m thinking that it was at Monkey Wards which sold Sport King, I think. It was a decent quality, nice looking fiberglass rod I remember. Dark Green. I still have the reel, a Shakespeare automatic. My second fly rod was an 8.5 foot Heddon fiberglass, a freebee from my high school days that I still have. I lawn-casted it just a few days ago but nowadays it has a better reel seat, a better grip-and the proper number of good quality line guides. As a much younger man, I built several good fly rods, both glass and graphite, from Orvis, Fenwick, Powell and Lamiglass blanks. These days for fly fishing, I only fish the graphites – three old ones that I built in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Although just last year, I did break down and buy a new Orvis 4-weight because I really needed a 4-piece pack rod and didn’t feel like making one. Eventually, I’ll start replacing the old 2-piece graphites. Because I built all types of rods, even surf casters, at one time I had more rod building stuff than gear that I actually used for fishing. And when it comes to tying, I’m like a junkie with tons of tools and materials, while my actual fishing tackle remains fairly old and minimal. Except for the number of flies of course.
  14. I like tying with my old vises and other old tools sometimes. These days, I mostly use the Regals, especially the midge head. I tie mainly trout flies and over my lifetime I've probably tied more flies on that Leonard vise (top right on third pic)than any other - but it doesn't hold larger hooks well -the jaws are too fine. The vise in the last image is stamped "Reed's" and the casting rod was made form Reed Tackle components. That old rod still get used regularly. I did make a couple of fly rods for friends from Reed parts and still have a bunch of tying materials from Reed's. I miss that shop!
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