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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by FliesbyNight

  1. Niveker, I am also a huge fan of SHHAN for head cement and all through out the fly in many cases. To ensure proper saturation, I tend to get the operation started, add a little SHHAN and then finish the operation and usually add a little more. For example, when making a head, I will whip two or three wraps, add a little SHHAN, finish the head (which squeezes the stuff through the wraps) and then add a top coat while it is all still wet. This ensures complete saturation even with the faster drying stuff. I have flies destroyed by toothy denizens of the brine frequently but they never unravel anymore. As long as Sally keeps making it, it will always have a place on my bench.
  2. I'll second that. I don't use anything from fly tying stores (online or brick-and-mortar) that I can find anywhere else. I get the profit margin must be higher due to the specialized nature and demand but charging so many times more for the same material is just outrageous. Simply re-packaging the same stuff you can buy anywhere does not merit the price jump. Price beads on Amazon versus any fly tying shop and do the math. My lead wire still comes from a spool of non-rosin core solder I bought years ago. Less than $10.00 for 30 yds. Likely I will expire before the spool does. As Utyer says, you can strip and salvage wire from old cables and wiring. It works just as well as re-packaged stuff. Let's face it, you can't be too cheap and stay in this hobby. The cost of rods, reels and fly line alone prevent that but then there's stupid money.
  3. Nice idea to repurpose something that most would just throw away. Please post some pics of what you tie with that.
  4. Started with the venerable Thompson Model A. Bought a used Renzetti Traveler and put a lot of flies through it. Moved up to the Dyna-King Barracuda a few years ago and honestly can't see myself ever using another vise. As Salarman said, vises are basically just hook holders. The Dyna-King does that very well indeed and never a moment's trouble, although I must admit that DamaSeal is pretty sexy...
  5. On the topic of eyes or no eyes, I think the score is tied in the 4th quarter. Personally, I put eyes on almost every fly I tie but I'm imitating baitfish, shrimp and other crustaceans, not insects. Some folks say the eye gives the fish a visual clue to which end is which on the bait, as skeet pointed out. My understanding is that is the idea behind the eye-spot on the tail of a redfish and other species. It confuses the predators. I can easily see that eye shapes help the toothy fish make the decision to strike, like adding a data point to the stimulus threshold we try to overcome. It also makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If redfish with tail spots confuse predators and live longer to reproduce more then pretty soon, almost all redfish have them because the genes they inherit produce them. Of course, tail spots might just be sexier and that is why fish with spots reproduce more. For example, redheads represent about 1% or 2% of the world's population. If women suddenly found only redheads acceptable, the world would be ginger in the blink of an eye. No survival advantage but still an evolutionary shift. I haven't noted any real difference in takes between flies with and flies without. This means nothing because the sample size is so small with most of my flies having eyes. I like eyes so I put them on.
  6. Interesting conversation. I have to throw my opinion in with Silvercreek. In fact, negative conditioning is what led my to fly fishing. As a kid, I fished a small pond regularly. My favorite weapon was a motor oil worm fished near the surface in the classic lift and settle pattern. This was devastating on the local largemouth bass population. It didn't take many evolutions of catch and release before the local residents would rise on the worm, look it over and then sink back into the murk. Change the color and BAM! Fish on. Then the same pattern of rise and fall and no work would work. I could see the fish refusing to take what not long before had been irresistible. I bought a Pflueger #5 fiberglass noodle and Medalist set up and started fly fishing to give those local bass something different to look at. Clearly, such a small sample size does not a statistical universe make but when combined with all the other experiments and evidence, it seems very convincing. Not knowing what a fish can or cannot see is a solipsist argument. Mental masturbation at best. We do know that certain stimuli will cause fish to strike. They certainly appear to learn with experience. Reasoning is not required on the piscine part. If you overcome the stimulus threshold, you will get a strike, otherwise a spoon would never work.. If you can't figure out the stimulus threshold, you go home with clean hands. Full disclosure: I fish exclusively saltwater now. Too many fish available for them to learn much about lures and patterns, I think. Not like the limited population of a small pond. I have found that presentation is more important than pattern. Size is more important than color. Sometimes not of that matters. Sometimes, only the most exact imitation and presentation will do and sometimes I catch fish despite myself.
  7. Baron, Mostly I hunt stripers on the bay flats and in the surf (Island Beach State Park and LBI). That's what the flat-wings are for. They are excellent in the inlet and tidal creeks. J. Kenny Abrahmes, I believe, came up with the idea for them, or at least that is the first reference I ever found. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I was going to post a link to the Amazon listing for his book, "A Perfect Fish: Illusions in Fly Tying", but it is north of $150. I bought mine for $30 at a fly show in 2010. I also love catching bluefish. They make a mess of things but are a lot of fun. They don't eat worth a damn either, unless you smoke them. I'd love to see weakfish come back in numbers. A size 1 clouser in chartreuse with 3/16 dumbbell eyes is the ticket. Fluke I catch by accident and never landed a keeper. BTW, the Barnegat Bay and local waters are very good fly fishing areas. Not as good as they used to be with all the yahoos putting pressure on the fish, but still good if you know where to go. Tice's is still there...
  8. Baron, I don't normally use a lot of feathers since they do not hold up long with toothy saltwater critters but do tie some traditional patterns that call for them. Lefty's Deceiver for example. However, going back to one of your earlier posts, I do use what is considered dry fly hackle in some streamer patterns. Namely, Flat-wings. These flies can be devastating when you need to be subtle. Flat-wings look so alive I have had terns try to pick them up. The patterns generally call for long, flexible hackle feathers tied flat on top of the hook, as opposed to vertical sandwiching the hook. If you give this style a try, don't waste your money on high-quality hackle. The lower grade capes are better for flat-wings and a lot cheaper. Save the high-quality for the trout bums. They'll appreciate it. I've never tried it but I'll bet pickerel would love them. Largemouth and smallies too. You can trust this Mets fan.
  9. Thanks McFly. Very cool. Never got into brushes but this is making me rethink that.
  10. Greg, Had my Barracuda for about 5 years now and never had that problem. If you get a solution from DynaKing, please post it here. I also favor the Fred and Barney approach although it sometimes works out less than optimum. Hearing how you fixed yours might help avoid a bigger problem.
  11. Mike, I don't think so. To me, figuring out where the fish should be is part of the interest in fishing. They have millions of years of evolution, I have reasoning and experience. Seems like it should be a fair fight but so far, the fish are ahead on points. Also, I am strictly saltwater so records are a huge bonus. Knowing where you have or have not caught fish on which tides and time of year is huge when trying to maximize the limited time I can fish.
  12. Anything like sheep fleece/ram's wool? I tie a few patterns with it, most popular is the Siliclone Mullet.. Great for building bulk without mass. It sheds water pretty well on the backcast but it can get heavy to pick up when saturated.
  13. Chugbug, Never seen that one before. I'm guessing it is designed so that when you open it the point are 1/3 and 2/3 aprt?
  14. So I got out for the first time this year. Local waters are warming up and the stripers are feeding accordingly. Mostly, I wanted to scout a favorite area that has not produced well for the past few years. It was rearranged by some winter storms and then the Army Corps of Engineers staged their barges there for a 2 year dredging project. Grrrrr! Grass and bottom structure torn up again! That was three years ago and I went out to see if conditions were recovering. Figured I'd bring the long wand along, you know, just in case. In 2 hours, I had three hits and missed them all. I'll admit to being a little rusty after a long winter and to be honest, both strikes surprised me and I was late setting the hook. Guess I didn't really expect to catch anything and let my concentration wander. Shucks and other comments. It occurs to me that I dwell more on the misses than fish in the hand. I find I learn more from what I screwed up than when I did it right. To be sure, keeping records of what you catch where and when is a big help in deciding where to go because it is positive information, but I find I learn more from my mistakes. Anyone else find that true? Or am I dwelling on the negative?
  15. Rick, They represent twice the danger of a bodkin! Just don't drop them on hardwood floors or your foot!
  16. I also just noticed I addressed my post to the wrong person. Sorry Rotary, I should have addressed to Baron who started this thread. Doh!
  17. For what its worth, I used a Traveler for years as well and, like SBPatt, tied thousands of flies with it. The O-Ring was the only part that I ever replaced. That vise is now in the hands of a friend who got started tying about four years ago and is still going strong. The only reason I replaced it is I want something that holds the hook a little more securely for spinning deer hair. I bought a DynaKing Barracuda and couldn't be happier with it. Best vise I ever owned. My advise is spend the extra for a better quality vise if you can afford it and have the desire but have no worries about how well the Traveler will hold up.
  18. Rotaryflytyingdotcom, When I started I also had trouble with proportion and consistency. To solve that, I used a pair of dividers. For the Clouser Deep Minnow, set the width to where the eyes will be. You can check against the hook shank, making sure you are set to 1/3 the shank. Put one point in the hook eye and start your thread base for the dumb bell eyes at the other point and you will always be correct and consistent. I still use them from time to time to make sure the proportions for other materials such as tails are what they should be. If you use the ones with the screw wheel or arc and jam wheel, you are assured of consistent measurements. Once I have the material (usually bucktail) tied in forward of the eyes with a few wraps, I pull it straight away from the shank and cut parallel to the shank. This tapers the material when you wrap it down fully. Makes the head much easier to taper perfectly. Hope this helps.
  19. Same here. I just hope my wife doesn't sell it for what I told her I paid for it!
  20. Noahguide, Have to admit I'm a little jealous of your backyard.
  21. Poopdeck, Home Depot carries machine screws with phillip's heads, which is what I used. A ny-lock nut underneath eliminates the need for a lock washer. You do need a 1/2" chuck to make sure there is clearance for the washer inside, plus the shaft on my vise mic'd at .395, too big for a 3/8" chuck.
  22. Noahguide, I just bought a machine screw that was longer than I needed, took and measurement. I cut the screw to the right size with a hacksaw and dressed the threads with a mill file. The machine screw I used has a phillip's head it was easy to hold in place. I used a ny-lock nut so no lock washer was required.
  23. @dave, The drill chuck is made to thread on to the motor shaft in the drill. When not installed on a drill there is a hole through the base of the chuck. I drilled a 1/4" hole through the desktop where I determined the vise would mount and used a 1/4-20 machine screw as a through-bolt since that was the largest diameter that would go through the hole in the base. There is a washer on the screw head to keep it from pulling through the hole in the chuck and another underneath to distribute the stress so it does not dig in to the wood. A ny-lock nut holds it all together. Here's the link to the one I used: https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-1-2-in-20-Single-Sleeve-Keyless-Chuck-A10KL11/206303619?MERCH=REC-_-searchViewed-_-NA-_-206303619-_-N Hope this helps. I like the walnut idea for the base. Are you using a live-edge piece?
  24. DFoster, I use a hand-cranked pasta cutter to cut strips for some flies like the Tuscan Bunny. Works OK and only paid about $25 on Amazon.
  25. primeflycompany, I like the idea of the shop vac but not sure I would want the noise. Plus, what happens when you accidentally cut the thread and drop the bobbin in the hole? The square hole works for me and I just empty it when it gets full. I have a small wand vac that gets all the fur, hair and flash that doesn't make it into the bin.
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