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  1. Thanks to everyone that replied. Some good suggestions, and also who knew (but Mr. Steelhead) that I was looking for "findings", no wonder I could not find them. Thanks! Chris
  2. I am sorry if this has been covered before, I searched for quite a while with no luck. I am hoping to tie some gifts for friends such as tie clips, maybe some fly earings, etc. , and I am looking for a "safe" presentable hook. I have seen gold hooks like this with a ball over the tip/bark area of the hook, but seem to be unable to locate any. I know some folks make their own out of 18 c. gold, but I am not up to that task, and just would like to purchase some at a reasonable price. They certainly don't even need to actually be real gold. I just don't want anyone getting hurt, if you know what I mean Any leads appreciated! Thanks, Chris
  3. Wow - cool. I love that book. Add me to the list please. Chris
  4. I use a gallows tool for extended bodies. Never tried it for anything else. It works pretty well for those though. I made one by simply wrapping a piece of coat-hanger wire about 6 turns around my vise upright (wrapped it w/paper first so I would be able to get it on and off later), then bending the wire into a "c" shape with a small hook bent into the end for a pair of hackle pliers to sit (and grip the body). Works fine for the amount of extended bodies I tie! Chris
  5. One more note on these. I was just tying a few of the soft hackles, happened to look in Richard Talleur's Book "Mastering the Art of Fly Tying" at his sequence for Grouse and Green. He demonstrates the "distribution wrap hackling method". It is essentially like someone else had pointed out early-on in the discussion for (I think) Mallard flank feathers, except using grouse. He grabs a bunch, ties it on the far side of the hook, distributing it somewhat as you might with deer hair, supplementing as necessary (for these I did not find it necessary - the initial bunch was fine). He does a few wraps behind to prop them out. Talleur's important points" 1) Tie in w/"sloppy pinch" so the material begins to distrbute immediately. 2) Don't use too much, keep sparse. 3)Use thread, perhaps fingers to create an even distribution. 4Secure barbules before stroking them forward over eye. 5) Make those wraps of thread behind collar very snug to hackle fiber, so they are supported in a flared position. I tied a couple this way this morning, and it really works pretty nicely, and as he point out, will allow tying soft hackles down into the 20's. Have fun!
  6. QUOTE (boba @ Mar 24 2005, 12:07 AM) Ebay fly prices are lowballs. If you try to sell there, you will be lucky to make back the price of your labor, never mind your materials cost. See if you can find local shops who will pay a slight markup for quality flies. I totally agree ... I think sometimes folks must be losing $ at the prices they go for. As someone had noted, best case might be to hook-up with some flyfishermen that are not fly tyers. Maybe the local TU chapter has a way to advertise your services. Might be worth while to donate a few flies to a TU fundraiser to get your stuff out in front of peoples eyes. Best of luck, Chris
  7. Hi Glenn, When I was looking for a vise a while back, I could not find any info on this either. I did see what appears to be the same vise @ Hook and Hackle: http://www.hookhack.com/vises.html#anchorcrown I think you could give them a call, and see what their experience has been with this vise (what they feel the quality is, if they have had any returns). You could certainly call Cabela's too, but I think your chances of actually speaking with someone familiar with the vise may be better at H&H. For a little more $ in a similar type vise, the Griffen Patriot has gotten really good reviews, One on eBay for $125, you may be able to find one cheaper elsewhere? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...ssPageName=WDVW Good luck, Chris
  8. Lots of good info here. I need to say that I totally agree with what has been said based on my limited soft hackle tying experience, in that a couple turns will do the job, and buying skins. I have been tying a few recently ... my interest was sparked by Dave Hughes book "Tying and Fishing Soft-Hackles, Winged and Wingless Wets, and Fuzzy Nymphs" (which I do recommend getting, there is a lot of info besides the soft hackles too in one book). Hughes has a somewhat different procedure for tying these, that I believe will produce a somewhat more durable fly, but is a little more time consuming to tie. I tie some his "way" and some in a more conventional tie as well. At any rate, one thing he does sometimes is to strip off the hackle fibers on one side (side that is towards the hook shank) of the feather. I have found this to help keep fibers sparse, and also a bit more managable when tying. Might want to give that a try. Another thing he does on some of the soft-hackles is to tie in a "bump" of dubbing (something gnarley like hares ear) to help keep fibers standing straight out from the hook shank. While this is the primary reason for this, I gotta say that they really look great - real buggy - with those guard hairs, etc. poking out. I am not sure if they will fish any different, but they do look cool. Well, that's my 2 cents - give it a try when you get some time. Good luck with the Soft Hackles - I have not fished these much at all, but I am planning to fish them a lot this season. Great site here! Chris
  9. Great story Mark. Thanks for sharing. All of us who have lost their Dad can relate, and those who still are lucky enough to heve their Dad around can be a little happier about that. Nice! Chris
  10. QUOTE (Fatman @ Mar 22 2005, 11:43 AM) Try these one but there are several out there SuperFly Virtual flies Hope this is what you want Fatman Fatman, Nice links! I really like th elooks of the 1st one. Looks like it will do all I will ever need and for free too! Thanks, Chris
  11. QUOTE (sparkleminnow @ Mar 21 2005, 10:27 PM) Use a pencil eraser to strip the fibers off of the quill. You want the wider quills. It makes the bodies easier to form. Yup that's what I have used. If they are stubborn, try the erasers that have different materials for pencil and pen. Some people dip in wax or bleach to strip, but I have never had to do that. Might be worth it though if you were tying a bunch at once. I always use the quill from the peacock "eye" portion of the feather, I suppose because that's the way I was taught. Chris
  12. You guys are ALL correct and I do agree ... > It's still not a Renzetti, and I did invest some time, which does have some value. To a large degree you get what you pay for. If I factor in my time, I could have bought a higher quality vise in the 1st place. > It is a pretty sweet vise now, and for $50. > I did enjoy the tinkering. This really was a fun project and I am VERY happy with the way it turned out. > I don't care for the Danvise - I DO think they are good quality, I just don't like the style personally. I have heard great things about them. I will add ... > I do like things that are unique. It's fun to tie on a vise that's not quite like anyone elses, but really does what I want it to. > We are all different. For most people I expect it would be worth putting in another $80 or so and buying a PEAK (if I had a few more coins in my pocket originally I probably would have done that) or whatever vise you prefer. > If I had to spend $200 for a rotary vise, I would probably never have the "rotary" experience. For me it's a hobby. > I would not consider this a "low quality" vise, but I guess that's my opinion. I do know that I have tied some nice flies on an inexpensive vice from India for about 30 years now, and never had a problem. I certainly don't fault anyone that does spend the $ in the 1st place to get a quality vise, it is a good investment. I guess I offered this for someone that either wants to try a rotary vise, and is just not willing or able to spend the "long $", or for those that have purchased a cheaper vise and it's performance is driving them nuts. It's an option to do some modifications. One final note on mods ... I did also drill/tap a hole for a nylon screw to bear upon the shaft, so I could add a little tension to the rotation if I wanted. Works OK, but I so far am happy just with the free rotation/or locked position. Have fun! Chris
  13. Unlike many of the great tiers on this forum, I do not tie thousands of flies each year, and have not been able to justify spending $100+ on a vise upgrade. To make a long story short, I ended up with a Sunrise (made in India) rotary vise. I had a basic Sunrise model for years, and it worked fine. I did however want to try a rotary style vise though. I bought the vise for about $40 on eBay. When it arrived, the fit finish did not seem bad for the money, but there were a few problems that made using the vise a headache. 1) The fly/working area is quite a bit further away from the upright post with the rotary, so it was relatively easy to impart enough torque to either spin the vice on the threaded portion of the upright shaft, or ther upright itself would spin as is round in cross-section and difficult for the screw to "bite" 2) When spun, there was a fair amount of play on the system, making it impossible to adjust the true center properly. It also took more force that I expected (or like) to rotate. A bit of WD40 helped only a little. Pulling it apart, I found that the shaft rotated within a short piece of plastic tubing (no wonder there is so much play). Fixes: a) The rotating shaft and housing measured 6mm and 10mm, and I was able to order (3) 6x10x3mm ball bearings for $10 (including postage). Those went in with a little materal removed here and there with 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Still was a little more slop than expected. Found this due to the threads on the shaft extended into the "bearing area". I moved the shaft further (adjusted stops) into the housing and cut off approximately 1/4" of threads so the area of the shaft within the bearings was solid. Helped greatly!! c) Filed a "flat" on the upright approximately 2.5" long in the area where the screw tightens onto it to prevent turning. This quickly eliminated that source of "turning". d) The threaded portion turning in the housing was eliminated by simply adding a couple drops of Loctite before screwing it solidly back in. Now the vise is working quite nicely. I have about $50 into it (and some of my time) and I have really started to enjoy tying with a rotary. While it is no "big-name" vise for me, it has certainly allowed me to inexpensively add a new dimension (rotary tying) to my hobby, and been a lot of fun. Just thought I would pass this on in case anyone really wanted to a rotary vise but did not want to spend the $, either because of the number of flies they tie, or because they are uncertain as to whether they would really use the rotary feature. Chris
  14. QUOTE (Michigan Trout Guy @ Mar 10 2005, 05:45 PM) Hi everyone, I am a new member and a new fly fisher/tier. I just got my first rod and tying kit in late February. I am also between jobs and in desparate need of some money. Consequently, I have been considering doing some commercial tying on the side of looking for a job. I doubt I'm good enough now, but with some practice I think I could be at an acceptable level fairly quickly. Can anyone give me some advice on how to improve my tying skills, and what level you need to be at to tie commercially? Also, does anyone know where to go to find fly shops looking to buy flies? Any specific patterns I should focus on? I know I may be getting ahead of myself, but this would be some helpful information to consider for the future, and at least help point me in the right direction. Thanks a lot, and feel free to email me at: [email protected] Hi Troutguy, Have you ever taken a tying class? I know $ are probably tight with the job situation, but if you want to improve quickly, I think that's the best way. How about talking to the local fly shop and trying to locate a good tier that's willing to swap some lessons for stacking firewood, or whatever? You might even be able to work out a deal with the owner, say he works with you on one particular pattern he needs and you give him a reduced rate on so many dozen or something. As far as locating shops and what they need... Try the phonebook first, then a web search in your area. What they need will depend on inventory and demand, and maybe the owner just can't get enough of the "local favorite" and can't buy that from the big dealers. Try and talk to them face to face if possible. Best case in your situation would be to hook up with someone that has tied commercially. One can learn from books, CD's and forums, but many of the little tricks that seem almost common-sense after someone shows them to you save a lot of time/effort and make better flies, and those are the ones you get most easily sitting down with someone that has ties ... a lot. There are also a lot of terrific tiers here. Maybe you could give your location, and find someone here that you could work out a deal with? At any rate, that's my 2 cents, best of luck on your venture. Chris
  15. Thanks Termite. I guess like most of us I am always looking for a bargain. Usually you get what you pay for. Thanks. Chris
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