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Thread: amateur fly tying not economically justifiable

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    57

    Smile amateur fly tying not economically justifiable

    Someone on another message board asked about the cost of starting to tie his own flies. I started 30 years ago or so, but I haven't tied very many flies. Recently I tied several of the same pattern in different colors. Based on my experience, it is not economically justifiable to tie one's own flies. By the time one buys the tools and materials, learns how to tie, and actually ties the flies, one could purchase many flies which are probably of better quality than the ones most amateurs produce. This is doubly true if one includes the value of his labor in the total cost. If one is a professional, such as a doctor, attorney, or accountant, then he/she knows at what hourly rate he/she bills his/her time. Depending on the pattern, I cannot tie more than 5-6 files per hour. If I spend that time practicing my profession, I can earn enough money to buy about 100 flies. There are other reasons for tying one's own flies, but saving money isn't one of them. I'm not ranting, just hoping to help someone thinking about starting, before he/she is past the point of no return. :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    115

    Default

    Very good points. My counter is that even if it costs you more money to tie flies, the feeling of fooling a big fish on something you made is well worth it.
    My ultimate goal is to reload some shotgun shells, shoot a turkey, tie a fly with said turkey, catch some fish and repeat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Great Smoky Mountains
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    730

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    In this sport like all sports you are only limited to the depths of your own insanity. Some people make their own rods, tie their own flies, and there is another group that makes their own leaders from the butt end out. I am sure there is even some out there that make their own vests, and maybe basket weave their own fishing creel old school style. I on the other hand find that my ability to not catch fish has not been deterred by the use of store bought equipment!
    Last edited by bigsur; 06-30-2014 at 04:43 PM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    I just did a rough calculation of the amount of fly tying material I have and the estimated value of my fly tying inventory. If I don't buy anything else and continue to tie at my current output I should break even by the time I'm 314 years old. Just a quick guess
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    57

    Default amateur fly tying not economically justifiable

    Another thing: If you buy "starter" tools, it doesn't take long to discover that "starter" vises won't hold hooks well. So you go out and buy a good vise, and the downward spiral begins. :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NW AL
    Posts
    62

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    Yep, not something you necessarily get into to save money.

    That being said I can tie flies that work very well for me by using a pair of vise grips and a clamp, plus materials. I've turned into somewhat of a minimalists and don't use alot of materials either - I keep em simple and relatively inexpensive. I'll never make up for my time but I do it because I enjoy it.

    But back to your original point, I would recommend someone considering tying their own to save money to think again (if that was their main goal), but I would tell them that it can be a satisfying hobby that doesn't have to cost a small fortune.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    knoxville tn
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    This is my first set up. Not pretty but it worked...


    don't go ninja'n anybody don't need ninja'n

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    944

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    My first setup was a Thompson C Clamp vise, 3 colors of thread, a hand me down bobbin, my wife's knitting scissors, a handful of common materials, a cheap box of 50 mustad #12 hooks that I could tie nymphs or dries on, and a ziplock bag of turkey tail feathers from a hunter.

    I know my first set-up cost way less than $50. I also know that first year, I got way more than $50 worth of flies out of it.

    It is what you make it. I've since upgraded all my stuff, tie random things i'll probably never fish, and really don't save any money. That being said, its a hobby now, and is only something I do at night, so I can't really say my time has more value since I'd probably have the tv on killing brain cells.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2006
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    Maryville
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77punk View Post
    This is my first set up. Not pretty but it worked...


    Where there's a will, there's a way. That's awesome.

    I started tying with a beginner's kit that I traded a neighbor a 12 pack of beer for. I'm sure I saved money with it the first few years. It's all been upgraded and as Grannyknot stated, it's more of a hobby now. I do like the fact that if someone was to call and want to fish tomorrow, I'd be able to sit down and whip up the flies I want to fish with and not have to worry about finding a fly shop and hoping they're open and have what I want.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    128

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    DONT KNOCK THE THOMPSON VISE..I HAVE SOME MULTI -HUNDRED DOLLAR VISE LAYING TO THE SIDE AS I PREFER THE THOMPSON OVER THE "NEW ONES". Sorry about the caps.

    as for the bucket list of Sandman:"My ultimate goal is to reload some shotgun shells, shoot a turkey, tie a fly with said turkey, catch some fish and repeat"…well I've done that with ducks, huns, grouse, turkeys, and some other game birds….but the best stuff comes from the drag pit at the cock fights and the road kills IMO…...

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