Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 29 - Fly Tying Materials

If you've read my previous posts, you know that I have a lot of fly tying material. And by a lot, I mean A LOT! However, as I was sorting through the stuff that I have, I have a lot of stuff that I may never use. I have real seal fur from Australia, marabou feathers in all shades of the rainbow, and even a hook for serious deep sea shark fishing (you could pin a side of beef to this thing).

The things that I really could use (like a hare's ear mask, or super fine copper wire) are either non-existent in my collection or in short supply. And some of those items can really set an angler back in price. I mean, Cabela's has a package of 20 tungsten beads for around $7.50. Hooks at my local fly supply store are about $5.00 for a 25 pack. This stuff tends to get really pricey.

So I get crafty on how to save some money on fly tying materials. No, seriously I mean "crafty". I head to the craft stores and look around for things that might help. When I was living in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, I used to visit a store called The Bead Monkey. Let me tell you, it was a find for a fly tyer. I was able to pick up tubes of various glass beads (about 300-500 beads) for about $3.00. I mean this place was a deal. Of course, I looked out of place among the soccer moms doing jewelry work, but hey I'm saving money.

Today, I went to Hobby Lobby with my wife. We recently purchased a kitchen table with four chairs from a consignment shop. The chairs need to have new fabric and we decided to scope out some fabric. While there, I ended up walking through the jewelry making section. I've been keeping my eye open for some fine colored wire (preferably blue). I managed to find some colored wire in a 12 pack of assorted colors. The price you ask? $7.99. Also, while I was there I happened to walk down the bead aisle. The assortment depth isn't The Bead Monkey, but they did have 200 packs of metal beads (copper, nickel, and brass) for about $2.00.

So as you can see, it pays to be a fish out of water. And lets face it, we do use some odd stuff and have gone to some odd places to acquire it. Sally's Hard as Nails? How about condoms (preferably the unlubricated kind)? I've combed my dog and have used his underfur for dubbing on some really sweet looking flies (I call it the Gold Dog Special). I've heard that before foam was sold in fly shops, anglers used to purchase flip flops for their foam patterns.

So now I ask you the reader, what kind of unique material do you use? Or where have you gone to save a few dinero? As I've stated before, I'm just curious.

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