sinfish

Saving money tying your own flies

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Posted (edited)

I often hear that getting into fly tying doesn't save any money.  I have been tying minimally for years and for the most part, only tie clousers, poppers, and deceivers in different sizes.  I purchase most of my trout flies with some exceptions.  With the prices of some of these flies, am I fooling myself thinking I'm saving money?  I tend to think I'm way ahead of the game.

Edited by sinfish
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Depends on how much your supplies are, everyone seems to want to be in everyone's pocket a bit more than normal lately. The meat packing companies have seen profits rise 300% since the pandemic started, need we be surprised about everything else?

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I give away more than half of what I tie… I’m way way in the red haha but I enjoy it. 

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I think it depends on how disciplined you are and what you value you your time at..  

 

I just started, bought tons of equipment and materials (have no discipline) and am trying alot of different patterns.  It will probably take me 5 years of never buying another fly or more material to get somewhere near even and that will never happen (see no discipline).  I already have a list of things I need, lol.

 

I didn't sign up to save money, but to be able to catxh fish on something I tied, have freedom of creativity and cause it's a fun way to spend the winter hours.

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Posted (edited)

I don’t think so , if I purchased on what I fished I’d be under budget. It’s more fun catching fish on what you tied and didn’t tell the big boss when the credit card bill comes in . 

Edited by Hook I

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57 mins ago, sinfish said:

I often here that getting into fly tying doesn't save any money.  I have been tying minimally for years and for the most part, only tie clousers, poppers, and deceivers in different sizes.  I purchase most of my trout flies with some exceptions.  With the prices of some of these flies, am I fooling myself thinking I'm saving money?  I tend to think I'm way ahead of the game.

If you're in the tying game for the short haul, it's not a bad idea to buy fresh water flies. Dry fly necks and saddles can be expensive.

But ..... If you are in for the long haul, tying your own flies is the way to go. Cost will rise, but you'll get plenty of satisfaction out of your work, plus you will have a life long hobby second to none.

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Probably not, but there's nothing like catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself.  Plus, it has other benefits.  Tying helped me keep my sanity during the lockdown.  You can use imagination and come up with something unique.  I've seldom seen a correctly tied Clouser in a fly shop.  Tying your own poppers, considering some of the prices I've seen for commercial ones, might be cheaper.  All you need is some craft foam, foam sandals, or something similar to make one.  

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I started tying not because of trying to save money, but because I couldn't find what I wanted to use in stores.  Plus a lot of the store bought patterns were tied on crappy Mustad 34007 hooks to keep the cost down.  It was nice having the freedom to create what I wanted, when I wanted it..

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I would agree with the common theme here. Unless you are buying exactly what you need and not wasting any material. You are probably not going to save any money. That being said, It is fun to mess around and try out different designs. I mainly tie my own so I can the standard patterns on the hooks I prefer to use, rather than many of the store bought ones that seem to dull pretty quickly. 

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Posted (edited)

My uncle wrote a good article many years ago called”The $3000 Adams”. First fly he tied.

Enough said.

Edited by phishallways

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    I believe you can save money tying your own flies, but within certain parameters. If you're buying top shelf hooks, for example, you're probably not going to save a lot of money. If you're willing to shop around for alternatives to try sometimes you can do pretty well. I've gotten hooks from a shop in Fl on sale that were not name brand but have worked out well for me. A lot of the flies I use in salt are relatively simple and use a lot of craft fur and various synthetics that can be found for good prices. I'd say I don't spend a ton on those patterns, yet they've caught everything from stripers to tarpon for me.

   But...there's always a "but", those utilitarian flies can be a gateway drug to better hooks, expensive brushes (even if you make your own it can be expensive), a better vice and on and on. At that point though I believe you've crossed a line into art. Art is good and needs no justification. I've spent thousands of dollars on guitars and never once wondered if it was a good thing, they bring me joy and that's enough. Tying flies brings us joy too, and catching a fish on those flies - well shoot to me that's priceless.

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7 hours ago, phishallways said:

My uncle wrote a good article many years ago called”The $3000 Adams”. First fly he tied.

Enough said.

Right On!  Definitely more expensive than purchase, but I enjoy tying!

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Just to focus on my initial point, I'm not tying Adams and I don't own fancy material flies.  My older Dyna king was like $150.  I should also add to the conversation that I tie bucktails......countless bucktails.  90% of what i own is bucktail hair, congo hair, different threads, foam material, flash and uv resin.  Obviously, over 30 years or so of doing this you can pick up a couple other items but everything I have fits in two shoe boxes.  I probably lose 20-30 bucktails a year and my flies dont last long with the toothy blues.  I fished 147 days last year which adds to the equation.  I guess if you fish ponds or big open rivers mostly, the flies will last forever. 

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