Cheaper Alternatives for Fly-Tying

Woodsy

Well-known member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,870
Location
Ireland
Let's revive this thread ?

I've had a good read through and it has been brilliant. Unfortunately, a lot of the links are now old and broken but I have searched similar and ordered a few things of ebay, if they arrive and suitable I'll post up.

If anyone has up to date links with tested materials please share

Not a new idea, but for consolidation reasons I'll add one of Ryan Houston ideas. I by chance had a water slide orded for the kids and it came with 100 plus water balloons and plastic straws to fill them. When it had arrived I had seen Ryan's video so decided to keep them. The balloons can be ordered separately for around 7 quid. They are 2mm thick and a size 16 treble fits inside very well or a size 14 with a little stretch. The extra small emur tubing fits inside too if you can find a bead to fit

20200521_151536.jpg

20200521_151558.jpg
 

Clydebuilt

Well-known member
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
1,562
Here's a tip if you don't fancy shelling out on several expensive genetic capes for trout flies...decorative hair extensions...?

All long enough to get a few trout flies out of , or single flatwing style baitfish patterns, and come in a decent array of natural or dyed various sized packs.

I bought a few to try and the feathers are really nice.
Many different colour schemes for around half the price of a decent single coloured cape??
IMAG6311.jpg
 

Woodsy

Well-known member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,870
Location
Ireland
I recently bought some wool for francis flies. The bungle of red cost me 2 quid and will probably lastp 1000s of flies...I also recently read somewhere while searching this forum that wool is a good inbetween material if you don't want to use seals fur or floss.

I spotted this today in Poundland. Three bundles of wool for 2 quid. Quite a few of the bundles have various colours as seen below. So for 2 pound I have enough wool to tie hundreds of flies with lots of different colours and shades
20200628_152314.jpg
 

simonjh98

Well-known member
Messages
221
Reaction score
650
Save a fortune on Ribbing material.

I've been using this coated copper wire now used for jewellery making for 2 years and it is fantastic.

25m for £2 per spool and if you buy 3 spools you get 3 for free!
That's right, 6 spools for £6.

I buy the 0.2mm and the 0.25mm sizes in silver, gold and copper. It lasts longer than oval tinsel and makes your flies more durable!

 

DrPatrickT

Well-known member
Messages
2,477
Reaction score
2,272
Location
Cheshire
Save a fortune on Ribbing material.

I've been using this coated copper wire now used for jewellery making for 2 years and it is fantastic.

25m for £2 per spool and if you buy 3 spools you get 3 for free!
That's right, 6 spools for £6.

I buy the 0.2mm and the 0.25mm sizes in silver, gold and copper. It lasts longer than oval tinsel and makes your flies more durable!



Interesting Simon- what size(s) do you recommend - is it quite brittle or is it proper wire? Thanks, Patrick
 

simonjh98

Well-known member
Messages
221
Reaction score
650
Interesting Simon- what size(s) do you recommend - is it quite brittle or is it proper wire? Thanks, Patrick
Hi Patrick. It's proper wire but very malleable/flexible . I buy it usually in 0.2mm and 0.25mm. You might want 0.3mm if you tie bigger flies. I tie from sizes 8 right down to 18's so I've no need for the 0.3mm .
 

gwelsher

Well-known member
Messages
4,785
Reaction score
587
Location
Solihull
Never used it but it looks more useful for pike flies than salmon.
Proper Krystal Flash is the best but as you say it's expensive if you only need a bit. There is lots of Crystal Flash imitations which are good.
With variety packs you get a load of colours you will never use, I've got loads. You mainly only need Pearl, Silver and Gold.
Look at this. Colours D - A - B will cover the main colours
 

Woodsy

Well-known member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,870
Location
Ireland
Never used it but it looks more useful for pike flies than salmon.
Proper Krystal Flash is the best but as you say it's expensive if you only need a bit. There is lots of Crystal Flash imitations which are good.
With variety packs you get a load of colours you will never use, I've got loads. You mainly only need Pearl, Silver and Gold.
Look at this. Colours D - A - B will cover the main colours
Thanks Gary, I should be covered then?. It's easily to get lost in the different colours and I'm starting to hear about mirror and krinkle flash too which is confusing things further ?
 

FaughanPurple

Well-known member
Messages
8,419
Reaction score
898
Location
Belfast/Derry
Save a fortune on Ribbing material.

I've been using this coated copper wire now used for jewellery making for 2 years and it is fantastic.

25m for £2 per spool and if you buy 3 spools you get 3 for free!
That's right, 6 spools for £6.

I buy the 0.2mm and the 0.25mm sizes in silver, gold and copper. It lasts longer than oval tinsel and makes your flies more durable!

Been using this stuff for a while picked it up from Craftworld

Also keep an eye out for the gold wire on bottles of Rioja... im well stocked up after lockdown ????
 

Bothy Cat

Active member
Messages
231
Reaction score
129
Location
North West
I've been using sewing machine needles as a tube fly holder for some time now. They are perfectly suited to the job in that they are short and strong (about 40 mm) and have a flat head which sits tight in the vice. Most importantly, as can be seen in the photograph, the shaft widens at the eye and this pushes against the inside of the liner and helps stop the outer metal tube spinning. A pack of 10 is around £1.50, worth getting a few sizes of different thickness.



 

Bothy Cat

Active member
Messages
231
Reaction score
129
Location
North West
Ha ha, yes it is, not quite the original dressing and I used some synthetic JC I've had in a while which I think compliments the orange cone. Looked good when I gave it a swim on the Welsh Dee yesterday.
 

Woodsy

Well-known member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,870
Location
Ireland
Knocked these up using some strip board and wooden dowels totalling about £6. A bit rough and nowhere near as nice as the stations being sold but does the job.

Should help organise spools but already thinking I'm gonna need to make more!
20200912_192746.jpg
20200912_193153.jpg
 

Bothy Cat

Active member
Messages
231
Reaction score
129
Location
North West
Not really something that falls into the "cheaper alternatives" category but an idea I had to stop spillage. I've lost count of the times I've accidentally knocked over a full bottle of varnish, or worse, superglue, whilst tying flies. To say it makes a right mess is an understatement. So, find an old plastic lid of a suitable size, measure and cut a hole in the top and place over the bottle with only the bottle neck showing, it will never fall over. Provides a platform to rest the wet needle too, this one's had plenty of use as can be seen.

 
Last edited:

Torrish

Well-known member
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
106
Location
Cumbria
Here is a tip I got off the late Jimmy Younger to just put the right amount of varnish on to your needle. This is an empty ink bottle and you put just enough varnish into the bottle so it just covers the bottom. When you dip your needle in you never get an overloaded needle tip and the bottle is very sturdy and you cannot knock it over, a bit long winded but you get the gist of it
Bottle.jpg
 
Last edited:

Torrish

Well-known member
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
106
Location
Cumbria
I also have my own varish needle, its just a craft knife handle with a suitable needle inserted in, A nice bit of length to it and really nice to use, I find it a lot better than these shop bought needles
Varnish Needle.jpg
 

undercurrent

Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
45
Let's revive this thread ?

I've had a good read through and it has been brilliant. Unfortunately, a lot of the links are now old and broken but I have searched similar and ordered a few things of ebay, if they arrive and suitable I'll post up.

If anyone has up to date links with tested materials please share

Not a new idea, but for consolidation reasons I'll add one of Ryan Houston ideas. I by chance had a water slide orded for the kids and it came with 100 plus water balloons and plastic straws to fill them. When it had arrived I had seen Ryan's video so decided to keep them. The balloons can be ordered separately for around 7 quid. They are 2mm thick and a size 16 treble fits inside very well or a size 14 with a little stretch. The extra small emur tubing fits inside too if you can find a bead to fit

View attachment 45359
View attachment 45360
 

Clydebuilt

Well-known member
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
1,562
Used one of these for years

Mechanical pencil needle
IMAG7069.jpg

Remove the tip and push in a sewing needle , you may need to nip the eye off depending on dia.
IMAG7066.jpg

Job done, push tip to extend and reverse whilst push needle back in for safety?
IMAG7067.jpg

IMAG7068.jpg
 
Top