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Q:
What are the advantages of tying one's own flies, juxtaposed to buying ready-made flies? Other of course than the awesome feeling it must be to land a fish using a lure that you made.

Question by Matthew Matzek. Uploaded on November 23, 2012

Answers (19)

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from Hoski wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

you answered it for me, I enjoy the satisfaction of catching fish on flies I created.
Other advantages are the ability to customize your flies, trying new materials, and creating whole new patterns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

That's it, and you can tweak your patterns to suit your fishing. Most of mine are tweaked in some way. And it isn't cost savings if you get good at it, cus if you want to get good you want the best of tools and materials, and that means an investment. You don't have to invest in everything right away, but you will accumulate more, and more costly stuff.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I don't tie flies, but I can see a similarity to gunstock checkering. Pride of workmanship. You also become part of an elite group with a unique skill, a person others look up to as an expert.

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from outdoorsman170 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

You just can't beat the satisfaction you feel when you catch a fish on a pattern you tied, and invented.

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Hi...

All good answers...!!

Plus, you would also have the advantage...if you wish...to 'match the hatch'...when you are fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woolf1987 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I would say the biggest is price followed by ability to make flys on the river or change color in no time at all. the price is huge you can make flys for about 2-5 cents rather then a quarter a piece you can make 5 fly's for the same cost. i have been on the river and didn't have a fly pattern that matched what was biting. so i went to the truck and made a few and had some of the best days on the river. and if you plan on trout or salmon fishing the patterns change so much you are at a huge disadvantage if you don't tie your own.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

It helps to have unique flies when you fish rivers that are heavily pressured.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Woolf? Price? NO ! just the opposite. Any good fly tier has a lot invested in his equipment, and ties more flies then he will ever, ever use himself. Anyone that doesn't isn't a good fly tier. I've got more invested in just good dry fly necks to tie good dry flies with than if I just bought the flies that I would use. And that is just a small fraction of what I have invested in fly tying.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Micropterus24 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Clinch, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that one. In that it is entirely possible to be a good fly tier and be economic about it. I started tying my own musky flies for this exact reason, large deceivers can cost $5+ whereas I can tie the same fly for about $2. Saying that anyone who doesn't have a lot invested in his equipment isn't a good fly tier is a pretty arrogant statement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arcamedies wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Great answers above, but remember, it's not a lure anymore, it's a fly :)

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Possibly, but I would but those folks far into the minority. Those that tie flies, and there are hundreds of them that show up at our big Fly Tying EXPO we hold every year..come from all over the country, are into fly tying, and have lots of money invested in it. Most believe that good flies are tied from good materials, and anyone that gets into dryfly fishing has money tied up in good quality dryfly neck feathers. I don't even want to be economical. What I like to do I spend money on, and cut little corners. Just my vice is $225.00, and I have several of them. And that is but a fraction of the cost many spend on their fly vices. But it can be done I guess. I can get arrogant, I guess, because I deal in percentages. You are suggesting also that you can tie a musky fly as well as a good commercial musky fly tier can tie one And that person probably has tied thousands of them. That seems arrogant to me.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Arcamedies...technically a fly is a lure.

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from zfisher wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Setting aside the deep satisfaction in catching a fish on the fly you've tied, I think a very practical application is being able to present something new the fish that maybe they haven't seen. By late spring local trout have seen every variant of the Adams or PT nymph, except maybe that special pattern you tie.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from airbornedoc wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I agree with Clinch....initially, i tied only a few patterns and it was initially economical but as I began to enjoy tying, I started to invest more than I got out of it. Don;t get me wrong...i know I have saved money by tying my own flies vs buying them. My recommendation would be to first stick to the basics and don't buy boatloads of materials. If you like tying your own, just realize that it is likely to not be a money saving venture unless you discipline yourself. What I've also discovered is that you can create several different flies and give them as gifts...And when you are on the water, you can give away several flies to struggling anglers who don't have the hot pattern that day and you can make a friend. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here is another reality. You do not get good at tying flies, at least not a variety of flies until you tie many, many flies. I compare my flies tied to the quality of a commercial pattern because I want good looking flies in my fly box. Often, the commercial pattern gets the nod. Why? Because commercial tiers tie hundreds, thousands of dozens of flies. Example..I went to watch a Jackson, WY guide tie his patented pattern that won the big "ONE FLY" event, some years back.. John Turk tying his Turk's Taranchula pattern. The requests were so great for his pattern he turned to commercial tying them. He told those in attendance. "I got good at tying this pattern AFTER I had tied around 100 dozen of them." Up until then he would see flaws in his tying the pattern. Do the math. When someone looks in my flybox my ego is big enough I want them to see good patterns, not scrubby looking flies, a good tier would throw out. Forget that they might fish well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lilhays06 wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

My reason for tying my own flies is mostly economical, in contradiction to others. I fish with $49.00 Cortland fly rod from Walmart, and tie on a $30.00 vise from Cabela's. However, with my vise I tie everything from super cheap buggers and sheet foam flies, to complicated EP minnows and miniscule dries. All for a calculated fraction of the cost for buying. Another thing, at the end of the day my fishing report is usually better than those I fish with/around. You do not have to spend massive amounts of money to be a good fly fisherman or fly tyer. Guys 100 years ago caught plenty of fish with equipment that doesn't hold a candle to what is considered cheap today.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

I used to tie flies, but don't any more. I agree with 06 above. I'm a self taught fly guy who started on blue gills and sunfish in the "icepond" as a kid. I've gone on to chase steelhead and silvers in Ak. Flyfishing, like most other outdoor endevers, doesn't have to get so expensive that everyman can't do it. There's "shiny" flyfishermen and then there's guys who fish with flies. You can be either one. I've always been the guy who fishes with flies, and who fishes with his dog. I always warn people who want to fish with me, the dog steps on rods, if you want to fish here with me and Glock its on you if something gets broken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I don't necessarily agree that tying is cheaper than buying. Initial costs of equipment can easily and quickly reach a couple hundred dollars. And more than likely you will continue to buy materials before you have tied your initial investment's worth constantly keeping you behind.
To answer your question. The advantages are like stated above. You can tweek patterns or create your own. For me. Tying a fly and that fly catching a fish is the reason I do it. It's a very cool feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from youngoutdoorsman2001 wrote 49 weeks 3 days ago

For me, there are many advantages to tying flies rather than buying them. In my mind the first point to stick out to me is durability. It's simple. Flies that are bought tend to fall apart easily, that's how they continuously make money. When tying your own flies, if you are anything like me and don't want your favorite pattern to be rippend to shreds after three fish, tie with durability. Use a lot of head cement. Use better thread (I use kevlar thread). Use stronger hooks. Instead of wrapping hackle and herl around a hook, wrap it around the thread. There are many tips you can be taught and discover on your own. Make that size 24 nymph into a size 6! Catch 20 inch trout instead of 7 inch!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

from woolf1987 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I would say the biggest is price followed by ability to make flys on the river or change color in no time at all. the price is huge you can make flys for about 2-5 cents rather then a quarter a piece you can make 5 fly's for the same cost. i have been on the river and didn't have a fly pattern that matched what was biting. so i went to the truck and made a few and had some of the best days on the river. and if you plan on trout or salmon fishing the patterns change so much you are at a huge disadvantage if you don't tie your own.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

you answered it for me, I enjoy the satisfaction of catching fish on flies I created.
Other advantages are the ability to customize your flies, trying new materials, and creating whole new patterns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Micropterus24 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Clinch, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that one. In that it is entirely possible to be a good fly tier and be economic about it. I started tying my own musky flies for this exact reason, large deceivers can cost $5+ whereas I can tie the same fly for about $2. Saying that anyone who doesn't have a lot invested in his equipment isn't a good fly tier is a pretty arrogant statement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lilhays06 wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

My reason for tying my own flies is mostly economical, in contradiction to others. I fish with $49.00 Cortland fly rod from Walmart, and tie on a $30.00 vise from Cabela's. However, with my vise I tie everything from super cheap buggers and sheet foam flies, to complicated EP minnows and miniscule dries. All for a calculated fraction of the cost for buying. Another thing, at the end of the day my fishing report is usually better than those I fish with/around. You do not have to spend massive amounts of money to be a good fly fisherman or fly tyer. Guys 100 years ago caught plenty of fish with equipment that doesn't hold a candle to what is considered cheap today.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

I used to tie flies, but don't any more. I agree with 06 above. I'm a self taught fly guy who started on blue gills and sunfish in the "icepond" as a kid. I've gone on to chase steelhead and silvers in Ak. Flyfishing, like most other outdoor endevers, doesn't have to get so expensive that everyman can't do it. There's "shiny" flyfishermen and then there's guys who fish with flies. You can be either one. I've always been the guy who fishes with flies, and who fishes with his dog. I always warn people who want to fish with me, the dog steps on rods, if you want to fish here with me and Glock its on you if something gets broken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

That's it, and you can tweak your patterns to suit your fishing. Most of mine are tweaked in some way. And it isn't cost savings if you get good at it, cus if you want to get good you want the best of tools and materials, and that means an investment. You don't have to invest in everything right away, but you will accumulate more, and more costly stuff.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I don't tie flies, but I can see a similarity to gunstock checkering. Pride of workmanship. You also become part of an elite group with a unique skill, a person others look up to as an expert.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman170 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

You just can't beat the satisfaction you feel when you catch a fish on a pattern you tied, and invented.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Hi...

All good answers...!!

Plus, you would also have the advantage...if you wish...to 'match the hatch'...when you are fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

It helps to have unique flies when you fish rivers that are heavily pressured.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arcamedies wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Great answers above, but remember, it's not a lure anymore, it's a fly :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Arcamedies...technically a fly is a lure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from zfisher wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Setting aside the deep satisfaction in catching a fish on the fly you've tied, I think a very practical application is being able to present something new the fish that maybe they haven't seen. By late spring local trout have seen every variant of the Adams or PT nymph, except maybe that special pattern you tie.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from airbornedoc wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I agree with Clinch....initially, i tied only a few patterns and it was initially economical but as I began to enjoy tying, I started to invest more than I got out of it. Don;t get me wrong...i know I have saved money by tying my own flies vs buying them. My recommendation would be to first stick to the basics and don't buy boatloads of materials. If you like tying your own, just realize that it is likely to not be a money saving venture unless you discipline yourself. What I've also discovered is that you can create several different flies and give them as gifts...And when you are on the water, you can give away several flies to struggling anglers who don't have the hot pattern that day and you can make a friend. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here is another reality. You do not get good at tying flies, at least not a variety of flies until you tie many, many flies. I compare my flies tied to the quality of a commercial pattern because I want good looking flies in my fly box. Often, the commercial pattern gets the nod. Why? Because commercial tiers tie hundreds, thousands of dozens of flies. Example..I went to watch a Jackson, WY guide tie his patented pattern that won the big "ONE FLY" event, some years back.. John Turk tying his Turk's Taranchula pattern. The requests were so great for his pattern he turned to commercial tying them. He told those in attendance. "I got good at tying this pattern AFTER I had tied around 100 dozen of them." Up until then he would see flaws in his tying the pattern. Do the math. When someone looks in my flybox my ego is big enough I want them to see good patterns, not scrubby looking flies, a good tier would throw out. Forget that they might fish well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I don't necessarily agree that tying is cheaper than buying. Initial costs of equipment can easily and quickly reach a couple hundred dollars. And more than likely you will continue to buy materials before you have tied your initial investment's worth constantly keeping you behind.
To answer your question. The advantages are like stated above. You can tweek patterns or create your own. For me. Tying a fly and that fly catching a fish is the reason I do it. It's a very cool feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from youngoutdoorsman2001 wrote 49 weeks 3 days ago

For me, there are many advantages to tying flies rather than buying them. In my mind the first point to stick out to me is durability. It's simple. Flies that are bought tend to fall apart easily, that's how they continuously make money. When tying your own flies, if you are anything like me and don't want your favorite pattern to be rippend to shreds after three fish, tie with durability. Use a lot of head cement. Use better thread (I use kevlar thread). Use stronger hooks. Instead of wrapping hackle and herl around a hook, wrap it around the thread. There are many tips you can be taught and discover on your own. Make that size 24 nymph into a size 6! Catch 20 inch trout instead of 7 inch!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Woolf? Price? NO ! just the opposite. Any good fly tier has a lot invested in his equipment, and ties more flies then he will ever, ever use himself. Anyone that doesn't isn't a good fly tier. I've got more invested in just good dry fly necks to tie good dry flies with than if I just bought the flies that I would use. And that is just a small fraction of what I have invested in fly tying.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Possibly, but I would but those folks far into the minority. Those that tie flies, and there are hundreds of them that show up at our big Fly Tying EXPO we hold every year..come from all over the country, are into fly tying, and have lots of money invested in it. Most believe that good flies are tied from good materials, and anyone that gets into dryfly fishing has money tied up in good quality dryfly neck feathers. I don't even want to be economical. What I like to do I spend money on, and cut little corners. Just my vice is $225.00, and I have several of them. And that is but a fraction of the cost many spend on their fly vices. But it can be done I guess. I can get arrogant, I guess, because I deal in percentages. You are suggesting also that you can tie a musky fly as well as a good commercial musky fly tier can tie one And that person probably has tied thousands of them. That seems arrogant to me.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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