Where to get materials for the lowest price?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by bwtucker83, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. bwtucker83

    bwtucker83 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Just wondering if anyone has any good websites or places they go to get their tying materials for the lowest possible price. Thanks

    Brad

    Also, I need a new vise. Any suggestions on which one to get? Under 100.00
     
  2. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Snoqualmie, WA, USA.
    Home Page:
    I don't think there is a place that sells the cheapest of everything.

    One place will have cheap hooks, another cheap beads, etc. Do a search on this site for "cheap hooks" then "marabou", etc.

    As for vices, see these comprehensive reviews:

    http://www.flyfisherman.com/ftb/hwvise/
     
  3. Mike Etgen

    Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
    Under $100.00 for a good vice? For me, hands down, the Danvise, which is a rotary vise. It retails for about $80.00 but they're always on Ebay for less. For that kind of money, however, it's worth it to give your business to a local shop if you can.

    I've had mine for three plus years and it does all I could ask of a vise, though I don't claim to be a great or even a truly discriminating tyer.

    Just my two coins' worth...
     
  4. Desmond Wiles

    Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Snohomish, Wa
    I've been tying for almost two years, and have pretty much learned right away that there is no cheap way to do this.... my problem is I want to have everything available to tie with!!
     
  5. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,057
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Snohomish, WA.
    Cheap materials? 2 words: Road Kill
     
  6. Willy

    Willy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    I've had a really good experience for hooks and beads from
    http://www.canadianllama.com

    We have a local guy around here who also has some pretty good deals on some unique materials. I just go over to his house/shop and buy stuff, but he does most of his sales through shows and mail order.
    http://www.eflytyer.com

    But what has already been said is true, you really need to shop around for each item if you want the best deal. Nobody is consistently better across the line than anyone else.
     
  7. Minx

    Minx New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    white marsh, va
    Nice 1 Chadk lmao......I bought an Apex vice, floor demo from the local Bass Pro.....under 90 bucks & I love it. Good intermediate vice for me as the first one came from a kit. Cheap materials?.......time. I can't remember what I paid for all the mess in my box, as much as there is getting to be, I must have got it cheap. :beer1: :beer1: :beer1: more beer table 2
     
  8. ffishnfly

    ffishnfly Roger AKA The Fish Whisperer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Monroe, WA
    I was one of the first in the U. S. to get a Danvise. I have never been unhappy with the decision. Several buddies have tied on mine, as well as my son in law. They now own Danvice's. But to be honest, I am so happy with mine, I haven't really paid attention to the newer ones out in the same price range.
     
  9. FT

    FT Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Burlington, WA
    There are several very good vises under $100.00. The Danvise already mentioned is one. Thompson has one and Griffin has several, including some rotary models.

    As to cheap materials, one caution comes to mind: cheap materials are almost invariably poor quality and prove to be false economy in the end. Keep in mind that the good marabou, feathers, fur, and tails only come from a few suppliers, and that the good hackle is genetic, which again is only produced by a few hackle growers. Hooks can be had for cheap; but even the best hooks are only a small percentage of the fly's cost.
     
  10. Nick A.

    Nick A. New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Renton,WA
    Try to support your local fly shop.:thumb:
     
  11. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,535
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    College Place, Washington
    Road Kill,
    Well, I've got Buck Tail, Pheasant Tails, from Road Kill. A friend and I went out to a farm and helped a farmer slaughter friers so we could get the capes. Not really good feather but we had a mess of white capes. I've also been lucky at few garage sales, but mostly support the local fly shop. They are good people to befriend.
    Fly vises, I still have the one I started out with. An old timer gave it to me over thirty years ago. As metal worker he'd made it in his own shop. It works okay and I'm too cheap to buy another. It will handle flies from #20 to #4. I guess I've tied thousands of flies on that old vise. Now that was a cheap vise.

    K.
     
  12. scotch

    scotch New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    olympia wa
    I sat on a bridge one sunny afternoon and knocked these little jumping spiders off the railing to some rising trout. Then I smashed a few and the trout still ate em. Then I dropped pieces of spider and they ate them too.

    I think to a large degree shop flies are tied so perfectly to catch fishermen. Lee wulff wrote his most productive fly was grey wool dubbed on a nymph hook but he couldn't sell them. He dressed them up and they sold well though less productive. I could give more examples backing this up.

    There are areas where I wont scrimp. Hooks and hackle(dry) for example. I would say 80% of my tying is done with deer hair. I've spent maybe $80 on it in 10 years. I bought beaver and mink at a vintage clothing store to last a lifetime. One of my favorite dubbings is hair from the moles out of my yard. It is free and can be dyed. I don't hunt but my bird hunting buddies supply me with pelts and deer and elk hide.

    Just a few ideas.

    Thats my two cents(and I want the change)

    Scotch (no cheap substitutes here)
     
  13. Southsound

    Southsound Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    South Puget Sound (again!), WA, USA
    Generally it's been my experience that quality materials and hard-to-find items come at a price. Some useful materials can be found a crafts stores at lower prices, like foam sheets, ribbing materials, yarns, etc. I have also found poly-yarn and dyed skeins of wool that work for bodies at the St. Vincent de Paul store.

    I agree that skimping on hooks is not recommended. I have used less expensive hooks in the past and found they were prone to breaking when either attempting to de-barb them or sometimes just tying on them. These also tend to have gaps at the hook eye which can lead to frustrations when whip finishing a fly.

    You might look into finding acquaintances who would be up for sharing the cost of higher dollar items like quality hackle or the like. A good cape for dry flies is a spendy proposition but the product can be worth the investment. A high quality cape will provide hackle for an astounding number of dries in different sizes.

    Occasionally one can find a collection of materials being sold by a private party at a good price. These can be windfalls and I have been lucky enough to score twice in the last 10 years, first in Alaska and again with a gentleman in Oregon. That latter purchase was a $150 outlay and the variety and quantity of materials and hooks I received was worth at least 5 times that amount so stay on the hunt for these kinds of opportunities too.

    Lastly, I have collected alot of materials over the years and find myself with surplus in some so if you are needing something, send me an email and I'll see if I can't help out.

    Regards...

    Steve Cole
    (aka Southsound)
     
  14. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    I try to get most of my stuff at local shops. If we don't use them and support them, they disappear. That being said, I'm also on a fixed income, so need to save money wherever I can. You might try looking on-line at Hook and Hackle, www.hookhack.com . They are going through a move right now and a new owner, but their past service was outstanding and good prices. With the old owner, they offered a 20% discount for on-line orders.

    For hackle, you might try www.conranch.com. Denny Conrad grows genetic birds over in Eastern Washington and produces some nice feathers. Best thing to do is look at the website, then call Denny, let him know what you want, and he'll hand pick the cape or saddle for you. He also has a money back guarentee. You don't like the feathers, he'll refund your money. Hard to beat. He only sells direct to the tyer, no middleman.

    REE
     
  15. Don Johnson

    Don Johnson Duke of Furl

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ocean Shores, WA
    How to Get Materials Cheaply 101:

    1) Look through your "stuff" and see what have a lot of; something that can be divided generously into "X" number of parts.

    2) Host a materials swap where everyone supplies enough materials for "X" number of swappers and you get to swap your surplus (remember to not get rid of it all though).

    3) List what everyone is providing and make certain there is no redundancy.

    4) Make sure everyone sends you a) X sets of materials so each swapper gets something from everyone, b) a suitable mailer to get their new loot back to them and c) enough $$$ to cover their own postage.