View Full Version : Tying Supplies
11-05-2007, 10:52 AM
I have just started a tying class, and I was told by the instructor to always use high quality products. My question is where can I get high quality products at a reasonable price on the internet?
Any help would be much appreciated.
11-05-2007, 11:00 AM
You can save the shiping by going local, or save the sales tax and heading to NH. Stone River Outfitters or Mountain Road are not to far. Also Kittery Trading post sells stuff online these days. I have been trying to buy from them before cabelas for hunting gear etc.
Or Try this place in Peperell! Your home town
11-05-2007, 12:55 PM
I would be glad you provide some insight. But there is not enough information in your initial post where I can help.
What material or materials are you looking for?
Are there some specific patterns you are looking to tie?
How much are you looking to spend on materials?
The reason that I am asking this is that quality or premium materials is a very subjective term and not regulated. So buyer beware!!
I just recently got some premo bucktails from Saltwater Edge in RI. They specialize in saltwater streamers and they quality is great for bucktails (although I might have wiped them out until a few months after hunting season when the new tails are cleaned and dyed.).
There are some real good feather companies that only deal in feathers (by product from the meat factories). These companies feathers are truly premium is they say premium.
Most fly shops buy from large wholesalers such as Wapsi or Hareline. Premium is as good as their supply which does vary based upon availability. Also the way local shops store material and the shelf life can hamper what I call as premium or quality.
If you are just starting out and really have no one pattern in particular you want to tie, then any local shop or online shop would be good. If you plan on spending less than $50, you probably need to go in person to make sure you are buying the packets with the best quality and quantity in the shops - since not everything is the exact same.
A couple other places I recommend are:
Stone River Outfitters, Bedford, NH
Line's End - Marlborough NH - online only
W.S. Hunter's - Concord NH
Opechee Trading Post - Laconia NH (shop only)
Jann's Netcraft - Online only
Cabela's - Online only (Jordan's of fly tying - price benchmark)
Badger Creek Fly Tying - NY www.eflytyer.com
Orvis - MHT VT. (Anything you buy will be more expensive than Cabelas but a little higher in quality - on some items)
LL Bean - Freeport, ME
Blue Ribbon Outfitter - Montana
The Fly Shop - CA
Yes the list is endless.....
One final comment on quality or premium materials is that the grading is done by someone. If you bought a large bag of bulk feathers and you sorted them, you will ge some premium feathers out of the lot. The same goes for neck, hides, and even synthetics to some extent.
If you send me a message with what you are looking to buy, I would gladly recommend who and why I would buy from.
As each of these outfitters have their niche. The key about online shopping is knowing what on your list is a commodity item and fin a place where you can minimize S&H costs...
Good Luck - and welcome to fly tying.
Stone River is my shop, and they are excellent. They'll give you honest reviews of products and often point you in the direction of cheaper substitutes. Their selection is outstanding, and the business is local. Fly tying is not a cheap hobby, as the number and quality of materials can really add up.
My advice is to start small and buy small quantities until you are sure taht you enjoy it.
It is a ton of fun, I truely love it, but I also have some serious cash tied up in materials.
P.S. I often find that anything bought online typically offsets any savings.
My opinions only, others may agree or disagree :)
One of the places to not skimp is dry fly hackle; but a Whiting #3 is quite a bit better than a #1 from a few years ago. A single Saddle feather will tie more flies than a single Cape feather, but most Saddles only have about 2, maybe 3 sizes in them. As for colors, I prefer natural colors, but there are some good dyed ones around. Whiting is not the only premium hackle grower, there are others that may suit you better as you figure out what you want.
The quality of hair can make a difference when tying; hair for a Comparadun has different characteristics than the hair for an EHC. Dubbings fall into basically natural or synthetic; I'm partial to natural materials.
A good vise makes it easier to tie; I'm partial to the HMH Standard, but it's a personal thing. Good bobbins help; less chance of cutting the thread, for most trout patterns you don't need a lot of different color threads (heck most of the time you can get away with just black or white). "Starter Kits" from places like Cabelas are pretty much hit or miss; some good stuff, some crap, the rest in between. Talking with a local shop you'll get a much higher quality of stuff and they can advise on some of the local patterns to start with.
11-08-2007, 08:56 AM
I just wanted to also add that it is imperative you frequent your local fly shop stores. The reason are the intangibles...
1) Offset freight costs of internet buying with local availability and knowledge.
2) You will meet other local tiers / fisherman - good social networking with a common cause.
3) If your local shop doesn't have it, they can order it and you still don't pay S&H.
4) If you are needing to place a large order of stuff (say to get a free shipping discount - online) - let your local fly shop see what they can do to match final price. Often they will. Sometimes they won't but they will tell you why.
5) Remember local fly shops have inventory which ties up cash. Hopefully what they buy and stock is what you need. Developing a rapport with a local fly shop should allow you the ability to order new stuff that you need and to experiment with it. This should be a very good symbiotic relationship with local fly shop - as this type of input keeps local fly tying inventory fresh and new, and add testamonials about what materials work and don't. (For example - take the vast array of synthetics - what to stock? what to sell? Local fly tiers are the key to success in this regard).
Of course the above is my opinion. :roll:
Remember, Cabelas and other big chain retailers may have inventory of what you need and if you are in a hurry, buy from them. But that is all you get. With local fly shops, you get more.
Now with Cabela's in Hooksett, NH that will be a hybrid creature. It depends who they get to run that fly shop from the store. You will see something like a Kittery Trading Post. You will get a great chance to touch a lot of materials. But, just like Dick's who keeps a vast array of inventory, it won't turn that fast and unfortunately, you probably will not get a chance to develop the rapport you can with a local fly shop - especially if there is a lot of turnover - which happens with a large corporation.
11-08-2007, 09:28 AM
I agree with Chappy. The local stores are there and it's good to patronize them. I was in Hunter's in Concord yesterday and they were a help to me. It's a relatively new store and has a good inventory of tying products, which is what I was after. I also for 10 years or more have been going to Eldredge Bros. in (Cape Neddick) York, Maine. They are exceptional in their knowledge and expertise in fly fishing. I'm fishing on the coast all summer, and drive right past KTP to go to Eldredge Bros. KTP doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling, or the personal touch you get with a local store. Don't forget about Charlie Pool in Bristol, (CARLIES FLIES) right on Rt. 104 near Dunkin Donuts for some local knowledge and a great guy to talk to.
11-10-2007, 04:55 PM
Hey Pep, follow Lowwall's advice: stop in at the Evening Sun Fly Shop in your home town. You will find outstanding materials at a great price with excellent service. You will save money on gas and you will get honest advice and not get "oversold." Your local shop is usually your best bet.
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