Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finished Poppers

I finally finished painting my poppers and got the epoxy set. Then I finished the tying. I just need to finish the epoxy on the thread and I will call them done. Far from perfect, but man, what a blast. I learned so many "what not to do's", a couple of "wait..what?" and only one, "why Lord whyyyyy???" (Last one was the third thread break)  I will start the next batch hopefully next week and see what I can do. This was also a lot of learning with the copic as well, but that's starting to become easier. I did buy a cheap air compressor and that will save a ton in the long run. They are all size 2. Anyway, here they are...2 bass and an attempted red ear sunfish.

I figured i'd do a group shot before they go on to their various destinations.

I only did two frogs this round because i'm waiting on materials to arrive. I didn't have the right stuff to get the legs working the way I wanted so I stopped at 2.

My Purple Derp...

I tried for a more brownish tone to this one.

I quickly realized i'm a much better painter than I am a tier. I really need to work on that.

Here was one I did for a friend at Notice the yakangler logo at the back of the lure.

The next batch will be smaller in size, probably a #2. These were a bit clunky on an 8wt, but awesome on a 10. I'm pretty sure they would work on an ultralite spinning rig.

Great, another addiction. Oh well, at least i'm having fun.

Thanks for coming along,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Labor of Love

Hmmm. Labor of love. I'm not sure I really like that expression. It seems to me that when someone says "it's a labor of love", it's just a way to rationalize something they pour time, energy, and a boatload of money into with very little return. Old car projects, Vegas, the Dallas Cowboys, and yes, even fishing. So I decided my next project would not be like that...even though I have already poured time, energy, and a boatload of money into it. This time will be different. (rolling eyes) Yeah right.
 I have been fly tying for many years and have just recently re-energized my passion for it.  The only problem I seem to be having is i'm growing tired of tying the same old flies. The old faithfuls...clousers and buggers. I fish for bass, and they produce with a consistency that would rival any top dollar manufactured lure, just on a smaller scale. I can destroy half a dozen of these weapons of mass casting on any given afternoon on the river, Not just from trees either, but from the fish tearing them up. So why in the world would I want to stray from such time-tested bass catching machines? Well, I kinda get bored pretty quick. I love a challenge. I love to twerk my creative side. (not sure that came out right). So I wanted to do something different that I haven't done before.


Yes, poppers.

 To be able to create something from foam, feathers, and paint sounded like an adventure I was willing to try. And so it has begun....

 The cost really isn't that bad. I decided to start off with the Perfect Poppers from Wapsi. I tried out the soft and hard foam,  pencil and regular.

This was drying time for the glue I started the process with.

 As long as I have the mental stamina to understand that this is a process that takes time, i'll be good to go. I usually only have a few hours in the evening to work on them, so each night has it's own step. Glue together, fill gap, sand and seal, paint, epoxy, tie on materials, epoxy. That's a lot for a fly. That's why i'm going in bulk for the first stages and spend more time on the paint.

Adding sealant.
Drying time.
 The night has come to paint. I've never done this before, so it was slow going. I decided on the Copic Air Brush System to do the job. I thought it would be easier and cleaner since my workspace is in the kitchen or living room. There is a learning curve, but they are a great product and a very handy tool to have.

Baby bass half way to the finish line.

 This first one was my guinea pig. Lots of trial and error, well, more error than trial. I realized the soft foam doesn't care for the sealer I used after these photos were taken. It made the colors run together and darken it pretty bad. Not to mention how much it soaked up. I think the hard foam will be a lot easier for painting.

Different angle. The glare was killing me. The blacks are much darker.

Not too bad for my first try. Next step is epoxy. Then i'll get started on all the rest. I'm excited about my new adventure. I'm having a blast so far.

Would it be cheaper to buy one at the store? -Probably. 

Can I buy gratification and a feeling of accomplishment at the store as well? -Not a chance.

Is this really cost effective? -who cares, it's my labor of love. :)

Thanks for coming along,

*shot with Nikon D7000

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plano 7771 My Fly Tying Storage Solution

I decided a while ago to get back to fly tying. I bought a new Peak Vise last month and have been tying up a frenzy. My main problem has been a place to tie and something to put all my stuff in. I don't have a good place for a permanent station, so I improvised. I have a 5 foot folding table I bought from Sam's that slides perfectly under the couch and out of view when not being used. And after a ton of searching for something usable, I found the Plano 7771 tackle box. It has a ton of storage, lots of compartments for the materials I use the most, and very portable. I have only been tying clousers, wooly buggers, wooly worms, black ghosts, and similar flies, so this gives me all the space I need for now. I'm about to start poppers, so i'm sure I will need more storage space, but for now it works great. It can sit on the table along with the vise and still have plenty of room to move and find things easily. I also have the Renzetti Tool Caddy II that fits on top the deer tails when i'm finished tying for the night.

 I have another box full of tails in the closet, so I can replenish when I start running out of a particular color.

Hooks and hackle

The very top has a great spot for flash.

The side compartment fits all my tools as well as chenille and small boxes.

I found these little storage boxes at Hobby Lobby to put my beads, cones, and eyes in.

I really don't like the setup for my hooks, but it works until I think of something else. I always put the i.d. tags in with them so I can remember the product number and sizes for ease in reordering.

Marabou and things get their own side compartment up front.

Anyway, just thought I might share what I did for those who have similar space issues and don't have a full on fly tying station or just starting out in the tying world. And if I ever get to a point where I have a dedicated spot, i'll have a nice box to use for fishing.

Thanks for comig along,