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How Long?

Joined:
2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 458
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Hi Everyone!
I just started tying a couple months ago. I only have mastered 2 flies so far. That is all I have tried. I can tie a good wooley bugger and bead head hares ear. I tie in gold ribbing and a shell case with my hares ear. I was wondering how long it should be taking me to tie a hares ear. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to tie one. I just want to see where I am at compared to others. Thanks!

Troy

Posted on: 2007/4/19 11:01


Re: How Long?
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 21727
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I've been tying for over 5 years and it takes me a good ten minutes to tie most flies. Your speed will improve as you get more experience. I know I am a slow tier; a hare's ear nymph like you described can probably be done in just a few short minutes by an accomplished tier.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 11:16
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Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
Posts: 260
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Troy, for what its worth, don’t worry about it. When I tie for leisure I tie slowly and enjoy making everything look perfect and adding this and that’s. Your speed will pick up as you tie more and more. Also the first several times you tie a new pattern it will take you longer to tie. Keep with a pattern until your familiar with it and then move on to something else. That will also make you more proficient. When I tie commercially it’s more of a chore and that’s where organizing your materials, laying out your stuff etc comes into play. I still enjoy it but the repetition of tying 4 dozen of the same flies all at once isn’t as fun.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 11:27


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/12/7 18:13
Posts: 211
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Quote:

CaptMatt wrote:
Also the first several times you tie a new pattern it will take you longer to tie. Keep with a pattern until your familiar with it and then move on to something else. That will also make you more proficient.


Probably the best advice anyone could give you.

When I first started tying I used to hop from pattern to pattern, size to size and it took me a LONG time to complete a fly. Now I do what the Cap'n recommends and I stick with one pattern and size until I get 16, (my minimum) tied in each size. It may be boring at times; but these days with proper advanced preparation I can usually easily complete my 16 flies in an hour.

But it ain't a race unless you are doing it for money so enjoy the experience.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 12:25


Re: How Long?
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I’ve been tying for a long time and I don’t tie much faster than Jack, at best maybe 3-4 minutes / fly on the simple patterns and twice that or more on complex flies. It really doesn’t matter since I am not tying for a living. I would be interested in how long it takes for Festus or Sandfly to tie a fly, since they tie commercially.

On one of my first FF trips out west I hired a guide of Blue Ribbon flies in W. Yellowstone. He tied for the shop and had his own tying business on the side for customers. He could tie 3 – 4 dozen flies / hour on simpler patterns! I don’t doubt it because I’ve seen him tie a blood knot in the blink of an eye. Amazing! He also told me, and from experience I found it to be true, that with the first few flies it’s a slower process and the first flies are sometimes out of proportion a bit. After fly 5 or 6 it begins to click and your proficiency and speed increases. I find that to be true, but I rarely tie more than 6 of one pattern – so I never really get into that mode until I’m ready to move to the next pattern. One thing I try to do is tie similar type flies together, in other words, the same pattern, different size or color to get to that proficiency level.

I’m a perfectionist with tying, and with many things, but truth be known, most flies don’t have to be tied perfectly to catch fish. Many times, as the fly becomes more chewed up and beat up by the fish, the more they like it.

Try tying different style flies and using different methods and techniques. The new technique you learn from one pattern can be applied to other flies. It’s a building process.

Most importantly….have fun tying, and don’t worry about speed.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 12:44


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 458
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I really don't want to make this a race when I tie. I just wanted to know how long it takes an avid tyer to do the same as this beginner. I tied last night for about 2 hours and I only tied 3. I was interrupted a couple of times though. I was pretty happy with the 3 I tied. I would like to get faster only because I will have more flies tied in the same time it takes me to tie 3. It just sucks because I will probably go out and lose the 3 I tied last night. I guess the winter is the time to load up on your inventory. I am really enjoying it . I will tell you one thing though, this fly fishing thing is really taking up a lot of time in my life. I guess it could be worse

Troy

Posted on: 2007/4/19 12:54


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
Posts: 260
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afishinado wrote:
I’ve been tying for a long time and I don’t tie much faster than Jack, at best maybe 3-4 minutes / fly on the simple patterns and twice that or more on complex flies. It really doesn’t matter since I am not tying for a living. I would be interested in how long it takes for Festus or Sandfly to tie a fly, since they tie commercially.


Tying for a living is tough to make a living at. Its nice extra money here and there though. Working or owning a fly shop and tying to fill the bins is a little different than independently tying for your self. Speed obviously first depends on the pattern. I tie salt water flies commercially. There is one particular pattern that I can tie in 50 seconds or sometimes less depending on how much coffee I drank (the shop manager timed me a few times). Others take a little longer 2-3 minutes depending on the materials required. That tying with all the materials laid out ahead of time, feathers matched up, hooks set out, material cut etc... Organization is key to speed but honestly unless your filling an order… who cares just enjoy it!

Posted on: 2007/4/19 13:13


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/9/13 8:36
From SEPA
Posts: 723
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Troy,

Tying is another great hobby. I don't know if your vise is rotary or not, but I definitely notice a speed increase tying on the rotary. Enjoy the process!

beeber

Posted on: 2007/4/19 15:57


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2007/1/25 5:24
From Pa
Posts: 875
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My philosophy? Set back and enjoy. Ain't no rush as long as yer enjoyin yerself.

I average about a dozen an hour. I can tie slightly faster, but it then becomes a chore and ain't no fun. And I agree with the person that mentioned the first five or six are usually not proportioned. On a long run of 20 or 30 dozen, my first five or six flies are usually rejects that go into my fly box.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 18:30
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Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/9/10 8:15
Posts: 40
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Troy,

I'm basically going to repeat what everyone else has said.

I've been tying since the late 80's and I thought I would never pick up speed. Since I was enjoying what I was doing and the trout seemed to like my work, I just stopped worrying about how slow I tied. A couple of years ago, I was taking a break from tying (read that-getting a beer) when I noticed a large pile of flies on my magnet. I had tied about a dozen in an hour.

Just enjoy what you're doing. The speed will come. Remember, we're arteests! We don't need to be in a rush!

John

Posted on: 2007/4/19 19:54


Re: How Long?

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2006/9/13 23:35
From SW PA
Posts: 1571
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What Festus said, Sit back and enjoy. Speed means nothing unless your are tying for $$$. But why make a damn good hobby in to work?
JH

Posted on: 2007/4/19 21:04
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Re: How Long?
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Troy,

Three flies in two hours...man thats painful. If you want to produce more flies in less time, you need to stick with your current theme of tying one pattern at a time and think about the steps that take too long. Chances are you are unsure of some of the steps.

I would recommend you take a class. A good instructor will critique your technique. Most of the speed in fly tying comes from efficiency in technique. There are a lot of little tricks you can employ with your fingers and the way you handle the bobbin that speed things up. A good instructor will pick up on these inefficiencies immediately. Confidence also helps efficiency and efficiency builds confidence.

That said, as the others stated, enjoy what you are doing with tying. Start with easier patterns that use each technique. A fly tying class may cost you a few bucks but you should come away with the basic techniques to tie dozens of different patterns from just those ten or so flies in the class. You will come away thinking it was the best money you ever spent. Flattening the learning curve paramont.

Personally, I am a procrastinantion fly tyer...I tie a couple doxen flies the night before a trip of what I think may be coming off the next day. When I have some free time I'll tie dozens of staple nymphs, buggers, streamers to fill my bozes.

I only tie about a dozen nymphs and hour, Fewer dries and about two dozen one and two material flies. (like caddis larvae, Weenies, SJ worms, etc) Streamers take a little longer matching wings.

A couple things to help speed up the process; Keep your thread an inch from the hook shank and the bobbin parallel to the hook when wrapping. Smaller circles shave a lot of time and give more control. Use our wrist not your arm to wrap the thread. Use just a little pinch of dubbing when spinning it to the thread, keep it sparce and thin. When securing material to the hook like tails wings or hair, measure it, pinch it, put it down to the hook and take your thread up to 12:00 and pinch it between the material and the thumb. Then take it around and to 6:00 and cinch it lightY (tug it) and go around again. Then secure it with the additional wraps.


Thread control is very important.

Also, tie all your flies and apply the head cement all at once and not to each fly you finish. Same with lacquer and other items that are wet or have lids to take on and off.

Pay extra careful attention to your proportions and don't crowd the eye. A typical tyer can generate a fly in a few minutes and then fumble around the eye for several more. (thats another fly you could have tied) This is my biggest problem.

I am all for having fun with it, I enjoy it emmensely but I think the reason is the classes I took that gave me a jump start on the efficiencies of tying.

Maurice

Posted on: 2007/4/19 22:10
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Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/11/24 2:46
From Pottstown, PA
Posts: 200
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I started tying in the seventies. I got serious about it in the eighties, then stopped and have started again. I can usualy get about a dozen done in an hour, but there are many things that can change that. If you want to get fast, do like has been said, stick to one pattern in a few sizes. Things that can slow you down are bad eyeball days, all thumbs days, no coordination days, things like that. As has been said, just enjoy tying. If you really need a lot today for tomorrow, break out the plastic and visit your faviorite shop. They may suprise you and have what you want.

Posted on: 2007/4/20 3:03


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2006/9/28 14:40
From Philadelphia
Posts: 368
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Troy,
This is an interesting thread. Thanks. I am always amazed at how fast (and elegant) professional tyers are. I spent some time watching Bill Skilton at a show a couple of years ago and noticed two things: An economy of hand motion and the scissors never left his hand. I also noticed that he never dropped anything, a problem that visits me often.

I just poke along because to do otherwise would make what's fun a chore ( as has already been noted). And, yes, I do most of my tying through the winter months. Like many, I tie one pattern at a time (usually). I'll first prep anything that needs it (quill bodies, etc) and then arrange materials in the order of tie-in.

I was interested in Festus' comment about the first 6 or so flies going into his box and then once he got the range the rest were for customers. Somehow it seemed a good reminder about why I tie flies. They all go into my box or to friends if they ask. I don't tie much that you'd consder fancy, but I do play with standard patterns on a hunch and am somethime pleasantly surprised that I was right. All in all, one of the great things about this sport is that you can get in as deeply as you want and at your own pace. You also get to meet up with lots of nice people, most of whom are happy to be helpful.
Coughlin

Posted on: 2007/4/20 7:49


Re: How Long?

Joined:
2007/1/25 5:24
From Pa
Posts: 875
Offline
Al Beatty once said that he can tie an extra half dozen flies per hour by carrying the scissors in his hand at all times instead of laying them down. There are a number of ways to save time. One of them is to put a mark or two on your scissors to measure wing depth when cutting from mallard wing quills. Another is to make yourself one of these devices from a paper clip and an Exacto knife. I measure out all of my nymph wingcases and wings using this tool. Saves a bunch of time when working with goose or mallard wing quills and ensures uniformity on every fly.

Attach file:



jpg  tool.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2007/4/20 9:31
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