December 1, 2008

Another score

Every once in a great while, a fly tyer is able to stumble upon a great alternative source for a commonly used item like head cement, or $ 1.37 tinsel. But rarely is one able to outsource an alternative for antron yarn, the holy grail of fly tying supplies, twice, in one week.

I hit a craft warehouse on the way back home from visiting the outlaws last weekend. I was oblivious to the fact that this craft mecca even existed, yet my wife knew of its existence for some time now, all without telling me. Thanks. She stopped off for a cup of coffee while I hit the aisles in search of some booty. I perused the jewelry aisle, only to be disappointed by the paltry selection of metal beads. A few racks down, I found some treasure, 26 gauge craft wire, in a rainbow of colors. 40 yards for $1.99, pretty rough to beat. When I turned the corner to the next aisle, out of the corner of my eye, I caught some plastic canvas creations. To the average male, this stuff looks like the kind of crap your grandma used to make. But to the astute fly tyer, mixed among those geriatric craft supplies, are some precious treasures, nylon craft cord.

Yarn investigation: Antron, Needloft craft yord, and Amy's craft cord
Yarn investigation: Antron, Needloft craft cord, and Amy's craft cord

The Amy's craft cord is a perfect mix between antron yarn, and the Needloft craft yarn I discovered last week. The cord is braided, so it's a pain to separate, but well worth the effort. The fibers more closely resemble the stiffness of antron, yet have more body like the Needloft yarn. Should be a perfect compromise. At 8.76¢ per yard, retail, it's a penny more than the Needloft, 7.9¢ per yard. But really, what's a penny worth these days? Even if you bought a couple hundred yards of this stuff, it would only put you out a couple bucks more.

I'll continue to experiment with ties and creating custom dubbing blends over the winter. I am hopeful to achieve success and find a perfect balance of body, durability, and flash. Man, I love fly tying.


- the roughfisher