On one of my regular visits to the local Farm and Fleet store in town I headed over to the livestock and pet area, in search of a few items for one of my no good, low down, cheapskate shenanigans. I picked up a bot knife, aka stripping comb, for $2.99 and a large fine all purpose grooming comb for $5.79. You may be asking yourself what in the hell I'd need these random things for, and what does this have to do with fly fishing? Simple. I'm too cheap to fork out $10 bones for a fur rake and $15 for a small fur comb that I've never had the chance to see in person. They will be some handy tools for making dubbing.
Living over four hours and 200 miles from the closest fly shop has its obvious disadvantages. I can't just mosey on over to the shop if I've ran out of 6/0 UNI thread in Dark Olive or am in need of some more tan furry foam. Even tougher in this current economic climate is dealing with the ever shrinking inventory that many stores are keeping in stock these days. Either I'm relegated to mail order or better yet, I adapt, improvise, and overcome.
$3 bucks for a stripping comb that is heavier duty than any fur rake on the market is a score. The grooming comb? That's just common sense. The sturdy teeth on the comb can unsnarl even the most stubburn knot of antron yarn and the nappiest llama dingleberry. The fact that it was one third the price of a "fly fishing" model is just icing on the cake. Add in the factor that the farm and fleet store is a regionally owned business and is only a few miles from the Roughfisher Command Post, thus eliminating a significant carbon footprint from shipping and travel, the purchase is a win win.
Think Globally, Act Locally.