fly tying vise in fly shop

Blog Forums Fly Tying fly tying vise in fly shop

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Jim Witham Mar 21, 2014 at 7:44 am.

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  • #76176

    Jim Witham
    Member

    I happen to be about a thousand miles away from my fly tying vise and other hardware. I went into a local fly shop and bought about $50 worth of flies and fly tying materials. I noticed a a working fly vise out in the public area of the store clearly used by the owner and others to tie up flies for the bins. I explained my situation to the owner and asked if he’d mind if I used his vise to tie up some flies from the materials I had just bought. He didn’t say no but was clearly uncomfortable with the idea. I decided not to press it. I’ve visited this shop maybe half a dozen times over the past few years. I don’t think the owner recognizes me. Was I out of line? Just wondering.

    #76179

    Not out of line for asking, especially if you bought the supplies there.

    #76200
    Mark Schafer
    Mark Schafer
    Member

    You would think it would be common to have a place for customers to tie a few, we discussed it a couple times but the cons are more than the pros, but personally I would have no issues with an established customer or someone that doesn’t come off like an asshole when they walk in using my mine might even point you to the beer fridge..

    #76202

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    It’s probably an unusual request but the shop owner was a fool to say no. What could be more inviting to other customers than walking in and seeing a fellow customer tying flies? Or anyone tying flies. That’s one of the best things about fly shops. And what are you going to do, wear out the vise? Ha!

    Personally I would like to see more fly shops have a customer tying area. I’ve seen a couple, although most of the time they are temporary set ups. I certainly don’t think you were out of line. You probably just encountered an unflexible mind.

    As for not noticing you, that’s somewhat more understandable but again doesn’t speak overly well of the shop. I used to work behind the counter at a golf pro shop. I might not have known everyone’s name but by the third or fourth time they’d come in, I would at least recognize the face. Failing to do that suggests someone who is too caught up in themselves or possibly even contemptuous of the customer, which unfortunately is a problem all too many specialty shops (golf, archery, fly) struggle with.

    I think there’s a tendency when you achieve great skill at something to look down on or overlook those who come to you seeking knowledge. Couple that with general retail detachment and it’s a bad mixture, even if it is human nature.

    I know we all want to support our local fly shops, and that’s important. But there have always been good and bad shops, and in an industry which builds in radius protection from competition for big-name lines, it’s all too easy to get cocky and that is a bad thing for everyone involved.

    Zach

    #76207

    Jim Witham
    Member

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve seen vises in fly shops out in public areas before but had never thought of asking about this because I’ve got my own hardware at home. I thought, Well, maybe that’s why you see vises out in public areas, so the public can try out materials they’ve just bought, but I’d better ask first. Probably if I’d pressed the guy, he would have said OK. But his first reaction was definitely negative. I would think fly shop owners would help their businesses by encouraging customers who have bought materials to use their equipment and maybe even offer a little coaching and instruction – if they want to get more people to buy materials and tie flies. The pattern I’d bought the materials for was one I’d been searching for for a long time. I’d found it on the internet and it uses silli legs material to create a fly that appears to look and act in the water very much like a plastic worm, which are killers for largemouth bass. I’ve been searching a long time for a fly that would catch bass like plastic worms do on spinning tackle. I’m really psyched to tie this fly and try it out. I’ve got the material now and will see how far I get tying it without using a vise. I may need to go back to that fly shop and ask again.

    #76212
    Mike McKeown
    Mike McKeown
    Member

    I asked around the shop…

    We don’t have a vise out in public, nor do we tie flies for our bins, (we just buy the cheep’os, well that’s all the SA market will tolerate, and we have tried top quality flies!) but we do have some vices and equipment we keep for doing group lessons and instruction.

    If the case was made, that you were miles away from your vice and really needed to tie a fly or two, we would have no issue in getting one of those vices and tool kits out and letting the client tie away merrily.

    Obviously there would have to be some form of payment, and we all decided that six cold ones, share with the tier, and a fly or two, would make a great afternoon…

    I think it comes down to the shop… but thinking about it, if we had a vice that was out on the floor, and we were asked in a respectable way, we would have absolutely no problem with anyone, foreign, distant, regular or first-timer, jumping on it and tying a fly or 2… just don’t arrive with a tying kit and take over the shop… also, remember the beers!

    #76222
    Peter E.
    Peter E.
    Member

    For me i would be kosher with some one tying with any materials they bought THAT DAY. And I would think it would behoove the owners to teach a bit especially how to use different materials.

    #76223

    R Black
    Member

    Such experiences to help me decide which shops to support, all things considered, if there is another choice.
    (other than online)

    #76224
    Mark Schafer
    Mark Schafer
    Member

    . I’ve got the material now and will see how far I get tying it without using a vise. I may need to go back to that fly shop and ask again.

    There was an older guy a few years back at the campground we stayed at during salmon season tying awesome flies with a pair of vice grips and a C clap.

    A rental fee might not be a bad idea for an area with say a vice and a few basic tools, maybe some of the samples or even stuff others have left behind/donated.
    What about letting a guy use the shops materials and then just charging him for what he used and a little extra most of us can look at a fly and add up the cost in our heads

    #76225

    Bruce Petray
    Member

    If your ever in Tampa, stop by “Tampa Bay on the Fly”, not only is the more than one vice you can use but Enver (owner) has materials laying out for use! He’ll also gladly share his knowledge about what works locally! Great little shop and really good guy!

    #76228

    R Black
    Member

    If your ever in Tampa, stop by “Tampa Bay on the Fly”, not only is the more than one vice you can use but Enver (owner) has materials laying out for use! He’ll also gladly share his knowledge about what works locally! Great little shop and really good guy!

    X2. I visited his shop the other day. He knew I was from out of state but told me if I ever needed anything to let him know.

    #76493
    Chad Simcox
    Chad Simcox
    Member

    I used to frequent a shop in Los Angeles that did a Thursday night fly tying night. Just before the shop closed for the day, locals could come by with their own materials and tools and tie, drink beer and shoot the shit. I’m sure if you didn’t bring your own tools, someone would let you sit down and tie at their station. I went a few times when I could make it. It was a good time and I learned some new patterns for surf fishing that produced very well for me.

    http://society6.com/grainfarmer Fly Fishing and Landscape open edition Photography prints.

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    #76610
    Mark Schafer
    Mark Schafer
    Member

    I’ve been thinking about a “beers-n-bugs” night there is a local store with a great selection and a guy that does a brief talk on a beer or style of, and you get to try a few, pair that with a few local tiers doing a demo pattern maybe even put together a materials kit to go along with them, bring your own vice etc. have a beer tie a bug, even an “open vice night” show off your own creations.
    any thoughts?

    #76612

    Jim Witham
    Member

    I like that idea. Might be a bit tough, though, to thread a size 22 hook after several local brews. But such an event could lead to some interesting flies.

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