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 Post subject: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Brown Trout
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I can't get the guy off my mind so I'm gonna ramble a bit and ask for some advice.

I've studied a couple of his books quite extensively. While he seems to be very opinionated, I don't see some of our experts here following some of his advice. I guess there are differents schools of thought when it comes to tieing and I'm not sure where he stands with our Master Tiers. I'd like to point out a few of his recommendations and hopefully get some feedback.

Vise...AK Best uses a Dyna-King Pro vise. He says you need a neck that extends at a 45 degree angle so that you can properly position materials to be tied in while giving a place to rest the heel of your hand. Why all the Renzettis ? Any Dyna-King advocates here?

Bobbins...He says you need the S&K bobbin and give a lot of reasons why. Streamer was nice enough to pass one on to me but I'm not sure I've seen our experts using one.

Body Material- AK is a big advocate for using quills that he dyes himself. Other than Plumbob, I haven't seen a lot of quill bodied flies.

Varnish....AK uses clear varnish rather than some of the other head cements I've seen you guys using.

I guess you get my point....I'm very confused and need to get some feedback on AK's methods before I go spending more money needlessly.


Last edited by River Man on Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 501
Well there are the tyers before AK that would just hold the hook in hand and use a 10" piece of thread that would say to AK you don't need any of that fancy hardware, it all just gets in the way. Don't have time to dye those stripped quills, shoe polish is quicker and cheaper.
A vise is like a pair of shoes, one size does not fit all. A lot of tiers would agree with him about resting the hand part but there are just as many who would say thats not an issue. I've taken lessons with just about any of the big names you can think of (except A.K for reasons of my own) and what I've learned is you listen to everything, but take what works for you. AK was a comercial tier, so resting his hand on the vise was probably a good point for him, myself and am sure most here won't sit and tie up 6 dozen or more flies at a single seating. The other thing is, while most of thier idea's have merrit they are trying to sell books and articles.


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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Brown Trout
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River Man wrote:
I can't get the guy off my mind so I'm gonna ramble a bit and ask for some advise.
...
I won't claim expert status, but I'll chime in anyway
Vise...AK Best uses a Dyna-King Pro vise. He says you need a neck that extends at a 45 degree angle so that you can properly position materials to be tied in while giving a place to rest the heel of your hand. Why all the Renzettis ? Any Dyna-King advocates here?
Dyna-King pays him to say that. Renzetti's have a nice little hook behind the jaws that serves the same purpose.

Bobbins...He says you need the S&K bobbin and give a lot of reasons why. Streamer was nice enough to pass one on to me but I'm not sure I've seen our experts using one.
S&K pays him to say that. I like the Griffin Ceramics. Nice compromise between function and cost. At first, I didn't like the wishbone bobbin design, but it's so much cheaper, less bulky, and with a little practice, works quite well.

Body Material- AK is a big advocate for using quills that he dyes himself. Other than Plumbob, I haven't seen a lot of quill bodied flies.
I prefer fishing duns, which are dubbed bodies. Quills aren't nearly as durable. Sometimes you do need one, so there are several in my fly box. No one ties as pretty a quill body as Plumbob, though. Nobody!

Varnish....AK uses clear varnish rather than some of the other head cements I've seen you guys using.
Varnish? I guess it'd work. I use whatever is handy. Drying time and penetration are the only real considerations. In the quantities I use, cost isn't a consideration.

....


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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Brook Trout

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:07 pm
Posts: 193
Location: Carson City, Nevada
I have a difficult time with A.K.'s videos and writings.

Granted he ties a lot of flies and has many ideas from years of exprience, but he sure comes across as arrogant. His approach to all facets of tying is very personal and he dosen't try to hide it. Rather than giving advise or making a suggestion, it's 'This is the way I do it, and I wonder why everybody does it different'.

If I were a betting man my money would be on the title of his next book being, 'Fly Tying According To A K '.

Another 'instructor/writer' Ralph Cutter of Truckee, Ca. reminds me of 'Always Kool Best', neither of them ever met a mirror that they didn't like.

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Brown Trout
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"need a neck that extends at a 45 degree angle so that you can properly position materials to be tied in while giving a place to rest the heel of your hand"

That's one thing I really like about my "semi" rotary Regal. I can anchor my left hand on that big vise neck. Makes a heck of a difference for me on real small ties where a little *&%^$#@!!!!!! is prone to slip out once in a while. The fact that it's tough as an anvil helps too!

I think Quill body (or similar materials ;) )dries will catch you more fish. Learned that long ago from an old trout bum friend. I'm a believer in them.


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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:56 pm
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Location: Marshall NC
River Man wrote:
I can't get the guy off my mind so I'm gonna ramble a bit and ask for some advise.

I've studied a couple of his books quite extensively. While he seems to be very opinionated, I don't see some of our experts here following some of his advice. I guess there are different schools of thought when it comes to tieing and I'm not sure where he stands with our Master Tiers. I'd like to point out a few of his recommendations and hopefully get some feedback.
Not a 'Master Tier' by any stretch of the imagination.

Vise...AK Best uses a Dyna-King Pro vise. He says you need a neck that extends at a 45 degree angle so that you can properly position materials to be tied in while giving a place to rest the heel of your hand. Why all the Renzettis ? Any Dyna-King advocates here?
Use a Nor Vise. Like my vise because I have a head that turned up at 45 deg and one that's straight. each seems to serve me well on different patterns.

Bobbins...He says you need the S&K bobbin and give a lot of reasons why. Streamer was nice enough to pass one on to me but I'm not sure I've seen our experts using one.
Griffin ceramics and the automatic bobbin from Nor Vise. The automatic bobbin is worth having if you don't use a Nor Vise

Body Material- AK is a big advocate for using quills that he dyes himself. Other than Plumbob, I haven't seen a lot of quill bodied flies.
Just not a big fan of quills in my tying life yet. Will be there at some point I'm sure.
Varnish....AK uses clear varnish rather than some of the other head cements I've seen you guys using.
Sally Hansen seems to get a lot of use on my bench.

I have my favorite tyers for a lot reasons and seem to spend time in their books and respective patterns. Tyers personalities are as interesting as their patterns to me.

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Brown Trout
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one of AK Best's spent caddis on da Renz. :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Location: Marshall NC
peewee done very well as usual :)

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:18 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Yep, great fly Peewee and wonderful insight from everyone. While there's no doubt that AK is a Hall of Famer, it seems that he has a vested interest in some of his recommendations (company sponsorships, fees etc.). It's obvious that he and Gierach work closely together to advertise each others careers.

Heck, I started wondering after buying a bunch of varnish. The smell is annoying and there are other products that are more user friendly. Having said this, he has offered some great advice in regards to organization, mounting materials, etc. I still feel like I've learned much more from people like Leeson, Schollmeyer and Engle....they seem to be free of bias in the products area and have adapted to new materials.

But what do I know?? Absolutely nothing...what else would you expect when you have Overboard as a teacher ?


Last edited by River Man on Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A K Best
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Hey Blake I dont think you are doing to bad with Overboard as a teach.Hey he has about as many people look over his shoulder as a midget on his knees.I think all of the famous tyers had their time and place. We all must learn from them but today with the ever changing water and conditions you had better be able to adapt.......I have learned the most by watching the people around me and then putting to work the only way I know how.Hey when someone mentions the Holston there is a name I hear coming from the crowd...................Thanks--be safe

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