I made the mistake of restocking some rubber leg material at my last visit to the local establishment, and was driven into another paroxysm of swearing.
There among all the pre-packaged “jobbed” materials was the Spirit River “Tarantula legs” – minus the color I was looking for, naturally. I did find one old pack down at the floor that someone had missed – just enough to get me through the weekend.
My mistake was glancing at the price while admiring my find.
Don’t waste your money – times is hard enough without being used savagely, $2.50 for about 24 strands of colored leg material is unconscionable – that’s a dime per fly.
Spirit River buys the damn stuff from someone akin to the Living Rubber Company, and you’ll find all the colors and sizes they offer – plus extra colors not available at your fly shop – and the price is 1/11th what the shop charges.
Do the markup math yourself – a “25 skirt pack” is about $6.00 from Living Rubber, and each of the “skirts” equals a Spirit River pack of rubberlegs, about 24 strands. I don’t mind so much if an enterprising fellow doubles or triples his money, but 11 times is enough to make me wince – only because he’s making 11 times the retail price of the rubber, he’s making double that if he buys it wholesale.
The standard skirt material from Living Rubber is what Spirit River describes as their “medium” size, and it’s rectangular rather than round. If memory serves, the Spirit River “fish scale” rubber is also rectangular. Living Rubber sells the round rubber in 15 foot lengths for $8.00 – these are simple one-color bands of ~50 strands each. They don’t yet sell the printed pattern round fibers on their web site.
I haven’t contacted the company for the availability of round imprinted rubber, but if they’re selling it wholesale to jobbers, they’ll certainly sell it to you.
Shown in the photographs are “25 skirt packs” of “Green Pumpkin” (the olive and black metal flake) and dark green/black and the orange/black varieties.
Take advantage of the vendor for a change, see how it feels – it’s another sawbuck saved for your next big purchase …