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You could at least throw me a towel when you’re done, the War on Six Dollar items heats up, or I do

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.

Detail view of the (olive) Pumpkin metal flake

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 …

7 Comment(s)

  1. murdock | Oct 23, 2008 | Reply

    Singlebarbed you are the 60 minutes of fly fishing or is it the 20/20? I am not sure but is darn good to have you on the case.

    Did i mention that I knew a guy who repackaged wax toilet bowl rings as dubbing wax?

  2. KBarton10 | Oct 23, 2008 | Reply

    A contemporary fly rod is made of carbon.
    If subjected to intense heat and pressure via advertisement, it does not become a diamond.

    Why must we pay “diamond prices” for a lump of coal?

    Hopefully them toilet rings were new…

  3. oatka | Oct 23, 2008 | Reply

    Go to the Living Rubber website and request a catalog. I (and many others) got the catalog and some free samples in the mail!

  4. Jean-Paul Lipton | Oct 24, 2008 | Reply

    nice find there KB. Your next case is uncovering the true source for antron yarn.

  5. kbarton10 | Oct 24, 2008 | Reply

    Antron yarn is cinch – what kind of antron are you looking for – 100%?

    Any colors in particular, or qualifying issues?

  6. KBarton10 | Oct 24, 2008 | Reply

    Traditional Antron yarn was called “Aunt Lydia’s Rug and Craft yarn” – which was available for many years, but has been discontinued. Ebay has the Heavy Rug Yarn, but that’s not the same stuff as the craft yarn.

    Antron is a Dupont nylon used to make StainMaster carpets. Dupont sold their fibers division as a spinoff company called “Invista” – you can find them on the web.

    I won’t be able to “see” the antron fibers in the yarns I look at so you may have to go to a yarn store and examine them. Typically what fly tyers use is a “sparkle” yarn with 10% clear antron mixed in with whatever else makes up the yarn.

    The Invista web site shows cones of yarn but they’re sold to industrial carpet makers not to the yarn community. Searching for “antron” in yarn shops is futile – they don’t understand or use the term.

    Antron is derived from 6,6 Nylon filaments and that term is also unused by the knitting crowd.

    “Rug Yarn” is a bazillion different types and is available from yarn stores, but doesn’t mean it contains antron. That’s why I’m leaning to a visual inspection – the photos on the web may not be good enough to see the “sparkle” part of the yarn you’re looking for…

    I’ll keep looking, until then you may want to search up “Aunt Lydia’s Rug and Craft yarn” to validate it’s what you’re looking for.

  7. Jean-Paul Lipton | Oct 25, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks

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