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-   -   Protect Your Materials! (https://www.coloradofisherman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11201)

fishhunter 11-25-2006 08:56 PM

Protect Your Materials!
 
I got into the box tonight to start tying up some little nymphs and much to my chagrin, I find a bunch of stinking fly eggs in my feathers! The flies must have been after my turkey fan because they ate a bunch of the area where the clump was, then started on my pheasant tail clumps, deer hair, and everything else organic in my box! I lost hundreds of dollars in materials to these little ba$tard$....My stuff was out on the fly tying bench over much of the summer and I salvaged what I could, through the rest away, and locked the salvaged stuff into rubbermaid boxes with mothballs. Hope that helps, but take a lesson from me - check your stuff before it's too late!

pappy 11-26-2006 01:12 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
That is a bummer! Sorry to hear it, yet pleased you brought the subject up. I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago, and also lost a lot of material. The critters even ate the squirrel tails off of some of my Mepps spinners.

I agree that the stuff should be inspected regularly. The Moth Balls are a great solution, but do not assure the stuff is safe forever.

I think I did much the same in the cleanup as you, but went one step further. Every piece of material is now in it’s own zip lock bag. The bags are stored in a large plastic container, with a tin (perforated) of mothballs. That keeps the moths away from the materials, and prevents the materials from smelling like mothballs. The smell gets old after a while, and is not the healthiest stuff to breathe.

I found the different sized zip-locks by searching ebay. It cost me a few bucks to get all the different sizes I needed (generally only sold in bundles of 100), but considering the value already lost, it was cheap protection for the future.

One final thought. Do not consider any item purchased to be “clean” and safe. Consider it contaminated, and keep it in it’s own bag.

Here is a link to the probable critter causing the problem if anyone is interested in more info:

http://www.angelfire.com/mn/FiberHome/WoolBugs.html

Pete-G 11-26-2006 01:33 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Keep it in the fridge.

pappy 11-26-2006 01:41 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete-G
Keep it in the fridge.

There would be NO room left for Beer! :( :( >:(

Pete-G 11-26-2006 02:14 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pappy
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete-G
Keep it in the fridge.

There would be NO room left for Beer! :( :( >:(

Sometimes life choices are tough.

Beer or nice flies...beer or nice flies....

Mr. Ed 11-26-2006 02:37 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
I choose beer -

Pappy, I have a couple of live animal traps you can borrow - it's legal to trap squirrels in your back yard. There is also some stuff called "Para-Tan" that works really well for skins.

Of course, if you do this, your neighbors will accuse you of being a serial killer.

I use plastic bags as well. If you have a lot of stuff you aren't going to use immediately, the vacuum sealer works pretty good too.

Pete-G 11-26-2006 03:08 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Ok, put it in the freezer. No beer in there. When you need a feather you can just break off a piece.

pappy 11-26-2006 06:06 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Mr. Ed,* Thanks for your offer.* I have a couple traps myself, and am doing my best to turn tree-rats into an extinct critter.* Peanut butter in a paper towel works great as a bait.* Will check out the Para-Tan, have a couple of salted items that need something to “un-ripen” them.* ;)

Pete, don’t think you understand the beer/frige/freezer thing real well.* The freezer is where you make ice to keep the beer cold in a cooler, the frige is where you keep the beer cold 'til you go fishin, and for fly-tying.* Takes a lot of ice, and no room left for feathers and fur. ;D

Coolers could be used for storing material I guess... but then ya gotta buy more coolers for beer. :D



Pete-G 11-26-2006 06:13 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
That's why I buy my flies.

Lot's of room for beer.. ;D

pappy 11-26-2006 06:15 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete-G
That's why I buy my flies.

Lot's of room for beer.. ;D

Keep the fly boxes in zip-lock bags when ya ain't usin' them. ;D ;D ;D

Mr. Ed 11-26-2006 07:01 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pappy
Peanut butter in a paper towel works great as a bait

Not sure about tree rats but the squirrels like corn cobs (after I've eaten the corn of course). Here's the link for paratan:

http://www.knoblochs.com/main.cfm?PageID=16&Admin=

You think the tree rats would make for good dubbing? ;D

pappy 11-26-2006 07:48 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Appreciate the link... Thanks! Looks like good stuff, and since one skin is a porky skin, should be painless to use.

Tree Rats = Squirrels so dubbing value the same ;D ;D

Corn cobs a good thought, will try them out.

fishhunter 11-27-2006 02:58 AM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Thanks for the ideas Pappy. I separated everything - quarantined the turkey fan and pheasant clump and got everything else into their own private bags so hopefully I'll contain the spread if there are any more live ones in the fan. Putting stuff in the freezer may work this year - God knows I don't have any elk steaks or venison in there!

Z 11-30-2006 05:09 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Ive been using cedar balls in boxes with my materials for the last couple of years.

Seems to be working.

pappy 11-30-2006 05:14 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Z
Ive been using cedar balls in boxes with my materials for the last couple of years.

Seems to be working.

Cedar works well for a couple years, but then the volatile oils evaporate out, and they need to be replaced. It would be my choice were it not for the need for consistent replacement. I had cedar boards in one of my containers of stuff which was destroyed. They were quite old.

dubbn 12-10-2006 10:08 AM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
I dust all my organic materials with 7 dust before I store them. 7 is a garden insectide. It is also used in making flea collars, dusting for poultry, poultry houses , and dusting for pets, and their beds. It is an insecticide, so caution should be taken when using it. It's not everyones cup of tea, but with proper handling, it's done the job for me.

cochise 12-19-2006 07:43 AM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
I use moth balls and it has always worked great..I hate the smaell but it works.

Pete-G 12-19-2006 11:33 AM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
How about some big jars like a restaurant would use for pickles and such?

I was kidding about the freezers, but serious this time.

_colorado 12-19-2006 02:54 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Why do we use "Berkely Gravy", "Smelly Jelly" and the like on baits and ice fishing stuff to cover up human odors but are able stick our fly tying materials in mothballs??!! This I don't understand.

Could it be that fish in moving water rely less on their sense of smell(and more on instiinctive reaction) than their impounded brethren?

Anybody have any insight into this? Where is Ron Belak? :)

fishhunter 12-22-2006 01:56 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
I always figured that the smelly jelly was more of an attractant than a cover scent. I've been tying flies with my moth balled materials and haven't seen any difference in the number of takes. I don't think the fish care about the odor, but I would imagine that you would get a nasty taste if the materials have direct contact with the chemicals, and they would be more prone to spitting or ignoring those flies.

bcolvin 12-24-2006 07:22 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Those eggs were probably from a Dermestid beetle they have a tendency to eat mounted animals and apparently fly tying gear.

pappy 01-12-2007 10:02 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Just a quick add-on to storage thoughts. The plastic coffee 'can' used by Folger seem to be a good option for long term storage, once the feathers/fur are known clean.

While not offering the convenience of visibility of glass, they bounce better, and can be labeled. My buddy and I are going over to them at this time. We will still use the zip-locks to keep colors (Maribou, etc.) separated, and pull out what we need, when we need it. If you have access to the large clear plastic jars, all the better.

Wille be watching for something to store long feathers (Pheasant/turkey, etc.) and let you know if we find something.

fishhunter 01-13-2007 11:51 AM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Pappy- your longer feathers can be stored in the long rubbermaid containers that they make for things like silverware (I guess that's what you might put in one). At any rate, it's a long, flat tote. The feathers lie in there nicely. Also, I'm finding that if I put my mothballs in a ziploc and then poke a couple of pinholes in it, I can get the same effectiveness as placing a plain mothball on the packaged feathers (if that makes sense). It keeps the mothball from coming into direct contact with the feathers and offers the same protection.

pappy 01-13-2007 07:47 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishhunter
...long rubbermaid containers that they make for things like silverware

...Also, I'm finding that if I put my mothballs in a ziploc and then poke a couple of pinholes in it, I can get the same effectiveness as placing a plain mothball on the packaged feathers (if that makes sense). It keeps the mothball from coming into direct contact with the feathers and offers the same protection.

Thanks for the hint... will go looking for the containers.

With the mothballs in ziplocks, seen any reaction to the plastic fron the contact with the mothballs??

Thanks ;D

Tak 01-16-2007 05:50 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
I once took home some fur from a road kill, big mistake, ruined about $500.00 in capes I had stored near the fur. I don't pick up road kill anymore, been temped but remember what happened in the past. I've heard others say that putting the materials in the freezer for a time will help kill the little critters. Haven't tried it myself.
Tak

pappy 01-16-2007 07:07 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
If you use the freezer method, freeze it for a couple weeks, then thaw it out to room temp in a dark spot for a week, then re-freeze. Might want to do that 2-3 times. Larvae and adults will be killed by freezing, but eggs won't. Keep it in ziplocks for the process.

With capes, I wash in mild detergent, rinse, then a wash in Woolite, and another rinse. I dry between towels, flat, and with some light weight on top for a few days. Then staple to posterboard, and slip into zip-lock bags.

I don't recommend washing fur, as the hide shrinks. If you get an uncured hide, nail it out to dry hair side down, with salt and borax rubbed in (salt for preservation, Borax for fat absorbtion). When dry, cut off what you will use in the near future, and store the rest in a cool, dry, rodent-proof spot (zip-locked, of course) BE SURE it is dry before it goes in the bags! Can get nasty otherwise.

Loose feathers can be washed in Woolite if needed, and than towel dried until almost dry. Then into a pillowcase with a hair-drier blowing in to fluff them for finish. Then sort and zip in a bag.

Good luck!

fishhunter 01-16-2007 08:25 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
Pappy - I haven't seen any damage to the zip locs from the mothballs, other than the holes I punched with a pin. I've only been doing this a couple of weeks, though, so there may be some degredation over time. I'll keep an eye on it.

pappy 01-16-2007 08:45 PM

Re: Protect Your Materials!
 
fishhunter,

My concern is mainly around the plastic 'melting' and getting sticky. Had that happen years ago, but plastics have changed a lot since then. Fortunately it was only some low-grade Indian capes. Never tried it since, but might be time to try again.

Thanks!


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