This is just an observation I’ve made but here’s a perfect example how fly tying material manufacturers turn us into tackle tarts by producing products that we honestly don’t need. If you fish for Bass as much as I do then you’ve obviously scoured the “Interweb” and copied one of the many frog tutorials littered within Youtube’s extensive library.
A product that features on a number of these tutorials hails from the States and is called “FROG FOAM” produced by a company called “RIVER ROAD CREATIONS”. It’s available in Olive, Yellow and Tan and is packaged with 2 x 9.52 cm x 13.97 cm sheets costing $3.00 each. Now at the current exchange rate that equates to R 42.37 plus postage + - R 47.00 comes to a grand total R 89.37 for just 2 "feckin" sheets of foam with a screen printed design embossed onto them. Now it’s available here in SA at a number of shops and retails at around R 45 which is a hell of a lot cheaper but still way too over priced for my liking. One can blame that on our ever dwindling Rand and over the top export/import duties though!. Sure I understand that retailers need to make a profit by adding on their mark up, but unless you’re a commercial fly tier and time is of the essence due to having to produce large quantities of flies, then I honestly don’t see the need to fork out your hard earned cash on this product. I mean the whole reason why we tie flies is to add our own personal stamp to each creation and if your that bone idle lazy to whip out a felt tipped pen/koki and put some markings onto the top of a foam pattern…..which I might add the fish very rarely sees looking up from underneath the fly anyway, then more fool you and you deserve to be labelled a tackle tart!!
If you’re a resourceful fly tier then you’ll constantly be on the lookout for cheaper options. Take these foam sheets I bought at the China shop 6 months ago. A pack of 10 sheets 2 mm x 20 cm x 30 cm only set me back R 50.00 ($3.57)…Result!!! In my eyes that's a massive saving which allowed me to acquire more hooks.
Tiny trout foam frogs for the midlands
Lets also not forget that the smaller the flies body your tying, the smaller the surface area, and using bought frog foam would only probably have maybe three to four darker screen printed markings featured, and as we all know frogs in the wild would have smaller defined markings suited for their developing body size. I know my argument is a bit anal but logical, if you catch my drift!!