Part Fourty-eight

Save on Scud and Shrimp Backs
By George E. Emanuel

For very little more than the price of a few packages of commercially made scud or shrimp back, you can purchase the tools you need to make your own from the packaging your fly tying materials are packaged in when you purchase them.

If you are very fortunate and married a creative mate, you might not even have to purchase anything. These tools are commonly found in women's sewing kits, particularly those that do quilting. So assuming you already have plenty of warm blankets, or quilts at your house, you just might be able to 'borrow' these tools.

It might not be a bad idea though if each time you saved money by using one of these tips, to put the savings in a safe place. It might be handy in defending against a divorce action, which can be expensive. You will need every penny you can get together, if you get caught.

For those of you who are not so blessed, or are not of an adventurous nature, these items can be purchased where sewing supplies, or arts and crafts materials, are sold. They will set you back about ten dollars.

The cutter alone can be acquired for perhaps $3.00 or so, but the self-healing mat is a nice surface on which to cut materials. It is also pre-marked with graduations, which you can use, as a guide for cutting the exact width of material required for the hook size you are working with.

The metal straight edge/rule was already in my inventory. If you have one great, if not an old school type with the brass edge will work just fine.

The plastic bag can be one in which materials, a sandwich, or any other item was once contained. If you really want to go for the gusto you can buy a whole box of "food storage bags" the cost of a single package of scud back material. A single box of bags should last you a lifetime.

If you want your backs colored for some reason, you can do so with a waterproof marker in the color of your choice. Clear seems to be the ticket on most patterns however.

To use the system, just lay your plastic material on the self healing mat, place the straight edge so that you will cut the width desired, and roll the cutter wheel along the straight edge cutting the strip perfectly, and quickly. You can cut a years supply of this stuff in a few minutes.

Make sure you reactivate the built in guard on the cutter. The wheel is razor sharp and does not care what it cuts.

Your new cutter set up is also excellent for cutting foam sheets, zonker and crosscut rabbit strips, latex, or any other material which you want cut cleanly and quickly.

If you have access to some heavier, supple, plastic material by all means feel free to use that in you tying. You are no longer limited in your material, or its; size by the availability of it through commercial sources.

Go out, experiment and have fun!

Be a cut up!

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too!~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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