What is a jig swap?
A jig swap, basically, is when a number of tyers exchange jigs and tying techniques with one another. One of the tyers acts as the swap host or “swapmeister” and coordinates the gathering and the distribution of all the jigs for the rest of the swappers. Swaps are open to everyone and your level of tying skill is not a prerequisite. All jigs must be hand-tied by you. This isn’t an Atlantic Salmon fly tying competition so don’t be worried about having the best, most intricate jig! This is about fishing and having fun!!
How to join a Jig Swap:
A topic will be started with details of the jig to be tied (ex. Color, material used, etc.). Also the date when the jigs are to be mailed by and the cutoff number for participants will be posted. If you are interested, you should respond with a reply of “I’m in”. The “swapmeister” will then PM the participants with his/her address for the jigs to be sent for distribution.
* On each of your jigs, you should attach a small “toe tag” (see attached file example) on which is your member name and the name of your pattern, so that all the jigs can be identified by their recipients . The tag should be a tiny piece of paper to which you can impale the hook point. Do not attach tags with strings or wire as untangling a mess of flies can be a nightmare for your swapmeister.
* Then place your jigs in an appropriately sized container (this container will be returned to you filled with all the treasures from the other swappers). Things to avoid are film canisters, cardboard boxes or any hard breakable plastic boxes. Some swappers may wish to package their jigs in 2x3 individual zip-locks or paper envelopes. That's great, but you have to remember to still include a envelope for the return of jigs that are not packaged in the same manner.
* Now place your filled package in a self-addressed (possibly padded) postage paid return envelope, but DO NOT seal it. It would also be good to include the tying instructions for your pattern. Now place your return package in a larger manila or tyvek envelope, address it to your swapmeister and ship it on out before the deadline date.
* DO NOT run your self-addressed postage paid return envelope through a meter (the one where the postage is dated and printed on the envelope). Always use regular stamps. $1.68 should be sufficient to put on your self-addressed postage paid return envelope.
* It would also be a nice gesture to include an extra jig or two for your hard working swapmeister...he will appreciate it!
A few other swap tips:
* If you get overwhelmed and feel you cannot complete the swap, don't feel bad, we all know unexpected commitments arise that prevent us from completing certain tasks. But, please let your swapmeister know as early as you possibly can. It is very possible that he can find a replacement tyer for you and you won't be delaying the completion of the swap.
* Mail out your jigs well before the deadline date. You don't want to be the last tyer to finish and make everyone else wait while you frantically try to finish up!
* PHOTOS: Always take pics of the jigs you are sending in. Please ensure that these pics are clear and in-focus. Either send these pics to the swapmeister via email and/or private message. Once all the jigs are in, and the swapmeister has sent out the jigs to all the tyers, then the pics will be posted on the jig swap thread for all to see what's on the way!
An efficient swapmeister will keep everyone apprised as to the status of his swap. Expect to receive frequent updates and please let him know how you are coming along if he asks.
If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask your swapmeister. There are NO stupid questions!
Last, but of the most importance is to HAVE FUN!
"Only death will end my love affair with Texas."