Snagged this over at the TFR forum. Sounded like good info, and thought I would pass it along.
Here is a good swap FAQ summary that I picked up somewhere alone the line. I think that it originaly came from someone on TKF. It's long, but it has everything you need to know to do a good swap. Fly swap guideline for tyers and swapmasters:
1. A dozen tyers is about the perfect size.
2. A swap should be proposed by someone willing to act as the Swapmaster.
3. The Swapmaster should keep track of all tyers who commit to participating and when 12 are signed up, "close" the swap to new participants.
4. The Swapmaster should then post a list of who's in, what they've committed to tie, and what the deadline is.
5. Swaps are supposed to be fun, so deadlines should be realistic -- at least a month away from the time the swap is closed in most cases.
6. Flies should be mailed in large, rigid envelopes. The perfect way to ship flies into the Swapmaster is to put them in a plastic, inexpensive flybox with the tyer's TKF username and real name printed on it. Include a return envelope in the package, with your return address on it, and the same amount of postage as was required to ship your flies to the swapmaster. (shipping fly boxes is a great idea, mainly because it insures that no hooks will poke through the paper envelopes and impale some poor postal worker, be sure to write your name on the box though!)
7. Make sure the return envelope is big enough to accomodate large flies! It's a shame for the swapmaster to have cram other tyers' work into a small envelope. Some flies are quite long, have delicate tails, and need lots of room.
8. It's a nice gesture to include some information about the pattern you've tied, a receipe, etc.
9. Some tyers put each fly into its own plastic sleeve.
10. Include an extra fly for the swapmaster as a courtesy, not mandatory, but a nice touch.
11. Try to make the deadline.
12. Put your screen name on the outside of the envelope when you ship it to the swapmaster.
13. Make an effort to show off your best work. Don't rush. Tying a dozen of the same pattern can be tedious, so don't do it all at once unless you're really determined or an efficient tyer. Try to tie something unique. Swaps are a great way to receive patterns you might never consider. That's not to say that a Deceiver/Clouser/common pattern isn't appreciated.
For the Swapmaster
1. Keep the swap informed by posting a thread with the subject line "SWAP [whatever title] Update." Spell out who's in, what they are tying, and any news.
2. Post a reminder a week before the deadline.
3. Post a list of what flies you've received as they arrive.
4. Keep the flies in their original envelopes in a safe place. I would recommend not opening any envelopes until they have all arrived.
5. When all the flies have arrived, find a big open space -- like a clear kitchen or dining room table and put down 12 pieces of 8.5x11 paper.
6. Write each tyers TKF name and real name on the bottom of each piece of paper.
7. Open the envelopes and carefully put each tyers contribution on their sheet of paper.
8. Keep the return envelopes in a stack.
9. Distribute the flies, one set at a time, between the 12 sheets of paper.
10. When they are all distributed. Carefully collect the flies and place them in the receipient's fly box, sheet of foam, cardboard or whatever. Place that in the return envelope. DO NOT SEAL YET.
11. When all the return envelopes (11, the 12th being you, the swapmaster) are filled, check to see if there are any flies remaining to be sorted. If not, and if you think everything is good to go: seal the envelopes.
12. Take the bundle to the post office, mail it, and post a message saying the swap is in the mail. A photo of the set with a key to who tied what is a nice touch.
Fun with fur and feathers
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