When I first tied my own buck tails they were pretty ragged. They worked fine, just didn't please the eye. A craftsman would have taken time, figured out what wasn't working, and in short order, been tying some truly pretty dressed treble hooks. Also been smooth as silk on the inside while doing so. Not me. Not only weren't the hooks elegant, I was uneasy while doing the work. But they saved four bucks each and when my son and I were going through better than forty of them on each of our extended Manitoba trips, that added up. So I kept plugging away.
Don't know when things began to turn around, maybe when I got used to being retired. Been five and a half years since I walked out that door for the last time However, getting used to the idea of not working for a living took awhile. Call it three years. Every so often I still have to remind myself there's no good reason to get up early in the morning unless I actually want to. The meaning of time has changed. My days are numbered but not my hours. More often than not I'm finding the time to do things right and am more relaxed while doing so. And the buck tails are getting better. Some are almost good. Doesn't mean they'll catch fish but might cause an occasional smallmouth bass to turn and say, "My oh my, isn't that in-line spinner a sight to behold and enjoy." At least that's what I'll tell myself after being skunked again.