Thread: Learning to Tie
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Tie

I agree partially with the previous post. Most kits contain either tools or materials that may not be the best quality, or even items you'll have a use for.

IMO, buying better quality tools is worth the extra you'll pay, as poor quality tools will often make the learning process difficult. However, that doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive. At bare minimum, you'll need a vise, a good pair of scissors, and a good quality bobbin that has the ceramic inserts. Any additional tools may be useful as you progress, but are not necessities. The vise will be the most costly of the tools, and you'll get many opinions about which is best. Frankly, IMO that will depend on your budget and what type of flies you intend to tie the most, as some vises will be better suited for hooks in a specific size range. Most good vises will hold small hooks, but not all will hold larger sizes well.

Again, IMO, it's a good idea if possible to try a few different vises before you decide which to buy. That will require going to a shop that has them & sitting down & trying them out. That's also a good way to get some instruction to get you started.

As for buying materials, I disagree with itchmesir about what to buy. All of the materials he's suggested will most likely end up in your collection, but to start tying, it's best to start only with the hooks & materials for specific patterns. This way you won't be spending a great deal of money & will be tying flies you can use, at least that's the idea. You have not mentioned what type of fishing you intend to be doing, which will also make a difference in materials selection.

For me, I have a huge collection of materials, as I've been tying for many, many years. But, I'm primarily a saltwater & warmwater angler & rarely fish for trout, and even though I have the materials to tie trout flies, it's not something I need to have for the majority of the fishing I do. As an example, if you'll be fishing for bass, there's little need to have such things as expensive genetic dry fly hackle, at least not until you're ready to pursue tying dry flies & possibly trout fishing. Not that you can't use dry flies for other species than trout, but there are other pattern types & less expensive materials that can be utilized at this point in your tying that will work just as well. Example: A foam bodied fly tied with a few turns of cheap hackle will catch plenty of panfish, and be far less costly than that $50 dry fly cape. You can get foam in most craft shops for less than $2 a sheet.

I won't make a specific recommendation on a vise, but will on both scissors & a bobbin. Griffin makes a couple of very good bobbins with ceramic inserts, the type depending on what type of flies you'll be tying, and Dr Slick markets some very good quality scissors. There are others, but I have used these & can recommend them.
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