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Old 06-25-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default good starter kit

I know, I know......someone asked it again! But what is a good inexpensive starter tying kit. I have looked at alot of them, cabelas, bass pro, orvis, fly shack etc. is there one that is at the head of them all?
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: good starter kit

I've looked at kits, and found they offer a little bit of too much stuff
you may never use. Better to buy: a vise; at least one bobbin; one pair of
Dr. Slick scissors; thread in olive, tan, black, yellow, white (size 6/0); gold
beads in a 1/8"; some gold wire, small size; a spool of .015" lead (the non-lead type)Depending on what flies you'd like to tie, you can select your own material. Wooly Buggers? Buy a pack of olive and black marabou, and a Whiting Bugger patch of hackle. I use the marabou from the tail to wind a body, but you can also buy a spool of chenille in black and olive. So much of
my fishing is done with Woolly Buggers, so that's the pattern I mentioned.
You can google other flies, using "Pheasant Tail Nymph Recipe" (etc) as a search.
You'll get all the materials needed to tie each fly this way. Some people only
fish a few different fly patterns, and it's better to buy the materials for those
you intend to tie. You won't save any money buying a kit.

Add to the least of tool a whip finisher and head cement. You'll need a bobbin
threader (I make my own from thin guage guitar strings), and a bodkin(I make
my own from straight pins and wooden dowels.

Let us know what you want to tie, and you'll get all the info you need without
buying a kit .
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: good starter kit

I spent a lot of time finding a good kit. I ended up buying the Orvis Clearwater kit. Most of the materials that are in it I have already used. It has a good starter book and good quality materials.

The only thing that it doesn't have that would have been useful is a hair stacker.

Other than that, it's a great start.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: good starter kit

as frank said,
if you are going to tie specific patterns such as bead head hares ear nymph, pheasant tail, sow bug's, and other smaller flies that run a more natural look why would you want to get a kit with a bunch of pink and orange maribou and hackles, egg yarn ect. ect. it takes forever to get what you think is everything you need and even then you still write list's of materials you are missing or ran out of.
alot of money but i love the montana mogoose vise made by griffin, if you take care of it you will never need another unless you tie commercially. when i started i bought a vise, stone fly tool kit (so-so) and the materials needed for LT. Cahill in 14-18, BH Hare's ear nymph 12-20, and pheasant tail BH and flash back and before i knew it i was ready to try new patterns as i got cozy tying these patterns.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: good starter kit

Hi MnFlyFish,
Here's the reality. If you plan on making fly tying a life long hobby, buy your tools and materials separately. Most packaged kits on the market have inferior tools and materials. I'm sure that you don't want to keep spending money to replace tools and materials that you don't measure up to par. Do it right the first time around.

Since you are looking for recommendations on kits, here are some that are on the market.

Wapsi Starter's Kit can be found at some shops that stock Wapsi products. It has good materials and mediocre tools. I bought this for my young nephew for his birthday. It only set me back around $60.

Dyna-King makes a kit that has good tools (Dyna-King vise and Dr. Slick Tools) and mediocre materials. It will set you back $225. It cost more than the Wapsi setup, but the extra cost is in the tools.

MP

Edit: I let my nephew tie a few flies on my Regal. He hates his kit vise with a passion.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: good starter kit

Cabela's Tying Kit

ok so just last year i started with this kit and liked it the only really bad thing i had with it is the bobbin was metal and would fray my thread, and if it bothers you the hackle is dyed but to learn on i dont think that reeally matters now this year i am looking at upgrading the vise just because i want a rotary and not a stationary but if you just want to give flytying a try you may consider this kit


oh yea ps i got the master kit just because its vise looked a little stronger and more durable
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: good starter kit

Hi Mnflyfish,

You are facing the same dilemma that new fly fishers face when buying a new fly rod. It is confusing and you can't buy a good cheap kit with all the tools and the good materials you need. You need to find a fly shop that has a vise set up and ask them to show you how to tie flies or join a class. A lot of schools have fly tying classes. So do some recreational departments. You need to get a feel of what fly tying is all about. If you like it then buy better tools to start with. Most beginners buy a cheap set to see what it is all about and they end up buying all new stuff in a short time.

I can highly recommend the Kaufmann Basic Beginner Kit. It gives you a book and materials to tie just the first nine flies in the book. You don't get a bunch of materials you don't need or that are poor quality. It doesn't provide any tools.

To get started you can get by with a bobbin, fly tying scissors and a vise. Feather-Craft sell some branded tools that will get you started. Give them a call and tell them you are a beginner. The same for Kaufmann.

The Orvis kit may be a good choice but I don't know anything about it. I bought the best Orvis vise that Orvis sold back in the seventies. It was not a good vise and I returned it with out even setting it up on my bench. That doesn't mean they have not improved over the years. The US has some really great vise makers and you don't need to buy a vise from Asia.

Frank

Streamborn Fly Tying Kits - Basic Beginning Kit
Designed and built by Randall Kaufmann for first-time tyers, this kit has every material for the first nine flies in Randall's book, Fly Tying for Beginners. Includes Tiemco hooks and the book.

Note: you can tie more than 9 flies with the materials provided. They will just be the same 9 flies. The book is oriented on how to tie flies and the procedures, not how to tie a bunch of flies.

Frank
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: good starter kit

Frank, the big problem is, even though we have great fly fishng water around here, there are no fly shops, schools, classes or anything. Plus, i have to stick to a light budget.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: good starter kit

MnFF,

As others have pointed out there's a trade off between the cost and quality you get with the kits. So depending on your budget, and how sure you are that you'll get into tying, you could go the kit route-- just be aware that the vise may not be the greatest, since most kits come with soft metal jaws and are often poorly machined. Materials may also be limited. But if you're looking to limit your upfront investment to 60 bucks or so all in for vise some tools, a few different hooks and materials, then a kit is probably the only way to go. I would look for one that seems to offer the best selection of patterns you actually want to tie. Some also come with a DVD.

I can't knock kits, since many of us, including me started out that way, and money should not prevent you from tying whatever your budget. You'll likely want to upgrade the vise at some point, and you can use the experience you've built up tying to shop for a better one, especially if you run into other folks tying and get to try a few different styles of vises.

The other way to go is to put a "kit" together yourself. Depending on your budget you could get some old reliable standards that you could pass along to your grandchildren.

Old, used Thompson Model A c-clamp for about 25 bucks can sometimes be found on ebay, craigslist or "for sale" sections of FF boards etc.

I would also look for deals on used vises like these. They're excellent new of course, but are also bulletproof and might be good ones to look for if you can find a used one at significant discount off retail.

DynaKing Kingfisher or HMH Silhouette SX about 130 new

Regal InEX 120 new

Peak Rotary 140 new

Plus tools. Dr Slick makes an excellent toolkit for around 50, or you could select some "decent" ones yourself for around 30 bucks
Griffin metal tube Bobbin 7 bucks
Bodkin- any brand 2 bucks
Scissors- an inexpensive pair of 4" sewing scissors with a fine point about 4 bucks
"English Style" Hackle Pliers any import 2 bucks (if you want to tie flies with wrapped hackle like trout dry flies)
"Materelli style" import whip finisher 7 bucks (or original 17 bucks)
Hair stacker, any import (metal with two ends for stacking hair on small and medium flies) about 7 bucks if you want to tie hairwing flies like Elk Hair Caddis

From there, you'd add hooks and materials for a couple standard beginner patterns at a time. As you knock off flies, you'll also be building up an inventory of hooks and materials.

Fly tying is a lot of fun and hopefully you'll get a lot of fun out of it. There are a lot of reasons to start tying. The only caveat is that saving money is probably not one of them... The temptation is to tie a lot of different things requiring different materials, and unless you're tying a ton of flies that you'd be buying anyway, it'll end up costing some money like any other enjoyable hobby.

As far as instruction etc, you might want to do a search for a TU chapter near you (the a Hiawatha chapter in Rochester might be close to you.):
Council/Chapter Search | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries

Most chapters have fly tying courses or at least informal get-togethers where you'll learn a ton, as well as group trips to local water, casting clinics or informal casting on the lawn before meetings etc. It's also a great way to see and try different gear as you run into people with different stuff.

Good luck. Keep asking questions, i know this can be pretty confusing.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: good starter kit

Mnflyfish: Without a fly shop or club nearby my next suggestion would be to do a Goggle search for fly tying or a specific pattern your interested in, there are a number of fly tying videos on the internet that would be useful. Another excellent source is Charlies Fly Box (check out the fly box section on his web site, as he details how to tie all of the patterns he has listed).
Charlie's FlyBox - Metro Denver, Colorado's Best Fly Fishing Retailer (flyshop) with online Fly Tying Tutorials

Here is an example of what turned up when I did a Goggle search for Hare's Ear Nymph Pattern: How to Tie a Hare's Ear Nymph

Good luck, and don't hesitate to post your question on this site, we have some very talented folks here that are more than willing to offer advice.

Larry
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