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Old 08-09-2011, 12:42 PM
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Default As if I need another expensive hobby...

So I would like to get into tying my own flies, and I have been advised not to just buy a full fly tying kit. The threads in the FAQ include discussion of tools, but I found nothing with regard to a comparison of vises. Is the Cabela's deluxe tool kit a safe way to get a start? Is the vice included a decent one? I do not need the top of the line gear, and I'd prefer to save money, but I would like to start tying in earnest. Basically, I don't want to drop $200 just to get started. I am living on a graduate student budget, so any tips on how to get started in an affordable way would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

a basic entry level vise at around 10 bucks will suffice for starting out, or a rotary vise for $40-50 would also be a good investment
AS for tools, couple bobbins, two pairs of scissors - one with fine point for close cutting, another for general cutting, whip finish tool, dubbing needle and some hackle pliers If those are included in the kit you mention, then you should be good to go.

Best to find some easy patterns like hares ear nymph and buy the materials for that, then as you find you want to tie more patterns you'll definitely see your collection expand.

should also mention the internet is your friend, as a lot of good deals can be found on ebay for tools and materials, as well as classifieds on this forum and others.
also, some online stores include free shipping if you spend over $25, which is easy when you get stuff for a couple patterns.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

I'm normally the "champion of cheap" but unfortunately a cheap vise will only frustrate you.
Due to the rules of this forum, I won't hot link it, but you should check out the in depth "fly tying vice roundup" on the FlyFishOhio website.
It might be a little dated at this point, but it's unbiased and there's a lot of good information
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

Thanks for the replies, and I'll track down the vise round-up you suggest, Rip.

EDIT: After checking out the outside reading, the Danica DanVise looks pretty nice for 80 bucks. Anyone have any experience with it?
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Last edited by gatortransplant; 08-09-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

I bought the Danvise last winter and I am quite pleased with it. Mine came with a short video on how to mount a hook. The metal tips are apparently susceptible to being "sprung" if you clamp too hard on a hook, but all that can be avoided by adjusting the opening to be just snug with the cam half closed - the video shows how. There is also book by Al Beatty on the market comparing various rotary vises and showing how to make good use of one.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatortransplant View Post
So I would like to get into tying my own flies, and I have been advised not to just buy a full fly tying kit. The threads in the FAQ include discussion of tools, but I found nothing with regard to a comparison of vises. Is the Cabela's deluxe tool kit a safe way to get a start? Is the vice included a decent one? I do not need the top of the line gear, and I'd prefer to save money, but I would like to start tying in earnest. Basically, I don't want to drop $200 just to get started. I am living on a graduate student budget, so any tips on how to get started in an affordable way would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Take a look at this for vise comparisons.

Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

I am also a champion of cheap, and I still tie, after several years of doing so, with a cheap kit (around $70), but let me temper that with I typically tie in sizes 8 to 18 and nothing smaller and I genrally only tie for myself so I am not tying 100 flies a day. I have added a ceramic bobbin and some new scissors over the years. So basically, you can get the job done with a kit, are there easier, faster, better, etc, sure there are, and a rotary vice can make tying more complex flies, putting on hackle, and many other tasks easier, but the job can be done with a kit vice if your persistent.

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Old 08-11-2011, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

Most of us that have been tying for a number of years started witha Thompson Model A vise. For a beginner it can't be beat, great value and will hold up forever.
D.H. Thompson Fly Tying Vise Model A | eBay

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Old 08-11-2011, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

I began by buying a cheap kit for $40 from a supplier in Glasgow, Scotland and quite frankly wish I hadn't. The vice is so cheap I had to get a stronger one as it wouldn't even hold hooks properly. It had one bobbin holder, one hackle pliers, one completely useless pair of dull scissors, and one spool of black and one spool of red fine thread, two cards of chenille, a cheap pack of mixed color cock hackles, one cock pheasant center tail feather, one pack of peacock herls and a sparse spool of gold and silver tinsel, no instructions or list of patterns to tie to get started and a cheap plastic box which broke in shipping. Even if you pay more for a kit you still get lumbered with materials you'll likely seldom if ever use. Best to look at the easier patterns you wish to tie and buy the materials to tie them. If you start with two very easy patterns such as the grhe(gold-ribbed hare's ear and ptn(pheasant tail nymph you need only 1. hooks 2. thread 3. gold tinsel, hare's ear fur 4.cock pheasant tail feather. When you get proficient tying theseflies then you can work on variations. Once you catch a fish on a fly you've tied yourself -That's when You get hooked-and that's when it gets expensive!
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: As if I need another expensive hobby...

As usual, Larry's advice is sound. Just get a nice simple, solid vise to start out. Another option is the Griffin 1A, Griffin Fly Tying: Superior 1A Vise | eBay

A good scissor, bobin, whip finisher will get you started for tools.

If you save money on an inexpensive but quality vise, you will have more to spend on feathers and fur, beads, hooks, tinsel, wire, thread, floss, yarn, antron, dubbing...and so many other materials that you never knew existed! I hate to guess how much more money I have invested in materials than in my HMH vise.

---------- Post added at 09:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:36 AM ----------

To follow up that thought...I've only ever had two vises over the past 15 years of tying. The one I started on, a functional but not perfect tool, and the one I bought to replace it and still use today.
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