You need the basics to get started; a vise, bobbin, scissors; get them at a craft store, look for fine point Fiskars. You'll need hooks and tying material; buy what you need, stay away from the "fly tying kits" most of the stuff you get in them you will never use. If you have a fly shop near you, ask them about local tying classes; take a class before you jump in.
I don't want to discourage you, but here's the truth of it:
You can START tying flies for $50, get one of the kits from BPS, Wapsi, Cabelaes, etc. That being said, if you are an avid fly fisherman, and really plan on continuing, then you will end up spending at least 200 hundred dollars, and that is for a minimalist assortment, on materials before you feel that you can tie most of what you use on a regular basis. After that, it will become like an addiction, and your local fly shop guys will see you ever few weeks for your fix. And you will not be very happy with the $5 vise from that kit after you use it for a year (if it lasts that long).
But, please tell your intentions, and your fishing habits so we can help you out with a little bit more detail.
And like was mentioned, taking a couple hours of classes will benefit you as much as 20-30 hours of learning on your own. However, you-tube can give you a pretty decent free education these days if you really don't have the money for a class.
I'm tired of going and paying for flies and I want to start tying my own.
At first don't expect to save much money tying flies. The initial investment can be high. Eventually there will be a break even point. There was a three night beginner's class at the shop. After it was done, one of the students realized that after a few hundred bucks in materials and tools, saving money would take awhile.
There are benefits. You can tie the flies that you want the way you want them to look. Most of the flies that I tie are variations of commercially made flies that work for the region I am at. Or you can come up with some of your own patterns that catch fish. Plus it is gratifying to catch fish on something that you tied yourself.
Originally Posted by kory10
What do i need to get started? I don't need the best or most expensive kits just something to get myself started.
I'm with most people on buying tools individually. They will last longer than some of the kit ones. Also some of the tools, like scissors, need to feel comfortable in your hands.
Never truer words spoken about it being an expensive addiction. It really doesn't pencil-out to be a money saver. BUT.......there are so many other pluses that make it easy to rationalize tying your own. On another thread one of our members said that he has been tying for 40 years, and still ties 7 nights a week because he still loves doing it. One of my favorites is I can tie whatever I need for a day trip the night before without having to chase down a supply of the fly.
I love tying, and probably give away more flies than I fish.
It's fun. Go for it.
The fellas are giving you the facts on kit vs. ala cart' setups and I have little to add. With that said, I will give you an analogy; this is like cooking at home vs. eating out. If you want to make quality food the ingredients may be expensive. When a person takes to preparing their own food they sometimes end up with good pots & pans along with some specialty tools. However, we have a cabin that is stocked with the very minimum of Thrift Store cookware and I have made some amazing meals using only the basics that I had on hand.
There is no one answer that will both provide a first class set up and remain thrifty. Like cooking a person needs to start any way they can because the point is putting food on the table or in this case flies on your leader.
I started tying recently and bought my tools (vise, bobbin, 2 scissors, bodkin, whip finish, bobbin threader) individually for about $80 since then have added a couple others as well. They seem like good quality and I'm thinking they will last my for a long time.
As for materials, I'd get them individually too. I'd research a couple patterns and buy the stuff you need for those - like wooly buggers, hare's ear nymph, caddis, etc in a particular size to start with. Most of the materials are not that expensive themselves, it's the wide variety of stuff you end up getting that adds up. Focusing on particular patterns can spread the cost out. Then you can add colors for buggers, add another pattern, different size hooks etc and build up your supply while learning. I read a few books on it - Orvis Guide, Benchside Reference, and others, watched a lot of youtube videos, and talked to folks who knew what they were doing.
It's a great hobby and rewarding way to fish when you've tied your own fly.
__________________ -Tom Wilson Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.
It has been said that, "Its a poor craftsman that blames his tools" (apparently for a crummy job on this or that). Having said that, and having been tying for 33 (ugh) years, here's my simple advice: Buy the very best tools and materials you can afford. Vise, bobbins, hackle pliers, bodkin will get you going. As several have said, pick a few flies that you figure to fish this year, and get the materials you need to do them. You don't need much, and as Ard said, it doesn't have to be the very finest, but do get the best you can.
In my experience, fly tying kits are ways various manufacturers/retailers get rid of all the chenille nobody buys or uses.
Baby steps. Take baby steps. but buy the best you can afford.
An old fart rambling on,