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Old 04-30-2011, 08:19 PM
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Default Beginner Looking For First Rig

Hey Everyone,

Just made the switch to fly fishing, along with my girlfriend, and she's interested in fly tying. I'm looking for tips on buying beginner fly tying equipment. Obviously she wouldn't need the top of the line, but we don't want to waste money on some kit that will be mostly full of cheap junk or won't be versatile. I know this is something that you want to be sure you like before you spend the big bucks, but we're the type of people that are more interested in quality than frugality.

So, any tips on a quality beginner fly tying setup?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by acoustic View Post
Hey Everyone,

Just made the switch to fly fishing, along with my girlfriend, and she's interested in fly tying. I'm looking for tips on buying beginner fly tying equipment. Obviously she wouldn't need the top of the line, but we don't want to waste money on some kit that will be mostly full of cheap junk or won't be versatile. I know this is something that you want to be sure you like before you spend the big bucks, but we're the type of people that are more interested in quality than frugality.

So, any tips on a quality beginner fly tying setup?

Thanks!
I don't know how much shopping you have done yet; but the most expensive peice of gear for tying will be your vise; though that will be dwarfed by how much you spend on quality tying materials. Other than the vise, the rest of the tools needed can be found rather cheaply...maybe $75-100 for a couple bobbins, whip finisher, hair stacker, scissors, hackle pliers, hackle gauge. That's if you go with quality name branded products. You can buy el-cheapo stuff ala carte for much less.

In vises you can get bulletproof quality from Dyna-King, Renzetti, and Regal. Perhaps more options, but I've not used any others. Like I said, I don't know how much shopping you have done because these things can be pricey. The cheapest of any of these brands entry level vises is about $100. Anything from these vise manufacturers will last a lifetime, and have warranties to back it up.

My suggestions would be to go to a fly shop that has these brands, and explain where you are coming from and ask for a few demonstrations; letting them know you are brand new, but want a quality product. Then report back here with any more specific questions about models.

Or perhaps check out all of their websites and models available.

Good Luck, and welcome to fly fishing, and the forum!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Get a copy of Charlie Craven's Basic fly Tying. Lots of good information for starters and I often refer to it when I forget things.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

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Originally Posted by ausablebrown View Post
I don't know how much shopping you have done yet; but the most expensive peice of gear for tying will be your vise; though that will be dwarfed by how much you spend on quality tying materials. Other than the vise, the rest of the tools needed can be found rather cheaply...maybe $75-100 for a couple bobbins, whip finisher, hair stacker, scissors, hackle pliers, hackle gauge. That's if you go with quality name branded products. You can buy el-cheapo stuff ala carte for much less.

In vises you can get bulletproof quality from Dyna-King, Renzetti, and Regal. Perhaps more options, but I've not used any others. Like I said, I don't know how much shopping you have done because these things can be pricey. The cheapest of any of these brands entry level vises is about $100. Anything from these vise manufacturers will last a lifetime, and have warranties to back it up.

My suggestions would be to go to a fly shop that has these brands, and explain where you are coming from and ask for a few demonstrations; letting them know you are brand new, but want a quality product. Then report back here with any more specific questions about models.

Or perhaps check out all of their websites and models available.

Good Luck, and welcome to fly fishing, and the forum!
Thanks for all the tips. Will be heading to a local shop for the rundown soon, but am a little concerned that we'll be upsold to stuff that isn't really necessary, especially since I live in a large city that has less personal sales people.

So do you know of a guide I can reference that would discuss what basics we should shoot for? I feel like those beginner kits are garbage, but at least they provide something to work with, if that makes sense. To get my bearings in general, what would be the tools you'd buy to do some basic tying?

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Depending on the shop, you very well could get upsold. So you can go with no intentions to buy, and just get a list of what they suggest you "need". Then bring it back to us...we'll let you know.

At a minimum, you need

1. Vise
2. Bobbin
3. Scissors
4. Hackle pliers (depending on what you are tying)
5. Materials (whatever thread, feathers, head cement, dubbing, etc you need for the patterns that you want to tie)

There are a few more "you can make do without" tools, or pattern specific tools. You may want a dubbing pick, or a hair stacker, or other tools based on what patterns you are tying.

This was mentioned in another thread, but you should see if any shops around you offer tying classes. A one hour class is worth 10 hours of struggling on your own; I chose the latter, but would gladly take a do-over. You may also be able to take a class with everything provided, giving you a chance to use different tools and materials. Most places don't try to break the bank with their tying class prices. The one at my local shop supplies everything and charges $50 for about 8 total hours of class. You get to sample all of their gear and materials, and you get to keep the couple dozen flies that you tied up during the classes.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

I know there will be those that disagree, but let me recommend the griffen Spyder as a good entry level vice. Yeah its not the "best" out there, but for roughly $85 you'll get a full featured rotary vice that will last you until you want or need to upgrade. I bought one after trying one at the local TU chapter, and I haven't regretted it one bit. Another vice that I've seen people using at the TU meetings was the Danvise. I personally didn't like the cramped working area, but it is also a full rotary vice at the same price point. In any case, don't let someone throw out names to try and upsell you. You don't need the "best" vice out there at this stage of the game. You need only something serviceable that will get you started.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Lots of good advise given above. Here is a good site to read. Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

The vise shoot-out was a good article. We should have the link stickied somewhere. Since my vise stays on my desk, and I prefer the base to the clamp, I probably wouldn't have lent so much weight to the box they come in or the quality of the clamps, but I guess that's the authors' perogative.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Acoustic, welcome to the forum you've gotten great advice from folks here.

This FAQ might help while you're considering fly tying tools. It'll give you some examples with pics, suggestions for decent brands, and some typical prices (as of winter 2011):

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...do-i-need.html

The same basic list will work for most other types of flies too, but if you'll be tying flies for bass or saltwater let us know--

As far as a vise there are a lot of very good choices. Which ever one you choose, make sure the jaws will hold the range of hook securely in whatever sizes you plan to use-- This can be an issue on inexpensive Asian imports with soft metal jaws, and even on some very well made vises if you plan on using large hooks for saltwater.

Having a couple of good shops nearby is a blessing, so take advantage of them if you have a few nearby-- you can always post here before you buy if you want a reality check or to get a 2nd opinion. You'll find a good local shop is worth its weight in gold and they'll be an enormous help in getting you off to a good start with materials, informal tips and demos to show you techniques etc. And if they offer a tying class you should jump on it-- you'll learn a ton and it will greatly shorten the learning curve.

Since you said you live near a city, where abouts are you? Folks here could probably recommend a good shop if you have some near you.

Feel free to ask questions as you get into it-- you'll probably have a ton of them.

Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Looking For First Rig

Edit:
The link from Hook&Hackle (fly tying 101) was not the same as the page I read last night in their catalog.
In The catalog Ron down plays the emphasis on the vice and tools and recommends lessons and essential materials.
Their web page is more of a soft sell on equipment
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