Originally Posted by fire instructor
This is what they told me to have:
Fly Tying Vise (should hold hooks securely)
At least one spool of 6/0 thread (colors: black, brown, gray or olive) (thread should be new)
Two (2) pair of Scissors One fine point for close trimming and one heavier set for cutting deer hair, wire or weight material.
Two Bobbins: One for 3/0 and one for 6/0 threads. Can get by with one bobbin.
Bodkin/Half Hitch Tool
So, hopefully, I'm now on the right track...
Thanks, again, everyone!
Kit is like Fire to the Monster in "Young Frankenstein"... NOT GOOD!!
Two questions to ask yourself are WHY are you taking this class and WHAT do you think the possibility is you will continue tying? If you're taking it because YOU WANT TO learn how to tie flies and there is a GREATER than 50% chance you will stick with it, then spend a bit more when buying your tools.
I'll come back to the vise-
Thread? No brainer, 6/0 and 3/0 a couple of bucks a spool. That said, you might want to buy one spool each of Flymaster and one of Uni so you have one you can spin flat and separate to dub with (you'll find out about this later) Total? about $12 for 4 spools
Scissors? Lots of folks like the Dr. Slick scissors, I don't dislike them but if you go to a fabric and craft store, you can buy a pair of fine point Ginger embroidery scissors and a pair of Fiskars light duty scissors for about the same money and they can be sharpened by the same people for you easily when they need it. Most of these stores have regular 50% off any one item coupons, so the price will be less and Gingher snips are regularly passed on for generations. Total? with coupons, about $20-25
Bobbins? Whatever you buy, get ones with a ceramic insert- they don't get grooved and shred your thread. If you don't mind spending a bit more, a "Rite" bobbin for your 6/0 (or eventually) 8/0 thread is a good choice as it helps put proper tension on the thread, giving you one less thing to think about. Total? Rite and standard- about $25
Whip Finisher? Well there 3 schools of thought here.
#1, you don't really need one, you can learn to tie the knot by hand, and you should anyway. t r o u t f l i e s . c o m
#2, a Materelli style tool, personally I don't like this one, but to each his own
#3, a Thompson style tool, when I use one I use this one- its' easier to accurately place the head and they come in two sizes.
Total? About $15
Hackle Pliers? Again, two schools of thought- a very simple clamp pair or a pair of rotary hackle pliers? If you have a stationery vise, the rotary type are handy... if you have a rotary vise, the standard ones are better. I use a standard pair made by Tiemco, which have a nice, fine point which is handy for getting in close to for tie-offs.
Total? Rotary, about $15; Standard about $10
Bodkin/Half hitch tool- they have these combined, but unless you want o keep poking yourself in the palm, if you're going to buy both/either, buy them independent of each other. Get a nice heavy, solid bodkin with flat sides instead of a round barrel so it doesn't roll off your table. I've never owned a half hitch tool in the nearly 50 years I've been tying. You can use the barrel of an old pen if you have one around, or again, learn how to tie a half hitch without one. (A cool trick is to learn to use the tip of your bobbin for this)
Total? Bodkin, $8-$20 Half-hitch, $0-$10
Vise... okay, I could go on and on about this.
Want to get one that you can tie on and replace later? Around 25$ tops will get you a Thompson Pro or a Thompson A clamp style vise... for another $10-15 you can buy a base plate stand for it. I tied on one of these for over 25 years and never knew I needed anything better- tied up to size 2/0 and down to size 20.
Want to buy a vise that you can tie on nearly forever that turns but isn't rotary? Buy a Regal Medallion with a base- get the standard head unless you plan on tying everything size 6 or under, then get the midge head. This is a no-foolin', straight-shootin' vise if there ever was one.
Plan to tie a bunch of stuff where the rotary feature will be of great benefit? A Renzetti Traveler or Presentation might be the way to go. Personally, I don't find the need for rotary.
Want a vise that allows both for a low price? Some say the DanVise (now sold by Orvis) is the way to go,. but I also hear the Delrin parts in them get sloppy or wear out. I don't care for this one, it feels weird to me.
The good thing about going with a Thompson, is when you do upgrade, your entry price was so low, you've not much to lose and this vise can go in a travel kit for later... or be passed along to someone else.
Welcome aboard and good luck!