I read Peregrine's FAQ on what type of tying tools to purchase, and found it VERY helpful! About the only tool that the FAQ didn't cover is the vice selection.
I've found a tremendous difference in vice prices and features, browsing everything that I can from Orvis.com to eBay, and everything in-between.
The local Trout Unlimited chapter has a fly tying class starting mid-January, which they supply everything except the tools. I've sent them a question on what tools to get, but i'd also like to seek your valued opinion(s)!
It looks like I'm better off purchasing individual tools, vs a "kit", unless someone can recommend a quality kit that I won't end-up replacing everything over time. But what about vices?
What's a good vice for a beginner to start-off with? Should I get it in a "kit", or go towards the individual purchase of tools and vice?
I've got LL Bean, Dicks, Orvis (Manchester), and Gander Mountain all withing 90 minutes from the house. Bass Pro and Cabella's are both a bit further, but drivable. I'm also not resistant (as some are) to on-line purchasing.
I want to be able to tie the standard trout, panfish, and smallmouth flys, for now, for use with a 5-weight rod & line.
This review is a couple of years old but it should help to get you looking in the right direction Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!
I would say to try and use a few vices before you purchase if you can. Try to understand what and why you like something. As to tools you do not need to have one of everything on the market. Buy good quality basic tools to get started, poorly made tools don't work well or last long. A good pair of scissors and bobbin is money well spent (look at Dr. Slick and Griffin) you don't need the most expensive tools made, just good quality that wont **** you off. Many of the online shops have user reviews, I find those to be very valuable.
Best of luck to you & feel free to ask any questions. Lots of knowledgeable people on the forum.
There are so many good ones. These seem to be the favs in each price range.
I'd suggest buying individually. Get the best scissors; bobbins; hair stacker; whip finisher. The rest you can fill-in later.
I bought this one and it has been great. Tied 5/0 hooks down to 24's on it and it worked fine, though I'm sure someday I'll upgrade. I also picked up the base Stockard sells which helped since I could just set it on a table and tie.
hollyw00d puts up a good suggestion, and David asks a pertinent question as well.
Price does matter but looking at the Wapsi kit I have no problems with it at all. Here's where some will roll the eyes and say 'Please Ard, not the Thompson 'A' speech' but I gotta say it. My first kit came with a very light stamped metal vise that simply did not hold a hook tightly at all. My upgrade was a 9.99 vise who's maker I forget but we're back in the late 60's with that one anyway, I used the 9.99 er until 1978 and at that point I was serious about tying and nothing but the best was gonna due. I bought a D. H. Thompson Model A vise and tied on that until around 1996. No rotation, just a good hook holder, I tied everything from #24 Midge patterns to Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead flies on #2 salmon irons with it. In 1996 I bought a Renzetti Traveler at a going out of business sale for 63.00 but like all new things it sat for almost 2 years before I began using it. Once I became accustomed to the Renzetti I really liked it and I tied my last fly with it the other day. They will hold from a #22 up to a size 3/0 salmon hook. Problem is you will have to have more than 63.00 on hand if you choose this vise.
If price is an issue, I see the old Thompson A and Thompson Pro selling on eBay for 12 - 22 dollars in 'as new in the box' condition very often.
I've only been tying for 11 months (My Peak vise was a Christmas present) and here is thing I have found. If you learn to tie on a rotary vise you will use it as a rotary vise. I have seen comments here and other places, and I know a few people that started on a regular vise and while they may own a rotary they don't use it like one.
They just use it for easy access to the other side of the fly, or for flipping in upside down. They don't dub, or run a rib by holding the material and spinning the fly.
Thank you, all, for the great suggestions, comments and links. The vice review on the Fly Fish Ohio link was a great read by itself! The Danvice now has caught my eye, as it's in the $100+/- price range, but I'm still reading and researching.
I also heard from a contact at the local TU chapter, who told me about a shop less than 25 miles from my house that has a well stocked fly-fishing department that I didn't know about. It's relatively close to my office, so I'm going to sneak over there some lunchtime to check on what they have.
I also got a list of what TU wants me to have for the upcoming class, so now that I have a list, I'll buy better quality individual tools, rather than a single "kit".
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.
• Whip Finisher
• Hackle Pliers
• Bodkin/Half Hitch Tool