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Old 05-11-2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Beginner fly tying kit...

What is a good, inexpensive, beginner fly tying kit? I can buy materials local, but there isn't a choice of tools, and I really want a kit. Would love to stay under $50-60 for my first set up, I might not like it but I have wanted to tie flies for quite some time now (before I even wanted to fly fish!)

I have seen just tool kits, but after adding in materials needed, I will be close to $100, which is NOT in my budget. Cabela's kits would be nice, I have a cabela's visa with a little reward money on it ($30 or so) Not looking for a high end kit, just something decent for the beginner.

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

You're going to get a variety of opinion here, most will guide you to spending money on a vise and tools, then build your materials stash as you start working on different patterns. The advantage here is that you start out with a vise and tools that can be of a higher quality than what is typically found in a kit. The materials in a kit more often than not are not high quality and thus making tying flies a little bit more challenging. Believe it or not, the materials can make a difference, not only in the outcome/durability of the fly but actually tying can be easier with higher quality materials. Hackle and Peacock Herl come to mind as two examples.

The other school of thought is to buy a kit as you seem to be leaning towards. I seem to recall in another thread that the Orvis Tying kit was highly recommended. I have not looked at these but again, seem to recall people who are better in touch with the industry recommending this option.

This is a very good read, recommend that you take a look though this before deciding. Edit: Looks like FISHN and I are on the same page, right on FISHN!
http://www.flyfishohio.com/Vise%20Re...150.htmhttp://

Again, you're going to see a lot of opinion here and I'll offer mine. First, establish what you think is a reasonable budget. If you have a local fly shop, go there and see what they have to offer and let them know what your budget is. If you end up buying there, you can establish a relationship with the owners/workers and gain valuable knowledge that you won't get from a big box store. Tips on local patterns, how to's, etc are invaluable. This is the most desirable option IMHO.

If a local shop is not an option, then you're back to kit vs. buying in pieces. Something to keep in mind...if you purchase a kit and don't like it, it may be harder to sell. A more desirable vise and tools will be easier to move if you don't stick with it. You seem to have enthusiasm for tying, which is great! Everybody upgrades at some point. I started with a kit which I received as a gift. I still think of this as one of the best gifts I've ever received in fact. With that said, I have upgraded so I sunk more into tools, vise included after the fact.

Ask yourself if this is something you think you will stick with. If yes then I'd go the vise & tool separate option. You'll have something you can tie on for a while and not have to spend money on that stuff again. If you are unsure, the kit option gets you into tying with less of an investment.

Good luck let us know what you decide upon.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

The suggestion to enroll in a class is an excellent one. I bought a BUNCH of what I thought was "necessary" before my first night of class, and I've found now that aftre 6-months of tying, tehre are some tools that I haven't yet used.

The first night of class, the instructors wen't over everything that we would need, showing both top-of-the-line and lower-end equipment. They also pased out discount cards to two local shops, for incentive to shop and but locally.

BTW - I found the classes to be VERY beneficial. I learned a lot that I hadn't gotten from books videos, YouTube, etc.; PLUS, I made some great fishing friends!
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

I got my tools and vise for under $25 on ebay, and a older tying kit for about 25 also on ebay. i havnt tried tying anything yet, but im ready. for tools i got a whip finisher, hackle pliers, scissors, bobbin, and a material clip. basic and probably cheap, but i have to start somewhere, and didnt want to buy high dollar stuff when im just starting.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
What is a good, inexpensive, beginner fly tying kit? I can buy materials local, but there isn't a choice of tools, and I really want a kit. Would love to stay under $50-60 for my first set up, I might not like it but I have wanted to tie flies for quite some time now (before I even wanted to fly fish!)

I have seen just tool kits, but after adding in materials needed, I will be close to $100, which is NOT in my budget. Cabela's kits would be nice, I have a cabela's visa with a little reward money on it ($30 or so) Not looking for a high end kit, just something decent for the beginner.

Thanks!

We **REALLY** need a 'sticky' on this topic.

Yes, you could get a wide range of suggestions, but most will end or begin with DO NOT BUY A KIT.

Yes, you will be informed that like buying a cheap guitar, if you buy a cheap kit, you will never learn "to play".

AND you will also be informed that you WILL NOT save money over the price of buying flies until you've tied a hundred dozen of more![COLOR="Silver"]
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

What kind of flies do you want to tie? If you're tight on funds there might be some common things you won't need. I lean towards no kit but if you find a good deal with what you need go for it. Get the best you can afford. A pair of Dr slick all purpose scissors, a ceramic bobbin, threader, hair stacker, finisher and AA vice is all some folks use.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

I started with a kit, it took perseverance and eventually I got a better vise. Then after I wore out that $9.99 Sunrise that I replaced the stamped metal kit vise with I got a Thompson 'A'. I bought materials and kept tying. I looked at pictures and kept tying until I could figure out how to make my flies look like the pictures. I tied on the Thompson A for about 26 years then got another Thompson vise, the 360* model A, It seems they were very limited and somewhat rare and I still have it. . Now I use a Renzetti that I got in 1995.

I will make a sticky thread for this topic and then move some other threads there to get them all under one roof.

When it comes to this question I have to tell a person that you do what you can do. What you can afford and what's available; if you have the passion to be a fly fisherman and fly tier then nothing is going to stop that, not even a fly tying Kit
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

As you can see a common theme here is the type of vise that you're going to get with a fly tying kit. And I'm not going to lie to you, I went the "kit" route way back when and I'm quite sure I replaced every tool from that original kit within a couple of months out of pure frustration. Even the budget vise that I "upgraded" to got me extremely frustrated at times.

I've been asked this question many times over the years and my advice is always to avoid kits (based on personal experience) mainly because I think they're all based on cheap tools, even cheaper hooks, and heavy on "filler" materials that you may not want or be able to use. The main fear being that the frustration level you will experience may turn you off of tying flies completely.

OK, having said all that since you are buying on a tight budget, and kind of locked into Cabela's, spend the most amount of money you can on a kit and focus on the tools particularly the vise. Forget about the materials (for now). The amount of materials and inventory of hooks that you're going to need to tie every fly that you want is astronomical and if you stick with it you'll spend your lifetime accumulating them... just gotta chip away at it, one pattern at a time.

Not sure what you're budget is, but this kit has some brand name stuff (and a book) some of these items may stay with you for quite a while:

Cabela's: Cabela's Advanced Fly-Tying Kit
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

And then one day down the road, you'll look at your tying desk and say, "Wow, how did I get here?"

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Beginner fly tying kit...

I started with a Cabela's tying kit about 4 years ago. I think I probably still have the thing somewhere.

I can't say anything bad about that kit, as I tied hundreds of flies with it. Here's what I will say.

You're going to toss the bobbins that come with the kit in the first 24 hours. I mean, they are almost completely unusable. Find ceramic bobbins. You don't have to spend a ton of money, but I think my first ceramic bobbins were about $10-$15 each. I still use them. You'll want at least two.

The hackle pliers are probably useless as well. IF you plan on tying dries, find something middle of the range, probably another $15.

Everything else in the kit is "serviceable." The scissors aren't great, but they do work, and until you start getting into the smaller dries they should be adequate for a season or two. I still use the bodkin, and when I misplace my dubbing thing, I can still use the one that came with my kit. The same for the bobbin threader.

The materials are not great, and if I were starting out, knowing what I know now, I'd skip any kit that included materials, and buy them piecemeal. Higher quality materials can make a huge difference in tying, from ease of use, to quality of the finished fly.

The vise is usable. It is extremely limiting, but as you are just starting out, I don't think you'll notice that. When you do upgrade to a nicer vise, you'll really notice the difference. I am now on a griffin, which is a very pedestrian vise, but it is lightyears better than the kit vise I learned on. It retailed for around $85 I think, but Sportsman's W. had a sale and I picked it up for around $40. If you can get a better vise now, do it. But if the budget just won't allow it, the kit vise will allow you to tie, at least anything from size 2 down to 18. Smaller than that it probably going to be too difficult for a kit vise.

Peace.
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