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Old 11-11-2013, 10:11 PM
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Default Beginner at Fly Tying

Hey all,

After looking through the threads here in the fly tying section I've been truly inspired to start tying my own flies. I don't use too many patterns, but I think that fly tying might help me broaden my horizons a little. So my question to you is should I go for a "fly tying kit" or should I buy things separately to start out? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

Kits tend to have materials that aren't of any real use and have cheap tools and vise, that said there are some kits out there that are good. I'd recommend getting a copy of Charlie Craven's book "Basic Fly Tying". He outlines the pros and cons of various vises and different tools needed, sorts out the different types of thread, etc. Each pattern has a list of materials, he starts off with very easy patterns and progresses to a slightly more difficult pattern. It is the best fly tying book I have ever read.
Amazon.com: Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying: Modern Techniques for Flies That Catch Fish eBook: Charlie Craven: Books Amazon.com: Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying: Modern Techniques for Flies That Catch Fish eBook: Charlie Craven: Books

Your learning curve on learning to tie flies can skyrocket if you can get lessons from a local fly shop or local TU Chapter of fly fishing club. I you have a local fly shop, I would recommend starting there to see if they offer fly tying lessons, if not, ask who does.

Larry
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

A kit can be an OK deal if you get it used. Frequently there are never used kits on ebay for about half price or less. As Larry said they have a lot of materials you aren't likely to use. The tools will only suffice long enough to figure out if you like to tie. The cheap vises won't hold small hooks (typical trout sizes) very well. I shimmed mine up and it worked better, but was very happy to get a quality vise.

There are vises on ebay for 100 or so that get good reviews. $200ish buys a vise with a long reputation of quality. It's not an inexpensive hobby, but I enjoy it very much.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

I'm about 3/4 of the way through Charlie Craven's book. I brought the book with me to the local fly shop and picked up just the tools I needed and the supplies to make the first 2 flies. Once I had tied those decently, I brought the fly box in, the owner reviewed my work, and I picked up the stuff for the next few flies.

I can't compare to another book since this is only book I'm using, but I am very pleased with the book. It has advice on specific tools to buy and why. There are chapters that talk about individual materials before you start using them.

For each fly, there is a list of materials needed, and then tons of detailed pictures illustrating what you need to do. I supplemented this with Youtube if it still wasn't clear.

With regard to supplies, I started with a Renzetti vise, 1 set of Dr Slick tools that included scissors, bodkin, bobbin holder and threader, whip finishing tool and hackle pliers. I already had an extra fly box that I'm using to keep my tied flies in.

After that, it was just the fly-specific items such as hooks and materials for the specific fly.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

To second what has already been said. Start out with a decent vise. One that comes to mind is the DanVise. Do a google search, you'll see alot of positive reviews. It sells for about $80. There are some very nice vises for about $150 if you really want to treat yourself. Renzetti makes a series of very usable vises.

You'll also need a bobbin, you don't need anything fancy or expensive, maybe $5. Get a decent pair of scissors, plan to spend about $10 - $15. You might want to buy or make something called a bodkin, it's just a needle mounted in a handle. Maybe something called hackle pliers, they help to get a hold of feathers, cost about $5.

That's all I use in the way of tools to tie. So if my math is right, you are looking at about $100 for tools.

Figure out a fly or two you'd like to tie, you'll find recipes and usually videos on how to tie just about any fly you can imagine. I find watching a video more informative than trying to follow directions in a book, but that's just me.

Buy the materials you need for that first fly or two, tie up a dozen or two of each of those first few flies, and you'll be ready to tackle just about anything you want to tie.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

As a follow up, this is the tool set I got.
Click the image to open in full size. $60.

And my the vise is the Renzetti Traveler, which was $150.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

regardless of the quality, every bit of material in a kit CAN BE USED to tie something. the sh!tt!est piece of bucktail can still be used. the india neck can still be used. the hooks may not be the uber brands but they will still hook fish.the thread may not be the top dollar brands but they can still be used. the tools are meant to get a new tyer started but may not last a life time. even the best quality tools can sh!t the bed and become useless!

kits provide practice materials for new fly tyers. new fly tyers should not be expected to tie the same quality fly as a 30-40 fly tying veteran would tie.

can anybody on this forum truthfully say they have bought every single fly tying kit and give an honest review? if you can lets see it!

there is no right or wrong answer.
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

I would buy the materials you need for the flies you fish.

A cheaper in-line - rotates the fly in the same plane - rotary vise option is a Danvise.

Another good beginning fly tying book is the Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying.

Randy
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

Lot's of good advice here. The vise is your biggest initial investment. It can also be the one piece of equipment that you don't want to skimp on. A P.O.S. vise that has poor jaws could ruin your initial experience.

Craven's book is excellent, but I like others learned to tie from YouTube and other on-line tutorials.

Make your own bodkin. It is a good tool to have. Take a new pencil with a full eraser, poke a hole in the eraser with the pointy end of a needle. Flip the needle around. Put a dab of super glue on the fatter, dull end of the needle and stick it back into the hole you initially made. Saw the pencil off so that you have a 2-3 inch handle and your done. If you use an octagon shaped pencil it will not roll all over your desk.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Beginner at Fly Tying

Awesome info guys, thank you! I'll have to check if my library has any books that maybe I can just photocopy a few pages with patterns that I like. I'll have to start the hunt for a vice and think I decided to buy separately as I need things for certain patterns.
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