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Old 04-14-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

Well I'm here again with another question. I have never tied a fly before but would like to learn how. I have been doing some research and have found many people with pros and cons to these kits at say basspro. My question is, does anyone have experience with these kits? are they worth the money versus putting a kit together from scratch?

Well thanks again
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

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Originally Posted by pkins44 View Post
Well I'm here again with another question. I have never tied a fly before but would like to learn how. I have been doing some research and have found many people with pros and cons to these kits at say basspro. My question is, does anyone have experience with these kits? are they worth the money versus putting a kit together from scratch?

Well thanks again
That depends on how much money your have to spend INITIALLY, and your interest in tying. I say initially, because you will need hundreds of dollars of materials to be able to tie ALL of your own flies. You will constantly be finding out that you need another $20 of dubbing, or tensil, or beadheads, or thread, glue, eyes, ...you get the point. And that is not to mention the dry-fly hackle feathers; that is where the real money is. I was in the same position you were in when I got my kit. My experience with my kit probably mimicks what yours will be. It was something to mess around with to see IF I really wanted to tie real flies. If you want to tie your own real QUALITY flies, you will probably not use anything from that kit down the road; maybe the tools. Most of the materials, especially feathers which are the most important are sub-par, and actually make it more difficult to tie good flies.

You could always get a few tools, and then spend $20 at a time on quality materials as you try out different patterns; you don't have to spend $500 this month to get some quality materials and turn out some flies. Now if you want hendricksons, sulphers, Blue wing Olives, Trico spinners, Black stoneflies, Yellow stoneflies, nymphs, streamers of 5 different colors; then your'e talking about $500. You could tie a hundred adams, and 5 dozen wooly buggers for $20-30. That is how I would do it if I had a do-over.

The kit would be great if you need to figure out if tying is for you. If you try tying and don't like it you're only out 30-40 bucks. Except as a way to test your interest and/or aptitude for tying, the kits are not worth having. But the right way will cost you immensely more $$$. I've got probably $500 worth of materials (NOT including vise and tools), and I'm just realizing that I have most of the things that I need to tie trout flies now.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

I bought the kit from Sportsman's Warehouse about two years ago, which is very similar to the kit at BPS and Cabela's. It is serviceable, and sometimes I still use it, but if I had to do it over, I'd have bought my kit piecemeal, especially the vise and bobbins. And the hackle pliers. And the scissors.

Also, most of the hair in the materials kit is barely useable. Definitely buy that a la carte.

My recommendation is to buy at least a midrange vise, approx. $40-$75, a pair of $15-$25 ceramic bobbins and a pair of decent scissors, $15. If you plan on tying a lot of dries, get a decent set of hackle pliers. The ones in the kit are almost useless.

Peace.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

Thanks for the input guys I was thinking quality was the way to go anyways. I was just hoping to find it cheaply. Ill pass on those kits and start piecing my own together I have some thunderstorms for the next coulpe of days gonna try my hand at tying some clousers of sorts.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

If you're interested in tying check with your local fly shop or club and see if they have a beginner tying class starting up. Wait until after the lessons to buy your equipment. Doing it this way you will be exposed to different vises, so you can decide which you like the most. The kits IMO for the most part aren't going to do you much good.

Dan
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

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Originally Posted by HuronRiverDan View Post
If you're interested in tying check with your local fly shop or club and see if they have a beginner tying class starting up. Wait until after the lessons to buy your equipment. Doing it this way you will be exposed to different vises, so you can decide which you like the most. The kits IMO for the most part aren't going to do you much good.

Dan
Good thinking Dan...My fly shop charges $60 for a three saturday morning course. A course would help you immensely anyways, but if you find a shop that does it like mine, they supply everything needed to tie; vise, materials, etc. in your $60 charge. You'll come out with $20-$30 worth of flies and a good headstart on learning the different gear, materials, etc. An hour with a mentor is worth 10 hours struggling on your own in this sport.

---------- Post added at 07:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:02 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkins44 View Post
Thanks for the input guys I was thinking quality was the way to go anyways. I was just hoping to find it cheaply. Ill pass on those kits and start piecing my own together I have some thunderstorms for the next coulpe of days gonna try my hand at tying some clousers of sorts.

Thanks for the advice
Don't be afraid to ask a bunch of questions; there are many different kinds of vices, bobbins, tools etc that you may or may not need. And figuring out the feathers can take some studying...hackle,saddle, neck, cape, hen, rooster, indian, chinese, gentic, #1#2#3, gold, bronze, silver, tyers grade, euro hackle....you get the point. Throw up any question on here and you'll get an answer by the end of the day, the guys in here are pretty quick. I can always count on a few replies within the day. You don't want to buy the wrong thing like saddle instead of neck and waste 30 bucks. You'll have a bunch of sinking dry flies! I'll be checking back in on the thread. This stuff can be really confusing at first, don't hesitate to ask on here or even PM me if you don't get an answer.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

A girlfriend gave me a fly tying kit about 35 years ago. I bought books, taught myself to tie. Ugh.

Trust me on this...do as the guys above suggest, find a fly shop or TU chapter that holds classes, see what its all about, learn to tie a few flies, then buy, ala carte, what you need.

Did I actually say, "Trust me?" LOL, no really, you should.
Gary
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Best way to start fly tying kit or put together your own set?

This is a very frequent question on fly-fishing sites, and I have yet to see anyone make a cogent case for buying a kit. IMO the only reason they even sell kits is that its an easy way to sell a lot of stuff to someone who knows nothing about tying, whether the buyer is a new tyer or buying someone a gift.

So my vote is buy a cheap vise and some decent tools. Look for a used Thompson A vise on ebay. (a couple on there now for less than $20) It will save you some dough and work fine. Plus you won't feel as bad when you want to upgrade in a year or two if you get serious. Otherwise I echo RangerRich's advise on tools.

Take lessons if you can. If not, use the instructional videos on youtube to teach yourself, only buying materials for one or two flies at a time.

Good luck and have fun!
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