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Old 07-16-2010, 08:07 PM
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Default Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

I want to buy a starter kit for fly tying that is good. I fish for trout mostly and some smallmouth. I have looked at several kits online and in catalogs but I don't have the knowledge for a good decision.
Thanks,
Bochim
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Welcome to the Forum! Since you're new to the site, you're probably not aware that there's a ton of threads and postings discussing this issue. While you're waiting for responses to this posting, you might do a search; using "Fly Tying Kits" I came up with a bunch.

For starters, I wouldn't suggest a kit. Normally they contain inferior tools and materials that you won't use. Instead, I'd buy a good beginning fly-tying book by renowned fly tiers like The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying by Leeson & Schollmeyer or Basic Fly Tying by Charlie Craven. The first book has an unique layout which allows looking at a fly-tying pattern while simultaneously viewing detailed explanations of the techniques used in tying that fly, and the second book works you through a number of patterns, starting from easier to harder, with extremely detailed explanations and pictures of all the steps required in tying the fly (which build sequentially from fly to fly), recommended tools and materials tips, etc.

After obtaining these book(s) and determining what fly(s) you will first tie, obtain only those materials as you need them for tying each fly. As for tools, check the recommendations on this Forum. I will say that Dr. Slick tools are highly recommended and not all that expensive (I don't own any, so have no self-interest in this recommendation). Obviously, you will need a vise, but other essentials will be a bobbin (to hold fly-tying thread), scissors (one fine pair for delicate work & one less expensive pair with serrated blades for coarse cutting of hair, wire, etc.), bobbin threader (denture floss threaders work fine), hackle pliers and head cement (Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails fingernail coating works great). These - apart from the vise - won't cost much, and there are a number of optional tools that you may decide you need as you go - hair stackers, a sharp-pointed pick (or toothpick?) for pulling out fly bodies, dubbing wax, bead or regular tweezers . . . the list goes on and on, but they're all fairly inexpensive. As I mentioned, the most expensive tool you will need is a vise. I won't make recommendations here (there'll be plenty of those coming), but I would suggest that the vise you buy be a "full rotary" model if you think you'll be staying with fly-tying, because it will be a far more flexible model. Although like any style vise, you can spend hundreds of dollars for it, you can also buy a highly-rated full-rotation vise for under $80.

Hope this helps until those more expert than I chime in. Have fun at it; it's a great pastime for those times when you wish you could be on the water but can't.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Very sound advice Neil,

Bochim, you will find that the folks here will point you in the right direction on any question you put to them. I wish you all the luck and good fortune you can muster while putting together your tools, books, and materials for tying. We have a thread forum here called 'Share Patterns' where you can post a picture of flies you tie and you can ask for pointers and help from there too. This membership has some really good tiers for every style fly there is.

Keep posting and get to know us,

Ard
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

I agree, I wouldn't recommend a kit either. They're usually full of low quality junk that you'll never use. Pick a handful of patterns that you like to fish with, get the materials for those patterns and expand from there. It also helps if you have friends who are hunters. They can be a great source for fur and feathers. Also check out art and craft stores for some interesting materials.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Hey Bochim and Mug21, welcome to the forum, glad you guys both joined up.

Bochim-- the kits look real tempting, but as others have said they usually come with a poor quality vise with soft metal jaws and poorly machined parts.

The question about "what kit to buy?", or "buy a kit vs buy separate stuff?" comes up a lot-- if you use the "search" feature with terms like "fly tying kit beginner" you'll probably come up with a bunch of threads.

Here's a recent thread as an example that could give you a rough idea of the bucks for getting started:
fly tying starter set

Keep asking questions as they come up, lot's of folks here that can help get you started.

And again, welcome aboard!
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Thank you for the good advice. I am no longer looking for a kit but some books, as mentioned above. Believe I'll go ahead and get a decent vise. What do you guys think of the Danvise Rotary Fly Tying Vise by Danica? This is a great forum, all advice is appreciated.
Thanks again,
Steve
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Steve,

Some guys swear by them. I use a Renzetti Traveler and an old Thompson 'A' 360.

Ard
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Hi bochim, and welcome to the forum!

Another vote here for the Renzetti Traveller vise. As a second, I would take a look at Regal's Medallion vise.

Also agree on the relative valueless proposition of fly tying kits. Figure out what patterns you want to fish; those best suited to the species that you're hunting for, and order up the materials.

Also, see if you can get to a local Fly Shop; tell them that you're interested in learinng to tie and that will probably lead to some interesting and productive interactions for you.

Have fun!

Pocono
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bochim View Post
Thank you for the good advice. I am no longer looking for a kit but some books, as mentioned above. Believe I'll go ahead and get a decent vise. What do you guys think of the Danvise Rotary Fly Tying Vise by Danica? This is a great forum, all advice is appreciated.
Thanks again,
Steve
I've had one for a year and a half that I use constantly. It's held up well. I've heard stories of guys sending small hooks flying, and jaws denting. The fact of the matter is the jaws have a lot of torque. You just have to be aware of that and make your fine adjustment for each hook before final crank down.
I wouldn't hestitate to buy another Danvise. Best bang for the buck IMO. Another vise that I would consider at the next price point is the Peak Vise.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Old guy new to fly tying needs advice

I too have had a Danvise for many, many years and I love mine. There are a lot of great vices on the market today and if you can, go to a fly shop and try a couple of them out and see what "fits" you.
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