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Old 08-04-2010, 12:21 PM
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Fly2Fish Fly2Fish is offline
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Default Re: fly tying starter set

As someone who recently got back into tying after a decades-long "time out", I can vouch for the excellent advice above on not buying a tool kit but instead buying the tools separately (good vise in particular) and materials as you need them. From my experience before when I bought a fly-tying kit, the vise was terrible and had to be replaced almost immediately, and most of the materials I never used. That's not to say there aren't decent starter kits, but the good ones are expensive enough that you can probably build up your own for about the same or less amount of money with more useful materials.

I also would highly recommend Charlie Craven's book. It takes the often-used path of starting with simple patterns that acquaint the beginner with certain basic techniques and then moves on to more complicated patterns that build on what you have already learned in the earlier easier patterns, adding new techniques with the later more-complicated patterns. Where I think Charlie's book really stands out is his terrific detail - very helpful for the beginner which many other "beginner" books gloss over - and outstanding pictures detailing the fly's features.

Another very helpful book for the beginner is Leeson & Schollmeyer's Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying, the well-known authors of the definitive Fly Tiers Benchside Reference to Techniques and Dressing Styles. The unique feature of the Benchside Introduction . . . is its innovative use of horizontally-split pages in a spiral-bound book, allowing the tier to follow the pattern picture and "recipe" on the upper half-pages which reference various tying techniques explained in the lower half-pages. Sounds complicated, but is really a helpful aid to the beginner and intermediate fly tier. Like Charlie Craven's book, however, it's limited to coldwater trout flies, although the Benchside Introduction . . . contains quite a few more patterns than the Craven book does.
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