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  1. #1

    Default Removed

    I would like to start fly tying but it seems like it is very expensize to get into. What do you really need to get started? I would like to tie nymphs, flies for bass, trout, and pike.
    Last edited by oldtownpaddler; 05-03-2013 at 08:25 PM.
    "Nothing grows faster than a fish from when it bites until it gets away."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Removed

    Sorry, put this in the wrong sub forum.
    "Nothing grows faster than a fish from when it bites until it gets away."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: How to get started?

    You should do a search on this, as I believe there are several threads on this subject. However, your basic needs are as follows:

    A book, DVD or some reference material on how to tie. Others here can direct you to the better books.

    Vise - Spend a little and get a rotary. Pretty sure you can get one from Griffin for under $70. I got mine on sale for $40. It's not sexy, but it has gotten the job done for the last 5 years. Other brands may have similar quality/priced products.

    Ceramic bobbin(s) - I'd suggest you get at least two of these, but you can get by with just one. Approx. $10-$15.

    Scissors - get a pair of Dr. Slicks. Approx. $15(?), though for your purposes you may want to get a second pair for cutting larger materials

    Whip finisher - you don't really need this, but it can be handy, especially when you're getting started. I still use one, simply because my fingers are stupid sometimes. approx. $6.

    Some manner of cement. Super glue works, as does Loctite. Hard as Nails, and Zap-a-Gap are popular as well. Some are easier than others to work with. Also, they produce different finishes. Some will give your fly a hard, clear, shiny head, others will 'glaze' over and give you a duller look. The fish don't care, but you might.

    Besides materials that's about it. You could get a bodkin (a big needle with a handle), which I find handy at times, or you could get by with a safety pin. also, a set of hackle pliers might be nice, but again, not necessary, especially if you're tying pretty big, which it sounds like you are.

    Basic materials:

    Thread - comes in a lot of colors. I'd say start with black, white, and olive.

    Bucktail - Chartreuse, white, natural should cover it at first, but they aren't pricey, so get whatever colors you like.

    Feathers - You'll end up tying with feathers at some point for streamers and poppers. Just remember to get decent quality material, it makes a difference.

    Copper wire - you'll need this occasionally for your nymph patterns, or to create a rib, or just to make your fly more durable.

    Bunny zonkers - can be used in place of, or with feathers. Imparts very life-like action to your flies, and very durable. Stock up on this stuff; you're going to use it a lot.

    pheasant tail - One of the first and easiest flies to tie is the pheasant tail nymph, so you should get some tails during your first shopping spree. Natural is best to begin, and maybe some kind of olive.

    Hooks - I started by comparing the hooks in the flies I could buy against hooks hanging on the wall. Of course, most books and DVDs will tell you what hooks to buy, but there are many manufacturers and for some reason they like to name their hooks as uniquely as possible, making comparisons difficult. Ask more experienced tiers when possible about substitutions.

    There ya go. Now get out there and start spending money.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Oregon - Willamette Valley

    Default Re: How to get started?

    You will be amazed how many flies you can tie with one feather and some thread: fluff for tail and body, thread for ribbed and head, feather for collar or feet...or thread for body instead of fluff.

  6. #5

    Default Re: How to get started?

    Buy the basic tools as noted above and then let the flies you want to tie dictate what hooks, threads, and materials you buy.

    Reuse the hooks by cutting off the bad flies with a single edged razor.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  7. #6

    Default Re: How to get started?

    Online Fly Shop and Fly Tying Materials :: FREE SHIPPING BUY ONLINE - In The Riffle. go there when you are ready, some nice easy patterns. also its pretty cool to just watch him create.
    Tight Lines!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    A Scot in Sherman Connecticut

    Default Re: How to get started?

    Good advice so far. My tuppence worth. Concentrate on about six patterns you know you will need and use. Practice, Practice, Practice.
    Before you know it you will have spent a small fortune on materials
    Also take a look at Davie's videos, great inspiration.
    "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation."

  9. #8

    Default Re: How to get started?

    I'm probably in the minority about this, but I vote for a decent quality fly tying kit. I started with a "kit" over 45 years ago. It gave me all the basics I needed to get started. It's a fairly inexpensive way to get started. In my book, there is no sense in spending $2oo bucks (or more) just to find out you don't like it. Try spending $50 to $70 to get a halfway decent kit. You'll end up with some basic tools and enough material to tie a boat load of flies. Once you decide that you are really interested in continuing, you will end up spending a "boat load" more money, for sure. But, if you decide that tying is not for you, you aren't out a bunch of cash. BTW, until about 3 years ago, I used the SAME vice I started with over 45 years ago! Good luck and welcome aboard!
    Save a life, learn CPR . . . Catch-Photo-Release

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: How to get started?

    For the record, when I started tying I bought a kit. And then about a month later a buddy gifted me a kit, and I learned to tie on those kits for the first 2 years. So understand that I am not against kits. But they have certain shortcomings which can make learning to tie more frustrating.

    For instance, the vise is serviceable, but shall we say limited. Probably the same can be said of most of the tools in a kit, except perhaps the bodkin.

    However, without a doubt, the least useful part of any kit I have seen so far is the bobbins. I don't want to be disparaging here, but I suggest that if you go with a kit, buy a ceramic bobbin the same day. They aren't expensive, and at least you won't have to worry about your thread being cut unexpectedly two or three times per fly.

    As for the materials in a kit, they are definitely serviceable, and might be the best part of any kit. They are good enough to tie whatever flies you like, and they will catch fish.

    Anyway, if I gave the impression that I was looking down my nose at kits, I would like to say that is definitely not the case.

    I just forgot that a new tier could actually find that they might not like tying.

    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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