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xjguy07 10-08-2007 02:02 PM

good starting kit?
im kinda intrested in tieing my own flies and was just wondering if anyone had recomdations for a good starting kit. i 've been looking at the bass pro shop kit because it's only fifty bucks and comes with an instruction book along with the vise materials and all other tools.

Joni 10-08-2007 03:25 PM

Re: good starting kit?
I guess kits have their place, but you get a lot of stuff you don't need. I would say get a reasonable Vise, great scissors. a bobbin or two, whip finisher and buy the supplies you need for the flies you want to target. You can get hackle pliers, but I rarely even use mine and later on if you want to tie hair, buy a stacker.

Frank Whiton 10-08-2007 03:58 PM

Re: good starting kit?
Hi xjguy07,

You got excellent advise from Joni. If you buy a cheap kit ($50 is a cheap kit) the tools may not be of good quality and they give you a little bit of everything and the material will be low quality.

The best kit advise I can give is to buy a kit form Kaufman's Streamborn. They include a book and all the materials to tie all of the flies in the book. You can get a book on Nymphs or Dry Flies. The book starts with easy flies and works it's way up to harder designs. When you have completed the book you will be a first class fly tyer. Now the problem with all of my good advise is the kit's cost a heck of a lot of money. They are not worth it unless you are dedicated to becoming a good fly tyer.

As to the Bass Pro kit. I have never seen one or know anything about it. I suggest you figure out what flies you want to tie and what materials are required for those flies. Then check the kit to see if it has the right materials included. For example, if you want to tye nymphs you don't want a kit set up for dry flies. If you want to tye buggers, you need to make sure it has material for them.


aroostookbasser 10-10-2007 08:16 AM

Re: good starting kit?
Listen to Frank and Joni !!!!!! You have no idea how important it is to start out in the right direction. It will save you time and money. Money you can replace..but time is gone forever.
1. Evaluate your needs: what are you going to tye?
a. Build your own kit; the store bought kits are so generalized that they are useless. Too much or too little of what you may need.
2. What can you afford: buy the best equipment you can afford
a. don't skimp on the vise.
3. Seek out and purchase neither the very best nor the worst in materials once you know the patterns you will start with.
a. Sit down and make a list of what you will need based on patterns found
b. Avoid over investment in feathers/hackles...but get the stuff you know you need. Experience will direct you as you get better.
c. Be a good shopper, don't take the first price you find. Compare!!!!

Here how started: back in 1973
1. Bought a used Orvis vise
2. Made my own bodkin from a dowel and a needle
3. Nailpolish head cement
4. bought 3 spools of black 3/0 thread and hackle plyers
5. bought some assorted chennile, tinsel, and hackles by the package. (used articles in Field and stream to guide me on what I needed to tye what.)

Frank Whiton 10-10-2007 11:14 AM

Re: good starting kit?
Hi to All,

Aroostookbasser idea of the bodkin is right on. My first bodkin was a wooden match with the head cut off and a small needle inserted. It worked fine for applying head cement. I later updated to a wooden dowel as the body and eventually bought a metal handled bodkin.


ezamora 10-10-2007 12:07 PM

Re: good starting kit?
kits can make it awfully easy for those without close associations with tiers and introductory prices (like $49) can be helpful for some, but they do usually leave something to be desired. i glanced at that BPS kit (for trout) and it seems like it would be an ok start. you may not need all of the material when starting out but find you'll use it as you expand. still, i think piecing together a "kit" is the best way at the beginning if you can. from my limited experience with tying the key ingredient is the vise. i received a deluxe umpqua kit a couple of years ago and the vise SUCKED. it simply would not hold a hook. basic design, very similar to the BPS vise but a different color. that no-frills design is not inherently bad...

the nice thing was i took that kit back to the local shop where it had been purchased and the fly dept. salesman gave me two options, either he would send the vise back and i'd receive a replacement at some point in the future or i could swap out for one of their used vices from a different manufacturer. i took the swap and ended up with a basic griffin vise, i think their griffin 2A model. holds the hook like a champ.

2 lessons learned for me: the vise's grip is very important and local fly shops offer great practical benefits over cheaper online options.

here's a good web site review of vises. forgive me if this is bad form:

fresno, ca.

aroostookbasser 10-11-2007 01:19 PM

Re: good starting kit?
Great info is always better than "form". Nothing to apologize for. I ..put the vise ahead of the rest of the stuff. You have to start with a good vise ... or you are beat before you start. Loose jaws and mangled tyes will make you quit quicker than anything.

xjguy07 10-11-2007 06:09 PM

Re: good starting kit?
allright thanks guys, i might swing down to the fly shop and see what they have as far as vises etc. maby ask them to set me up good.

GeorgeMcFly 10-11-2007 10:36 PM

Re: good starting kit?
I just started tying and after looking at all the kits I opted to just buy my own stuff and got a decent tool kit on ebay that included all the main tools. then i got some assorted materials. but I stress MATERIALS is what you will need alot of . seems every fly has there own recipes and you always have everything but one thing or another. I am grabbing every supply I can get my hands on. look to spend a good $100 or so on all of um. unless you wanna tie one kind of fly that is. then there are the hooks to buy too. lol . well to me its still fun and well worth it. just catching a fish on something you tied is fun in itself! plus think of all the ideas you can come up with! hence the extra MATERIALS!!!!! lol

ezamora 10-11-2007 11:52 PM

Re: good starting kit?
georgemcfly mentioned hooks. this is obvious to the experienced but for beginners reading this who want to fish barbless, hooks often are available in a barbless model. some towns with limited fly offerings don't stock them so it's not always apparent.

fresno, ca.

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