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  1. #1

    Default Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Looking to start tying my own. Planning to get a Peak rotary vise, tools and tying supplies in the next couple of days. What would you suggest as essential tools and materials for a beginner? I already have the Dave Hughes American Fy Tying Manual. Any brands to go with or stay away from? I prefer to buy once, cry once. I appreciate any input. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Take a class.................. Otherwise it sounds like you're going the right direction. I am self taught however it took nearly 50 years. Most people don't have that kind of patience


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Boise, Idaho

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Hi Finisher,
    First bit of advice: mine this forum with the search button. 'Cause there is a double handful of threads on this very topic.
    If you're set on the Peak vise, great, but your in-depth search will bring you to the Ohio fly fishers vise shoot-out and that's a good place to start.
    Also, you're eventually going to buy a how-to book. It doesn't matter which one, but if it's an entry level book, it'll cover what to buy and why or it'll cover techniques for the materials and tools as it shows why and how. That's not a bad way to start.
    If you have a local fly shop, pop in and watch them tie and ask questions. Check local listings for a class.
    Once you start, you'll have lots more questions. This is a good place to bring those questions.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    On a trout stream/Suburban Pittsburgh
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Welcome to the sickness. A few random thoughts, I'm sure there are some things I've left out that others will mention.

    From one Peak owner to another, I think you'll be very happy with it. Mine has treated me very well for nearly 5 years. Learn to use the rotary feature for flies that require tight wraps. Think Copper Johns. It's still good to learn to tie without the rotary though, there are circumstances where I prefer wrapping by hand over using the rotary feature.

    Get yourself a couple of different scissors. Anvil Ice are good and sharp and the Slick's with the Arrow point are good for intricate work. I have the tungsten carbides and they're a dream. There are "better" scissors out there but I just buy new ones when I need them and use the older ones to cut synthetics and wire. A cheap pair of scissors from a craft store will be fine for cutting synthetics to start with.

    Bobbins, go with a couple of the ceramic lined ones. If you want to wrap wire bodied flies, get the metal lined ones exclusively for that purpose.

    A pail of nail clippers works wonders when you're cutting material close to the hook shank.

    I prefer a Martarelli style whip finisher. Get to know how to use one, it will pay off later. Half hitches work just fine for the most part, but I prefer a whip finish.

    Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails is a great head cement. Cheap and readily available in most pharmacies.

    Buy materials and tools as you need them. There's no reason to over buy to start with. That being said, figure out what you want to start tying and buy those materials. Tie a dozen or more at a time until you get the hang of that pattern, then move on. Save those flies and watch your progress.

    I like Ard's suggestion: take tying classes. In 10 years of tying, I took one class and it was the most I've ever learned. I was self taught before the days of the youtube videos. While the videos are great, nothing for me compared to hands on instruction. The basics you will learn will greatly reduce your learning curve.

    Last but not least, don't underestimate the power of the tying forum here. There are a ton of great tiers who have inspired, influenced and helped me out along the way. Post up your ties and your problems and I've no doubt you'll get help. We have a super thread going "What have you been tying today" that you should post pictures to once you get going. If nothing else, it's worth your time to browse through.

    Good luck and enjoy it!
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    +1 on the preceding comments.

    I've been tying flies for less than a year, love it, and still have lots and lots to learn. Can't emphasize enough the value of fly tying lessons. Great opportunity to ask lots of questions and learn about different materials before you buy lots of things you really don't need. Perfect example is what applications the different feathers are best suited for.

    Welcome to the addiction!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    S. E. Taxachusetts
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    This is the book I learned from:

    It's a cool book. You can look up pretty much any particular thing and see it done without any of the other stuff in the way.

    Think that's it, but I remember mine being blue.

    TAKE A CLASS OR TOO!. Another self taught person here. Well, self taught with some rough critriques. Youtube is a realy cool thing, but rather useless if you don't have the basics down.

    Start large, get comfortable and then go a little smaller with the same pattern or stay the same size with a slightly more complex pattern.

    I learned on woolly bugger, Hornburg special, then muddler minnows, then pheasant tail nymphs, then an Adams dry.
    I'm currently out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message, and if you would like to reach me by phone, please hang up now.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Do yourself a favor and buy this book, it is the best I have found for the beginning fly tier, it details the materials needed for each pattern, the tools and how to use them, etc.
    [ame=""]Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying: Modern Techniques for Flies That Catch Fish: Charlie Craven: 9780979346026: Books@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

    Also checkout Charlies Fly Box, he has 179 fly patterns listed and goes through a step-by-step on how to tie each pattern and the materials needed. Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

    There are a lot of fly patterns listed on the forum, spend sometime looking at the step-by-steps. Also look on YouTube, there are tons of patterns shown there.

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Thanks, guys. I greatly appreciate the tips!

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    Take a class.................. Ard
    If you are not where you can take a class, youtube the heck out of it.

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  13. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)

    If you can swing a class...go for it, but if not, you'll be fine. Just don't give up! In the beggining you will feel as if your all alone in this addiction, believe me your not lol. Take your time and pick everyone's brain that you can and don't over complicate things. Don't stress if you can't find the exact materials you need, there are always alternatives to just about everything. There will be a bit of a learning curve, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy . And most important...have fun!

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