Recommended Tool Brands??

Snyperx

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Hi everyone. I have been looking into beginning tying flies. I started looking at all the vises and tools. I see a lot of the starter sets etc, but have read to stay away from them. What brands of tools are recommended and what brands should be avoided? I am leaning toward a Griffin Spider Vise as my first vise at this point. I need to piece together my starter tools now. I am looking for good quality, but would prefer to keep very affordable. Thanks!!
 

thomasw

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Loon has a good starter fly tying tool kit. Dr. Slick does too. But I've found that Tiemco tools are excellent quality and they last; but they are not super expensive like Petitjean tools. Good tying tools are worth it... Cry once and smile for a long, long time. YMMV
 

Acheron

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I started with a very cheap kit from BPS or somewhere similar and almost Immediately purchased a good bobbin with a ceramic insert and higher quality scissors. I still use the cheap kit scissors to cut wire or other materials which will dull/roll scissor blades, so they are nice to have!

However, I don't use most of the fly tying tools so my old kit tools still sit in a drawer; can't remember ever plucking out dubbing and do whip finishes with my fingers.

I'm glad to have started with a kit so I have those tools on the occasion I want them, but I rarely use more than a bobbin, scissors, and hackle pliers for ~80% of what I tie.

For the other 20%, the only other tool I use would may be a hackle stacker. Ok, so maybe I'll also use my bodkin on rare occasions, but never for it's inteded use. :D


All of that just to say...

I'd grab a kit so you have all the basics then upgrade the few tools you use often. :)
 

pcolapaddler

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I started with a kit. The tools were fine for what I do, but the vise was pretty grim.

A kit is a good way to start of you get one with a decent vise.

Sitting by the pond or on the river with my little Buddy...
 

mike126

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I’d get a Renzetti Traveler vise to start. They are relatively inexpensive and last forever. Plus you can upgrade the base from a clamp later.

For tools Tiemco or Dr Slick are my go to. Get a decent bobbin.

You can start with the basics and add as needed. Maybe talk to a shop about a kit discount but go with the better brands.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

teledan

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I started with the Dr Slick kit and have been using it for quite a while. I haven’t really felt the need to upgrade any of the tools yet. I have added a couple of tools that weren’t included (dubbing twister, popsicle stick with Velcro on it). I would also add a vote for the Renzetti Traveler vise, I love mine.
 

pnc

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Don' t know what the spider vice goes for. Or the travler.
I have used a Renzetti Travler for near 30yrs. Weighted base type.
Bobbins and scissor is all you need to start out. Whip finisher if getting carried away.

Truthfully if buying a kit you could end up with stuff you never use. Or you could get everything you'll ever need. Give some thought to what type of flies you plan on doing. Jot down tools you think you'll need. And compare to what comes in kits.

Should mention this. When you decide on vice. Take into consideration the range of hook sizes. That vice will hold.
 

trev

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I like the Griffin ceramic bobbin holder https://www.griffinenterprisesinc.com/index.cfm/product/5/supreme-ceramic-bobbin.htm
and the Anvil mini tip scissors- https://anvilusa.com/store.html#!/50-A-ANVIL®-SCISSOR/p/54370277/category=13991404
I bought mini test probes like these to use as hackle pliers - https://www.amazon.com/Multimeter-C...ywords=test+lead+clips&qid=1634174145&sr=8-30
Most of the rest of my tools that I use, other than the out of production Thompson vice, and Matarelli whip finish tool are homemade.
 

JoJer

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I'll post to reemphasize: Start with a ceramic bobbin holder. One of the first skills you need to master is thread tension: Learning how hard to pull on different thread sizes. Getting this down is hampered by a bobbin holder that cuts your thread. If you end up with an all metal bobbin holder, it's OK. You can use it for wire. Or convert it by gluing a glass bead on it.
 

clsmith131

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I like the Rite bobbins, although I know some don't like their asymmetrical design.
For scissors, I use Dr. Slick and Singer sewing scissors.
 

jpakstis

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I started with a set and I think I’ve retired every piece except the scissors either through upgrades or not using.

Other than the tools recommended here, I would determine what you need by what you’re planning to tie. For instance, most of the flies I tie are beaded sexy Walt’s variants or midges. Although I have hair stackers that I got in the original tool set I never use them. While I’ll have them if/when I need to stack hairs, I could have always bought them as I go.

I know you had asked for recommended brands but I don’t think there is a recommended brand for “everything.” Dr. Slick is a good “global” tool brand but I don’t like their bobbins, for instance. I think you’re better off mixing and matching depending on what you want to tie. Some of it is trial and error but the good thing is that it’s always helpful to have “backups.” You can use an old bobbin already threaded with an often-used thread so you can switch out quickly or use old scissors to cut coarse materials such as wire so you don’t dull your nicer scissors.

The vise is a different a story. I wouldn’t skimp on the vise; even if you get something more advanced than you initially might think you don’t want to “outgrow” your vise. Just make sure you buy the appropriate vise and jaws based on what you’re going to tie. Once again, most of my hooks are between 12 and 30 so I don’t need “big game” vise jaws. If I need them, I can always order them. Since I can swap out my vise’s jaws, it’s a pretty easy substitution. If I had gotten a cheap vise, I probably would have had to upgrade.

One specific recommendation to save some money is to use teeth braces floss for bobbin threading (like these here) rather than getting a bobbin threader. I personally find them so much easier to use than a threader and you get a whole bunch in a pack for half the cost of a bobbin threader.
 

spm

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My tools are a hodge-podge, so I couldn't recommend a particular brand. I started with a kit and slowly upgraded over the years.

steve
 

trev

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If y'all will read the OP it says he wants to "piece together" his tool set and does not want to be stuck with a single brand kit. In short he's asking for brand names for each tool you use. If that's 16 different tools from 16 different brands, you could simply say I like this brand for this tool and that brand for those two tools etc. Most helpful might be an itemized tool list showing the brand for each?
The more brands you have in your set the better idea he will have in what to look for. The key factor being that each tool is "quality".
Surely one company makes a better stacker than some other company? or a better half hitch tool? I think English Hackle Pliers might all be the same once the jaws are wrapped in masking tape? maybe not?
 

bigjim5589

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Snyperx, I'm with Trev on the Griffin bobbins. I prefer the ceramic tube or insert types and have been using Griffin since back in the late 80's, and no complaints. Check out Anadromous Fly Co. for scissors and maybe some other tools. I have a couple of their tungsten carbide scissors and have been very pleased with them. I also have tungsten carbide scissors from DR Slick, and they're excellent, but also about twice the price.

You really don't need a lot of different tools. Other than your vise, scissors & bobbin, most other tools will be for convenience and not necessity.
You may also want a bodkin, with doesn't need to be anything special. You might also want a bobbin threader, which is just to make threading the bobbin easier. A whip finish tool can also be handy, if you get a good one and learn to use it, but half hitches can work fine too.

I have a bunch of different "other" tools, not all fly tying specific that I have found to be useful for various things. That's something that can depend on the tying you'll do. I make & tie jigs & other lures, so some tools help there, but not so much with tying flies.

You may want some razor/knife types of cutting tools too, particularly if you get into making bass flies, for poppers & such, but here again, a pack of hardware store utility knife blades can serve that purpose and are not real costly to obtain.
 

LandoLando

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I have the entry level griffin vise with the rotary feature. It works decently, but it doesn’t have the cam lock, so it’s kind of inconvenient and sometimes hooks move when I’m putting a lot of tension on the thread. For the price, it’s great, but I plan on upgrading to something nicer with rotary feature and cam lock.

For other tools, I really like stonfo stuff. I have several of their bobbins, scissors, dubbing brush, etc. and they are top notch, for a decent middle of the road price.

Best hackle pliers:

They have a unique insert that softens the grip but increases the friction. The wire handle/spring is super light weight so you don’t have to worry about the weight of the tool breaking your hackle.
 

jaydub

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Scissors: I mostly use Dr. Slick. I use the arrows, fine point and curved types. The thing about fly tying scissors vs others is the size of the finger holes. Large finger holes allow you to keep the scissors in your hand while tying.

Bobbin: I prefer a full ceramic tube vs ceramic inserts at the ends. I like the TMC ceramic bobbin.

Hackle pliers: For hackles the Tyflyz Hackle Tweezers Lando posted work well. Although I know some people hate them. For other uses electrical test clips are handy.

Hair stacker: Eventually you'll want a couple of sizes, but you can start with a mid size.

Whip finisher: A Matarelli clone. I couldn't tell you if one brand is better than another, since I am still using my original Matarellis.
 

hatidua

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