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kyflyguy 12-15-2012 12:09 PM

Beginner fly tying
I am about to purchase my first fly tying vice. I have $200 dollars to spend and am looking for advice on what vice to get along with other materials a beginner will need to tie flys for bass and carp. I have a five weight and will be fishing from a Malibu mini x kayak.Thank you for the feedback!

dakotakid 12-15-2012 12:57 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
I'm too new to fly fishing and fly tying to be considered an expert. That said, I would not recommend buying a tying kit that includes a vise. I bought one and was totally unhappy with the vise. Even though it was all metal, it was cumbersome to lock in a hook and thread on the main shaft was showing signs of wear after tying only two flies.

I was attracted to the kit because it provided a vise and lots of tools for less than $50. Subsequently came to the conclusion that I probably didn't need all the tools and those that I did need could be purchased with better quality and relatively low prices.

I returned the vise and reviewed previous discussions within this and other fly fishing and tying forums. Probably the most helpful information came from Fly Fish Ohio's vise review (Fly Tying Vises In-Depth Review by Fly Fish Ohio!).

Didn't want to spend more than $100 for a vise. Would rather spend my money on gear and fly tying materials. Was fortunate to find a used Danvise for $65.00 from their former distributor Al Beatty (BT's Fly Fishing &Photography, fly fishing, fly tying, Danvise, rotary tying, LaFontaine's Legacy=). This vise retails for $89 or $99 and was highly rated by Fly Fishing Ohio's review. I'm totally satisfied with it, but then again, my experience is limited. Think it's a good bang for the bucks.

mcnerney 12-15-2012 02:01 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
I agree with Dakotakid, don't waste your money buying a kit. There are lots of nice vices out there. Most of us started using a basic Thompson model A vice, used it for years, nothing fancy but their sturdy and perform flawlessly for years of service, I think you can still pick them up on EBay. Nowdays I use a Peak rotary vice but you don't need all those features to get started in tying.

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Charlie Craven's book "Basic Fly Tying", it starts out with very simple patterns and gradually gets more complex, lists all the materials and tools you will need. By following his guidance you are buying material that you will use right away instead of wasting money on material in a kit that you probably will never use.

Also there are hundreds of fly tying demonstrations on YouTube, once you have a pattern in mind, just use the search function to find a video on how to tie it.


bigjim5589 12-15-2012 02:17 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
Good responses! If possible, go somewhere that sells various types & brands & try them out. I tie on a Regal & like it, but have heard there are knock off's that work just as well & are much less in price. What vise you choose is a very personal thing that you should be comfortable using.

As far as materials, pick a few fly patterns & buy only what you need to tie them until you get more into it. That way you won't be spending money on materials you may not really have a use for. Plus, there are many good fly patterns that can be tied with craft store materials that you may be able to get nearby, and save some money in the process.

Keep the patterns simple too, which will aid you in the learning process, and also help limit the materials you'll need. I'm primarily a warmwater & tidal water angler & I've been tying a long, long time & have a ton of different materials I've collected. I have found that simple patterns are what I tie most & catch the most fish on. :)

kayo 12-15-2012 03:16 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
The Peak at work.

kyflyguy 12-15-2012 03:57 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
Thanks for all the great advice!

williamhj 12-15-2012 05:24 PM

Re: Beginner fly tying
I tied for over two years on a $30 vise from J Stockard. Just upgraded to a Renzetti Traveller and am very happy. Is the $200 for the vise or for all your start-up tools and materials? The $30 vise was great. Didn't break the bank and had cash to get the other stuff without getting to much money into it. That way if it's not something you enjoy you're not sitting there with a $150 vise, $50 worth of tools plus materials, or whatever. However, if you have the cash and think there's a good chance you're going to enjoy tying then you can start with a vise that will last a life-time.

kyflyguy 12-16-2012 09:36 AM

Re: Beginner fly tying
$200 for all of my start up supplies. I live near a bass pro so I am going to buy one of their models that was reviewed in the link dakotakid posted.

williamhj 12-16-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Beginner fly tying
Great! I'm glad you found a vise. Regarding the other materials to get, focus on the main flies you like to fish and buy just what you need to tie those. That will help keep you under budget. If you struggle with it, let us know the flies you want to tie and people here will let you know what to buy. Often someone knows a less expensive version of some of the materials sold in fly shops.

If you're wondering about tools: bobbin with a ceramic insert, bobbin threader, all purpose Dr Slick scissors, pair of cheap scissors to cut hair and wire, whip finisher, hair stacker (if you need it for patterns you want to tie), and a bodkin would be my suggestions.

kyflyguy 12-16-2012 10:28 AM

Re: Beginner fly tying
I just found this on craigslist and it looks like everything is there to get me started. Thoughts? Fly Fishing Fly Tying Oasis bench with lots of material and tools

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