Critique my starter buy list

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ryan Higgins, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Looking at getting started fly tying. I currently tie up jigs and have a decent selection of marabou. I also have a Regal vice, scissors, whip finish, plenty of bobbins from rod building, and a decent selection of flashabou, krystal flash, chenille, and marabou in some of the brighter colors. I also have a source for Ringneck Pheasant, Mallards, Teal, Wood Duck, and various other game birds. I am looking at gearing up for more Steelhead, Salmon, Trout dry and wets, and some bass flies. Below is what I have picked out to tie streamers, adams, wooly buggers, chernobyls, alaskabous, classic speys, nymphs, crawdads etc. Trying to figure out what else I need or if I'm going overboard. I am planning on buying from Pacific Fly Fishers so what they have is what I can get. Prefer to not make a second order.

    Hackle Pliers
    ?Hair Stacker?

    Ultra 70 Blue dun
    Ultra 70 Dark Brown
    Danville 6/0 Peacock Green
    Danville 6/0 Gray
    Danville 6/0 Olive
    Lead Wire .015"
    Ultra Wire Copper Size Small

    Plain Lead Dumbell Eyes Small
    Plain Lead Dumbell Eyes Medium
    Brite beads Gold 5/32
    Brite beads Black Nickel 5/32

    Umpqua U-301 Size 4,6,8,10
    Umpqua U-001 Size 16,18,20
    Alec Jackson Steelhead Irons Size 5

    Dark Olive Medium
    Dark Brown Medium
    Purple Medium
    Orange Medium

    Thin Fly Foam 2mm Colors brown, orange, black
    Round Rubber Legs Medium Black

    Grizzly Marabou Callibaetis/Tan
    Grizzly Marabou Burnt Orange
    Grizzly Marabou Olive
    Strung Blood Quill Dark Olive
    Strung Blood Quill Brown
    Spey Marabou Apricot
    Spey Marabou Hot Orange
    Spey Marabou Dark Turquoise
    Spey Marabou White
    Wooly Bugger Marabou Sculpin Olive
    Wooly Bugger Marabou Dark Olive

    Travelers Dubbing Dispense Dry Fly

    Soft Hackle Hen Saddle Speckled Gray
    Teal Flank Feathers Natural
    Peacock Hurl
    Golden Pheasant Tippet

    Thanks for the help guys!
  2. From what I see, that's a good start. If you plan on tying a lot of dry flies, you'll need a decent dry fly hackle, which is spendy due to the hair feather trend. Or, like I've done a lot, you can experiment with hackle-free dries.

    Make sure you have separate scissors to cut wire so you don't ruin your good tying scissors.

    It seems like this should be plenty fine, especially for starting. I started with a $30 kit, red thread, red chenille, and chamois strips, tying San Juan worms. I got the basic skills down and picked up more stuff from there. You should be golden for a while.

    Good luck, and don't let yourself get too frustrated. If you stick with it, it can be just as much fun as actually fishing.
  3. Skip the lead eyes and buy Dazl or Real Eyes. I've found they break way to easily. Nothing I hate more then tying a nice pattern that ends up with one or no eyeballs.
    Didn't see mention of bunny, so you might want to add some straight and cross cut bunny strips.
    jjaims and triploidjunkie like this.
  4. You wrote: "Prefer to not make a second order." Your list is a very good start, but if you're going to get into tying, you'll need to understand that you'll never get to the place where you'll have all that you need. You'll see a new pattern that catches your fancy, and guess what,? you won't have the materials needed. Sooo off to the fly shop... That's just the way it is. You'll build your collection of tying equipment and supplies little by little.

    If you're planning to get into trout flies, you'll need spools of 8/0 thread and likely smaller, in the various colors. You'll also need various kinds/colors of dubbing, both natural and synthetic.
    Yes on the hair stacker, also dubbing spinner, hackle pliers, bodkin, etc. (good to just buy a starter tool kit)
    Dubbing wax, head cement, Zap-A-Gap, floss...
    Classic Speys... You'll need tinsel, of various kinds. Hackle: spey, schlappen, blue eared pheasant, etc.
    Bass flies... deer body hair and bucktail in various colors.
    It's good that you've got a source for the materials you mentioned. Try to keep that source, and look for sources of other stuff you'll soon realize that you need. Fly tying is a great pastime and hobby, if you can call it that. It's so much more, and will give you whole new appreciation of fly fishing. Best of luck.

    Duane J and Russ Kendall like this.
  5. I'm watching some big hackle lots on Ebay right now with lots of Grizzly and such. Quality isnt the greatest but it is very cheap.

    I have a pair of scissors for fine feathers and thread, a pair for bucktail and my thicker rod thread, and a pair for wires.

    Thank you.
    Noted! No I do not have any bunny on there. I know I should probably get a Hares mask, but PFF is out of stock. Again it is another item I am watching on ebay. What color rabbit strips?
    Ah of course, just trying to make my initial purchase from here to save on shipping right off the bat. Local fly shops are non existent here in Wenatchee since the Blue Dun is gone. I have the dubbing picked out. I was looking at thread and the 12/0 is quite spendy. I might have to make a second order at another shop like Caddis to get the bunny and smaller thread. I'll take the others into consideration.

    There is no better source than a hunting license and a shotgun. I know plenty of people that hunt including co-workers and my dad who are getting whole bird skins for me. Makes it much cheaper.

    Thank you all for the great advice so far!
  6. I would look at Veevus thread as the 10/0 has been working for me for everything from size 16 or so dries/nymphs up to big steelhead flies. It's more expensive per spool but the flexibility probably makes up for that.

  7. I'll second the Veevus. I'm still burning through some Uni, but I'll never buy anything but Veevus if I can help it. OK, we all know I'll buy all kinds of stuff...but I really like Veevus.
  8. Alpine, no offense to PFF, but why not buy local-ish and get as much stuff as you can from Darc at the Desert Fly Angler? Ephrata is a lot closer and you could combine a shopping and fishing trip. Darc will also ship if you prefer to buy on the phone or on his website. He has also special ordered stuff that he didn't have in stock and popped stuff in the mail for me when I couldn't run out to the shop. And, I am willing to bet that he would sit down with you and help you tweak your list, taking off things that you might not need to start and adding other things. Darc has also spent time with me at the vise in the shop showing me how to tie up various patterns so I'd strongly recommend patronizing our most local shop as that relationship will pay back in many ways not yet evident.

    Only you know specifically what you want to tie and fish but my take on your list is it is heavy on marabou and maybe thread (you can do a lot with white and a Sharpie) and light on other things at first glance: hackle, various sizes and colors of wire and legs, a bigger assortment of sizes (and colors) of beads and hooks, more chenille and dubbing (I really like UV Ice Dub in addition to natural dubbing), antron or other yarn for indicators on foam bugs, rabbit strips (reg and crosscut), Elk, deer and moose hair, calf tail, buck tail and Sharpies in a variety of colors. I often make do by coloring things with Sharpies, adding stripes, bars, spots, etc. Yes on the hair stacker but get a nice heavy brass one. You might also want to buy a hackle size gauge which comes in handy especially when you are getting started.

    Have fun!
  9. Pheasant tail,2 more bobbins, 2 black,2 white and 1fire orange thread spools 6/0 to start. Just get blood quill marabou in all colors and you're set. Hungarian partridge skin, don't bother with the little packs on this bird. Buy deer hair, especially bucktail, and rooster skins in person. Premium peacock herl. Umm about a thousand other things. Good luck
  10. 2 more scissors.
  11. For bunny strip colors, I like black and purple.
    I'd also consider brown, blue, olive, gray, orange and pink depending on what fish species you intend to target.
    Good luck,
  12. Maybe I missed it on your list, but if you are going to tie trout dry flies - I would include some decent hackle of the correct size. Grizzly, brown and black for a start. Also, for buggers and leeches I like the arizona simi seal dubbing. It is a never ending goal, there will always be something else to get. Have fun.
  13. I just picked up a large lot of grizzly, brown, gray, pink, chartreuse, olive and black hackle on ebay so hackle is now covered. It isnt the best stuff but it was dirt cheap.
  14. I like the idea of giving Darc the business. I'm at his shop at least once a month. For those that are interested Bill Marts did an article on Darc and Darc's flies in the latest Northwest Fly Fisher.
    Duane J likes this.
  15. Benecchi 12/0 in black. Haven't tried the Veevus thread, but the Benecchi is pretty tough stuff.
  16. Not to be a "kill-joy", but if you are not or have not taken any classes on fly tying, I'd stick with wet flies/wooly worms/buggers.

    I'm self taught and got very frustrated early on, trying to tie just a simple dry fly. Wet flies are generally easier to tie, but most importantly, they will build your confidence.

    Now, make space for the $7000 of fly tying material you are going to accumulate (whether you need it or not), over the next several years! :p
  17. I plan on starting with the wets and trying some dries. I have quite a bit of experience manipulating thread building rods, and not to toot my own horn, but I think I have a creative knack when it comes to this stuff. I cant wait to dive in a make some of the worst looking dries ever on my way to a presentable piece. If all else fails a class is not out of the question.
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.
  18. Post up some of your current ties so we can view the creative knack. I know some people who've tied longer than me and they're still doing crap. I know some that have been tying for less than 3 years and mine will never approach where they are at right now.
  19. Havent tied any flies yet. I have done some jigs and plenty of rods. I think I have enough material at home to try a wooly bugger, maybe I'll attempt one tonight for your amusement:p
  20. What color rabbit strips? -for bass, Black. Seems most are eager to help spend your money, so here goes; guitar wire too 16AWG for weed guards. GSP, curved scissors, straight edge razors, dryer sheets for "static cling", a steamer for deer hair bugs, silly legs in multiple colors, doll eyes, etc, etc, etc..

    When you do find a good "deal" on patience don't announce it, you'll generate a bidding war! Post some pics!

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