The Works!

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by jami_wa, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member

    I have been keeping my eyes open for fly tying equipment. I see some people have "fully loaded ready to tie packages", having the tools, all kinds of threads and hair all neatly packaged into wooden boxes. What do you think of these? Anyone know where I can find all the stuff I need in one place? The works?
  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    I've seen some cool deals on Ebay. Most commercial stuff is going to be of low quality - suitible for beginners, but just barely.

    The best deals i've seen on Ebay and other places are from people who have been tying already and for whatever reason are selling off their stuff (or a deceased spouse\relative's :( or something).
  3. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member

    Oh great haunted stuff...jk lol. Well I don't want crap (not saying their stuff is crap, I mean beginner stuff). If I am going to get into it I want the good stuff. I am looking a a magazine right now that has some nice vises. It's not really a problem to buy everything seperate I just didn't know if there was good quality "sets". Any recommendations on brands (if possible)? I have seen your flies and nymphs Chad, I like the creativity in your work. I am kinda impulsive...go figure I am female but, I'd really like to take my time and find everything I need that isn't crap.
  4. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

    Most of the general sets have a limited selection of materials for a limited number of flies. I would ask myself a few questions prior to going out and making a purchase.
    How much do you want to spend?
    What kind of flies do you want to tie? trout, Steelhead/Salmon, Saltwater

    If you come up with a game plan on what flies you want to tie and see if this is close to any kits out there. If it this then I would think about getting a kit.
    If it is not, then it is worth it to go to a shop and pick out the materials that you want to use for specific patterns that you want to tie.
    Hope this helps,
  5. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member

    Thanks Chris,

    Mainly trout flies and nymphs. But, since we are getting a drift boat and will be out on local lakes full of Bass, (I have never tried for Bass with a fly rod), I thought I might play around with that idea too. I am right-brained and love making anything I can get my hands on. I have been reading some fly tying books wow@ some of the stuff they use to make things...(now I look at everything I see day to day thinking Oh! I could use that!) I'll probably go to my local fly shop for most of the stuff if he has what I need anyway. I'll make this more of a direct question.....What do I NEED...tool wise, if i don't need all the bells and whistles I don't want them. What do you guys absolutely love and use most of the time?
  6. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

    My Norvise!
    I use it all the time. Other tools include a bobbin (Ceramic), Scissors (Dont cheat yourself by buying cheap ones), and bodkin to apply head cement. That is all I need to tie 95% of the patterns that I tie.
  7. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Hi Jami,

    I began my tying obsession about 17 years ago and have enough stuff to open my own shop..... But here is a list of fundamental things that I use frequently and I included a list of staple materials too. Of course, because I tie flies for trout, bass, saltwater fish, steelhead and salmon, and panfish, I have lots more materials than I have listed.

    Rotary vise (several good options with various price points)(I like my Renzetti, but that’s a matter of personal preference)
    2-3 bobbins with ceramic inserts (larger and small)
    2 pairs of scissors (craft shop versions work O.K.), one set for fine work, one for heavy work
    pair of small wire cutters for fine wire and lead wire
    2 bodkins/half-hitch tools for applying head cement, tying half-hitches where required, picking out dubbing, etc.
    hair stacker
    whip finish tool (but I tie them by hand myself)
    hackle pliers (can also use spring-loaded wire clips from Radio Shack)
    head cement
    zap a gap or superglue
    Griffin hackle gauge for sizing feathers

    Materials (some can be obtained from craft shops):
    Thread in size 6/0 (140 danier) and 8/0 (70 danier) in black, olive, brown, gray, red; black and olive in 3/0 (a start on the collection)
    Flat mylar tinsels: small and large
    Fine wire: silver and bronze
    Lead wire: .035 and .025
    Hooks: dry fly in sizes 12, 14, 16; nymph in sizes 12, 14, 16; streamer in sizes 6 and 10 (this is just a down payment; I own over 40 different styles/sizes of hooks)
    Bead heads in size x small, small, and medium in copper and black
    Rooster saddle (cheaper than capes) in dun, brown and grizzly
    Antron dubbing assortment (12 colors) (for nymphs)
    Super fine dry fly dubbing assortment (12 colors) (for dry flies)
    Chenille: size large and medium in brown, black, and olive
    Elk hair
    Krystal flash in silver and pearlescent
    Package of peacock herl
    Ostrich plumes in white and brown
    Ringneck pheasant tail feathers in natural and black
    Marabou: black, olive, brown
    Turkey tail feathers
    Mallard flank feathers and mallard dyed wood duck feathers
    z-lon in white and dark dun
    cul de canard in white and dun

    Welcome to the madness,

  8. crobarr

    crobarr New Member

    vice, bobbins, bodkin, dubbing picker, dubbing spinner, hair stacker, scissors. possibly a hair packer, a bullet head tool, and hackle pliars. if you use a whip finisher, get both types (you will see). 1 is good for dries, the other is a must for cone/bead heads.

    those will do to begin with.

    check kaufmann's. i think they sell there own kits.

    wow i type slow.
  9. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member


    Thank You!!!!!!!!!! You just made my shopping list, I mean day! lol You are so kind for taking the time and typing all that out. Do tiers ever use feathers and fur found outside? If so whoooo I have a wealth of stuff for the taking, my neighbor has peacocks, we have all kinds of ducks in the pond, feathers of every kind in the pasture and woods. Or should I not use "natural stuff"? Also, being that I do many crafts I see a lot of tools I could probably use to. Thanks Again for being so cool! -Jami
  10. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member

    :thumb: Thanks Crobarr! I will add it to the list!
  11. crobarr

    crobarr New Member

    be VERY carefull using feather you find if you don't know exactally what they are. catch "the law" in a bad mood, and if they can prove you have heron, seagull, or any other protected species feathers/fur in your flies, you can get some serious fines and possibly jail time. VERY unlikely they would even look, but i'd rather not take the chance personally.

    peacock feathers of all types are you friend. get all you can. even the little ones.
  12. Minx

    Minx New Member

    Wild feathers...okay, but keep them in their own zip locks. Might consider a short stay in the freezer to convince any little "creatures" to go ahead & die. DON'T put them loose with your other stuff. Friends of mine regularly donate turkey feathers....a good bath in hot, soapy water, dried, steamed & a shot of hair spray....good as new. Walk along the beach last winter netted all the goose biots a tyier could ever use. Another friend had a wild turkey "bump" into a load of buckshot a couple years ago.....still sorting tail feathers. Oh yeah, peacock feathers....what Crobarr says. Still got bags of them from a couple donations a few years back......chuck
  13. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    God, I thought I thought I was up early in the morning! By the posting times I'm 'childs play.' That's assuming you guys have even been to bed.:hmmm:

    That sillyness aside, skip getting a kit. 99% will be 'junk on bunk' level equipment that you'll soon want to replace. And far sooner than you think. Buy 'good quality' equipment from the get-go. As to vises, there's a ton of them, many are very good and reasonably priced.

    One thing you want to watch when considering the purchase of a vise is get one with a LONG 'nose' on it so you've got adequate room to get around the hook while you're tyeing a fly. I'd recommend taking (into the store) a few hooks and a long nose bobbin and try wrapping a couple of hooks to assure adequate 'hand space.'
  14. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    My best advice is to find a local fly shop, (preferably a WFF sponsor) and visit the shop. Identify two or three patterns that you want to learn to tie. Jimmy LeMert at Patrick's will sit down at the vise and walk you through step by step on tying the fly. Buy the materials for those patterns and get good at tying them. As your experience grows, you can add patterns, materials and before you know it you too will rival the fourth largest fly shop in Seattle. I have the Peak rotary vise and the Norvise. The Norvise is an investment in a tying system that will make you a better fly tier faster. The bobbin system has a clutch that allows the bobbin to return to the prior position without any effort. Avoid kits at all costs. By developing a relationship with one or more local shops you will gain lots of benefits. Have fun!
  15. troutaholic

    troutaholic Member

    I wouldn't go with a kit Jami. As far as tools go a decent vice is a must have. I just use a mid level rotating vice I bought on Ebay for about 50 bucks and it works great. Your bobbins are pretty critical and I would recommend getting 2-3 ceramic ones. Changing thread all the time is a pain. Good scissors though are probably the most important tool. Find nice sharp ones that allow precise trimming of the very tiniest hairs. A hair stacker is really useful, as is a bodkin. I have all the other tools including whip finishers etc. But I just learned how to do my whip finishes by hand instead of using tools. I never use the rest of my tools and they just get in the way. Ebay is a great source of materials if you know what it is you need. I would probably recommned though that initially you get your materials at a shope so you can handle them first. Hooks are the most expensive material by far. Sportco in Fife has the best prices. Craft stores are great for foam, Zap a Gap (gel epoxy), yarns, tinsels braided metalic thread etc. Slly Hansens hard as nails as well as other clear and glitter nail polishes make great head cement and lacquer and I use the flourescent colors for salmon flies. Books of all sorts are great. You can usually pick up discounted ones on Amazon (look at some of the used ones there as well!) or half priced books. There are also an incredible amount of videos and tutorials on the web. Anyhow hope all this helps some. Good luck!
  16. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    I don't know if I'm really qualified to answer this question. Accumulating tying materials has become a hobby in of itself for me - and I'm a tying tool and gadget junkie.

    I'll offer my humble advise simply by saying, no matter what you buy, buy the very best you can afford. There's nothing more frustrating (especially to a beginning tyer) than working with low-quality tools and inferior materials.

    On kits; There are well-meaning companies and fly shops that sell kits, usually marketed as "everything you need to get started". However, I know many new tyers that have fallen for that sales pitch, and have ended up throwing a good portion of the kit away.

  17. Desmond Wiles

    Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

    I'd start off by going to your local shop, let them know you're getting into tying and would like to get yourself a nice vise with tools. Come with a list of maybe 4 or 5 patterns you'd like to start off with, and ask him what materials you need to tie them. Then as your skills expand you'll collect more materials to increase the number of different patterns in your fly box!
  18. jami_wa

    jami_wa New Member

    Thanks Guys! With further reading and comparing the list Cabezon put on the post as well as other members I have to agree the kits aren't what I need. LOL @ rival to the fourth largest Fly Shop in Seattle. I plan on going to the local Fly Shop here for some stuff.....he has some nice fly tying tables with vises I have been looking at for some time now. Looking at some of the nice fly tying cabinets and desks online heh it might pay off that I am into woodworking also. You guys are great and so helpful! thanks Again -Jami
  19. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

    Any feathers from a wild source should be checked carefully for bugs. If any are found toss it out its not worth the risk to deal with. If none are found put in ziplock bag in freezer for 2 weeks. Take out for 1 - 2 weeks and check for bugs again then back into the freezer for two weeks again and leave out for 2 weeks again and check for bugs again. I have been known to freeze for months at a time just for safety because it would suck to lose other expensive hackle and fur. At this point it can be used to tie flies with but, always keep the wild material well away from fly shop and craft store material and in plastic totes store in diffrent rooms even if possible. All material should always be keep in plastic bags or totes keep apart from one another and not left outside of its bags on the tying table when not in use. Remember freezing will kill the bugs that have hatched but not the eggs. That why you should freeze at least twice.
    Some who tie use either mothballs or dog collar peices in the storage bins but I have never been convinced that this works myself but I guess it could not hurt.
    My last batch of wild pheasent feathers tails I speed up the process by freezing for 2 weeks then boiling for 5 minutes but be carefull if you boil feathers to not over due it or you may damage the material. Do not boil feather that you plan to use for dry flies because they can lose their stiffness.
    All of this is the advice I have received over the past two years when I started to use some wild feathers gotten from hunters both on line and meet in the field. The advice came from many fly makers that have used wild fur and feather for years. Plucked feathers are much easier to deal with then those still on the skin and for feathers still on the skin you will have to talk to someone else since I have never tried it.
    Myself I would stay away from road kill and feathers from a beach and stick with feathers from fresh killed animals from hunters and those mounting the animals for displays. As for the Peacock its so inexpensive from the fly shop, I not sure if I would even bother with myself unless it was for the sword feathers for some nice saltwater Tom Thorns I have always wanted to tie up.
  20. crobarr

    crobarr New Member

    10 pk. Green Peacock Back Feathers - $10
    Peacock Secondary Quills - 12"- 14" - $13
    Peacock Secondary Quills - 10"- 11" - $9
    Peacock Secondary Quills - 7"- 8" - $7

    i could go on, but you get the point. swords, eyes, and strung herl are cheap, but nothing else on a peacock is. if you call that inexpensive, then my hats off to you. if you don't use those feathers, then it's no worry, but some of us do use them, and getting them cheap/free is a very good thing.