Complete begginer

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by msteudel, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    I've been resisting the fly tying fever for years, but I'm suddenly thinking of bitting the bullet and getting into it. My main goal is to be able to keep the flies that I use all the time in stock and in the sizes I want.

    What do you think the minimum amount of stuff I can get away with is? I'd prefer to just buy a kit instead of piecing it all together. BUT if people were to say, look on the used market for this vise, you'll be happy with it for years, then I'd be willing to piece stuff together. Someone actually gave me some fly tying stuff (not a vice) but I don't know what any of it is or for that matter where it is right now ...

    Anyway summary, what do I need to get started and still not break the bank.

    Thanks, Mark
     
  2. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    Mark,

    Most of the kits I've seen are pretty much junk and not worth the expense; I think you'd be better off buying the basic stuff - vise, scissors, bobbin, etc, and then add on as you need. What type of flies do you plan to tie? Makes a difference when recommending some tools and materials - if you don't plan to use deer/elk/ungulate-of-choice hair, you don't have much need for a stacker. If you don't use hackle, no need for hackle pliers, although a decent one only cost a few dollars. I tie off almost all my flies with a double half hitch and although I have a tool for it, a retractible ball point pen would work fine. Get a good source of light, too; those cheap clamp-ons work fine I have one and an Ott light and that provides excellent illumination.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  3. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    There are good kit's out there, although I find the vices in them lacking. The reason I like a kit, is that you get the materials, hooks, thread and the basics to get going without having to buy tons of colors of the same material. Fly tying won't save you money, but is fun and really fun once you get basics down.

    I started with a cheap E-Bay kit, but won't do that again. Orvis sells a couple of great starter kits, with everything you need to get started! I worked at Orvis until just recently, so do recommend the kits they have!!

    I would upgrade to a better vice, but the tools, materials and book is a great way to "test the waters" before you invest in a ton of stuff. Too give you an idea, I easily have $6000 in materials, tools, etc.. didn't happen overnight, and I've gotten rid of a few things, but I've got great tools, a Regal vice and some really good materials! Ironically, I never seem to have all of the right materials for new patterns, but that's just the cost of doing business.
     
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  4. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    The initial list of flies I was thinking of tying are:

    patts stone
    copper john
    some tenkara style flies (reverse hackle flies).
    Orange stimulators
     
  5. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    Yeah I'm not going in thinking I'm going to save money, just have the few flies I really want.
    Also my 5 year old has shown interest in fly tying, so I might get her going in it too.
     
  6. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Hi Mark, take a look at Cabela's Super II vise, at $19.95 it rotates and holds hooks...what more do we need? I've been tying flies for 48 years now and have been using this vise for 26 years now! Unless you won the lottery or have a killer fly tying room, save your money for rods and reels! The fish don't care what kind of vise you tie with! I'm in Burien, you can check out my vise if you want.---Steve
     
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  7. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    First 2 are pretty good starter flies; CJ's a bit more involved but even ugly ones catch fish (that applies to just about any fly). Don't know that I'd come out of the chute green tying Stimis but if you stick to the proportions & amount of material you could swing it; check Charlie Craven's site http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/ for the best tutorials on all of those flies.

    Regards,
    Scott

    ps - if you're looking for a recommendation on hooks, I like Dai Riki; good quality and decent price. Lots of places on-line sell them.
     
  8. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Generally, those kits suck. Though if you buy from somewhere that is fly fishing focused (like Orvis) that is probably a better bet.

    A cheap vise will get you started, a mid range vise will last you for a good while, and expensive vise will last forever.
     
  9. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    Suggestions?
     
  10. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    You could get a Thompson A and it would probably outlast you; very basic, no-frills, but a tank and a great vise to start with. I've seen them, used, for $25-30. Just me, but I'd steer clear of the import knock-offs; fit and finish suffer.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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  11. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    I have a Wapsi Kit. I liked it because:

    1. It came with a big hook assortment.
    2. The tools are good quality
    3. materials are great with the exception of dry hackle.
    4. It has a big variety of materials.
    5. ~$100
    6. Gift from my wife

    Cons:

    1. Thompson knockoff vise has poor fit and finish. Adjustment is a pain, but it does work.
    2. Dry hackle was poor quality (but it was the height of the hair feather craze so that might have improved)
     
  12. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    I agree. It's a common fly, but requires a few different techniques to get right. I would try X caddis then Elk Hair Caddis and then Stimis. The skills build on one another.
     
  13. Darryl Pahl

    Darryl Pahl Active Member

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    I got started with the Cabela's Premium Fly Tying kit - about $120 bucks, but I got it for much less on sale. Is it the best? No. Does it suck? Absolutely not. It was a great starter for someone that had no clue where to start. It just contains the materials, not the vice or tools. Now I buy specific materials for specific flies, but back then, I couldn't possibly know what I would like to tie vs. what I would like to buy.

    Oh, and buy really good scissors. I like Dr. Slick, which if you check out www.sierratradingpost.com you can get reasonably. Not always available, but when they are they are a great deal.

    I have a Renzetti Presentation vice and like it, in the mid-range category. It'll last my lifetime. Vices are a personal preference.
     
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  14. Davy

    Davy Active Member

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    I agree, do not skimp on the scissors, or the vise either. You don't have to buy a "fancy" vise, just a good one.
     
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  15. msteudel

    msteudel Mark Steudel

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    Suggestions Davy?