Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Sampei, Jan 6, 2010.
Thank you all for the advice.... especially FT, I appreciate you taking the time to write down all that great advice. It will definitively influence what I purchase when I set up my fly tying station
I tie a lot on a renzetti traveler and it is great. I also have a regel vise for tying big flies those are two vises that seem to be pretty well priced.
Dang, this gets my vote for Post of the Year! Well, it's early in 2010, but hopefully you get my drift . . .
Great stuff, man. I agree with nearly all of it, except on a couple of items.
The Barracuda vise is nice, but a little big and unwieldy (for some). It's sturdy and well-mad and will last you forever, and it's so sturdy it could double as a home self-defense weapon, if needed. For your use, I concur that a Thompson vise would work GREAT for you. Super light, inexpensive, built well, and they just work.
Regarding bobbins, a person can never have too many bobbins. It's nice to have bobbins set up with those threads used most often. It's embarrassing to admit how many bobbins I have, but just suffice to say it's a lot. Ceramic bobbins are worth the extra few bucks. I haven't used the S&M bobbins, but I'm perfectly happy with the Griffin and Tiemco bobbins.
I do agree to get the best scissors you can. That's one of the first tying tips I received, and it has proved to be in the top 3. Make sure the scissor loops fit your fingers, too . . . a seemingly small, but you'll find important, item.
1) Don't buy hackle online or unseen. You will inevitably regret it. Buy your hackle from a shop, and pick out the one you like.
2) Ditto with bucktail, elk hair, deer hair, peacock herl, etc. Basically pretty much any materials that come from an animal. No animal is built the same or was raised in the same environment, and the materials reflect those differences.
3) Buy the best hooks you can. I fell in to the trap early on of buying the specific hook brand and model referenced in different fly reckpes, and now I have a jillion hooks that never (well, rarely) get used. I find there are certain hook types that can suffice for most uses. And, a sharp hook can NOT be over-exaggerated.
4) You need a few of the basic colors of thread, and I would probably start off with 6/0. You can get a lot of fly tying done with 6/0. I rememeber a buddy telling me about the different shape/build differences and how it affects the tying of various flies, and I remember thinking "yeah, right, 6/0 is 6/0". Man, he was right. You'll find some thread will tie down more 'flat', important if you like smaller heads on flies, and some thread is round and will 'build' more when you wrap it, not tying down as flat. Try various brands and you'll see. It's tough to beat the Danville stuff, for price and function. I used to want to get the strongest I could get for the size, but I've since gone back to Danville for both value and function.
5) Probably most importantly, find a shop that you like and get your materials from there. Your local shop can give you great advice and pointers. You'll be going there for items, anyway, and buying products over the Net is a crapshoot. I can't over-emphasize. as a beginner. how important it is to look at the materials you are buying (with the exception of hooks). Even thread and other man-made materials. You won't believe how often you will get something purchased over the Net that looks different in person than it did on the computer screen. Also, the shops will likely even have tying classes in which you can enroll. These can be a huge benefit to you, and get you up the learning curve more quickly and save some of that 'learn by experience' time.
6) Lastly, buy some plastic bins to keep your stuff organized. It will be spread all over the house soon enough!
Good luck on your vise purchase! Your lucky to start tying now; the fly tying products (vises and materials) available have improved exponentially in the last 15 years, and there are a lot of great choices out there.
Nice job on the details Ft....I have been lookin' for this trype of information and really appreciate you takin the time to share..
some great advice by ft and denny.. another tidbit. see if there are any tying clubs around.. here in boston the uft (united fly tyers) has monthly meetings that include fly tying sessions and they offer lessons as well..
good place to see a large variety of vises in operation . most fly tyers will let you try their vise. and trying different vises before you buy is also key.. buying site unseen is risky.. i've seen the kit you talk about on fleabay. its not bad
but you cna build your own table cheap. go with the above advice and you cant go wrong.. check craigslist occasionally you will find vise deals on there.
best of luck..