I'm excited!!


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So yesterday my wife looks at me and says (straightfaced) "I think I want to take up fly tying" :D. This has AWESOME potential for me as a fly supply chain, and I want to enocourage this with every ounce of my being. She stayed up for several hours late last night watching fly tying videos on youtube. She's crafty with an artistic flair and looked over my flies this evening methodically (mentally) taking them apart and seeing how they were put together. These are all very positive signs.;)

So I'm looking into introductory fly tying classes for her, but in the meantime she has started looking for introductory fly tying kits. Several are available, and I wondered if some of you guys could share some insight into the best way to get her started. Is a kit really the best way to go, or should we buy individual pieces (dubbing tool, rotary vise, etc.) separately?

Thanks for your advice.


Active Member
It's expensive. A lot more expensive than we all think it is when we start doing it to "save money on flies."

If she knows what style flies she wants to start with, you can probably piece together what you need pretty inexpensively. Kits can be nice, but you'll end up replacing most of what's in them with something else.


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Get a cheap kit. It'll have most everything she needs to tie up 20 or so flies/patterns (maybe less)...this is a cheap kit I'm talking about, under $80 or so. She'll know if she enjoys it shortly...then you can get serious. If she enjoys it you'll need to replace all of it but it'll be well worth it and you've only spent $80 or less...maybe even $60? Can't recommend a specific kit but have seen some. Just thinking logically about spending money on tying flies for someone who's never done it before.

Once she's into it show her some spey flies with nice long hackle and sexy curved AJ hooks. Man, you're a lucky guy!

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
The best way to get started is with a class. All the supplies are provided, and she'll obviously learn a lot. If she doesn't like it, there's not all this stuff you're trying to get rid of.
Most of what is in a kit is not useful. You'd be better off buying a tool kit that includes all of the needed tools and a vise. Then decide on some easy to tie flies and buy only the materials needed to tie them. Once done, continue to buy small amounts of materials for specific flies. After a while and expense spread over a longer period, you have materials and know how to make numerous different patterns in addition to the ones you bought for specifically. There are many places to learn to tie but lessons are a good thing. And, I believe Northwest Womens Flyfishers may have quit operation. I could be wrong so it wouldn't hurt to check.

Lue Taylor

Lue Taylor/dbfly
Here's a take on what to get Buy a a decent vise (if this not what the person wants to do can sell recover some of funds back) When I teach someone to start tying I show them the basic patterns that work universal a.e Elk Hair Caddis, Adams both types, Woolly Buggers, Pheasant Tail Nymph all soft hackle,flashback too, HaresEar Nymph with those you can fish about anywhere an catch fish. The material for those flies are very inexpensive
I have an some supplies coming in today on some Rite bobbins and wing cutters. One they arrive I will be parting with my older stuff. I have an extra vise and scissors and might be able to come up with some other stuff. Tell me what you want for feathers, fur ect. I have a ton of Deer. get back to me, I'll make a nice selection for you at a very low cost+shipping. Does that sound ok? I wish I could afford to give it away but, I'm not in any position to do so. I can however give you a good price or tell you what I have for you and you give me a price on what you think it's worth. Even better


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NewTyer1: That's INCREDIBLY generous of you :) . I will likley take you up on your offer in the near future, depending on my wife's interest after taking a fly tying class (hopefully in the next couple of weeks). If she's still interested after that then we can talk turkey if you are willing to hang onto those items for a little while longer. Sound reasonable?
When I started tying, I bought a kit. The vice was junk--would not hold a hook firmly. I bought a second, but cheap, vice, and almost gave up tying due to frustration. Then, my son gave me a Dyna-King vice for Christmas and things improved drastically. It wasn't fly tying I hated--it was the cheap vices.
Forgot to mention the most important thing. The Washington Fly Fishing Fair is May 4-5 at the Ellensburg fair grounds. Take her to that Admission is free for FFF members and about $5 for all others. She can sit and watch a large variety of very good tyers who are great at dispensing advice and tips (and a few free flies). She can also sign up for classes. It is a great way to spend a day or two.


Active Member
We use the Wapsi Deluxe Fly Tying Kit (as noted by Patrick Gould) in fly fishing courses and I have been very pleased in terms of helping students get started without spending a ton of money. The book they include (which covers 17 patterns) was tested with complete novices. It contains step-by-step instructions for those patterns. A class would be great to go along with the kit. Hope this helps.