Fly tying kit [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly tying kit

05-11-2007, 09:10 AM
I would like to get started with fly tying. This is another thing i'm clueless on. Should i buy a kit or should i just buy the tools and material seperatly? Also the flys i am mainly interested in tying are bass flys.

05-11-2007, 02:39 PM
In my experience the fly tying kits have a bunch of stuff you may never use, poor materials & a shoddy vise. I bought one years ago & don't use anything out of it anymore. Maybe there are some good ones on the market, I do not know

I would scout out a good Vise that suits you, my preference is for a rotary type. Get a few quality bobbins, some decent hackle pliers, bodkin, scissors, big hair stacker( if needed) and any other tools you may find useful. If your tying deer hair Poppers you may want a add a hair packer to push deer hair together on the hook & a pair of serrated scissors.

Buy the materials you need to tie the patterns you want to start out with & then branch out from there. That way you get quality feathers & fibers, your flies will only benefit from good materials.

Before you know it you will have amassed a huge collection of stuff and will need to make some storage space for it:D

05-11-2007, 04:51 PM

If you do a search of the site for "fly tying kits", or "beginning fly tying", you will find quite a bit of info on this topic.

That said, here is a very brief summary of what is best for anyone just starting to learn fly tying:

1) Buy a good vise. This cannot be emphasized enough or the hook slippage will drive you nuts. You don't have to spend a lot for a good vise because there are good ones on the market for around $50.00. The Thompson Model A and the Griffin Model 1A and 2A are both excellent, inexpensive vises with quality jaws that hold hooks very well. Avoid the cheapo imports, they are false economy because they have poor jaws, don't hold hooks well, and don't hold up. You don't need a rotary vise to get started tying, or a more expensive one (meaning $90.00 or more), all you need is a good solid, serviceable, hold hooks without slippage, good quality vise.

2) Buy good scissors. Again, you don't have to spend a lot to get good ones. Griffin and Gudebrod both have good scissors for around $10.00. But even the best scissors like those from Anvil and Dr. Slick are only about $20.00.

3) Get a good bobbin (or 2). You don't need a ceramic tipped one, a good wire bobbin will work just as well as the ceramic ones. One of my favorite bobbins, which is also one of the cheapest, is the S&M Bobbin. They sell for about $7.00 and I like them so much, I own 15 of them the oldest of which I got back in 1973.

4) Get hackle pliers. Although I have several different types, all you need is one good pair of the tear-drop style. Again, these don't cost much and even the cheaper imported ones will work fine. Expect to pay between $3.00 and $6.00 for a decent hackle plier (unless you go for broke and get one of the rotating hackle pliers, which I don't recommend to a beginner).

5) Get a bodkin, which is nothing more than a large needle in a handle. Again, the cheap imported ones work just as well as the more expensive ones. You can find them for as little as $2.00.

6) Get yourself a whip finisher, it will make tying off the thread much easier and produce a very durable fly. Get one of the Materelli or Materelli-style ones. Although I prefer the real McCoy Materelli's (which sell for around $16.00), the cheap import copies of the Materelli work fine (they are about $6.00).

You can get all of the above (good vise, scissors, hackle pliers, bobbin, bodkin, and whip finisher) in a tying tools kit made by Griffin for around $65.00 (which is a very good buy).

The best way to get materials is to buy only the materials needed to tie a single fly pattern (or maybe two different patterns). The best flies to begin tying with are simply tail, body, hackle ones like the GREY HACKLE, BROWN HACKLE, WOOLLY BUGGER, WOOLLY WORM, etc. And when you tie a fly, don't stop with one, tie at least 6 of the same size and pattern before you move to another fly, then do the same tying 6 of them, etc.

And it is always best to start tying through taking a fly tying class at a local fly shop. Taking a class will save you huge amounts of time and frustration and prevent you from developing bad habits. Fly tying classes are money well spent.

05-11-2007, 10:26 PM
This is the kind of info I've been looking for. Wanting to tie a specific pattern of a fly a friend of mine gave me before leaving last Sunday for Iraq. He only gave me one and I don't have a clue of where to start? I like the idea of taking a class though. Around here the local fly fishing clubs offer a baginner class for very little cost, like a membership fee.

05-12-2007, 12:30 PM
I dunno if i have a local fly shop around me...

05-13-2007, 03:58 PM
If you do not have a local shop near you, you can buy materials on the internet. Be careful some are not the best quality, so site with reputable sites. Also if you have a Gander Mountain or Bass Pro Shop nearby they should have a fly fishing section and someone to help. As far as your first materials go, I recommend buying a fly tying book and looking at what is needed for the easier patterns. The Orvis Fly Tying Guide is an excellent book for a beginner. It has several flies done step by step, to show you different techniques. More importantly the fly index lists the difficulty of the flies so you do not have to guess if it is within you skill level. Most tyers start out with the wooly bugger. It is relativly easy to tye and the materials are not too expensive. On a # 2/0-6 hook it is well liked by bass. I have the best luck with a black body and brown hackle, but the color combinations are almost endless.

Wooly bugger materials list:
Black Chenelle
Brown Hackle
Black Marabo
Black Krystal Flash