Fly Tying Kits?
I have never before done any fly tying and am looking to purchase a fly tying kit to get started. I do mostly trout fishing on streams and creeks. Could anyone recommend a good fly tying kit to get started? I have found two kits that I am considering. They are the Deluxe Fly Tying Kit offered by Cabelas and Umpqua's beginning Kit. The details for these kits are as follows:
- The Deluxe Fly-Tying Kit (Cabelas) comes with Jack Dennis' "Western Trout Fly-Tying Manual" Vol. 1 and a two-hour fly-tying basics video.
Master fly-tying vise; bobbin; hackle pliers; whip finisher; scissors; booklet; two complete rooster necks (brown and black); peacock herl; two gray duck quills; two white duck quills; three bucktail pieces (red, white and yellow); deer body patch; wax; spool of thread; 1-oz. fly-head cement; 100 assorted fly-tying hooks; saddle hackle (red and yellow); grizzly hackle; hare's mask; marabou (white and black); copper wire; gold and silver tinsel; muskrat piece; beaver piece; elk piece (light); assorted dubbing furs (olive, cream, rusty brown); mallard flank; imitation wood duck flank; black floss; black chenille.
- Umpqua's BEGINNER'S FLY TYING KIT This kit gives you everything you need to get started and end up with something to attach to the end of your tippet. No need to shop around, one box includes: fly tying vise, bobbin, hackle pliers, scissors, sample flies, assorted hooks, head cement, tinsel, floss, tying thread, assorted chenille, peacock, Metz® dry fly hackle, assorted marabou, mallard flank feathers, deer body hair, strung saddle hackle, assorted dubbing, calf hair, turkey quill, bucktail pieces and a fly tying instruction book. Get ready to bug out. Complete fly tying set up Includes tying instructions and sample flies Satisfaction guaranteed by Umpqua.
Which of these two kits would be best? They are both priced at $50. Are there other kits I should consider?
As a professionnal fly tyer and someone who has been fly tying for 41 years, I would never recommend anyone buy a fly tying kit ever. NOw that you have gotten over the shock of that statement, let me tell you why.
First, the vises, bobbins, scissors, etc. included in the average tying kit are nor worth the room they take up. They are very inferior quality that will cause far more headaches than they every solve.
Second, they always include material that you don't need or very rarely need.
Third, the materials that are included are a hoge-poge of things that have no real rhime or reason to them.
Fourth, you are better off spending between $100.00 and $150.00 for a good vise, scissors, hackle pliers, and bobbin that will actually help you tie flies rather than hinder your, like the cheap stuff does.
This said, the best thing to do is get a Griffin 2A vise (about $40.00) or a Thompson Pro or Model A vise (about $40.00) if price is an important consideration, good scissors run around $20.00, a good bobbin around $12.00 (except for my favorite bobbin the S&M that is about $6.00 if you can find one in your area), a bodkin is a bodkin and they sell for about $2.00, a decent hackle plier is about $6.00.
After getting the tools, buy some hooks in 25 packs of the sizes you use most. Get several spools of good, fine thread, Danville's Flymaster or Uni 8/0 about 4 colors worth. Then buy the materials needed to tie one particular fly pattern (make it one that you use regularly).
This way you never buy stuff you will never need, and you will never get poor quality inferior material or tools. And you enjoyment of tying will be much better.
Always keep in mind, that poor quality, cheap tools, especially vises, work against you and not with you. Cheap vises slip, and never really hold a hook well.
The Dennis book is a good book, but you can learn a whole lot more about tying from a beginning fly tying video than you can ever get from a book when starting out.
Thanks fly tyer!
Thanks for the info, Fly tyer. I appreciate your help and will look into buying some quality tools to get started. What about fly tying materials? Are there large differences in quality in fly tying materials? What about dry fly hackle and grades of rooster necks?
The flies I use most often and would concentrate on tying are Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, and Royal Coachman dry flies, as well as muddler minnows and hare's ear nymphs. I fish most often on smaller streams for brook and brown trout and typically use dry flies, sizes 12-18. Any general suggestions on the types of fly tying materials I should use?
Agree with flytyer.
Buy yourself a good but not necessarily expensive vice (renzetti has several great options) as it will last a lifetime. Pick up the basic tools as indicated above. Then, if at all possible, tag someone you know who ties (or a local shop) for a few introductory "lessons". The face-to-face is invaluable. The materials come last, tailored to your fishing needs / tying desires.
In fact, if you can get the lessons before buying anything, all the better.
That should get you started. Then, the sky's the limit.
A good starting point....
A good place to start would be a pheasant tail nymph, then graduate to a hare's ear nymph. These two flies are fairly easy to make, and only use a few materials, yet will teach you a lot of "basics". Start fairly large - 8s or 10s. Then work your way up to size 16s. By the way, USE your first efforts. They are usually better flies for catching fish than the more "professional" looking flies we make as we get experienced!
Start with the Hare's Ear Nymph in #12. All you need to buy are hooks (a box of 25 quality hooks, cheap hooks have poorly formed eyes that create tying problems), tying thread in either tan or brown (either flymaster or 8/0), and Hare's Ear Dubbing in the package. Ribbing is optioanal and should be fine oval gold. This should cost about $10.00 for everything.
To tie the flies you listed you will need 2 hackle necks, one in grizzly and one on brown (or dyed brown grizzly). buy Grade #3 genetic necks (like I and all other profesional tyers do) because they will tie about 400 flies in the sizes #12 to #18 you listed. the #1 and #2 grade necks are only needed if you are going to tie hackled flies smaller than #18. A grade #3 neck is about $35.00 and you can find two half necks packaged in one package (a grizzly and a brown) for $40.00 for a real bargain.
Never, ever, use India dry fly necks, and never buy a Chinese neck unless you are going to be tying #4 and larger steelhead or atlantic salmon flies.
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