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Old 10-26-2004, 08:55 AM
JDB JDB is offline
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Fly-Tying Kits

I am getting ready to start tying flies and I am looking at various beginner kits, Orvis, Cabelas, and L.L. Bean. Can you please advise me which company has a good starter kit?
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:16 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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I'll be honest with you. Fly tying kits usually aren't very good. They typically have sub par tools and materials, some of which you may rarely use.

I truly believe that if one is to start tying, they should get an affordable vise and a few basic but necessary tools. Then start acquiring materials for patterns that you intend to learn. Before long, you'll find some overlap and that some of your materials can be used for more than one pattern.

Any fly shop worth its salt should be able to help you with this. You've posted here in the trout forum, so I assume that you'll be starting with trout patterns. If you have any questions about specific patterns, don't hesitate to ask. There are plenty of knowledgeable people here who can help.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:19 AM
Don Johnson Don Johnson is offline
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One suggestion, if I may offer, would be to not overlook your local fly shop. Figure out which patterns you think you really want to start out tying and see if they will give you a discount on a "starter" package. This way you get the materials you know you will use and have taken steps to initiate relationship with a good resource for your future tying needs.

The one thing about kits, in my experience, is that you get stuff you'll never use and the vise and tools are sometimes of lesser quality than what I would consider adequate, although I know little of the kits you referred to in your post.

Good luck!
Don Johnson
Northwest Country Flies: "Providing dozens of ways to help get your point across"
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:39 AM
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MCorder MCorder is offline
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I agree with visiting your local shops. It's getting to be around Christmas time and many of them will start offering package deals put together in there shop. Just tell them what your interested in and interested in paying and they should be able to hook you up. Besides, they know what an addiction there starting you in and they'll more than make a profit off of ya.
As for getting started with patters and techniques I'd recommend "The Fly Tiers Bench Side Reference", it's a little steep but you'll use it for the rest of your life. Mines raggy and full of post it note's but still is my goto source.
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:30 PM
JDB JDB is offline
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Fly-Tying Kits

Thanks, all of you, for the very good advice. I will definitely visit my local shop.
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Old 10-26-2004, 03:50 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Don's advice is in my opinion the best way to go. This way you only buy materials that you will use and can spend more on a decent vise. Avoid the imported from Indian vises, they are poorly made, don't hold hooks well, and don't last very long. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a decent vise, Griffin has some very affordable, well-made vises for $50.00 or less and the venerable Thompson Model A, which has been around for over 100 years (it and the other Thompson vises have been recently put back into production by a new owner after a hiatus of about 8 months after the owner of Thompson Vise decided to retire and close the vise factory), which sells for around $50.00 too.

The two most important tools to buy are the vise and a quality pair of scissors. Therefore, avoid the cheapo scissors too because they are false economy. Instead get a quality pair, afterall, good scissors can be had for between $12.00 and $20.00 and they will last for years, the cheapos won't.

The only tools you need are a vise, scissors, bobbin (which holds your thread), and a bodkin. To this, you can add a whip finisher like the Materelli and your tool needs will be met for many years.
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:44 PM
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Moose Moose is offline
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All good advice!

Another piece of advice is to get good bobbins with the ceramic inserts. Very frustrating when the cheapo metal ones cut your thread when a little tension is put to them. 15 bucks and well worth it.

I'd also advise you to have a clear idea of what flies you wish to tie so your local shop can set you up with what you need and avoid buying material you'll never use.

A good video is a valuable asset to the beginner. I like A.K. Best's videos.

One last thought, avoid the cheap hackle. There are 20 dollar capes out the that aren't worth a dime. If you know what flies you're going to tie you can buy small packs of hackle feathers from Hoffman /Whiting that will tie X # of flies. A good way to go if your just getting into it and can't justify several 60 dollar capes.
Life is but a walking shadow. A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury!! Signifying nothing. May as well go fishing!
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