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Old 06-27-2006, 09:46 PM
augie1010 augie1010 is offline
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Smile Fly Tying Kits

Hi: Just wondering if there is a good product out there among all the fly tying kits. I have always bought all my dries and streamers, but would like to try doing it myself. I am 64 and still have decent eye sight and still a little feeling in my fingers?? Any suggestions would be appreciated

Thanks

David
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2006, 11:13 PM
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David -

Welcome to the Forum! Never too late to start tying.

I would suggest contacting the Bears Den in Taunton, not too far to drive and one of our most accomodating sponsors in the area. They offer several kits plus you should consider sitting in on their fly tying nights to get first-hand experience with others.

http://www.bearsden.com/page373.html (sponsor link)

Also, if you have specific flies you'd like to learn just ask here we will help you get the procedure down as best we can.
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:19 AM
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baldmountain baldmountain is offline
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I personally am not a big fan of kits. My suggestion is choose a fly you think you'd like to tie and then just get enough materials to tie that one fly. Don't start with a full dressed Atlantic Salmon fly. Start with something relatively simple like a wooly bugger or maybe a Micky Finn. Add materials as you try new flies.

Get a decent vise, bobbin and pair of scissors. Other tools aren't really needed but do make things convenient. Don't buy a $400 vise. Buy a decent one between $75 and $150. A Renzetti Traveller is a decent one. That seems like a lot of money, but if you decide you don't like fly tying you can resell the vice on eBay for about 80% of new. If you buy a junk vice you'll never be able to resell it if you decide not to tie and just end up just it out.

There are a good number of begining tying books. I like the Orvis Fly Tying Guide. It starts out simple and covers how to tie a good number of different flies. It also has a decent pattern index at the back. It's just missing an index to the patterns.
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:40 PM
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kits

baldmountain you are right. The kits often have alot of junk in them that you will never use.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:14 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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baldmountain,

Yes, most tying kits have a lot of junk that won't be used. However, one doesn't need to spend $75.00 to get a good, solid, and reliable tying vise. Griffin makes several that retail for less than $50.00 that are excellent hook holders, easy to use, made of good materials that will last a long, long time, and are made of quality materials. Granted, they are not rotary; but a beginner doesn't need a rotary vise, all he needs is a vise that holds hooks well, easy to adjust, and made of good materials (i.e. it will last many, many years). Thompson also makes a good non-rotary vise for less than $75.00.

Also, good fly shops are more than happy to put a tying kit together with a good vise (like the Griffin or Thompson), good scissors, good bobbin, good whip finisher, good bodkin, and good materials and hooks to tie a few simple flies to get a person started. And they will do so for a fair price. This is what Juro was getting at when he recommended the Bears Den, who are one of this site's sponsors. Since the fellow requesting information lives near where the Bear's Den is located, it makes perfect sense to recommend he go there, talk to them, and get a tying kit that will fit his needs, and be able to get tying lessons from them so he can get off to the best start possible.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flytyer
baldmountain,

Yes, most tying kits have a lot of junk that won't be used. However, one doesn't need to spend $75.00 to get a good, solid, and reliable tying vise. Griffin makes several that retail for less than $50.00 that are excellent hook holders, easy to use, made of good materials that will last a long, long time, and are made of quality materials. Granted, they are not rotary; but a beginner doesn't need a rotary vise, all he needs is a vise that holds hooks well, easy to adjust, and made of good materials (i.e. it will last many, many years). Thompson also makes a good non-rotary vise for less than $75.00.
OK that makes sense. The only reason I suggest investing a bit more is if he decides that he doesn't like tying he'll have an easier time reselling a Renzetti than he will a low end Griffin. I'm just thinking about his exit strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flytyer
Also, good fly shops are more than happy to put a tying kit together with a good vise (like the Griffin or Thompson), good scissors, good bobbin, good whip finisher, good bodkin, and good materials and hooks to tie a few simple flies to get a person started. And they will do so for a fair price. This is what Juro was getting at when he recommended the Bears Den, who are one of this site's sponsors. Since the fellow requesting information lives near where the Bear's Den is located, it makes perfect sense to recommend he go there, talk to them, and get a tying kit that will fit his needs, and be able to get tying lessons from them so he can get off to the best start possible.
I've heard nothing but good about Bear's Den and have been meaning to take a ride over to check them out myself. If they are willing to put together a decent starter kit with good materials for a few simple flies then go for it. I think this is the best of all worlds. The only thing that might be better is if they walk you through that first fly.

Actually if he is in our area there are a couple fly tying organizations. New England Fly Tyers and United Fly Tyers. New England Fly Tyers actually runs a fly tying course. Both organizations hold meetings from September to May or June.

http://www.newenglandflytyers.org
http://www.unitedflytyers.org
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:10 PM
augie1010 augie1010 is offline
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Thanks for the info, I think I will take a ride out to THe Bear's Den and get some tools and a little stuff to make the flies that i use the most.

Regards

David
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:34 PM
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I started out with a kit and I think it was overall a good thing. It exposed me to a bunch of different materials that I might not have bought otherwise, and also allowed me to tie some flies that I might not have tied otherwise. This helped me build my skills up. That being said, the biggest thing I didn't like in the kit was the poor quality vise. IMHO, the most important thing to have for tieing flies is a decent vise, so start with picking up one in the $50-75 range. Even if you end up hating tieing, you should be able to sell it on eBay for not too much less than you paid for it.

If you talk to Scott at the Bear's Den and ask him to put together a bunch of materials you should do fine. He's a great guy and will take good care of you. One fly you should definitely get materials for is a woolly bugger. It catches pretty much every species on the planet and it's pretty easy to tie so as a beginner, it's a great fly to start out with
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2006, 04:54 AM
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Warren Warren is offline
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I have also dealt with the Bears Den via mail order. Some day I am gonna go down there & spend a small fortune . I am very pleased with the service.

Another good book in addition to the Orvis fly tying guide Baldmountain mentioned is:

The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying. Ted Leeson & Jim Scholleyer ISBN 1-57188-3689-X $45.00 retail.

It is a hard cover spiral bound book that lays flat on the table. It is split in two parts the top part has directions & color photos of the steps used in tying the pattern. The bottom part is a series of steps on how to do a dressing or particular task, i.e. tie in a wing , palmer haclkle a body or tie a parachute post etc...

In other words you can leave the top page on the fly you are working on & turn the bottom to the right section to learn how to do each step. And that step is referenced in the text so you do not have to search around.

It is the best fly tying book for the beginner or more experienced tier I have ever seen. It has a pattern index with full color photos of each fly and includes the most popular fly patterns for most fresh water patterns. It has a short section on tools, materials & advice on getting started. The photography is outstanding

Do not confuse this book with the much more expensive Fly Tyers Benchside Reference by the same authors. It is a book on techniques & dressing styles and does not show one how to build a particular pattern.

Both the Orvis & Benchside books are available at bookstores, Amazon etc... I bought my Orvis guide at Barnes & Noble

Fly tying is a fun way to spend a snowy or rainy winters day. I really enjoy the thrill of catching a fish on something I handcrafted as opposed to buying of the shelf. I am still buying most of my dry flies though. I have yet to master the small stuff, but am am gaining on it. I now can tie a No. 16 elk hair caddis & make them almost look right
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2006, 09:22 PM
gunner gunner is offline
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Find a local TU chapter

Most Trout Unlimited chapters have free fly tying nights during the winter and casting lessons in the spring. Check into that also, if for no other reason than you may meet someone local to you who can answer that tying question in a hurry when you are in the middle of a fly.
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