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Thread: fly tying info

  1. #1
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    fly tying info

    So I am thinking about beginning to tie some flies. I have been looking around online for kits with tools and material. So far it looks like the Orvis kit is best. Cabelas also has a couple that look ok but the reviews are fairly mediocre. Does anyone have any other info for me on what to look for and what to spend my money on? I am a full on fly tying jong.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

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  2. #2
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    Get a kit with a vise and tools only. The materials that come with most kits are crap. Buy your materials separately and in person, not online. Selecting good material makes a huge difference in how a pattern will turn out. Go to a fly shop, the guys at big box stores don't know shit.

    As far as learning how to tie, books and videos are ok, but there is no substitute for personal instruction. Take a lesson.

  3. #3
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    Vin if I remember you are close to stowe. Try the Rod Shop, last time I was in there they had a good selection of materials.
    Harvest the ride.

  4. #4
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    Just my opinion here. Get yourself something more affordable to start with. I would skip the kits and buy your tools separately as well, though. To me, there's no substitute for quality tools. I agree on lessons and materials separate. If after a few weeks you decide that it's something you would like to continue to work on then upgrade. I've had a few friends that thought they would really enjoy fly tying. Got some great gear and spent two months at it before finding out it wasn't for them and gave up. I've got a lower end clamp on vice without the rotary feature that I will send you if you're interested. Just get a good pair of scissors and a few bobbins and you'll be good to go.

  5. #5
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    Yes - take a class. I have a bunch of books and some DVDs, but when I finally took a face to face class, I learned so much more. The class wasn't so much about tying specific patterns, but how to use the tools, tying techniques, etc. Then I went back and looked through my books and realized what some of the tricks were and how to accomplish some of the steps. It made a huge difference for me. I took my class through the city rec program, but it was put on by a local fly shop. Check with your local shops and see if they do any classes or demos. You should also see if the shop tyer or employees mind if you just sit and watch them tie in the shop. I can't imagine a shop wouldn't be happy to give you a bit of instruction as they are tying flies for guides or for retail.

    Edit: I would also suggest taking a class before buying materials and tools, if they provide tools in the class. This way you may be able to try different types of vises and different brands of tools to see what you like.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  6. #6
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    I too would skip the kit. Like the others have recommended, get a decent to not so decent vise and your basic tools. I would start slow on materials, getting what you need for one or two easy patterns. The local shop guys recommended that I start with a black wolly bugger, might be a good start for you, but I might do an easy nymph/midge or something first. I have not had a lesson, have been tying for over two years, and feel okay about my skills. Mostly book and internet learning. Youtube has a bunch of tying videos if you are interested. I have a good book that goes through each step very detailed. Also, I have heard Charlie Craven's book that came out within the last year or so is very good to learn from. Good Luck and enjoy.

  7. #7
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    So I just started tying a couple months ago and went through this same thing.

    I agree with what has been said above, skip the kits that include tying materials and consider taking a class. If you can find a shop close that has a good supply of materials and tools, buy everything you need from them. You may pay a couple dollars more than online (not likely since tying materials seem to be very very MSRP based with most shops and online places selling the same stuff for the same price), but having a good relationship with the guys in the shop will REALLY pay off.

    I have two shops that I buy all of my fishing and tying stuff from and they are always willing to help explain things to me and talk me through problems...even over the phone!

    For tools, Orvis and Dr. Slick have tool kits for between $50 and $80 that are pretty good tools at decent price points...much cheaper than trying to buy each tool seperately.

    As for a vice...I guess just go look at some and talk to the shop. It is not what the people above posted, but I went out and bought a good high quality vice (Regal) for my first vice since I knew if I bought a cheap vice, I would just be most likely buying a new one in a couple months and the Regals had good resale value on ebay if I did not enjoy it.

    I am only four or five months into my tying and I have concluded that there are just going to be flies that I tie, and flies that I buy. For instance, I still can't get any of the parachute style flies to look right and the catskill style of hackling seems to take more materials then they are worth. I am hopefull that I can learn to tie the parachute style flies, but maybe not...we will just have to see.

    The point I am trying to make is, even if you don't particularly enjoy tying flies, it is worth the effort and time for certain flies.

    I can whip up almost any nymph pattern super fast and super cheap...so even if I didn't enjoy it, it would be easy and quick for me to just tie all me nymph patterns (this is where I would start if I were you as they are the easiest and cheapest to get started with). So the first month or so of tying, I tied a crap load of nymph patterns in different sized and colors and quickly filled my box with probably 500 flies for a couple hundred bucks (do the math on the savings).

    Streamer patterns are also really easy to tie and a good place to save money.



    Because it is easy to tie streamers and nymphs for dirt cheap and I personally fish nymphs more than any other fly, by far, even if I did not enjoy it, I would probably still tie these types of flies and having a good vice makes it much more enjoyable.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Fun Ball View Post
    Just get a good pair of scissors and a few bobbins and you'll be good to go.
    What he said

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info all good suggestions. I think I'll stop by my shop and ask them some questions. I know they do offer classes both group and private.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
    www.whiteroomcustomskis.com

  10. #10
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    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinman View Post
    I'm part of the crowd of getting the good tools and materials from the start. With that said, I'm not a big fan of Danvises. Two months ago, I volunteered to work at a Boy Scouts Jamboree. The Federation of Fly Fishers allowed the Boy Scouts use their tools and materials for the tying lessons. Every scout who wanted to learn how to tie a basic Woolly Bugger had to use a Danvise.

    I would not want to learn how to tie on one of those. Those kids struggled. I probably spent more time readjusting the Danvises. The jaws had poor hook holding power. Hooks would continuously slip. It also looked fairly flimsy with all those plastic parts.

    I think that I have been spoiled with my Regal Medallion. It is as easy as opening and closing the jaws. I don't have hook slippage issues. And I tie flies as small as 22 (rated as small as 32) and tie as large as 4/0 (actually rated at size 2 but I get away with it) without having to readjust the jaws.

    When you visit your local shop, ask the shop guy what he uses to tie with and why. Since you haven't tied, ask him to do a demonstration for you with different vises. From there, you should be able to make an informed choice.

    Denny

  12. #12
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    Ok so I didn't take much of the above advise very well. BUT I went ahead got a Zephyr EZ rotary vise and some decent tools and a material kit from hook and hackle dot com. The Zephyr is close in design to the Renzetti traveler vise. So far it seems to have good holding power in the jaws and I have tied a handful of flies, mostly not very nice looking flies but I am getting better and beginning to figure things out. I can now whip finish slowly without looking at the cheat sheet.

    I tied a nice chartreuse and white bucktail streamer tonight that looks like it would catch trout, perch or bass. So far it is my best attempt. I also used the rotary feature for the first time tonight and that seems very smooth.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
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  13. #13
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    Vin tie that same streamer in cross cut rabbit in olive and white with a large cone head and a 4x #2 hook. Go fish and smile.
    Harvest the ride.

  14. #14
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    Post pics of the flies you've tied - would be interesting to see your beginner attempts v. what you'll be tying in a few months. I haven't tied since I was a kid and been trying to find my old cheapie vise in my parent's garage
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  15. #15
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    Here are some of the flies I've tied.







    chartruse streamer


    creamcicle bugger
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
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  16. #16
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    Looking good. We've held a few fly swaps around here; they're a good excuse to tie up 30 or so of the same pattern and really refine your wrapping.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Looking good. We've held a few fly swaps around here; they're a good excuse to tie up 30 or so of the same pattern and really refine your wrapping.
    We should have another one of these swaps. Try to get like 10 or so western trout guys in and everyone could tie up like 40 or so flies.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  18. #18
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    If you really get into tying this book is a good buy, [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Tiers-Benchside-Reference/dp/1571881263"]The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference[/ame]. It helped show me how to correctly do things I was was just winging. It really helped with the durability and quality of my flies as well as expanding my technique repertoir.

    That being said, I'm down for another fly swap.
    the kids are all wasted on pot listening to heavy metal

  19. #19
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    I'm in for a fly swap. Maybe something a little easier that tiers of all levels could participate in. Wolly buggers, nymphs, favorite streamer?

  20. #20
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    Yeah...I can tie up streamers and nymps all day...I will start a thread tonight after I look at some books and come up with a good one to tie...maybe just a Pine Squirrel Leech.

    If there are enough patterns, it would be fun to do a streamer swap...obviously if there are repeat patterns, you could do them in different sizes and colors...fall is not too far away.

    I will even volunteer to to organize it...everyone can ship the flies to me with a little return shipping money and I will get the kits put together and sent back out.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  21. #21
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    I'm getting better with materials. The crawfish isn't great but the streamer came out nice. Hopefully I'll get a chance to fish them tomorrow in some bass water if it isn't pouring.

    seek & destroy streamer

    This one was a trout pattern but it came out a bit too long for trout I think. But I think it would take a bass

    crawfish attempt

    I had some small jig heads around and tried a weighted pattern with some simple claws, legs, body and a hackle covered by some stretch body material to make a shell of sorts.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
    www.whiteroomcustomskis.com

  22. #22
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    It has been rainy the last couple days and the extra moisture on top of runoff kind of put me off fishing today and tomorrow.

    Currently tying up some tungston headed zebra midges in black and half black/half red....and drinking beer
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  23. #23
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    The guy at the local fly shop let me borrow sweet fly tying instruction book. It has pages that are split in half. The top half is the pattern and the bottom half pages are different techniques that you can flip though as you need and not loose your pattern page.

    With it I ties up some nice elk hair caddis, a yarn wing spinner that came out pretty good. and I attempted a parachute adams that came out ok but with way to much hackle. I just needed shorter hackle feathers and it would have been pretty good.

    Getting better with each tying session.
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
    www.whiteroomcustomskis.com

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