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Thread: fly tying kits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    west tn
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    Default fly tying kits

    Thinking about getting into fly tying. Is there a kit out there that is a good starter kit. I know Orvis, Bass Pro, Cabelas. etc. have them. Does anyone have any info on any other that are out there? Do any of the independent fly shops sell such items? Don't want to go super cheap but also don't want to break the bank. Thanks for all the info guys!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rugby TN
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    40

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyguys View Post
    Thinking about getting into fly tying. Is there a kit out there that is a good starter kit. I know Orvis, Bass Pro, Cabelas. etc. have them. Does anyone have any info on any other that are out there? Do any of the independent fly shops sell such items? Don't want to go super cheap but also don't want to break the bank. Thanks for all the info guys!!
    Most of the tools in kits are OK at best and the materials are not that great in most of them. From just looking at them on the web the Orvis kit seems to have the best set of tools and materials but it is the most expensive.


    If you can make it to LRO or if you have an independent fly shop anywhere close I would suggest you make a visit and check out what they have. You can probably put together a kit piece by piece that would be better than any package you can buy for not much more than the Orvis kit.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    west tn
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    Thanks!! Will do on my next trip out.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2017
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    Middle TN
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    Call LRO shop - 865-448-9459. They can advise on best tools and materials to fit your needs and get you started. Free shipping. Also take a look at the classes they offer and the fly tying events throughout the year.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    From what I have seen most inexpensive fly tying kits have inferior tools and materials. Plus you only need 4 or 5 tools to get started. I would focus mainly on a good pair of fine tipped scissors and a good bobbin. You can fill in most of the other stuff with inexpensive tools. Buy a cheap second pair of scissors to cut most stuff and save your good scissors for thread and hackle only. It will extend the life of the good scissors. While a kit may have a bunch of materials, you may not even use most of it. Check to see what flies you can tie with them. I personally would only buy the materials to tie the flies I was going to fish with. I always tell everyone that a class can cut the learning curve way down, and LRO's are as good as anyone's. A class would also let you see what tools and materials you really need. Good luck!
    Last edited by flyman; 02-24-2019 at 01:59 AM. Reason: genetics have been cruel to me
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    SW Ohio
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    I would get a Dr Slick tool kit. They will get you started with the tools. I would also get an Oasis tying table top organizer. I would by a vice that you can clamp to the oasis organizer. Go to a sewing store and get a small clamp on natural light lamp with a flexible neck. You can get this light with a magnifying glass also. I was lucky to get a Renzetti clamp vise at a going out of business sale. The jaw clamps on the vise are important. I would get a good vise or one with good clamping capabilities. Buy some 1/2 capes for feathers. Invest in good feathers. If you start out with cheap feathers you will be frustrated. I bought bronze Whiting half capes(brown,black/white). Get some turkey feathers, box of mixed dubbing,deer fur, calves tail. Get some 12 and 14 nymph hooks, 12& 14 dry fly hooks.Get some 6/0 and 8/0 black, olive and brown thread. This is how I started out. Make it a journey of self discovery. You could probably get started for $400. Get a good fly tying book. This is not cheap

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Winchester, Kentucky
    Posts
    124

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    These guys all know what they are talking about. However, if you are just thinking about getting into tying flies I would go with something like the Cabelas' kit and save some money for the expensive things like hooks and hackle. A Thompson model A style vise will tie any fly down to number 20 and the tools in a cheaper kit will work adequately until you decide you want to upgrade them. You might find that tying is not your idea of fun and you won't be out much. Plus you will have a wealth of ideas for Christmas and birthday presents.
    I wish the tying classes and fly tying demos had been around when I was just getting started.
    Read a good book on tying before you buy a lot of stuff. A.K. Best has a few but I recommend "Fly Tying With A.K." and "Production Fly Tying". He has shown me that you can find or create tools and materials that work and don't cost a fortune.
    On that note, would any of the guys on this forum care to suggest a good book or reference manual for tying flies? I think that might be an interesting discussion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Benchside, Beginning Fly Tying. It's the best $45 spent for someone wanting to learn. I always recommend it before purchasing anything else. I like the Thompson A vice, tied on one for 20+ years, gave it to a young man & he's still wearing it out.
    The Dr Slick kit mentioned is another great asset. I started with an old Eddie Bauer kit(yes they sold fishing stuff), the vice blew up one day & I bought the Thompson. You'll never regret buying quality tools & materials.

    Grumpy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    60

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    Fly tying is an expensive pursuit that is probably not worth it unless you are tying flies for resale. I found this out after tying for several years. You have to tie a lot of flies to get good at it. A friend of mine says you don't really know a pattern until you've tied 100 dozen. I am a lawyer, and I bill my time at $240.00/hour. It takes me about 15 minutes on average to tie a fly. That's $60.00 a fly just for the time involved. I still tie flies, and I probably have $3000-4000 in tools and materials. I doubt that I have tied $3,000 worth of flies to date. Just think carefully about it before you start spending money. Fly tying cannot be done cheaply. You can start that way, but the next thing you know you're $1,000 in with no end in sight and thinking about buying a new vise.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
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    Yeah, if you're looking at tying your own flies as a way to save money, you most likely won't. Sure, that fly you paid $2 for might only have ~50 cents worth of materials used, but you have to buy an awful lot of a lot of different materials in different colors/grades to tie all the different flies we typically want to have in our fly boxes. When I started tying I kept a spreadsheet that tracked all of my expenses (tools, hooks, feathers, thread, dubbing, books, classes, etc.) and divided the total by the number of flies tied. I was down to an average of $6.50 or so per fly when I quit counting.

    Your best bet is to do it because you like doing it, and it gives you something to do when you can't get out on the water for whatever reason. SC
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

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