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Best kit for a beginner

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Don't get me (too) wrong. I think the smart/prudent thing to do is to just buy the materials for 3-4 flies, basic flies for your area which if chosen wisely can teach the basic skills applicable to a wide range of patterns. learn those well. tie at least a dozen of each pattern. once you learn the basic skills, they can be applied to new patterns.

 

try to reign in any desire or need to buy everything you see for a multitude of patterns which may or may not be necessary at the beginning. you will probably fail in this endeavor. i know I did. :)

 

kits seem to be hit or miss. my kit sucked with the most elemental tool, the vise. and my kit was from a well known manufacturer of flies and material. it rhymes with umpqua. it was their deluxe kit. the vise was pakistani, based on the thompson vise. again, it sucked big time. it simply could not hold a hook.

 

these days people want instant gratification. if you're one of those, or under 30 years old, or you don't have a fly shop nearby, or do not know fly tiers in close, friendly proximity to you, just get a kit. it's like scratching that itch. it's not the smartest thing but you may make worse decisions in your life. and it certainly isn't a life-threatening decision.

 

i think if you were to share more details, i bet the friendly people here at this forum may be able to help you narrow down the material for a few select patterns if you wish to go that route.

 

and books? people still read books???? (kidding) besides one or two very good books, online videos of high production quality will really help. one of the best things you could do is to sit next to a fly tier, watch and learn how they tie. ask questions.

 

have fun!

 

eric

fresno, ca.

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Monk... most will agree with you, but not all. I don't fish for trout. In Fla. we don't have them, and when I'm in NC I don't fish for them either. I fish for panfish, most of which really will eat pretty much anything that moves. So I always have the right hook, or whatever, because I don't try to replicate patterns. Sometimes I try to approximate a pattern I think is cool, using whatever materials I have at hand.

 

Zamora.... what you said is what I would like to do.... only buy as much as I need to tie 3 or 4 flies, but unfortunately the stuff doesn't come packaged that way, and if it did, it would be priced out of sight (plus shipping). I just had a relative mail me six turkey feathers (matched pairs of wings), which is probably more than I will ever get around to using. But it was free.

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This comes up frequently, they're generally not a good thing. Here in the UK the Fly Dressers Guild have developed a kit and a book to go with it. It forms the basis of their standardised fly tying course. As it is all designed to work together it is generally better than the average kit, BUT it is designed to be worked through with instruction. That is the part you are missing.

 

The question that never seems to be asked is, "What are you starting to do?" For example if you are starting to tie flies for salmon or steelhead then finest dry fly hackle is wasted on you. Conversely if you want to tie dry flies for trout them polar bear is not a lot of use. To start with decide what you are doing; wanting to tie flies isn't a specific enough answer.

 

Someone in a shop or warehouse putting together a kit is going to have even less idea what you want to do than you do, so how can they put a useful kit together?

 

If you are already fishing then get a selection of the flies you are already using, and you like and look them up on Google. Then you will find the materials, and possibly tying instructions. (Though they may not be great). At least 95% of all the flies you will encounter can be tied with a very small selection of tools: Bobbin Holder, Scissors, Hackle pliers, dubbing needle and, of course, vice. That may be a better starting point than a kit. The pitfall in it is, that what seems to be a simple fly may be a very difficult fly to tie. There really is no substitute for hands on instruction. Without seeing what you are doing no one knows what it is that is making you struggle.

 

Cheers,

C.

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Beginner..... everyone all together: BEGINNER

 

that Denver kit is just what we've all been saying not to do... a whole bunch of stuff that he might never need. That's the kit Crackaig was talking about, put together by some guy in a warehouse.

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A can of worms indeed. There seems to be no consensus on whether kits are worth it. I DO like my books [i know, I'm old and nuts-ask my family], but there's no consensus. There's a strong hint that this may NOT be cost effective...one of flyfly's stated goals. There seems to be consensus that instruction is a very good idea. There's been some great ideas put forth here by experienced people who love flytying. I love it, but if I was flyfly I'd say "What?." I don't know if we were helpful or not...a real headscratcher.

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Oh, a kit is not cost effective, but neither is any fly tying endeavor I've ever tried. But it as someone said, scratches an itch.

 

A first purchase from my standpoint would be to buy a book. There are plenty of beginning books out there, and generally they whet the appetite for more of the same. I like beginning books a lot and buy them whenever I find a really good buy on them for my small library. And I've given away several.

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Goose... there hardly ever is consensus on any issue here... but it's still helpful for the OP to hear all the different views. Then he has a whole palate of information to make up his own mind.

It's not our job to force him to choose "my way", but just to answer his question from our own POV and hope it helps.

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For years I've been of the opinion that any beginners book worth using would have a list of materials and tools needed to learn what it is the book is trying to teach.

 

Cheers,

C.

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This is always the chicken or the egg debate. I always suggest that you ask a friend if they have an old vise you can use and some tools to get started. Vice, scissor and bodbin is all you need to start. Then ask your buddy I want to fish at XYZ during the summer/winter/fall/spring what are the three simplest flies I could used for that area that will work. Stress SIMPLE and hopefully larger flies. Develop a simple materials list and try to only get two or three types/sizes of hooks and you are good to go.

 

For the salt, the first flies I teach are the Clouser, Deceiver and Banger. These three flies will teach you most of the techniques you will meed to tie hundreds of patterns and catch fish. Just remember to limit yourself to a few patterns and only take on a new pattern once you get good at making the fist one. It will take you about a dozen or more flies to get good a one pattern. Materials are cheep for the most part and don't be afraid to cut all the materials off a fly and reuse the hook.

 

It far better to start with a cheep vise like a Thompson "A" that will cost you between $20-$40. It only has to hold a hook. Once you get into it and have tried other vises and tied a few 100 flies, will you start to understand what vise will work for you and the features that you "need".

 

Brad

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I have seen quite a few kits over the years and the best kit i have come acroos is the Dyna King King fisher kit, $240 but is a great package that comes with a great Basic Fly Tying book (Stackpole books), several places sell them google , youll be happy you did.The vice, tools and instruction are top quality, Materials?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dyna-King-Kingfisher-Pedestal-Kit-Vise/dp/B00373UUAM

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One thing everyone seems to be overlooking is right here! I'm a newbie at fly tying, but, with a cheapo fly tying kit from Gander Mountain and the abundance of ideas and instructions on this site and the multitude of others, i.e. Tim Camissa's site, and YouTube you can find virtually everything you need to be successful at tying. Don't be afraid to experiment....your local Hobby Lobby or sewing center has a great selection of feathers, beads, tinsel, etc. and your dog or cat may be wearing some great dubbing material (just brush them or sweep the floor). Your dryer lint filter can be another good source, or your local pet groomer. Lots of materials available online: flytyersdungeon.com is a good source, for one.

But, I am just a newbie.....I could be wrong.

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I find very little of any good from Michaels, and don't shop HL

 

I find more good stuff at either Walmart or JoAnn Fabrics.

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