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9 replies to this topic

#1 TheCaveman


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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:35 AM

does anybody have any suggestions on what vice, bobbin, and all of that stuff that i can get for like 150 dollars or less, just trying to start out fly tying and i have no clue on whats good and needed and all of that kind of stuff, im just going to do this as a hobby btw, not as a way to really be to crazy serious (yet)!, thank you!!

#2 Rjohn7


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Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:50 AM

you have a message.

#3 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 11:19 AM

For $150 you can get everything you need to get started and then some. My advice would be to spend most of your budget on two items: the vise and good fly tying scissors.  


For the fly tying vise, I would strongly recommend buying it at a fly tackle shop, if you have one within reasonable driving distance of home. Tell them what you're shopping for, what your budget is, and what kinds of flies you'll be tying most often. Most good vises will hold a broad range of hook sizes, but some excel at holding very large or very small hooks, so if you're going to be tying lots of #20 or smaller midges, or big bass, pike, musky or saltwater patterns on hooks larger than 1/0, there are specific vises that will handle those hook sizes better than the average vise. Sit down and tie a fly with several different vises. Despite looking similar, they're not all the same. All the little knobs and levers and set screws, etc., the various moving parts--they're all going to feel a little different on each vise you try. You want one that will hold the hook sizes that you tie on most often very securely, and that feels "right" in your hands.


I would also strongly recommend buying a pair of quality, name-brand, purpose-built fly tying scissors. They are more expensive, but there's a reason why: they work extremely well and will make your first attempts at tying flies a much easier and less frustrating experience. The cheap scissors that come with most fly tying kits are just that: cheap. They're dull, the finger holes are small, they're not machined well -- trust me on this. Get good scissors. If you buy a kit that includes scissors, keep them and use them for cutting things like wire and tinsel, but get a good quality scissors as your main pair. I personally use Dr. Slick and Anvil brand scissors, and can recommend both without hesitation.


Besides a vise and scissors, the only other tool you'll need that's absolutely essential is a bobbin. I'd recommend one with a ceramic thread tube, or a metal tube with a ceramic insert. Plain metal tubes tend to be rough and can cut the thread when you're tying, which is extremely frustrating. I would NOT, however--be talked into buying one of the expensive bobbins with adjustable drag mechanisms (Rite brand bobbins are one example of these) that are all the rage right now. They're nice, but they are way more expensive (upwards of $30, vs. about $5-10 for a regular bobbin) and, in my opinion, the advantages they offer are more or less lost on a beginning tyer.


Non-essential--but very handy and useful--tools include a bodkin (basically a heavy-gauge needle fitted into a handle), a half-hitch or whip-finish tool (these help you tie knots to finish off your flies), a hair stacker (recommended if you want to tie with deer or elk hair). I would say two things about these tools: 1) if you're only going to get one of them, make it the bodkin; it has a thousand-and-one uses, and 2) these do not need to be name-brand tools. The cheaper generic ones are generally just fine.


That's all I've got--good luck and have fun tying!




"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman

#4 chugbug27


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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:17 PM

That's one very good option, here's an alternative...
Terra puts out a neat travel kit that includes a decent non-rotary vise and a full set of good enough tools, for.... $30. I'd start there with some less expensive materials and see if you like it first. Get three packs of hooks from wholesale fly co, 100 dries #12, 100 1xl nymphs #12, and 100 3xl streamers #10. You can start with #14 if your fingers and eyesight are precise. With shipping that will cost another $23. Go to fly tyers dungeon for assorted Dubbing (olive, green, amber, brown and tan nymph Dubbing, gray, olive, tan, and yellow dry fly Dubbing), some assorted stretchy legs (can also be used to wrap bodies), and some light colored shuck yarn, which at that store you can do all for under $15. Then get yourself a mottled tan hen neck (nymph legs and tails, soft hackles), a nicely mottled white tailed turkey feather, a few peacock eyes and a few natural pheasant tails, a piece of elk hair, a spool of small gold wire, and spools of black, tan, olive, and red uni 8/0 thread, which shouldn't cost more than $25 or $30 at any decent shop, and you're set. Oh, and a bottle of Sally Hansen's hard as nails clear finish coat (cut most of the fibers from the brush). There, under $100 and you are pretty much set to learn whatever you need to learn to get through the beginner stage at which point you will move on to better and more elaborate stuff...
At some point you'll want to buy dry hackle. Dont cheap out on hackle. Jump for the $65 whiting starter pack (4 half capes in brown, grizzly, and two other colors). And when you're ready to upgrade from hen neck to partridge feathers buy the premium whole bird.

Edit: I left off streamer materials... Black, olive and maybe white chenille, marabou, and a cheap grizzly saddle I also left off lead wire, get .020 at first. Youre still under $125, and well on your way. And you'll probably enjoy the $30 equipment kit even down the line as a nice travel kit, even after you buy that nice vise and those nice scissors and bobbins.

"Fly tying is replete with unproven theories and contradictions and therein lies much of it's charm and fascination." George F. Grant, The Master Fly Weaver

#5 rstaight


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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:58 PM

Kits aren't a bad way to go when getting started. I know some who say stay away from kits, the materials aren't the greatest. I agree on that point but you won't b e tying presentation flies to start. The materials will let create very fishable flies.

The tools are of sufficient quality to get you started until you find the niche you will be mostly tying. I thought I would be mostly tying for smallmouth. Turns out it's mostly for trout and bluegill.

Cabela's offers decent kits for $90 and $120. Ultimatey the choice is yours.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus

#6 utyer


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Posted 22 April 2018 - 10:15 AM

If your asking about the necessary tools, with that budget, I don't agree that any Asian made kit is the right way to go.  Yes, they will get you started, but they won't stand the test of time.  There are US made tool sets, that are priced well under your price.  Several vises and tool options from Griffin Enterprises would be a very good start.  The Odyssey Spider Travel Kit would be one very good option.


Cascade Crest has several options as well, and they have kits with both tools and materials the #300, #3000, and #450 vises, in these kits are made in the US, and are fully warrantied.  


If you later decide to "upgrade" you would still have a very good backup or travel vise.  If you decide that fly tying is not for you, there will be a better resale value in these kits over and imported vise, and "good enough" tool set.  

"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#7 flytire


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Posted 22 April 2018 - 02:44 PM

dyna king kingfisher kit






flyfishfood tying kit



Respect someones else's ideas. We are all different people. Your way is not the only way.

Never argue with a self proclaimed expert

#8 Bruce Derington

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 03:49 PM

The dyna king kingfisher kit is quite nice, will last a lifetime

Bruce Derington

#9 tjm


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Posted 23 April 2018 - 04:20 PM

I am not sure that the high end stuff has any intrinsic value that a pawn shop would pay up for and resale of fly tying tools has got to be a very small niche market

On the other hand the $30 kit costs less than a half tank of gas and can p'ed away with little pain. Thrown in the garbage if it turns out one doesn't like tying. Cabela's has one that looks pretty nice.

Another thought, take the recommendations of high end vises and hit the auction site looking for one. The vise and the scissors are really the only tools that you can't make yourself or substitute with cheap stuff.  

#10 ben bell

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 09:11 AM

Homemade vise

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