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Thread: Want to learn tying

  1. #1
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    Default Want to learn tying

    I've just recently got into fly fishing a couple years ago. Now I'm addicted. I'd like to start fly tying but I'm clueless on where to start. I've looked at some complete kits online, but nothing has really jumped out at me. I'd like to get something with patterns I'll use in AK. I mostly fish for Silvers, Kings, DV, RT, Grayling, LT, Pike. Any advice on how to go about buying a kit, or know of a good one to match up with Alaskan patterns? Maybe a good book for Alaskan patterns?

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    The complete kits are really not the way to go to be honest. You are much better off buying a decent vise and your tools and materials separately.

    As far as vises are concerned the best would be Renzetti, Dyna King, Griffin and a few others, I would recomend a rotary if you can swing it. Griffin makes a fairly inexpensive rotary:
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...534&hasJS=true

    As far as an initial set of scissors:
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...534&hasJS=true

    Some decent ceramic bobbins:
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...534&hasJS=true

    Then as far as materials are concerned the only ones that I would buy in a grab-bag would be bucktail, the feather grab bags are usually full of unwanted stuff and you would be better off buying the materials separate.

    I use Ultra thread in the 140 and 70 den sizes (the smaller the denier number the smaller the thread). The rest of my materials I buy individually or pick up from fellow tiers (or kill and tan myself).

    There is a ton of info out there and if you have any questions I would be glad to help out if possible.

    As far as books, I would pick up a copy of this from on this site:
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...products_id=73

    It is a plethora of tying patterns relevant to Alaskan fishing.

    Jarred

  3. #3

    Default Good info.

    jarred gave you some great advice, I'd say follow what he said and you'll be happier in the long run. When I started tying years ago, I started with a very inexpensive "all in one" kit I received from my parents at Christmas. It worked just fine, but down the road I ended up buying everything by itself in better quality items. Welcome to the addictive world of fly-fishing and all of its addictive offshoots (Tying, Rod-Building...etc).

  4. #4
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    if Alaska Fly Fishers still does saturday fly tying classes I'd go to those, they were great when I was learning
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
    hap
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    Third Saturday of every month at the KTUU building on Tudor, just West of Old Seward.

    Monday evening at 7 at the Millenium is the March general meeting. Second annual fly tying contest results will be announced to BTW.
    art

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Jerrod is right, don't buy a kit. Even if you buy a cheap vise you will get more for your money buying individual items.

    There are also a lot of fly tying video tutorials on youtube. Type in the name of a fly on youtube and you've got a good chance of finding instructions.

    I hope you've got an empty closet. I started out a couple of years ago thinking I would just get enough stuff to tie a few generic patterns. Yeah right, that only lasted a couple of weeks.

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    Right on. This is exactly what I was looking for. I may try to make it up to one of those classes, maybe a couple if i can swing it. I live down in Soldotna. I looked at the kits on cabelas and other fly fishing sites, and i thought there was a lot of unneeded crap. Fortunately I do have some extra space to set up a desk and some bins for fly tying. Thanks for the help!

    BTW- Any thoughts on this vise for starting?
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...534&hasJS=true

  8. #8
    hap
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    Justin
    The AFF just bought a bunch of new vises for the tying clinics and they are pretty decent for just a touch more than the linked vise. Mossy's fly shop (new name for MacAphee's since he retired) was the source for them and the price was right about $100. We looked at a lot of vises...

    I have two Griffin vises, one for my traveling tying kit and the other is the one I just replaced... One is rotary and the other is not. Griffin makes the lightest true rotary vise and that is why I chose them.

    http://www.griffinenterprisesinc.com/vises.html

    I did not consider rotary a "Have to have" feature for a vise to use on the bank somewhere... Then I found the 3ARP at Sportsmans Whorehouse for under $30 and could not leave it there.

    My Superior 2A is available if you would like to borrow it until you find a vise you like. Or I would make you a deal on it. It is not the vise you eventually want to have, but it holds the hooks very well and that is the central feature. Actually, my father insisted I tie regularly without a vise just so I would appreciate them... And bobbins were not in general use when I learned either.... A short piece of thread was cut each time and a dedicated hackle plier kept it tensioned. And now we have a fistful of Nor-Vise Bobbins...
    art

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    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    I tought my friend how to tie in about an hour. After giving him the very basics, he took off. After about a month, he was putting out some really impressive stuff. Just have someone show you how to get started. Any store will GLADLY sell you the right stuff.

    Get something simple yet durable. Get this guy and your done for years: http://www.dyna-king.com/flyvise_dtl...7&pv=0&pid=082
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

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    I like that Dyna SS vise but I think I'm going to go with the Griffin. I ordered the Griffin Odyssey Spider Vise 85$, ceramic bobbin, Dr slick scissors, and some hooks, wire, thread, material to start making some egg sucking leaches.

    I didn't realize it until now, but yes, youtube has a ton of instructional videos.

    Hopefully I wont have to buy very many flys this year!
    Thanks again for all the advice.

  11. #11
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    Default fly tying

    your pocket is the only limite, if you buy a quality product it will last if you buy the junk it will not last but the kits will do you a while an see if you realy want to go further into it, an yes there is a lot of junk in the kits but it will give you a good back ground on how to tie a basic fly good luck if you just ask on this web site there is people that will give you a cheep vice for "zero cost" just pick up or pay the postage an go from there just remember a vicegrip can hold the hook for you to do the job, not easy but it will work

    SID

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    I would also recomend picking up a whip finisher too, indispensible and easy

  13. #13
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The best source of supplies are garage sales or e-bay. But you need to have an idea of what suppies you need before getting carried away with what looks like a great deal on e-bay and you end up with a bunch of stuff you don't need.

  14. #14

    Default Vises

    I've tied with a variety of vises, ended up with the Renzetti Master Vise setup. I think any of the newer rotary types are pretty nice and I found the rotary to be pretty beneficial for most of the flies I tie for up here where I'm spinning lots of chenille, lead, and longer leech type flies.

    hap,
    You picked up a 3ARP for under $30??? Or did you mean $30 off? If you got it actually under $30, you simply got a screamin' deal.

  15. #15
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    Default Plenty of instructional materials available in this pastime...

    I think the advice for a lesson or two in the basics of fly tying is time well-spent. Mountain View Sports in ANC used to have a beginners class, taught in 2 half days by Bill England (GloBugs, Wooly Bugger, Mickey Finn + 1 more?). These flies included a good range of basic techniques, forming a foundation for learning on one's own. Whether it's a formal class or an hour or two from a friend like muzzyman87, once you have a basic skill set, there are many good sources for further learning - books, local groups, Ak Flyfishers and their book, Fly Patterns of Alaska and online sources including You Tube.

    If you have time, this forum can be an excellent resource especially using the Advanced Search function. For example:

    A good thread, started by kgpcr, Sep 09 on shopping for a vise:
    http://www.forums.outdoorsdirectory....ad.php?t=63180

    and Nov'09:
    http://www.forums.outdoorsdirectory....ad.php?t=66549

    Some f/u on the Anvil:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=67855
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=67600
    (this one is a question to others about a function on the vise he bought)

    Looking back, I'd agree with advice on buying good quality materials. Buy in small quantities initially - which will minimize your inevitable storage issues later . Have fun.

  16. #16
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Some really good advice so far. There's been quite a few fly tying posts, including some good advice for learing to tie and regarding materials, so be sure to read back through the last few pages and read all the threads related to tying.

    To recap a few points I definitely agree on:

    • Try to find someone who ties flies to show you the ropes. It's a big help to see the steps first-hand and to look at the materials. Fly shops are also happy to help.
    • Stay away from pre-made kits. It's more of a pain to assemble it all yourself, but you'll end up with good tools and materials you'll actually use and not a bunch of so-so stuff you may never have a use for.
    • But less of better quality, you'll save money in the end and have better flies to show for it.
    • There are tons of resources online. Youtube is great for seeing how to tie various flies. There are lots of good tutorials here as well: http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/index.cfm
    • Also get a good book or two if you're going to be self taught.
    There's no limit to how much you can spend on tools and materials other than your own wallet. I'm still constantly (after 21 years now) experimenting with new and different materials and techniques. Fly tying is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!


    My strongest advice... rather than for just going out and buying a bunch of random materials, pick a few patterns you like to fish with and get the materials you need to tie them. Then keep expanding materials as you add to your fly box.

    I'd be happy to show you through my collection of materials and demonstrate a few pattern if you make it up to Anchorage at some point. Drop me a PM if you're going to be in town.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  17. #17
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The best source of supplies are garage sales or e-bay. But you need to have an idea of what suppies you need before getting carried away with what looks like a great deal on e-bay and you end up with a bunch of stuff you don't need.
    Excellent advice - but I agree you need to develop an eye for what you're after or you can blow a lot of money on stuff you don't need.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    My vise and tools should be in sometime this Friday. I've looked on youtube and some other websites and made a list of material I need to start tying some purple egg sucking leeches. I'm going to swing by mt view sports on my way in from the slope and pick up a few items i left out on my order, whip finisher and materials. I figure I'll start with the leeches and figure out what works for me and maybe develop some techniques along the way. I may go pick up a small desk to put all this stuff in at a garage sale or else it's going to end up scattered all over my garage work benches. Thanks again for all the advice!

  19. #19
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    I got hooked on tying last year. Bought an old Johnson A vise work board, and tools off eBay for 10 bucks and got the materials local.

    The vise is old (late 60's) and by today's standards it is not the greatest, but I have been able to tie some decent flies that catch fish. I am going to upgrade the vise one of these days, but for now I am happy. It is an addicting hobby and a great way to pass the time during the winter months. The only limit on gear is your pocketbook. I thought the flies I first tied looked really bad, but the trout like them anyway.

    Nothing feels better than to catch dinner on a fly you tied yourself.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  20. #20
    Member DanAKAL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin262 View Post
    Right on. This is exactly what I was looking for. I may try to make it up to one of those classes, maybe a couple if i can swing it. I live down in Soldotna. I looked at the kits on cabelas and other fly fishing sites, and i thought there was a lot of unneeded crap. Fortunately I do have some extra space to set up a desk and some bins for fly tying. Thanks for the help!

    BTW- Any thoughts on this vise for starting?
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...534&hasJS=true
    Justin, The vise you have linked here is all that I use. I have two of them. One I tie on a great deal and one that goes with me. As vises go it may not be the best out there but it certainly gets the job done. And gets it done well. I don't intend to upgrade anytime soon. One day I may want a larger more permanent vise but for now the Spider is working well for me.

    As for tools I started with a kit from Dr. Slick. These are decent tools and the gift box has everything you need to get going. I'm still using these tools today. Later on I added a few tools like more scissors, bobbins, and hair stackers from Griffin and Wapsi.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...233&hasJS=true

    Dan

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