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Thread: Fly tying kit?

  1. #1
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    Default Fly tying kit?

    My son has learned how to tie flies at school, and now wants to do it at home. I have no idea what to get him, but his birthday is coming up, so I need to figure it out quick. Does anyone know of a good starter kit that I could get him to get started?
    Thanks,
    Matt

  2. #2

    Default a tying kit

    Matt:

    I'd just get him one of the Cabelas kits:
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...532&hasJS=true

    If he dives in with both feet he might be looking to upgrade to a better vise this Christmas but it'll get him tying and it'll be a pretty cool day when he catches a fish on something HE tied.

    L

    p.s. and if you got him a second set of tools he could teach you the tricks '0 the trade...

  3. #3

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    Miost of the kits you can buy have more stuff you (he) probably will not use. With that in mind I would get with someone who knows how to tie and only buy the things he will use. That would be a vise (pedistal type is most versital), bobbin, scissors, whip finisher, and maybe a dubbing needle. Then you need to get him some materials that he will use to start tying. What was he tying at school? Start with that so he gets the techique down. Once he can tie a few different patterns he will be able to tie most anything. Just different materials tied on in different orders... so to speak.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Personally I would stay away from a generalized kit, they include many materials that he will never use and lack many that he will use. Typically the vises in these kits are sub-par and do not last very long, same with the other tools. Instead i would get him a decent starter vise like this one:



    You could start with one step down from this one and he would be ok.

    I would buy him a good set of general scissors:


    Get him a decent bobbin, some black and white tying thread (140 Den), and some small portions of materials for the flies that you will use. What patterns does he want to tie, or what patterns do you use? These questions will determine what hooks and materials to start with.
    Fish when you can, work when you have to.

  5. #5
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Cheap Kits

    My parents bought me my first fly-tying kit when I was in my late teens. The options were fewer then, and cheap kits were far worse than they are now. But the kit came with a nice color book with step by step instructions, the materials to tie five different flies, a piece of junk (but useable) vice and some inexpensive tools. It was definitely low-end, even for the time, but it worked perfectly well for me. I was able to learn how to tie a few flies; more importantly, I caught fish on flies I'd tied that first summer, and in my case I used-up all of the materials. Some sat around for a few years, but I did end-up using them.

    It all depends on your budget and how serious you think your son is about it. There are some really good kits out there that are moderately priced and still good quality. I bought this kit later in my adult life and I'm still using the vice and tools, with a few additions:

    http://www.btsflyfishing.com/catalog/page4-5.htm

    If you have the dough to spend, for less than $200, this kit will give him a vice and a set of tools, along with a great little tying station that he can use for the rest of his life.

    If you don't want to spend that much, I think one of the cabelas kits would serve his purposes fine.

    Of course, materials will vary from fly to fly, but if you don't want to buy a kit that includes materials, you can look into smaller kits such as these: http://tie-a-fly.com/choosepatterns.htm

    For beginners, these take the guess work out of it, and let the tier focus on learning the skills.

    IMO, a few of these kits and a decent to good quality vice and set of tools would set him-up really nicely, but if you're on a budget, don't shy away from less expensive kits either. They serve their purpose as beginner kits, which is exactly what they're sold as. Check-out Sportsman's warehouse and even Wal-Mart for one of these. They won't be a lifetime kit, but they will get him started.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcLaughlin View Post
    My son has learned how to tie flies at school, and now wants to do it at home. I have no idea what to get him, but his birthday is coming up, so I need to figure it out quick. Does anyone know of a good starter kit that I could get him to get started?
    Thanks,
    Matt
    Matt
    If you are in Anchorage the AK Fly Fishers have monthly tying clinics on the third Saturday of most winter months. The last of this winter is this coming Saturday. Your son can show up with nothing and get very good instruction from very good fly tyers for nothing.

    Regardless of where he is in the progression of learning to tie there will be someone there to teach him in whatever direction he wants to go. There are some very good fly tyers locally and some of them show up regularly to teach. At the beginner's level there are many great teachers there.

    The clinic is 10-4 at the KTUU studio building on Tudor Rd, just west of the Old Seward. There are cookies and donuts, coffee and juice. They even give door prizes...
    art

  7. #7
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    With the AFF info out, let me get back to my opinion on kits... I am of the set that believes in buying a good vise and tools, with materials bought as needed for new flies. In no time at all you will be adding on to the house to make room for more materials!

    I am a long way beyond a new tyer and have been known to tie presentation stuff in quantity. My 16-year-old son is an incredible fly tyer and that is not an age-dependant label. He often shows up at the clinics to teach also.

    Buy a good vise, rotary is a requirement, and decent tools. A pedastal is always good... A clamp is often a pain...
    art

  8. #8

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    I purchased a DanVise from BT's this winter and I love it. The service was excellent, the materials I purchased from arrived promptly. I really like the ease of adjustment and the full rotary vise is a huge plus so that you can see how your fly looks from every angle.

  9. #9

    Default Quality

    As a relatively young tyer here is my suggestion. I started tying flies 2 years ago when I was 19. I started on a really old vise I found in a box at my house and still use it to this day because it is quality. It's not fancy or shiny it's about as bare bones of a vise you could find but it's tough as nails. I also got a solid pair of scissors hackle pliers and a bodkin. Thats it. Whip finishers are helpful but almost unneccesary. Also being younger and computer savy, the best resource I had for tying was the Internet. I'd research this forum find what was working where I wanted to fish, then find out what materials I needed to tie it then I'd go buy supplies. I'd then look up videos and get instructions on how to tie them step by step. Doing it this way I learned the fundamentals of tying and now can look at a fly and know what was used in it and how to tie it. Good luck!

    Ps why didn't I go to the school your son does?!?!

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies. I am heading to 3 rivers after work to look for the tools he needs. I think I will stay away from the kits.

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    the best gift I ever recieved in my life was a fly tying kit... You are a good parent!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarredbehrendt View Post
    Personally I would stay away from a generalized kit, they include many materials that he will never use and lack many that he will use...
    I agree - get him a good starter vise and a few materials to tie a few patterns. If I could redo my flying ties learning, I would not have bought a kit. Instead, I would have learned how to tie one pattern well, only moving onto the next pattern (and buying the materials for those patterns) when needed...

  13. #13

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    worst best thing I did was buy a kit. DONT do it unless you find a kit with a specific set of flies in mind. Otherwise as has been mentioned you get a lot of junk!

    The tools themselves are pretty shotty at best, and the vises usually arent the greatest either! For a little more money you can find better imho!

    until this site gets with the fly tying subforum, fly anglers online is a great place to learn. There are a few alaska specific fly sites also with patterns.

    Learning to use materials and tools is the hardest part, tying flies is relatively easy. Kinda like having the right tool for the job, not all materials are created equal, dont epect the wrong or poor quality material to do what you want....you can get away with it at times, though not often enough. I dont buy into high end crap either......find someone he can peer over their shoulders and teach him to 'watch their hands'!!!! He'll pick it up quick!

  14. #14
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    Thank you for all the replies. I ended up buying the vise and tools at sportsmans individually, and will take him in to buy the supplies he needs.

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up Fly Tying Kit

    It's a good start with a vise & some Tools,also I find even though I originally had boxes of material which I obtained from Hunting,Road Kills,lead seals from expensive wine bottles, Zoos etc, which I culled as I hardly used any of it.
    One Suggestion is to only buy the materials for the Flies you fish with as we are all guilty of having Flies we very seldom use,a good selection of threads in about 5 or 6 colours are good to have,as well as head cement,dubbing wax..
    You will find lots of materials in the $2 & Craft Shops.
    If you have friends who hunt ask them for various materials.

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