Fly Tying Kits will either get you into a new pastime for life or get you into golf! SO you better get it right the first time.
A relatively small number of items will be all you need to create a lot of the fly patterns you will ever use. Some of the kits available will have tools you will never use. An expensive kit can have only a few pieces in it along with an expensive vise, which will rotate and spin and do everything except make the tea.
You don't need this sort of kit if you are just getting started, for some people if they get this sort of kit and read the instructions as to how everything works, will give up before they even start.
What should a Fly Tying Kit Have
Most fly tying kits nowadays will have enough tools and materials to allow you to made some of the easier more common patterns, these are a good starting place because they are easy to do but also they will teach you the basic skills used in most fly patterns. What the kit should have is:-
- A vise - a basic vise with a clamp to fix it to your bench, it should hardened jaws and a quick release toggle clamping system for opening and closing the jaws.
- A Pair of Scissors - A pair of sharp fine pointed scissors. These need to be sharp to cut cleanly without tearing at the material. They need to be fine pointed to allow you to get into tight areas without destroying everything you have done.
- A Bobbin Holder - The purpose of the bobbin holder is to give you control over the bobbin of tying thread. This will keep the tension on the thread allowing you to do other things. The ability to keep the tying thread under tension means you can work on sorting out materials safe in the knowledge that what you have tied already will not fall off the hook.
- The Whip Finishing Tool - This is a great little tool to help you finish off the fly tying process. When you have tied off the fly you have to secure the thread so it doesn't unravel when you are using it. With the whip process the tying thread is wound over its self. You can do this by hand but if you are not used to tying flies you are better off using this tool
- A Pair of Hackle Pliers - This tool is used to hold a hackle feather or other small materials to help you wind it around the hook shank. It is made of sprung wire and holds the material in jaws which are always closed under tension.
- A Dubbing Needle - This is used to free trapped fibres or hairs, for teasing out any dubbing materials that have become trapped. It is also used to apply varnish.
There are a few materials you will get with most kits but they will cover you for a lot of fly patterns. These include :-