Flies & Fly Tying Fly tying

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    Hello think tank!

    looking to start tying some of my own fly’s! Wondering if there is a brands, that i should be thinking about? Or are they much the same? Looking to tie indicator drys, and bead head jig head nymphs. Any comments much appreciated!




    Are you referring to a recommendation for a fly tying vise?



    Hi Rick… welcome to the Forum. I might just cut to the chase here and find out which end of the island you are enjoying. There are good options down south to hook up with some of the top end tiers’ and up north there all sorts of helpful folks, the same goes for the NW crew.

    It wont be too hard to point you in the right direction, and I can certainly flick you some contact deets on a PM seeing as you have so conveniently started off this thread.

    Most of the clubs are pretty welcoming and they all are different in quirky ways. Just a matter of finding your tribe mate… thats if the club thing works OK for you. It doesnt suit everyone.





    Welcome to the joy of fly-tying.  There is no doubt that tying your own flies adds a whole new dimension to your fly-fishing experience.

    I agree with Jimmy’s wise words.  There are plenty of fly-tying clubs in Tasmania, if that’s where you are based, more than willing to help, and there are plenty of individual fly-tiers willing to help too.  I mentor a few people by correspondence.

    In terms of a vice, getting a rotary vice from the start and will make tying so much easier, but you shouldn’t need to spend more than $150 for a good rotary vice, $200 max.  Mine cost me about $140 a few years ago, and will be handing it to a grandchild, and probably in turn to their offspring.  My original Orvis (standard) vice purchased 40 years ago is on loan to a learner tier.  You can pay several hundred dollars if you want, but frankly, I consider them completely unnecessary expenditure.

    In terms of tools, same again, budget tools will get you started, and last years.  Yes, you can spend huge amount of money on fancy gear that really don’t do much more than the budget tools. I was given a Tiemco magnetic bobbin holder by a mate in Japan, worth $150 in Australia, but doesn’t tie flies any better than a $60 C&F Design or my original Veniard bobbin holder now worth about $15.

    I consider the basic tools to get started as follows, with indicative price:

    • Bobbin holder – $15 – two or more is good if you regular use different threads. Some come with bobbin threaders, some don’t but piece of folded copper wire does the same job
    • Hackle pliers – $15
    • Bodkin – you can make one with a fine sewing needle and piece of dowel
    • Whipping tool – $15
    • Scalpel – $3 from the Bunnings craft section. Never be scared to apply the scalpel to a creation that doesn’t look right and start again.
    • A small condiment dish or two (6-7 cm) to hold beads and hooks
    • Dubbing wax
    • Head cement of some sort, Veniard or Wapsi are fine.
    • Scissors* – two at least, three preferably.

    I left scissors to last because this is one tool (or selection of tools) worth spending money on because you use scissors constantly to cutting threads, cut and prepare fur and feather material, trim and clean up a finished fly.  I recommend a minimum of two, a cheap pair for cutting wire, tinsel etc, and another quality pair for general cutting and trimming.  At least three scissors is preferable, one cheapie for wire, a quality pair for general use and high quality pair for fine trimming or when working on flies 16 and smaller.  C&F, Tiemco (TMC) would be my first choice for a general pair followed by Dr Slick, but for the really fine work my TMC Tungsten Carbide scissors have an edge and point fine enough for micro-dissection or fine surgery. … However, they are not cheap and they’re hard to find.  Dr Slick Tungsten Carbide and not too bad.

    You can buy other specialist tools later.

    Other resources

    There’s no shortage of fly-tying books, some are quite good, but none compare with Davie McPhail’s videos on YouTube.  He’s a master tier and teacher.



    vises and hooks Sorry my Question was vague!



    Chris Beech

    All flies  or just trout flies?

    Spend your money on the vice, scissors and a comfortable bobbin holder. The other tools don’t need to be expensive. Some great advice above.

    Quality materials produce quality flies, so pick your materials wisely. Learn with good things – better results are more encouraging than poor results.

    Tie on good hooks from the start. Gamakatsu,  Tiemco, Mustad, Daiichi, Kamasan- there are lots of good quality brands. Pick the hook model to suit the flies you are tying – that’s where forums, clubs and social media can provide fast feedback. As it’s been said, find your tribe and enjoy the never ending journey.



    Hi Rick,my advice is the same as Jimmy’s.Trout Flies are more intricate to tie than Salt water flies,so find a Club to join.You’ll learn more there in one session from experienced tyers than by any other method.Members will also give you the best advice for the gear to set you up.

    Good luck!



    I am in Hobart but due to health cant drive. So joining a club would be great but ,not really an option for me! Thanks for the info folks!!!!!!




    Rick, I’m in Kingston and I reckon I can help you get started in fly tying, the right gear and instruction.  I’ve helped others get started, including locally, interstate and in Japan.  I’ve been tying for four decades, and tie about a 1000+ flies a years for various people, including some who are fly tiers themselves!  If joining a club is not an option then again I recommend Davie McPhail’s Youtube videos.  He’s a first class tier and teacher.  His skills and clarity of his videos are better than anyone I know.  His 100,000 subscribers says it all.  I’ll send you my contact details in a PM, and we can discuss off-line how I can help you.


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