New to fly tying, advice needed

cmal1001

Active member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Glasgow
Hey all i have been interested in tying my own flies for some time now and i am going to take the plunge and get a vice and tool kit. However its the materials where i am stuck because there are literally 100s of different materials to buy and i don't have the budget to start clearing shelves at the glasgow angling center. So what i am asking, as i am just starting out can anyone provide a beginners list of materials to get to at least start me off? I know its a broad question because there are literally 1000s of flies but i would mostly be tying streamer/lure types, common wets and dries (diawls, nymphs, hoppers daddies etc) and i plan on doing various kinds of blobs and eggs (eggstacy) in particular.

Thanks
 

Wee Jimmy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
9,575
Location
Fife
Hey all i have been interested in tying my own flies for some time now and i am going to take the plunge and get a vice and tool kit. However its the materials where i am stuck because there are literally 100s of different materials to buy and i don't have the budget to start clearing shelves at the glasgow angling center. So what i am asking, as i am just starting out can anyone provide a beginners list of materials to get to at least start me off? I know its a broad question because there are literally 1000s of flies but i would mostly be tying streamer/lure types, common wets and dries (diawls, nymphs, hoppers daddies etc) and i plan on doing various kinds of blobs and eggs (eggstacy) in particular.

Thanks
Aye no need to go spending much at this stage....get a cock pheasant tail,some peacock herl ,a hares mask and a cheap furnace hen cape. Along with a spool of thread and some fine silver and copper wire, its all you need for learning the basic skills starting off with simple nymphs like DBs and crunchers ..👍
 

PaulD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
2,901
Location
South Northants
. . . i would mostly be tying streamer/lure types, common wets and dries (diawls, nymphs, hoppers daddies etc) and i plan on doing various kinds of blobs and eggs (eggstacy) in particular.

Thanks
You've identified quite a range of patterns there, some very easy to tie, some more complex.

What I'd suggest is that to begin with, just choose three simple patterns;

Blob -

Diawl Bach -

Cats Whisker -

Watch the tying videos and buy the necessary hooks and materials for those flies. Once you're happy with what you're producing with those flies, expand your materials by buying what you need for three more patterns. (y)
 

The Endrick Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
281
Location
Milton of Campsie
Aye no need to go spending much at this stage....get a cock pheasant tail,some peacock herl ,a hares mask and a cheap furnace hen cape. Along with a spool of thread and some fine silver and copper wire, its all you need for learning the basic skills starting off with simple nymphs like DBs and crunchers ..👍
When I first started tying flies I was tying Williams Favourites, Greenwell Spiders, (wets) and Grey Dusters and Black Badgers. (dries) I happily fished away with these for year but then started reading fishing books, reading about all the flies that I should be using. As my fly box gradually filled I up with all those flies that I should not be without but at the same time did not really need, ended up losing out on a lot of fishing time trying to figure out what fly to put on. Like most other fly fishermen my box is full of clutter, flies that I will never use but they are there just in case. I have ended up with whole case full of these, 'Just in Case' flies
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
Pick a fly you like tie it in a few sizes 10,12 and 14. Go fishing and see what happens.
Last season I tied the Black Prince, just because I thought it was a great looking fly with a great name.
It did amazing for me, I was overcome with the thing, now it's always in my box.
 

Dean

Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Glasgow
It depends on the season I suppose. I started off with the Veniards premium fly tying kit. It had all the bits and bobs needed for me to tie up lures although I did switch the vice to a Veniards Spring Vice No 4 (a budget vice but I have yet to find a fly I couldn't tie on it).

You can pick up bits of the other materials from Amazon funnily enough. I got

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07X3BS8NC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


The hair ones are good for using as flash and the other is good for ribbing flies. I've been tying for over a year now and I still have tons of it left.

As for threads - you get a couple with the box. I'd suggest getting rusty dun uni thread along with it.

Hooks - you get some with the box but I personally only fish barbless flies. You can pick them up anywhere really. I've never had any problems with the fulling mill hooks and they cost around £5-7 quid for a box of 50. I have quite the selection now a days but I started off with the comp heavyweights or long shank nymph hooks in 10 and 12 for lures. In the spring time you can go and get dry fly hooks.

When it comes to dry fly materials i'd suggest going to Cookshill fly tying and ordering their CDC. The box you get with the fly tying materials has the rest of the stuff needed to tie most of the dry flies you will need.
 

pentlandflyman

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,394
Location
Mid Lothian
Avoid starter kits and don't buy loads of stuff at once.

It's winter so you will probably be using eggs or blobs a lot so buy the materials for those and master them, few packets of eggstacy and fritz in the colours you want, some beads and hooks and thread. after that buy some marabou and tie the lures you use and master those. this will build up confidence and skills needed to move on to DB's, buzzers etc.

Watch videos and ask for help when you are stuck, if you have someone that can show you take advantage of them and if you have a local FDG join it if that's your thing.
 

steve collyer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,776
Location
East Sussex
I'd just get the recipes of a dozen or so patterns that you'll use most often & buy those materials.
A decent vice which can be bought for around £20, basic tools & some quality hooks & you're set to go.
As mentioned, starter material kits are a waste.
 

Dean

Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Glasgow
Don’t buy a starter kit as there is stuff you will not use

Isn't that kind of what fly tying becomes? I don't know many fly fishers who tie flies who haven't at least got a few bits and bobs they never use or bought in the spur of the moment.

For 50 quid I pretty much got everything I needed to start off fly tying. I still find myself using bits and pieces from it now that I would have had to go buy individually later on. I found quite a bit of value in it. Plus with the flies he mentioned up there, he would be able to get started right away.
 

Wee Jimmy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
9,575
Location
Fife
Probably the most important thing to start with is 'Thread control' it is the basis for all your efforts. put a hook in your vice and just practise wrapping thread .

Jim
Good advice....👍 Just get used to catching on the thread ,wrapping touching turns, then whip finishing.Develop a feel for the thread.
 

Whinging pom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
1,222
Location
Northants
three things on my bench I use a lot,

A darning needle stuck in a cork ( and a smaller needle in another cork. ) the darning needle is great for scraping away at fur to tease dubbing out and also for applying varnish for heads. the smaller needle is great for smaller or more precise varnishing of heads and for cleaning varnish out of eyes.

A patch of velco ( hooks side) from an old glove cuff, great for fluffing up fur dubbing especially in hairs ears.

An old fashioned Biro ballpoint pen without the refill, perfect for half hitch knots.

all best
pom
 
Top