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Getting started in fly tying is relatively easy and inexpensive. One needs a few good tools, hooks, materials and instructions. Below is a description of such a list of starter items without the fat or hype you are apt to find in some catalog descriptions.
The best starters' vise is a lever action vise like our AA vise. Such vises will hold hooks from size 4 to 18 without much difficulty. If one desires to work on the underside of flies often-like streamers, salmon flies and saltwater flies, we recommend a rotary vise. The entry level rotary vise is the Super II. It will hold hooks sizes 4 to 18, sometimes 20. For larger flies we recommend the Challenger vise. It will hold hooks 4/0 to 16.
For more discussion on vises, see Vises.
Hackle pliers hold hackle during tying. The traditional pliers are the Herb Howard pliers. These are available in two sizes- Med for most standard applications and midge for tying the tiny hackle sizes 20 and smaller.
A more modern plier is the non-skid plier. It has a corrugated rubber jaw on one side and a corrugated brass jaw on the other. This plier will work for all applications but the midge hackle and is our favorite type of hackle plier.
Another modern type of hackle plier is the tear shaped hackle plier. By gently squeezing the tear section the jaws open. Then a finger inside the loop to gently spin hackle completes the job.
Bobbin A fly tying bobbin is used to hold thread spools. In days gone by there were at least a dozen varieties. The only survivor is the "spring wire" bobbin. This is the only variety we carry. Our has flared ends to keep the thread from fraying.
Scissors Thin fine tipped scissors are needed to trim thread, trim materials tied on the hook and cut various types of materials for one application or another. Most fly tying scissors are surgical scissors. Materials such as wire, tinsel and other coarse components should not be cut with these delicate instruments. One can purchase a small pair of Fiskars (or the like) for such bulk tasks.
Basic took kits may be purchased saving time and money. Fly Tying Vises and Kits
Click here to check out our Fly Tying Tools
Hooks see Hooks