Fly tying – getting started – part 1

With Mountains of different materials, tools and vices, starting to tie your own flies seems like a daunting thing to do, it needn’t be. Over the next 8 “getting started” blogs we will cover 6 simple flies that any beginner can tie. These include;
Dry Fly, Nymph, Wet Fly, Streamer, Pike and Saltwater.

It is not Overly difficult to start tying flies, Many people that are starting out make the mistake of buying  large assortment of tools, or Fly Tying kits with many odds and ends that don’t do a specific job.
The purpose of fly-tying is to tie flies that will be effective when fished, although different people do have different reasons for taking up this fine activity, however there is nothing more rewarding than deceiving a wily Fish into taking something crafted by your own hands.

The simply Sprite range of current tools.

The “Basic” Fly Tying Tools

There are 5 basic tools necessary to start off the Fly Tying journey, a Vice, Bobbin, Hackle Pliers, Scissors and a Dubbing Needle/Bodkin. Here is a little description about each tool and what their purpose is.

Vise; They come in a variety of price ranges and styles, all you really need to worry about when you’re looking for a vice is if they can hold the size hook you aim to tie on (size 8-18 Trout Flies or 2-6/0 Predator & Saltwater Flies) whether you’re interested in tying Flies for Trout or Predatory fish where the hooks are bigger, you want a vice that can hold the hook without slippage.

Bobbin; A tool designed to hold your Fly Tying thread, the basic bobbins are in-expensive and they do the job perfectly.
you can also get bobbins that allow you to set the thread tension manually.

Hackle Pliers; They are designed to hold a Hackle without it slipping from the jaws when slight tension is applied, another in-expensive and easily obtainable tool Not Really used in Predator & Saltwater flies as often as it is in Trout flies

Scissors;  Buy the best you can afford, ideally you want a pair that meshes cleanly and has fine points, fly tying scissors should be used for that purpose only.
if your tying Predator flies the material can be a lot tougher, so something a little more heavy duty should be used. A pair with one serrated blade are great for gripping the material and ensuring a clean cut.

Dubbing Needle/Bodkin; Simply a Pointed needle that can be embedded into different materials, Wood, Metal, Plastic etc.
It can be used for teasing out material that have been unintentionally tied down. You can also use it to Apply head cement or epoxy for Predatory flies that require it.

Rite Bobbin tools
Whip Finisher
bobbin threader
half hitch tool

“Other” Fly Tying Tools & Non-Materials

Half Hitch Tool; A short tapered cylinder about 2.5-3 inches long and come in a variety of diameters, in-expensive and gives assistance in putting half hitches in very quick.

Rotary Whip Finish Tool; A tool used to whip finish and secure your thread from unravelling when cut. Usually done as the last action after completing a fly.

Bobbin Threader; Fine wire doubled over and twisted at the end to allow a small loop that you put the end of your thread through, this is then pushed up through the bottom of your bobbin holder and out the other side.

Head Cement Applicator; An alternative to the Dubbing Needle for applying Head Cement/Epoxy, it’s a needle body with a hooked end, slight gap between the hook end and the body. This ensures the head cement/Epoxy doesn’t form big droplets, and is easily controlled.

Dubbing Twister; This is a Tool used for a slightly more advanced technique, very popular in Predator and Saltwater flies.
We recommend Rotary Dubbing Twisters, the ease of use compared with regular twisters is no contest.
This is a technique that requires a bit of time to master.

Rite Bobbin tools

Here is a list of basic essential non-Materials;

Fly Tying Thread – the staple of fly tying, enables you to bind materials to your desired hook.

Tying Wax – Enables dubbing and other soft material to cling on to the tying thread, you would

Head Cement – Used to protect the thread wraps around the head sectoin of the fly

Super Glue – For applying on thread Wraps between each material tie in, on Flies intended for Toothy Predators, this really helps durability

Epoxy – If using eyes on your Predator/Saltwater Flies, this is important for keeping the eyes on as they can, and do come off, an alternative is UV resin)

These are not Materials as such, however you will need them to hold a different array of Fly-Tying materials on the hook.
Head Cement, Super Glue and Epoxy are all keys to longevity in your Flies.