Hey, Smurfs! Welcome to the dark side!
This subject is one that seems to occur about every 6 months. Here
is one from about a year ago.
The consensus among most tyers is that you would end up replacing most of the tools in the kit within a year of buying it. I bought the Cabela's Deluxe Tying Kit
, which is on sale right now, as a travel kit. I also replaced a few of the included tools. First to go were the scissors. The one's in the kit were more than adequate, but I love my Dr. Slick's.
The Cabela's kit does not include materials. For materials, I would recommend Figuring out the materials you need to tie 3 or 4 fly patterns you know you want to tie, and buy just those materials.
For instance, for Wooly Buggers:
-3x long hooks, $6
brand per your preference (I buy the Aberdeen perch hooks and mal-mart)(start w/ size 8)
-6/0 or 140 Denier thread, $1.50
again your choice (I don't care for UNI brand, since, I believe, it is bonded and won't lay flat) In black or olive. (These are the 2 most recommended colors for WB's)
to match thread color in MEDIUM weight
-Marabou to match chenille and thread. $2.35
Go ahead and get the select or ultra select. It is worth the dollar or so difference in price.
-"Bugger Pack Strung Hackle" in the same color. $4.85
You can also contrast the colors if you want. Do you begin to see how this hobby starts to get expensive? :D)
-Weight (optional, to some people) Lead or lead-free wire, depending on both preference and local regulations. Some idiots have decided...Never mind... You can also add Beads or Cones or Eyes at the front of the hook to change the way the fly behaves on the retrieve.
-Dumbell Eyes $3 Tungsten $6
-Lead Wire $2.25 Lead free $3.25
-Bead Chain $1.50
-Beads Brass $2.25 Tung $3.55
-Coneheads Brass $3.25 Tung $3.55
(All prices are from jsflyfishing.com, except hooks)
The limiting factor for how many flies you will get out of this is probably going to be the quantity of hooks or the package quantity of the beads or cones. The other materials should tie 20 to 30 flies.
So. For around $25 (2 packs of walmart hooks and using the lead wire) you should get around 25 WBuggers.
Bass Pro has a WB 12-pack for 12.99, so $26 for 24 flies.
You just saved $2!
Regardless, you will get opinions on both side of this debate, kit vs buy individually. I'm on the Kit side of the field, as long as you are not buying a $12 el-cheapo kit off of ebay.