The Basic Essential Fly Tying Tools And Materials

Some people consider fly tying as an often rewarding, although sometimes frustrating, hobby. Others tie their own flies to save money and some have even succeeded in turning their hobby into a money-making venture. To tie flies, you’ll need fly tying supplies and equipment, patterns or tutorials, and a workspace with good lighting. You’ll also need plenty of patience!

Fly Tying Guide Books And Videos

Guide books and videos are especially helpful for newcomers to the hobby. one of the most popular books for beginners learning fly tying is The Orvis Fly-Tying Guide.

Orvis Fly Tying Guide

With this book anyone can learn how to tie flies. It covers all of the important techniques, from starting the thread on the hook to whip finishing, all illustrated with wonderful color photographs. It teaches you the basics by fully explaining simple tying techniques, and then helps you to progress with more detailed tying instructions for some of the most popular, modern patterns. How to choose and prepare the correct materials, and then all of the necessary tying steps for each fly, are outlined in superb, large, color photographs.

After just a few sessions with this book you’ll be able to tie dries, nymphs, streamers, saltwater offerings, and bass bugs, even if you have no previous fly tying experience. The book then covers how you can progress to similar patterns using the same basic techniques. There is also a huge reference of more than four hundred fly patterns from the Orvis catalog, with full color images and the tying recipes and proportions for them all.

Basic Fly Tying Materials List

  • Hooks – in different styles and sizes
  • Thread – 6/0 to start in black & white
  • Dubbing
  • Pheasant Tail – center feathers when possible for the longest fibers
  • Beads – not necessary to begin tying flies but if you really need them get them)
  • Rooster Hackle – grizzly, brown, white & dun
  • Peacock Herl – eye feathers and strung herl
  • Deer and elk hair
  • Ribbing Wire – silver, copper & gold
  • ‘Lead’ wire for weight – in different sizes
  • Tailing fibres – in assorted colors
  • Dubbing wax
  • Head cement
  • Buck Tail – in different colors like red, yellow, or white
  • Marabou – blood quills are better
  • Hen Neck of Saddle – grizzly, brown, dun etc

Basic Fly Tying Tools List

  • Vise
  • Bobbin/s
  • Whip Finish Tool
  • Hair Stacker
  • A Fine Comb
  • LED Light/s

To get all of the items on the above two lists will cost you a few hundred dollars ($100 materials/$200 tools) but then you can start tying effective flies and experience the satisfaction of catching fish on flies that you have created.

Fly Tying Tool Kits

For a beginner I recommend to start with a fly tying kit as they include all of the basic fly tying tools and materials that you will need to get you started. Once you have had a bit of practice and become more skilled at tying flies you will then have a better idea of the tools and the materials and then will be able to decide what you want to add or upgrade. A fly tying kit also lets you use the money you save on buying flies to gradually upgrade your equipment.

A good all in one fly tying kit for beginners is the Creative Angler Wooden Fly Tying Station with Tools and Materials.

It is a great light weight wooden Fly Tying Station that measures 11-1/2″L x 8-1/2″W x 3″H and includes 11 tools the materials and a Tools And Fly Tying Guide Book to get you started. There is also a socket which holds your vise securely for tying stability, three spaces hold round and square bottles. and a 9-1/4″L x 7-1/2″W x 1-3/4″D drawer to store all of your most used materials.

The Fly Tying Station stores all of your tools, hooks and materials together so that you can spend more time tying flies and less time looking for what you need. For me the vise and the tools are the big reason to buy it. You get an EZ Rotary Vise in the kit and the tools and materials to tie a Parachute Adams with as it includes the Hooks, Thread, Dubbing, Brown and Grizzly Saddle Hackle and the White Poly Yarn.

If you are on a bit of a budget and need to spread the cost a bit then the Colorado Anglers Z797 Wooden Fly Tying Standard Tool Kit is a good basic kit. The standard combo is very compact, lightweight and it comes with all of the basic equipment you will need to make flies no matter how advanced you are.

The tools included are:

  • Vise with base
  • Bobbin
  • Threader
  • Bodkin
  • Dubbing Twister
  • Hackle Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Whip Finisher

All contained in a nice sturdy wooden carrying case which means it can be thrown in a backpack and taken on a road trip or backpacking trip.

With the built in base this portable set can be used anywhere as the base keeps the vise sturdy and means you do not have to clip the vise onto anything and while you work you have all of your tools right by your side.

So there you have it, an overview of the basic essential fly tying supplies, tools and materials to get you started. As you make progress as a tyer you will start to pick up a range of different materials and tools that will enable you to tie a much greater variety of flies.