Fly fishing is a popular sport.
It does have a learning curve associated with it, and there is a lot of gear you have to cover to be able to fly fish effectively.
However, it’s very rewarding to learn how to tie your own flies, and fly tying kits give you everything you need to learn this art.
Before I jump into the reviews of these kits, I’ll go over the most important things you need when you create your new flies.
I’ll explain why you need each one too.
Why Do I Need to Start Fly Tying?
The fly tying vise is what will hold your hook securely in place as you tie the fly. They can range in price from under $50 to over $600. Additionally, some of the heads rotate while some stay stationary. Rotating can make it easier to reach every portion of your fly. Pick out a sturdy vise that fits your hook size and the style of fly you want to make.
Whip Finish Tool
This tool is essential for giving you accurate and fast whip finishes on your flies. Many of these tools have a tube handle and a curved wire end that will rotate. You use this tool to create a whip finish on your fly. It’s a slip knot that you can tighten and loosen, and you use it to bind the thread’s loose end to the shank of the hook.
When you tie flies, it can be difficult when you run out of fingers to hold the thread. Hackle pliers give you more points to hold your thread, so it doesn’t slip. There are several different types of these pliers from basic to complicated, but they’re all designed to get a firm grip on the thread. There are also different grips available.
Bobbin Wire Loop Tool
It’s important that you have tension when you use wound bobbins because this can help you end up with a neat and clean finished product. A bobbin wire loop tool holds the bobbin, and you thread the wire through a holder. This supports the bobbin as you tie, but it also ensures that the tension stays the same, and the wire doesn’t tangle in the middle of tying.
The silk you use to tie flies isn’t something you want to try and tear with your hands. If it frays in the end, it can cause problems later down the road. So, you need a sharp pair of scissors to create clean cuts. However, the scissors shouldn’t be large or bulky because they have to get close to the fly. Go for a smaller pair of scissors with very sharp edges.
DVD – Informational Guides
Learning to tie flies can take time, but there are hundreds of informational guides available on DVD. It’s a good idea to start off with the more simple flies and master them before you move to the more complicated ones. Pick up a few informational guides and give them a few views. This will give you a good starting point of your tools and the steps involved in each style.
Fly Tying Materials
Once you know which types of fly you want to create, you’ll have to get your materials. One of the most important is the feathers. There are several different types of feathers available, and they all correspond to different flies. Make sure you buy several different types of feathers so you can practice on different ties.
Best 10 Fly Tying Kits
Beginner fly tying kits like this one are convenient and affordable, and they have all of the fly tying materials you need to learn how to tie your own flies. In this kit, you’ll get five essential tools, including a bobbin, scissors, hackle pliers, whip finisher, and a bodkin. It’s compact, easy to carry, and it makes an excellent gift for beginner fly fishermen. You can also buy individual pieces if you need to replace or add something to your kit.
All of the tools come in a slim and hard-sided case with a clear cover. The interior of the box has foam cutouts to hold all of your items, so they don’t slide all over. The whip finisher won’t fit, and you’ll have to carry it separately, but it’s still a nice kit. The kit has a secure latch, so it doesn’t accidentally fall open when you carry it.
Novice and experienced fly tiers will appreciate this fly tying material because you get a lot of high-quality tools in one convenient case. It includes all-purpose scissors, arrow point scissors, dubbing brush, bodkin, bobbin, gator grip dubbing spinner, whip finisher, and line nippers all in one order. They use a hardened steel that resists rust and corrosion, and the tools have an attractive green coating on them for additional protection.
The thick die-cut foam securely holds the tools in place inside the case to prevent scratches when you carry them. The foam slides into a poly storage and travel case that has hard sides to add further protection for your tools. The case is small and lightweight enough to slip into a standard backpack and take with you, and it measures 9.14 by 7.5 by 1.35 inches. Two secure latches hold the case closed and your tools inside until you need them.
If you want a nice middle of the road kit, try this one by Dr. Slick. Not only are these tools aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also durable and very easy to use. It contains the most essential tools any novice or expert fly tiers will need to tie flies, and each tool has an attractive gold finish that helps it resist rust and corrosion. This allows you to use these tools in wet conditions without worrying about them wearing.
The kit comes packed in a foam liner that is specifically cut to match the tools and hold them securely in place inside the case when you carry it. The case has hard sides with a clear cover that allows you to see them at a glance. Each tool undergoes a six-point inspection to ensure they are all well-balanced and the highest quality possible. They make an excellent gift or tool to add to your arsenal.
Anyone who wants a more comprehensive kit should try this on by Anglerhaus. The Gunnison River kit is an excellent tool for beginners who want to know how to tie a broad range of flies. When you buy this kit, you’ll get a step-by-step instruction booklet and access to an instructional video online to help guide you along. The booklet has pictures and written instructions you can follow along to learn how to tie.
There are a total of five different tools available in this kit. The materials you get when you purchase it are enough to make 32 flies. The soft case zips closed and has space to keep your tools organized and safe. There is also a storage pouch for your additional materials like the feathers. It’s an attractive olive green color and slender enough to slide into your bag and take with you to your fishing spot.
This is a deluxe fly tying kit that comes with a rotatable whip finisher tool, bobbin threader, bobbin, hair stacker, hackle pliers, and scissors. It is a soft-sided case that has plenty of room for all of these tools on one side. The other side of the case has storage pouches with elastic and mesh compartments to hold your line and bobbins and keep them separated and neat until you need them.
Along with the tools above, this complete kit comes with basic binding wire, binding tools, and binding pliers. There is a C-clamp in the kit that suits workbenches, and the rotating head lets you get to every part of the fly to ensure you get a clean finish. Everything in this kit is the highest quality materials to ensure it lasts, and the case will zip closed to keep everything secure. There is a durable carrying handle included in the case.
This slightly larger kit has 11 different tools in it, and it’s a good choice for people looking to expand their collection. The bright yellow coating on the handles ensures you get a good grip that doesn’t slip, and the bright colors are easy to see if you accidentally drop the tools when you use them. The metal portions of these tools have a durable coating on them that helps the tools resist rust and corrosion in wet environments.
You’ll get a thin and clear carrying case when you purchase this item with a heavy-duty foam that comes specially cut to hold your tools. The foam is slightly thicker, so your tools can’t slip out. The case latches closed when you’re not using it to keep everything secure, and there is a durable carrying handle to make transport easy and convenient.
Every kit needs a rotating fly tying vise. With this one, you can adjust the rotary tension, and it has complete rotary action that allows you to get at every part of the fly when you need it. The jaws of this vise have a jaw capacity starting at 28 and going to 4/0. There is an adjustable jaw hinge that is able to accommodate a broad range of hooks safely and easily, and they have a hardened steel construction that will last for years.
There is a cast iron clamp on this vise that is very durable, and it comes with a foam patch you can add to protect your table from scratches when you use the vise. The materials this vise has resist rust, corrosion, wear, and tear. When you’re ready to store it between uses, it has a snap-shut plastic box that will seal moisture out while keeping the vise secure.
This is another high-quality kit by Anglerhaus, and it has the same quality tools and attention to detail as you’d expect from this brand. There are five tools included in this kit, but this kit also comes with a host of materials that allow you to tie up to 32 different flies. The instruction booklet will walk you through how to tie the three most popular flies in a step-by-step guide with full-color photographs.
The thick foam comes die-cut to give you an exact fit for your tools, and it’s thick enough that the tools won’t accidentally slide out. There is a heavy-duty carrying case included in every order that is hard-sided. The case also has a built-in handle with two secure latches to keep the case closed and seal water out. It weighs around four pounds when it’s fully loaded, which is light enough to carry with you.
Anyone who wants a slightly more chic kit should take a look at this option. It’s perfect for advanced anglers who want to add to their collection, and it has a full set of 11 different tools you can use to tie a huge variety of flies. The inside of the case is a blue velvet material that cushions your tools as you store and transport them from spot to spot. There are also straps to hold them in place and prevent them from sliding around.
The outside of the carrying case is a durable wood box with rust-resistant latches. It has a vise grip with a clamp base included, but this is a slightly bulkier and larger kit. It’s easy to store on a shelf, but you may find yourself having trouble taking it in smaller spaces.
If you want an entire fly tying station instead of just a smaller kit, this is for you. You get a wooden station that has drawers to store your fly tying material and a solid work surface to use. It comes with 11 high-quality tools that make tying flies easy, and the top of the station has slots for each tool to stand-in to keep them all in easy reach.
The EZ rotary vise grip has a clamp that fits onto the edge of the table and allows you to reach every part of your fly. It’s compact and easy to travel with, and it has a bright woodgrain finish. The tools and the box resist wear and tear, and they come designed to last for years with repeated use.
Best Fly Tying Material Kits
This kit comes with 22 different colors ranging from matte to crystals that catch the light when you use them in your flies. Each streamer is carefully cut and packed to the correct lengths, and there is an individual box for each color to keep them separated and neat. You get between 120 and 150 strands per color.
These beginner fly tying kits give you a large assortment of feathers to add to your flies. You’ll find both muted and bright colors with solid and patterns. They come in several sizes, and each type of feather is carefully packaged to keep them neat and orderly until you use them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best fly tying kits for beginners?
Everyone’s needs and tastes are different, so there isn’t a clear best choice. Ideally, whichever kit you choose will have at least five core tools and a carrying case. To make it convenient, they could have more materials like feathers or thread.
2. Is it cheaper to tie your own flies?
Yes and no. You can go through a lot of materials when you first start tying your own flies, and it costs roughly $2 in materials per fly. The kits can also be slightly expensive. However, it gets less expensive as you get better at tying them, and you can make as many as you want to make it cheaper than buying them all.
3. Is it hard to tie flies?
No. You can easily find step-by-step instructions on how to tie a huge range of flies online. There are many video tutorials available, too, that will guide you through the learning process. The more advanced flies are more difficult to learn, but there are tutorials available as well.
4. What is the easiest fly to tie as a beginner?
Wooly Buggers and Just a Bug are three examples of easy ties to learn. Wooly Buggers are a slightly larger fly, so they’re easy to start with and learn the basics on until you graduate to more advanced flies. Just a Bug is a simple black and white thread with puffy black and white feathers on the end that works well for panfish.