Fly tying is an enjoyable hobby that is both an art and a precision craft. There is no greater feeling than catching a fish with a fly that you have tied. If you run out of a particular pattern or just want to create a different variation, you have that ability. It is especially easy to let your imagination soar when you are in your favorite fly shop, browsing through the fly tying materials, both natural and synthetic. However, selecting feathers, threads, beads, fur and hooks is only part of what you need to make the perfect fly. What about all the tools and equipment that help you tie your perfect fly?
The quality of the flies you tie depends on the quality of your supplies. A craftsman is only as good as their tools and materials. Knowledge of tools and their purpose is necessary to determine what you need to create or duplicate the fly that you need. Great Feathers Fly Shop offers a full assortment of tools that we use from manufacturers that we trust. Take your time to review exactly what supplies are necessary to tie flies like a pro tyer.
Fly Tying Vise
The fly tying vise is the vital piece of equipment necessary to facilitate tying your best flies. The vise holds the hook securely while you apply the thread, feathers, beads and any other material needed Selecting the best vise for your taste and budget also comes with research. There are good, better, and best. Select the vise that best suits your need and budget. Renzetti, Dyna-King and Regal are some of the best and we tie with them. Please ask questions and try them out before you make your decision. Make the choice that you will be happy with for years to come!
Learn more about fly tying vises.
Fly Tying Tools
A box of fly tying tools needs the basics, including:
- Bobbin- A necessity to apply thread and tie down materials on the hook
- Bobbin threader- Helps to thread the bobbin (not vital, but trust us, you’ll need it eventually!)
- Bodkin- Helpful for many tasks, especially, applying cement!
- Hackle pliers- For winding hackle onto the hook. Many shapes and sizes to choose from.
- Hair stackers- For aligning hair tips for certain flies.
- Scissors- Very important! Not one pair will do. General use and then, the good pair!!
- Whip Finisher or other knot-tying tool- To finish the fly
- Head Cement- So it all does not unravel!
There are many other tools you might want to consider that are useful but not essential such as a dubbing rake and brush, bead dispenser, sidecutters, tweezers and even a fur comb. Buy the basics, start tying flies and it will soon become obvious what other supplies you need for your particular way of doing things. We will happily offer suggestions and our best options for what you need. Just ask!!
Learn more about fly tying tools.
Fly Tying Lights
A good light source facilitates better tying. There is a large variety of fly tying lights, from battery power to free standing or clamped. Personal preference will dictate your need for your tying station. Florescent or incandescent bulbs will do the job. A combination of the two best duplicates natural light and full-spectrum bulbs are available. Your eyes will let you know what is best for you. The key to a wise selection is testing the design before purchasing. The popular goose neck provides the most flexibility with a 360 degree rotation.
Fly Tying Magnifiers
No matter how bright the light is, it can still be difficult for you to see the detail of the material you’re working with as you attach it to the hook. Check out the various types of fly tying magnifiers available. There are magnifying devices incorporated into lamps that are free standing or can be clamped onto a bench. Many fly tyers prefer head band magnifiers that cover their eyes making it easy to concentrate on the work at hand.
Fly Tying Benches
You will quickly realize the need to organize all the tiny bits and pieces of your fly tying hobby. A fly tying bench or tying station is the solution. This piece of hardwood with its dowels and wells and perhaps even a small shelf or drawer has a place for everything. Spools of threads go on the dowels. Hooks, beads, hair stackers and any other small tool or piece of material are placed in designated depressions. Tool handles fit into holes along the side. A vise can be mounted on it and even a lamp. A place for everything and everything in its place!
The bonus is the bench’s portability. Just lift it off the kitchen table or wherever you were working and hide it away until it’s time to start fly tying again. You can even leave a fly partly finished and not have to worry about losing it.
The First Steps
If you are ready for a fly tying adventure, start by doing some research. Talk to your fishing buddies who already tie their own flies. Great Feathers is a full-service fly shop that carries a comprehensive selection of all of your fishing and tying needs. We are staffed with tyers and fisherman that can answer all of your questions and point you in the right direction. Check out websites and online forums. Of course, you can also join us for our fly tying classes or just drop by the shop on a Saturday and use the available fly tying area and tools. Best of all, you’ll have fly tyers all around you to bounce ideas and ask advice.
Then, make a list of the basic tools you’ll need. It might be easier to shop at our online fly shop but, if you are a beginning fly tier, it is always a good idea to visit our fly shop where you can actually hold tools in your hands and try them out to make sure you are comfortable with a particular model. We have a complete online store that will satisfy needs and we will back up the products with quick responses and deliveries. We stand by our products because we use them!