One of the best parts of fly fishing for many anglers is catching a fish with a handmade fly tie. If you’re thinking of making your flies for your next fly fishing expedition, read our guide on what you need to start fly tying.
Why You Should Craft Fly Ties
Whether you just started fly fishing or are an experienced angler, you should consider crafting your fishing flies for your next expedition. Using handmade fly ties adds a personal element to fly fishing and deepens the pride and satisfaction you feel when catching a fish.
Ask any angler that ties flies, and we’re sure they’ll tell you that catching a fish on a fly crafted with their own two hands only adds to the fly fishing experience!
Equipment You’ll Need for Fly Tying
Before you can start making your ties, you’ll need to procure some equipment. Here are the tools you need to begin crafting one-of-a-kind fly ties.
The vise is an essential piece of equipment for fly tiers, as it holds the hook in place as you wind thread and the other materials around it. There are many vise options, from rotary to stationary, each with unique advantages to offer fly tiers. Research your options and consider your needs before choosing.
The next piece you’ll need is the one you’ll use the most: scissors. You can try using household scissors, but fly tying scissors designed for snipping and trimming fly tying materials yield the best results.
You can’t craft a fly tie without thread! Fly tying thread comes in various colors, sizes, and styles, so consider how you want your fly to look and react before choosing your wire.
A tie isn’t much use without a hook! You can find fly tying hooks in several different sizes depending on how big you want the fly to be and what type of fish you’ll be catching.
The bobbin is the tool you’ll use to hold the thread while you wind it around the hook shank. You can find bobbins of all kinds of styles and sizes, but it’s probably better to go with something simple and affordable at first.
A bodkin needle is a bit of a do-it-all tool for fly tyers. You can use it to apply glues and adhesives or turn to it any other time you need a fine point.
The whip finisher does as its name suggests—it helps you finish your fly tie. The whip finisher makes tying the knot of your fly’s thread much easier and more durable; plus, it helps save time!
When you’re tying, there will be times when you must gently but firmly hold your fly’s feathers in place. Hackle pliers give you a firmer grip of the feather’s stem than your fingers can provide.
These are just a few examples of what you need to start fly tying. As you get underway, you’ll find other tools that help you finely craft your best flies. As a beginner, consider purchasing a starter kit of tools that’ll give you the essentials at a bundled, discounted price.