Creating different ties and patterns is part of the exciting world of fly fishing. But, you’ll need to right tools and materials. Luckily, a fly tying kit can get you started. Some even have a vice, so you can create ties wherever you go! You don’t even have to bring an extra bag because many kits are designed to be extra portable.
What You Should Consider Before Buying A Fly Tying Kit
Inexpensive options may include all the supplies and tools you could possibly need, but they may not be the best kit for your specific requirements. If you’re a beginner, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a high-end kit. But, if you are experienced in fly fishing or at least know how to make simple patterns, a middle-of-the-line kit is an excellent investment.
In addition to considering your level of experience, you should also consider the following:
Tool-Only vs. Material-Only vs. All-in-One
Fly tying kits are available in three options – tool-only, material-only, and all-in-one.
Tool-only kits typically have a bobbin threader, hackler plier, and whip finisher. But you can find some options that have a vice which is convenient, especially for on-the-go tying.
As its name implies, a material-only kit is free from any tools. The inclusions will vary from seller to seller, but it usually consists of feathers, beads, threads, and hooks. Many anglers prefer this tying kit for restocking in bulk.
An all-in-one tying kit combines the best of both worlds. Again, inclusions can vary, but an all-in-one kit should have at least the following:
- Bobbin holders
- Hackle pliers
- Teasers and hair stackers
- Fly tying scissors
- Fly tying vice
- Craft knife
Number of Tie Patterns
Tie patterns range from beginner to complex. If you’re going to stick to simple ties, you don’t necessarily need to pick up a tying kit with too many tools and materials included.
As you get more comfortable tying and your tying skill increases, you can add more materials to your kit.
What Are the Best Fly Tying Kits?
The best flying tying kit should have all the tools and materials you need to quickly and efficiently create a fly. And, our choices for the top fly tying kits do just that. These kits have all gone through extensive research and rigorous testing to determine their usability, instructions, and versatility.
1. WETFLY Deluxe Fly Tying Kit
WETFLY Deluxe Fly Tying Kit has everything you need to create high-quality ties. You have natural materials, ranging from elk hair to hackle. You’ll even get all the essential tools like hackler pliers. However, its total inclusions are limiting, especially for seasoned anglers. Also, there are reports that the kit doesn’t include a carrying case or the DVD.
2. Orvis Fly Tying Kit
The Orvis Fly Tying Kit is a great place to start if you want to try your hand at tying different flies — it has enough materials to make up to 16 patterns! Like WETFLY’s kit, you’ll also receive tools like the vice.
However, don’t expect to receive everything you see in the photo. According to the seller, the inclusions are subject to availability. The upside is you get a handy instructional DVD to expand and improve your fly tying skills.
3. XFISHMAN Fly Tying Tool Kit
The XFISHMAN Fly Tying Tool Kit may not have a vice, but it makes up for this by including nearly every other kind of tool you will need to craft your ties – it has a total of 12!
In addition to the typical bodkin and hackle plier, you will get curved scissors, a whip finisher, four different styles of ceramic bobbins, and a dubbing twister. The four pieces of bobbins may seem excessive, but you can at least have peace of mind that you have three back-ups. And the best part is that these tools are neatly organized in a portable bag.
However, this kit does not have patterns, instructions, or materials. We suggest picking this one up if you already have materials on hand.
4. Muskoka Fly Tying Material Kit
The Muskoka Fly Tying Material Kit would partner well with the aforementioned XFISHMAN Fly Tying Tool Kit.
This fly tying materials kit includes a large assortment of feathers, synthetic rabbit fur, and dubbing for creating dry and wet nymphs and even streamers. However, don’t expect it to have an instruction manual – it doesn’t have one! It also doesn’t have any hooks. Only consider the Muskoka as a restocking kit, or if you already have essential fly tying tools from another kit.
5. Colorado Anglers Z797 Wooden Fly Tying Standard Tool Kit
If you don’t want a flimsy bag to hold your fly tying tools, you should consider this high-ended kit from Colorado Anglers. Out of the box, this kit screams premium with its thick wooden case. Inside, you get a total of seven tools. Its inclusions may not be expansive as the XFISHMAN, but we particularly love the included vise with base. It is sturdy, and you don’t need to clip the vise on a table. Like the XFISHMAN, this kit doesn’t contain any materials; all you get are the tools and the case.
6. Phecda Sport Flying Tying Materials
The Phecda Sport Fly Tying Materials Starter Kit is also a material-only flying kit. You’ll receive a wide range of materials, including 342 pieces of feathers! And unlike Muskoka, you will also receive a total of 90 hooks (size 8 and size 12). Threads are also included, but don’t expect them to be high-quality – they are quite brittle and flimsy.
7. Dr. Slick Fly Tying Tools with Fly Box Combo
If XFISHMAN’s 12-piece tool inclusion is too much for your needs, Dr. Slick is the best alternative you will ever find. It’s a 7-piece kit that sticks with the basics. But that doesn’t mean it is a low-quality kit – everything is made to last! Even the included scissors can cut the hair off of gnats like butter. Although it is one of the most premium-priced tool-only kits for fly fishing, we highly recommend it because each tool is relatively high quality.
Tying different fly patterns is one of the most exciting parts of fly fishing. If you are just getting started in fly tying, a good, high-quality kit can be a great way to start. But, remember, fly tying kits can have varying inclusions! If you don’t have the tools and material yet, you can stick to an all-in-one kit like the WETFLY. If you are more experienced in tying flies and already have an existing set of materials, the Dr. Slick Fly Tying Tools can complement your gear.