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7 Best Fly Tying Kits

Fly tying allows seasoned anglers to personalize their fishing experience and empower themselves to catch more fish. 

Not only does it allow them to replicate their favorite bugs, but they can also make their patterns. This artistic side of fly fishing is only limited by your creativity, imagination, and the kit you get. 

Here are the best fly tying kits you can buy to make your fly fishing trip a success:

sample-table__imageBest Fly Tying KitWETFLY Deluxe Fly Tying Kit
  • Start Tying Flies Instantly
  • Stand
  • Hooks
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sample-table__imageBeginner FriendlyColorado Anglers Z797 Standard Tool Kit
  • Beginners to Pros
  • Stand
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sample-table__imageDr Slick Fly Tying Tools Gift Set with Fly Box Combo
  • Only the Essentials
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sample-table__imageEditor's ChoceOrvis Fly-tying Kit
  • Full Package
  • DVD Guide
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sample-table__imageScientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit
  • Includes Dubbing, Hackle, and More
  • Vise and C-Clamp
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sample-table__imageLoon Outdoors Fly Tying Tools Kit
  • Only the Essentials
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sample-table__imageCreative Angler-Wooden Fly Tying Station
  • Full Kit
  • Wooden Box
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7 Best Fly Tying Kits for 2020 Reviewed

1. WETFLY Deluxe Fly Tying Kit with Book and Dvd

Best Fly Tying Kit 

WETFLY Deluxe Fly Tying Kit with Book and Dvd. This Is Our Most Popular Fly Tying Kit.
  • Deluxe Fly Tying Kit with Book and DVD
  • Everything you need to start tying flies (Vice, scissors,...
  • This Deluxe Fly Tying Kit is very versatile, perfect for the...

The WETFLY fly tying kit comes with a complete set of fly tying tools that beginner and intermediate fly fishing anglers will appreciate. It has over 20 tools, and each created from high-grade materials. The kit includes four hook sizes, hackle pliers, a vise, scissors, among other fly tying tools. The starter kit also comes with an instructional book and DVD that you can use to make your own patterns and flies. 

We loved that the kit came with instruction manuals, but don’t expect to be impressed if you are a seasoned angler. 

2. Colorado Anglers Z797 Standard Tool Kit

Best Fly Tying Kit for Beginners

Colorado Anglers Z797 Wooden Fly Tying Standard Tool Kit, Fly Fishing Vise, Bobbin, Threader, Bodkin, Dubbing Twister, Hackle Pliers, Scissors, Whip Finisher
  • For Beginners and Pros: a fishing kit with built in base,...
  • The standard combo includes eight tools: Vise with base,...
  • Perfect starter kit or travelers kit. Very compact and...

This portable fly fishing kit has all the quality basic tools you need for fly tying. It comes with over eight tools, which include a vise, bobbin, hackle pliers, scissors, threader, bodkin, among other essentials that can make your fly tying efforts clean and effortless. It comes in a neat, wooden case that is lightweight and is easy to store.

This setup makes a great gift for any fly fishing angler who loves to show off their kit and tools. However, it doesn’t come instructions, so you are better off giving it to a seasoned pro who can use the tools. 

3. Dr Slick Fly Tying Tools Gift Set with Fly Box Combo

Dr Slick Fly Tying Tools Gift Set with Fly Box Combo.
  • Dr Slick fly tying tools are easy to use, durable and...
  • Dr Slick fly tying kit is conveniently packaged in the foam...
  • You get the most essential fly tying tools geared toward...

The Dr Slick Fly Tying tools and kit is a perfectionist’s dream. Containing a foam lining in an attractive fly box, the gift set undergoes a thorough inspection before it is sent out. The idea behind these essential tools was to emulate the quality surgical tools have but for fly tying and use on the water. The slick design makes it the perfect gift for loved ones, and the precision tools make fly tying effortless.

Out of all the tools, the scissors stand out in the kit because they can be used to snip off the smallest pieces of material with pinpoint accuracy. However, the hackle plier could use some improvements.

4. Orvis Fly-tying Kit

Best Beginner Fly Tying Kit on a Budget 

The Orvis Fly-Tying Kit comes with a range of materials that you can use to create over 16 patterns and eight premium ones. It also comes with an instructional DVD you can use to make each one and brush up on your necessary skills. Some of the materials you can get with the kit include Hollow Egg, SOS Nymph, Fur Ant, and other favorites.

The kit comes in an attractive case that will keep all of your quality tools and materials in one place, but you may not get all of them in your order. That will depend on availability. 

5. Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit

Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit with Vise, Materials, Tools, Hooks, and Instructional DVD in Travel Case
  • Includes dubbing, chenille, hackle, peacock herl, pheasant...
  • Features a versatile vise with a C-clamp suitable for tables...
  • Comes with scissors, hackle pliers, a hair stacker, bobbin,...

The Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit comes in a travel case that proves invaluable on fishing trips. The kit includes a sturdy starter vise that boasts a fixed angle head as well as a c-clamp base along with other essential tools. The fly tying kit also comes with a step by step instructional DVD that is aptly named ‘Introduction to Fly Tying’ which you can use to practice.

While it is an excellent kit for the price point, the materials are not high quality, so you may have to replace some once you get the hang of fly tying. 

6. Loon Outdoors Fly Tying Tools Kit

Best Travel Fly Tying Kit

Each of the seven quality tools in this fly kit is made from stainless steel, and all of them come with powder-coated yellow handles. The kit includes a dubbing brush, bobbin, bodkin, all-purpose scissors, arrow-pointed scissors, and a gator-grip, to name a few. The brand is known for making tools from eco-friendly materials that preserve lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans so you can use this kit without worry. 

Out of all the tools, we weren’t huge fans of the scissors, which could be sharper, but the attractive look of the kit stood out. 

7. Creative Angler-Wooden Fly Tying Station

Fly Fishing Kit for Advanced Tying

Creative Angler Wooden Fly Tying Station with Tools and Materials
  • Wooden Fly Tying Station with Tools and Materials
  • Great Fly Tying Station to hold your tools and materials
  • Includes 11 Tools.

This is a complete fly tying station and kit that any angler would love to have on hand during a fishing trip. It features a drawer that can hold all of your tools, a wooden deck where you can make your flies, a super AA vise with over 11 devices, and is beautiful to behold. In other words, you’ll spend more time tying flies and less time searching for the tools and materials you need. 

While it looks gorgeous, we thought the wood could’ve been of a higher material for the price point. But it comes with all the essential tools and even a hair stacker that fly anglers need, so it is excellent for beginners. 

The Tools You Need in Your Kit

If you’re getting into fly tying for the first time, it may seem daunting at first because of the sheer quantity of tools and materials that are involved. However, as a beginner, you only need a few basic ones to get started: 

man tying a fly for fishing
Let’s get you tying your own flies! Source: Baker County Tourism

Essential Tools

Some of the necessary tools you will need include:

Bobbing Holder

This tool is used to hold thread so you can wind it around the hook shank.


These are storage boxes, travel caddies, or kits that are designed specifically to accommodate fly tying tools and materials. 

Dubbing Twister

This tool is used to make neat and fast dubbing loops. 


The vise is used to hold a hook securely as you tie flies. Some have a fixed head, while others come with a rotating one depending on use.  


Use scissors to make precision cuts in threads and other materials that are used to tie flies. 

Whip Finisher

The whip finisher is used to tie off the final knot to complete a fly after you finish making it. 


The thread that is used to tie flies winds and locks the material around the book. The bobbin holds it in place so it can be wound around the hook shank easily. 

Hackle Pliers

This tool holds the feather’s stem in a tight grip during fly tying which can be otherwise impossible to do with fingers alone. 

Bodkin Needle

This tool features an excellent point that proves invaluable for precision tasks in fly tying, such as glue and cement application. 

Best Fly Tying Materials Kit

Muskoka MUS525

Fly Tying Material Feather and Dubbing Starter Kit
  • Great assortment of bulk feathers.
  • Bulk on lots of your most popular tying materials in...
  • Now includes bulk synthetic rabbit hair and ice dubbing 10...

The Muskoka MUS525 fly tying kit comes packed with all of the materials any fly angler will need along with a few options they don’t know they need. The jam-packed kit includes several color variations of Marabou, Hackle, along with a range of rare bird feathers such as the neck feathers of a peacock along with dubbing bags of rabbit hair and synthetic ice dubbing.

The kit really offers excellent value for money, and depending on how many times you tie flies, the equipment can last you for years or months. You will have to source the tools you need yourself, though. 

Flies to Start With

best fly tying kit for fly fishing
Soon you’ll have flies you’ve tied yourself. Source: Janet Bland

Basic fly tying kits are not complete without the following flies: 

Woolly Bugger

One of the most popular flies, the Wooly Bugger, is in almost every fly kit for a reason. This artificial fly is a popular pattern that is used for both salt and freshwater fly fishing. It’s fished under the surface of the water and has a pulsating action that fish find irresistible.  

Pheasant Tail Nymph

This mayfly imitator is dark brown in color and slim enough to skim across the surface of the water. It can be made with natural materials and mimics a range of bait species. 

Elk Hair Caddis

This fly holds its own in turbulent waters because it has a hackle body that prevents it from going under. It skitters naturally across the surface, mimicking caddis that fish love. The elk and hackle wing of the fly also prevent it from getting soaked and submerging. 


Flies that are egg-patterned work well for steelhead, trout, and salmon, especially during their spawning season. That is the time of year when the fish is on the lookout for loose eggs from other fish in the water, which they can eat and get stronger from. These are heavy in protein, and other nutrients plus the eggs are easy prey. 

Blue Wing Olive

This dry fly mimics common insects that can be found on the surface, especially those that emerge between November and September. It works well in slow currents that can be found along banks and are great for attracting trout.

The Stimulator

This fly is designed to imitate insects during specific moments in their particular life cycles and can be found in a wide range of colors. It is best fished on the surface of the water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does fly fishing work?

A: Fly fishing is a particular type of fishing that uses artificial flies as bait. These are made to mimic baitfish, actual flies, and everything else in between that fish love to eat. It’s different from bait or lure fishing in terms of casting since the line’s weight projects the fly rather than the lure’s or bait’s weight. 

Q: How do you adjust the bobbin tension during fly tying?

A: Just bend the arms of the bobbin till there is enough tension to hold the spool in place without the thread breaking off. 

Q: How do you tie a fly?

A: You need to follow a few simple steps to tie flies successfully. We will be using the Wooly Bugger in this example. 

  1. Secure the hook to the vise and make ten tight wraps with the lead wire over it.
  2. Tie the tip of the saddle feather at the bend of the hook and cut off the extra material.
  3. To add dubbing on the thread roll clumps around it a little at a time.
  4. Take the dubbed thread to the eye of the hook to create a slim body.
  5. Take hackle pliers and use them to wrap the feather forward using evenly spaced turns. 
  6. Make sure the feather is secure at the eye of the hook before cutting off the extra material.
  7. Cut off some elk hair and place them tip down in the hair stacker. When you remove it, make sure the hair is even.
  8. Hold the hair at the top of the fly using your thumb and forefinger and align the tips to ensure they line up with the bend of the hook. Use your other hand to secure the hair in place with thread. 
  9. Pull the thread to make the hair flair and trim off the butt ends before tying it off with the whip finish tool. Add cement to complete the fly.

More FAQs

Q: What is needed to start tying flies?

A: The essential tools you need to tie flies include a vise, scissors, a bobbin, hair stacker, head cement, whip finisher, and hackle pliers. 

Q: What do different fly patterns imitate?

A: Fly patterns are broken down into four categories, namely:

Search patterns – These flies imitate a range of insects.

Impressionistic patterns – These flies mimic a few insects closely.

Attractor patterns – These flies don’t imitate any insect as such, but they are still attractive to fish.

Imitative patterns – These flies mimic one specific insect closely. 

Q: What does a dry fly look like?

A: A dry fly is one that can float on the surface of the water, and these are not typically designed to look like specific insects. Most of them feature flashy colors and jiggly legs. 

Q: What is a fly fishing zinger?

A: This is basically a lanyard that can be clipped onto a vest or bag and is meant to keep your tools safe while you are fishing. 

Insider Advice

As the seasons change, so too should the type of flies you use. That’s because you want to make sure that the ones you have mimic the physical flies and insects that are present in that particular period of time. Research which insects hatch during which seasons or months as well as when they hatch. 

Plus, to choose the right flies, you need to know what the fish you want to catch prefers to eat and make ones that imitate it. You may have to take a couple of fly tying kits and tools with you so you can have a range of materials to work with. 

The bottom line is that if you can learn more about bugs, how they behave, and how you can match them with your kit, you can become a master fly selector. Differences in the areas you should fish in will determine which type you are ultimately going to use, but don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the hang of it right away.

Accurate fly selection takes time in the beginning as you familiarize yourself with the different varieties and how they can be used in specific seasons and times of the day. The tools you need may also increase in number as you gain experience. 

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom

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