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Essential Fly-Tying Equipment for Beginners

two people fishing

Many anglers choose to tie their own flies due to the feeling of satisfaction they get from hooking a fish that they caught with a fly they crafted themselves. Tying your own flies also offers several other benefits such as saving money and the ability to customize your flies to suit the exact conditions of your favorite fishing spot. Before starting your fly-tying journey, you’re going to need to acquire some basic tools and equipment. If you’re a first-time tyer, make sure to invest in this essential fly-tying equipment for beginners.

Fly tying vise

Perhaps the most important piece of equipment to own when attempting to tie your own flies is a fly-tying vise. This piece of equipment is responsible for securely holding your hook in place while you dress it with various materials. When choosing a fly-tying vise, try to find one you can adjust to hold a variety of different-sized hooks and rotate while still holding the hook in place.

Whip finish tools

Whip finishing a fly with your bare hands can be a challenge, especially for a novice fly tyer. As such, using a whip finisher is often very beneficial for beginners. A whip finisher can help you knot the thread after completing a fly. Using this tool will ensure you tie a secure knot that won’t come undone when the fly thread is under stress.


Tying your own flies without a pair of scissors is nearly impossible. Scissors are easily the most-used hand tool that utilized when flying ties. Fishermen need them to cut hairs, threads, and other various fly-tying materials. Just any pair of kitchen scissors are suitable, however. They must be extremely sharp and have a very fine point. Ideally, an angler will have two scissors in their fly-tying tool belt—one for cutting through rough materials and another for more delicate tasks.


Bodkins are simple and inexpensive tools; however, they are extremely valuable when it comes to tying your own flies. A bodkin is a needle with a base that you can use for many different tasks. This includes dividing wingtips, cleaning hook eyes, combing underfur, teasing dubbed materials, and applying head cement.

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