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Best Fly Tying Kits 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2018
Best Fly Tying Kits of 2018
The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product. Not all fly tying kits are created equal though. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. So, what exactly would anyone want to know about fly tying kits? I know most of us don’t really care much about the history and the origin, all we want to know is which of them is the best. Of course, I will spare you the history and go straight on to the best fly tying kits.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this fly tying kits win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this fly tying kits come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this fly tying kits take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Fly Tying Kits Buyer’s Guide
Your kitchen scissors that you cut anything from cardboard to plastic won’t suffice here. Invest in a decent pair of scissors by a company like Dr. Slick and use them solely for cutting fly materials. Don’t even use them to cut the packaging containing fly materials. Keep them sharp and keep them covered and they’ll last you a long time. You can even invest in a couple and use them to cut different things. Just mark them with a piece of tape or a dab of paint. 4’’ size scissors are good for cutting hair/furs, while a pair of 3.5’’ arrow head scissors are good for snipping out finer details (like snipping excess fur/dubbing when finishing a fly)
Also, if you see some that say they are ceramic, you don’t really need these unless you are using Kevlar thread. If you’re a beginner, you probably won’t be using this anyways. Buy another bobbin if you ever have a need for Kevlar. – let’s you evenly orientate and line up the tips of deer/elk/moose hairs.
Bobbin threader – makes it far easier and quicker to load new thread in your bobbin (which you do a lot)
Head Cement – A low viscosity, clear cloat (smells like nail polish) used to “finish” the head of the fly after you tie it off. The head cement is extra security for your knot and wraps to keep the fly from coming completely undone. Applied usually with a bodkin or toothpick. – basically a long and strong needle used to poke, prod, and apply things to your flies. Use it to pick at dubbing to create a “buggy, leggy” look or dip it in your head cement to apply.
Dubbing Wax – This is a soft wax that you rub onto your thread when you need to apply dubbing. Yes, you can buy waxed thread. Chances are that even with waxed thread, you’ll still need to put more wax on. It works best at room temperature or above, you can heat it slightly under a lamp or open window to make it more pliable.
Whip Finisher – This is really an optional accessory for me. I bought one because everyone on the internet said it’s a godsend. I find that I can’t figure out how to use the thing for the life of me. Rather, I can easily tie in multiple half-hitches using just my two fingers to finish off a fly. If you can do that, put your money somewhere else.
Obviously, you need something to serve as the backbone of your fly and something that will catch fish too. You can buy barbless or barbed, depending on your State’s fishing laws and your personal ethics. I fish for trout barbless, but I just press down the barb when I buy hooks.
I would recommend starting to tie dry flies on a number 1for Elk Hair Caddis’s and a 1for Adam’s dry flies. These two sizes tend to make a fly that’s easy to tie but small enough to mimic the real fly. I like to use Daiichi’s or Mustad’s.
For tying wooly bugger’s, you can experiment with different sizes. However, it depends always on what weight rod, reel, and line you’re currently using. Therefore, go with a streamer hook that fits closer to the weight line you use.
For nymphs I like to use this straight eyed nymph hook. You’ll need a bent hook to mimic the curled body of nymphs as well as keep your hook point from snagging on rocks.
Hackle and Feathers
For wooly buggers, they require a slightly different long hackle. Luckily, Whiting makes a wooly bugger hackle pack. I’d recommend black to start, and grizzly olive to start. Along with these, get yourself some black or olive marabou feathers which make up the bushy and fluffy tail of the fly (they are used to make those feather boa’s).
Hungarian partridge feathers are a useful and cheap feather to use for everything. Make collars on nymphs and emergers, to use for tails and wings on dries. Once you master using them, you can do quite a lot.
Chenille remind me of the garland you put on a Christmas tree. They are a very useful material to make bodies and eggs with and beef up a fly. Buy a set in black and olive color for your wooly’s and expand from there. If you plan to fish for salmon or steelies, buy a red, orange, or peach color to tie eggs (very easy pattern).
There are two types of dubbing. Superfine synthetic dubbing is almost like cotton. This is a light dubbing and used to make the bodies of dry flies like the Adam’s. Hare’s ear dubbing is more like wooly and is used to body nymphs and other “buggy” looking flies. I bought both in an assorted color box that I could mix and match color combinations for dries and wet flies. It’s fun to try them out and make some offbeat colors. It’s even better when you see them actually work!
Wire, along with a bead, will help you get your nymphs to drop down quick and maintain a proper orientation. Just a simple heavy metal wire will do. I like to use a thin gauge to have more control on how much weight I want to add.
That about does it for materials and tools to get yourself tying flies. If you can, check around at your local library or your local Trout Unlimited chapter for fly tying classes or meetups. If not, you can also start checking Youtube, websites, and forums for plenty of how-to’s and guides.
How to Attach Materials to a Hook
Of course, everyone has their own preferred learning style, but the one provided by this manual and fly tying kit really resonated with me. It helped me quickly achieve a basic competency that I could leverage to start tying Tenkara patterns and start making my custom modifications to conventional trout flies. After a week or two of tying more conventional trout flies and Tenkara patterns, I began to tie my own fly patterns and test them out on the river. What fun!
As mentioned above with this kit it does not matter if you are a professional or a beginner. Inside the kit you will find an instructional DVD that will teach you the basics or fly tying. At the end of this DVD you will have the knowledge the build several different styles of lures right in the field.
Pair the right equipment with a steady hand
You’ll need some basic tools to get tying. Start with the holy trinity of vice, scissors and bobbin holder.
While it’s possible to tie a fly totally by hand, we wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner. Most fly tyers choose to use a vice, and so should you. There are many types available, so do your research before you buy. As the Fly Dressers’ Guild advises: “Choosing your first vice and tools is a bit like buying your first car: very exciting, potentially expensive, but easy to end up with something poorly made and not up to the task.”
Pick a vice that’s easy to use, has a good grip and will hold a variety of hook sizes.
Hackle pliers are useful for big fingers that can’t get a good grip on small feathers. But the Fly Dressers’ Guild warns: “Check that the edges of the jaws are not sharp or they will cut through your materials. A quick rub with emery paper or the addition of a small piece of silicone tubing will cure this problem.”
A dubbing needle performs a variety of roles. It will pick out dubbing (fur), apply varnish, undo knots and separate feather fibres. You don’t necessarily need to buy a dubbing needle if you can find something else that’s long and pointy to use instead – the Fly Dressers’ Guild recommends “Grandma’s hat pins”.
One of Hillend Dabbler’s al fresco creations
Depending on where your tying table is located you might need to shine some light on your handiwork. There are a number of fly tying lamps that give the magnification and shadow-free light you’ll need for the fiddly stuff.
A fine selection of fly rods and flies
Next up you need a fly fishing rod. Here your choice depends to a large extent on where you’re hoping to fish, what species you’re most interested in catching, and whether or not you’re likely to be travelling with your fishing rod.
Fly rod selection is a tough subject, so check out our guide to choosing the right fly fishing rod for more tips and advice.
Here’s what the guys here at Fishtec thought of it when it was launched:
Flaming fly lines
Now for your first fly line. For beginners we recommend a floating line because you’ll be able to use it for fishing both dry flies on the surface, and wet flies just under the water. The weight of your line or AFTM rating should match the rod you fish with, so make sure you look for the information written just above the handle of your rod.
Fly fishing clothing
Image source: Unaccomplished Angler Traditional fly fishing clothing
Fly fishing clothing needs to do three things: wick moisture away from your skin; hold warm, dry air close to your body; and keep the elements out. Layers are the answer, the more you have, the more clothes you can take off as it gets warmer, or put on as the temperature drops.
Putting it all together
Pick a Versatile Rod
The first thing you will need to buy is a rod. There as many opinions about fly-rods as there are fly fishermen. The only “rule” is that you should find one you are comfortable with. The relationship between fly rod and fly fisherman is a very personal one, and you’re the only one that will know when it’s right. Having that said, there are some guidelines that can give you a place to start looking.
First, pick a versatile rod for your first outfit. I fish mainly in the Chatham, Cape Cod area, which includes both the Monomoy rips, the harbors, bays and estuaries, and everything in-between. Advanced fly fishermen might want a bunch of different rods to do all this, but you don’t need to specialize when you’re first starting out. The best multi-purpose rod for New England stripers and bluefish is probably a stiff 9-weight. I know many fishermen who think you need a 10- or 11-weight rod to catch striped bass, but I really think that’s overkill. I’ve caught 40-inch bass on an 8-weight rod in the Monomoy rips. A 10- or 11- weight rod would probably have made the job easier, but I would also have had to throw a heavier line all day, which gets tiring. Unless you are specifically hunting for trophy-sized fish, a 9-weight rod will give you plenty of strength.
For length, feet seems to be ideal for New England saltwater fishing. Boat-fishermen might prefer a shorter rod and shore fishermen a longer one, but a 9-footer will give you a big selection to choose from and get you started. The next choice you have to make concerns the action of the rod. There are several terms that describe the action of the rod, but to put it simply, it’s all about stiffness. I have always preferred a stiffer action in a fly rod. While this can make learning slightly more challenging, it will also make it easier to cast a heavy sinking line. These rods are often referred to as “tip stiff” where a lighter action rod would be a “full flex.” Full-flex rods work better for short casts and light lines.
Become a Competent Caster
You can become a decent fly caster within a day or two with a little practice.
Hiring an instructor or going to a school is a good way to learn but can be costly. (If you have a birthday coming up, this might make a great gift.) If not, there are a few good books out there on learning to cast. Lefty Kreh has several good books and his humorous writing makes learning enjoyable. If you’re a visual learner, find a DVD that offers instruction. There are several DVDs out there that are great, including ones by Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot. Orvis also offers instructional DVDs. There are also several good, free instructional videos on the internet that can really help you. I highly recommend watching these.
You can become a competent caster in a day or two with a little practice. It takes more experience to become a truly good fly-caster, but in a weekend you can develop a technique that will at least allow you to get the fly to the fish, which is the name of the game. I would recommend casting in a field or open area somewhere before getting out on the water. It’s a lot easier to learn when you’re not dealing with a rolling boat, or sand and water on your line.
Go With Proven Flies
Fly fishing is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a day outside. It can be both relaxing and exciting beyond words, and feeling the fly-line come tight in your hand will give you a rush you won’t quickly forget. At first it seems like a daunting task to become involved with this wonderful pastime, but with a little research you can find all the gear and tackle to have just as much fun as the guys with the most expensive gear, and you’ll have money left over to put gas in the boat!
South Pacific VISE & TOOLS wooden boxed kits have all you need in way of vise & tools to get yourself into fly tying. Vise and tools are constructed of high quality brass/steel. Everything is housed in a solid felt-lined lacqued wooden box.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Fly Tying Kits wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Fly Tying Kits
- №1 — Creative Angler Deluxe Fly Tying Kit for Tying Flies. Our most popular Fly Tying Kit
- №2 — Wooly Bugger Fly Tying Material Kit for Tying Flies
- №3 — Gunnison River Simple Fly Tying Kit