Since almost all fly fishers eventually decide to make your own flies, in addition to the fly fishing tools they use for actual fishing is inevitable that most of them will eventually purchase some fly tying tools so they can make their own flies. Some commonly used tools include a good fly tying vise, a set of hackle pliers, a set of fine point precision scissors, a bobbin, some wire cutters, and a good imagination.
If there’s one mistake that the amateur fly maker makes it is usually that he chooses to buy the cheapest tools he can find and not search for bargains on high quality tools. The art of tying flies is one of precision and intricate work that requires precision tools. And while one does not have to spend a small fortune one does have to at least by fly tying tools of a minimum quality in order to do the work needed.
Fortunately many of the top fly tying equipment manufacturers offer fly tying kits that will include all of the basic tools that you need. Manufacturers like Dr. Slick, Orvis, and Marc Petitjean all offer good quality tools in reasonably priced fly tying kits. If you’re making your first purchase of fly tying tools you probably want to stick with the name brand manufacture even though you probably can get some fly tying kits at extremely low prices.
Using fly tying tools of inferior quality will only lead to frustration and more than likely you will blame yourself for being unable to properly tie flies when in fact you’re being held back by the inferior quality of the fly tying tools.
What To Look For In Fly Tying Tools
When purchasing a fly tying vise there are a lot of things you need to think about. Since all the work that you’re going to be doing is going to center around the vise it’s imperative that you purchase a vise that is going to perform all the functions you need it to. First of all, your vise needs to be able to turn 360 degrees as you will need to be able to articulate your hook without having to take it out of your vise. Also be sure that any vise you choose is able to accommodate many different sizes of hooks.
Bobbins need to operate very smoothly or your thread will quickly get torn up, making you in turn rather torn up. It is imperative with the bobbin that it only dispenses the amount of thread you need while keeping enough tension on the thread spool so that it doesn’t become loose or unravel into your work area. Most experts agree that a bobbin with the ceramic insert will give you the smoothest operation. Bobbins also come in a variety of sizes.
Your scissors need to have to very important characteristics. They have to be very sharp and have a fine point. Since you will be doing a lot of intricate cutting with your fly tying scissors it’s also important that they operate very smoothly.
The reason the fly tyer needs a good set of hackle pliers is that he doesn’t have three hands. That is the hackle pliers main function to hold even the smallest objects or materials in place so that you can use your other two hands to work with them. Every fly tying tools box needs to have a set of hackle pliers in them. You simply will struggle without them.
Other fly tying tools that you might want to purchase include bobbin threader, or a whip finisher. While these tools are not a necessity they certainly will make your job a little easier.
In order to tie flies you will also need a variety of material including fur, hair,feathers, beads, streamer material and of course thread and hooks. Waterproof glue is also going to be need to complete the job. Since we are tying flies to mimic a variety of insects and aquatic life, the list of potential materials that could be used is only limited by your imagination. The more flies that you tie, the more materials that you will add to your box of fly tying tools.