How to Make a Fly Fishing Lure

How to Make a Fly Fishing Lure
Making, or tying, fly fishing lures is a skill that is as much a hobby as fly fishing itself. Many people find the process of tying a fly to be relaxing. Learning to properly tie a fly presents the opportunity for creating imitations of insects for fishing.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly tying vise Bobbin Thread Yarn, feather, fur or animal hairs Scissors Hooks
  • Fly tying vise
  • Bobbin
  • Thread
  • Yarn, feather, fur or animal hairs
  • Scissors
  • Hooks
Step 1
Decide on the type of fly to be tied, with regard to the insect you wish to imitate. Based on this, assemble your materials. Attach the vise to a work surface that is well lit. You'll need plenty of lighting to properly see the intricate work you will perform on the lure.
Step 2
Attach a hook to the vise. Insert the hook with the shank, or long portion of the hook, on top. The bend of the hook will be the portion held in the jaws of the vise, and the point and barb of the hook will be on the bottom. Make sure the hook is securely tightened in the vise; you'll need a steady surface on which to assemble the fly.
Step 3
Attach the thread spool to the bobbin by inserting it between the knobbed holders. Feed the thread through the tube end of the bobbin. Having the thread exit through the bobbin tube allows for easier handling of the thread and greatly reduces the possibility of tangles. If you have difficulty threading the tube, try inserting a small needle through the tube, capture the thread and then pull it back through.
Step 4
Begin tying the fly by wrapping thread around the middle of the hook shank, and make several turns toward the eye of the hook. Next, reverse the wrapping direction and wrap back over the first wrapping and continue to just above the bend of the hook. Allow the thread and bobbin to hang from the hook. This is a good time to adjust the vise, based on the location of the suspended bobbin. If the bobbin touches the work surface, raise the vise until the bobbin is suspended about 1 inch from the surface. As the fly is assembled, allow the bobbin to hang. This willl free both hands for working.
Step 5
Make the main body of a fly from built-up wrappings or thread, feathers, hairs, or wool yarn. If using a yarn body, place the yarn on top and parallel to the hook shank. Wrap thread around the yarn for several turns, leaving space between the turns for the fibers of the yarn to protrude. Continue to build the fly by layering feathers, hairs and other materials to match the insect. Make sure to securely wrap each layer.
Step 6
Finish the fly by tying a thread head at the eye of the hook. Pull the material on the fly back with your fingers so that the thread may be wrapped several times around the hook. This process helps to bind the end of the materials together and also pulls the materials away from the hook eye. Tie a slip knot, using a slip knot tool or dulled pencil, and slip the knot over the hook eye. Securely tighten and clip away excess thread.

Tips & Warnings

Use care when handling fishing hooks; these will typically be honed to a fine point.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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