Tools for Custom Made Fly Tying

Tools for Custom Made Fly Tying
Fly tying is a fun pastime for fly fisherman. It is a way to increase your understanding of the insects and bait-fish that fish focus on for food. Fly tying also gives you the ability to custom design flies for experimental or focused fishing purposes. Traditional tyers held the hook with their fingers while tying on materials with thread, but modern tools have made the process much easier.


The vise is an important fly-tying tool. There are a variety of vises available, with most designed to clamp to a table or free-stand on a platform. The jaws of a vise should have the ability to hold large and small hook sizes. The jaws of a rotary vise can be rotated for access to all sides of the fly. Rotary vises are good for advanced tying techniques.


The bobbin is a tool designed to hold your tying thread. It allows you to control the thread while wrapping and securing materials to the hook. The best bobbins fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Bulky bobbins tend to get in the way while you are working with other materials on the hook.


This tool is a simple needle attached to a handle. The needle should have a small diameter for cleaning head cement out of the eye of the hook. Bodkins are used to make small adjustments while tying. A simple needle stuck in the eraser of a pencil works almost as well as commercial bobbins.

Hair Stacker

Many fly patterns require the use of elk and deer hair. A hair stacker allows you to align the tips of each particle of hair. Stackers come in a variety of sizes for working with different amounts of hair.

Hackle Pliers

Hackle is delicate and difficult to handle. Hackle pliers allow you to grip the hackle without applying excess pressure from your hands. It is a tool for tying small dry flies.

Dubbing Tool

There are a variety of dubbing tools on the market, but most serve the same purpose. Dubbing tools are used to twist dubbing for forming tight-bodied flies.


It is important that you have a sharp pair of scissors. It is good to have two scissors, with one pair being used on wire and coarse materials and the other on soft fur and feathers.

Whip Finisher

A whip finisher allows you to tie off the thread when finished with the fly. This can be done by using your fingers to make several half-hitches, but the tool is more efficient.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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