Stillwater Anglers Fly Tying Kit

How To Build The Best Fly Tying Kit

Summer is officially in swing here in Montana, which means we’ve all got fly fishing on the brain. A question that a lot of people have is whether or not to buy a fly tying kit or build one yourself.  Great fly tying kits can give you all the tools you might need when tying your own flies, or even just assist you out on the water. Having the best tools can help with whatever situation you might find yourself in, and maybe even give you an edge when fly fishing.

Let’s go over some of the tools you’ll need whether you’re looking to find the best kit or whether you want to build it yourself.

What’s In The Best Fly Tying Kit?

The first step to building the best kit is knowing what’s IN the kit and why it’s there. If you’re starting from scratch or just adding to your tool kit, we’ve got some ideas for what should go in it!


When it comes to building your fly tying kit, you’ll definitely want a sharp pair of scissors. From cutting thread, snipping fly lines, and whatever else, you might even need multiple pairs of scissors in different sizes. If you keep a special pair in your fly tying kit, you won’t lose them and they won’t get dull as quickly.

Scissors are handy to have with you out on the water too, not just in your fly tying kit. As a basic item, they are a must. We also recommend including a small pair of pliers or tweezers to include in your organizer, they will come in handy!


A vise might be the most essential component to your fly tying kit. Unless you’re a real fly tying expert, you will probably need a vise. A vise holds your hook nice and still so that you can tie whatever you want on it. Hooks can be very small these days, and a good quality vice will not only keep your hook steady but it should have the flexibility to adjust to any hook size.

A good kit will be durable and might even have jaws that rotate so that you can access to the fly from all angles. C-clamp vises are much more portable than those with pedestals.

Hackle Pliers

Though hackle pliers might be considered an optional extra tool, it is usually considered a must by most anglers. They are useful and versatile and can help simplify the process of wrapping the hackle around the hook. It helps you wrap the feathers around the fly and get it in the right position without slipping.

You don’t just have to use them for hackles! They can help you save time and trying to manipulate other small materials between your fingers and thumbs.

Bobbin Holder and Bobbin Wire Loop Tool

If the kit you’re looking at doesn’t have a bobbin holder or bobbin wire loop tool, you might want to look at a different fly tying kit. A bobbin holder will add ease to the fly tying process. It provides more tension while you’re tying and using it means less waste. Usually, bobbins come with brass, plastic, or ceramic tubes. A bobbin wire loop tool isn’t necessary, but it sure does make the threading process faster.

The best bobbin holder is adjustable and won’t cut your thread in the middle of tying a fly.

Whip Finisher

A whip finisher is a handy tool for fly fishermen that makes tying flies much easier. Especially that last knot you’re trying to finish up the shiny new fly you just made. The whole process will be much neater, faster, and more accurate than just trying to use your feelings.


A threader is a great addition to a basic fly tying kit – especially if you don’t have the best eyesight! Save yourself time and struggle and get a threader. Some really good kits will even include thread and ties.

Dubbin Needle

A dubbin needle or bodkin serves several purposes. From combing underfur, dividing wing tips, freeing hackle fibers that may have gotten trapped, and more, this is a tool that should be a staple in your kit. From DIY kit building to choosing a great pre-built fly tying kit, make sure that the kit you choose has this!

Any Actual Fly Tying Materials

Sometimes what makes a great kit is not only including all the basic tools but having extra materials that go into actually making the fly is a great added bonus. There are lots of great kits that have starter materials, including feathers, hooks, tinsel, wire, dubbing, and more.

There are even some kits that include instructional DVDs for beginners. Don’t forget that the fly shop has all the materials you need to just begin or even help you stock up your supply if you’re a beginner. We carry a large variety of already made flies that you can use out on the river or as inspiration for all the new flies you’re going to make!

Conclusion For Building The Best Fly Tying Kit

There you have it! The above list is everything you need to get started building or finding the perfect fly tying kit. Add to your collection and expand your toolkit by coming into The Fly Shop and browse through all of the great items we have available. We have pre-made kits available, plus more tools to make your kit unique to you.

We stock our shop with the best tackle, equipment, and fly fishing gear so that you get the total fly fishing experience. The experts at Stillwater Anglers can give you tips to help you build the best fly tying kit and stock your tackle box with everything you need for a successful fly fishing trip. All of the gear at Stillwater Anglers comes personally recommended by experienced anglers.

Have any questions about fly tying or fly fishing in general? Give us a call at (406) 322-4977 or stop by The Fly Shop. We would love to answer your questions. It’s better to be prepared when out at the river, so stop by today!