Start Tying Like A Pro: 5 Best Fly Tying Kits & Supplies For Beginners

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Like purchasing your first fly rod, purchasing a complete set of fly tying tools and supplies can be extremely overwhelming. The tools, material, and fly tying techniques can all challenge a new angler.

Thankfully, companies started assembling complete fly tying kits to simplify an angler’s life. One purchase will provide you with all the materials you need to get going in your tying. 

As you gain experience, replacing certain aspects of your kits is far easier if you feel you have outgrown them. Until then, all the tools within the kits you purchase will be more than enough for your needs.

In this article, I will cover: 

  • What Are The Key Elements Of A Quality Fly Tying Kit?
  • 5 Best Fly Tying Kits
    • Orvis Premium Fly Tying Kit – My Best Overall Pick!
    • Orvis Encounter Fly Tying Kit – My Most Versatile Pick!
    • Wetfly Deluxe Fly Tying Kit – My Best Value Option!
    • Colorado Anglers Wooden Fly Tying Station
    • Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit 

What Is Inside A Fly Tying Kit? 

Fly Tying Tools
A complete set of tools for making your own fishing flies

Before you purchase your first kit, you must ensure it comes with a few necessary tools and supplies. You want to begin tying as soon as you receive your kit. Some may not look perfect on the first few attempts, but once you gain experience, those great-looking flies must be kept safely inside a quality fly fishing box.

Ensure that the basic tools are part of the set you select. All the good-quality fly making kits I recommend in this article have the following tools, supplies, and materials.

Fly Tying Vice

The vice is the backbone of all your fly-tying projects. You’ll place your hook in it as you’re attaching the material. The vice can attach to a table or sit alone on a pedestal stand, depending on which style you prefer. Make sure the vice is high quality! It shouldn’t wobble or be easily moved! You want it to rotate and be able to work with size 28 to 4/0 hooks. 


The bobbin is another vital part of your set. The bobbin is what holds your tying thread. You will use a lot of thread on almost every fly pattern you tie. You’ll be able to string the thread through the bobbin, allowing you to apply it far easier than you could by only using your hands. 


Like any art project, you need a solid set of super-sharp scissors to keep things tidy. Check carefully the reviews of the scissors in the kit you’re buying. Poor reviews on scissors should tell you you’re not purchasing the greatest kit. If possible, you may have to purchase a separate set of scissors.  If you plan to buy scissors separately, check out my article on fishing scissors to give you specific information and quality tips when buying this important tool.

Whip Finisher Tool

The whip finisher is used to apply the important final knots to your project. The whip finisher knot is challenging to do with only your hands. This simple tool makes your life far easier! It’s hard to make a poor knot with a whip-finishing tool.

As all anglers know, your knots are the weakest part of your rig, so this finishing tool is crucial for good-quality flies.

Bodkin Tool

Finally, the bodkin is the final tool you should ensure you have in your box. It looks like a long needle. This is used to apply the finishing glue on your fly project. It’s much less cumbersome than your finger or even a glue brush. 

5 Best Fly Tying Kits 

There are dozens of kits available, but a few stand out far above the rest. Most companies that are well-known in fly fishing make their own complete kits. They’re usually worth the money. 

Orvis Premium Fly Tying Kit – My Best Overall Pick!

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Orvis pulls no punches with their premium fly tying kit. In this kit, Orvis provides all the necessary tools and a carrying case. These alone are worth the price! 

However, inside the kit, they also include enough materials to tie 16 different patterns ten times each. Essentially, they send enough to tie 160 flies. Eight of the patterns are classics and the other eight are Orvis patterns that are proven to work. 

On top of it all, you also receive an instructional DVD that will walk you through the basics of fly tying and give you step-by-step instructions on how to tie the 16 flies provided. Hooks, hackles, thread, glue, and beads are all available to you. The bobbin, vise, bodkin, whip finisher, hackle pliers, and scissors are all made to a high standard! 

For around $200, you’ll be more than pleased with your purchase. 

Orvis Encounter Fly Tying Kit – My Most Versatile Pick!

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The Orvis Encounter Fly Tying Kit is great for beginners but also perfect for those looking to travel with a full set of supplies.

The kit is named after their entry-level fly fishing combination. Like the Encounter combo, the Encounter fly tying kit is the ideal backup or travel kit. In this set, you’re going to receive enough material to tie eight classic fly patterns (Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph, BH Caddis Larva, Elk Hair Caddis, Fur Ant, San Juan Worm, Zebra Midge, and Rusty Parachute). 

You’ll get enough material to tie 10 of each of these flies. In addition to the materials is a starter vise with C-Clamps, scissors, a bobbin, hackle pliers, glue, and a bodkin. 

The only thing you’re missing in the kit is the whip finisher tool. You still get a great deal without this; buying a separate whip finisher is not a major additional investment. 

Seriously, For under $100, you’re receiving a wonderful deal from a trusted name in the fly fishing industry.

Wetfly Deluxe Fly Tying Kit – My Best Value Option!

The Wetfly Deluxe Fly Tying Kit is great for beginners and intermediate fly tiers. As a starter kit, you’ll receive the vise with a c-clamp, hackle pliers, scissors, bodkin, bobbin, and a hair stacker. With these, you’ll also receive some materials to help you begin the fly tying process. 

Rabbit Dubbing (Olive and Gray), Chenille, Marabou, Elk Hair, and other materials are great for tying nymphs, wets, and dry flies. You’ll also get a couple of spools of thread to get you started. 

On top of the materials and tools, Wetfly will send you an instruction book and DVD. These are great for beginners looking to learn the process. You’ll learn how to tie buggers, pheasant tails, caddis patterns, Adams, and Parachute Adams flies. It’s a great step-by-step instruction that will get you started in the fly tying process easily. 

For around $60, you’ll struggle to find a better deal. Wetfly even includes a carrying case that keeps all the materials together. Don’t skip out on this option! 

Colorado Anglers Wooden Fly Tying Tool Kit 

The Colorado Anglers Z797 Wooden Fly Tying Tool Kit is a nice option if you’re only looking for the tools.

You won’t receive any fly supplies or fly materials to tie flies with, but you’ll receive all the necessary tools to begin tying. These tools are more reputable than many other options. The vice is a pedestal stand, so you don’t have to find a place to keep your vice as you are tying your flies. This is the set that I frequently use and highly recommend. 

All the other tools, bodkins, hackle pliers, bobbin, scissors, and the whip finisher are all high quality and easily able to last you an entire lifetime. These tools will only cost you around $50; with some general care, you will never need to buy any replacement tools. 

The Colorado fly kit also has a deluxe option, which includes an additional book, an instructional DVD, and extra fly materials.

Scientific Angler Deluxe Fly Tying Kit 

If you know fly fishing, you’re well aware of Scientific Angler. They’re more well-known for their fly line, but their tying kit is not too shabby!

It’s a great portable fly tying kit to bring along with you while traveling on the road. The heavy-duty portable case can easily fit in your rucksack or suitcase. 

You’ll get a c-clamp vise, scissors, bobbin, whip finisher, bodkin, hair stacker, and hackle pliers. On top of these, you’ll receive enough material to tie quite a few traditional fly patterns. Hooks, beads, thread, hackle, feathers, and everything else you need will be at your disposal.

The package includes an instructional DVD to get you started on learning how to tie your flies. 

For only $60, it’s a great travel option! 

Final Thoughts

Fly tying kits are a great way to experiment and introduce your own personal touch to catching fish with flies. There is so much satisfaction when being able to catch a fish by using your own equipment and tying skills.

The Orvis premium fly tying kit is my top pick, a quality product with everything you need to build great-looking flies.

If you want to buy just a fly-making vice, please check out my article on the best fly tying vices, covering both beginners and expert flymakers.

Daniel Mooers