Five Beginner Tips for New Fly Tyer’s

By: Caleb Pomante

If you have ever wanted to start fly tying but have been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tools and materials, don’t worry you’re not alone. That’s why in this article we’ll go through five of the best tips to get you started in your fly tying journey. 

1. Don’t Buy A Material Kit

There are plenty of kits to get started in fly tying that comes with all the essentials, tools materials, hooks, etc. Many people (including myself) start with a kit like this. However, these kits typically cut corners on the quality of materials and hooks. The best way to pick out your materials is to choose a few simple fly patterns to start with and only buy the materials and hooks essential for those flies. Doing this will help you get only the materials you need at a better quality and larger quantity. 

2. Don’t Skimp On a Good Vice

A vice is the most used piece of equipment in fly tying. You may think that all you need out of a vice is just to hold a hook, but you’d be mistaken. Trust me, as someone who used a Lego contraption to hold hooks, you want a good vice that will hold a hook securely without wobbling and not fall apart on you every other fly. You can also get vices that rotate, which is nice but not necessary for a beginner. If you are serious about starting fly tying, don’t be afraid to spend $100 – $200 on a good vice that will last you a while.

3. Get Your Tools In A Kit

While you can spend a lot of money on tools, I don’t believe you need to especially as a beginner. I have tied with tools from a tool kit for almost two years now, and I can tell you from experience you don’t need fancy $30 scissors or bobbins to tie good flies. You can find plenty of good tool kits for around $70 that will have all the basic tools to get started. Remember, if you really get invested you can always start upgrading tools one by one as you gain experience.

4. Find Patterns To Tie In Books And Videos

Today, new fly tiers have the advantage of the internet where you can find plenty of information on fly tying and fly patterns to tie. There are many books and videos on the internet that show step-by-step instructions on how to tie thousands of fly patterns. This is an incredible tool in a fly tiers belt so please take advantage!

5. Take It Slow

One big thing that most tiers overlook is that fly tying is a jog, not a sprint. You will not turn into an incredible tier overnight. It can take years or even decades to get “good” at fly tying. Don’t beat yourself up if your flies don’t look like what they do in pictures, magazines, and videos. Those flies are usually tied by professionals that have been doing it for probably decades. Remember, it’s a fun hobby that ties in with fishing. Don’t make it more than that. Have fun with it!

Bio: Caleb Pomante is a devoted fly tyer and fisherman. He enjoys the outdoors, baseball, and fly fishing. He lives in North Carolina and loves his family and highly values his faith in God. Caleb is a very creative person and likes building and trying new things. He is currently working on expanding his fly tying repertoire and concocting new and exciting fly patterns and of course, fishing as much as possible.

5 thoughts on “Five Beginner Tips for New Fly Tyer’s

  1. Cale is a skilled guide & gifted teacher of both fishing & fly tying. He’s introduced me to the joys & satisfaction of both endeavors, welcome benefits in my retirement.

  2. Excellent advice — especially the reassurance of #5. I’ve been tying for about five years. My flies don’t look very tidy, but I enjoy tying them and they catch fish. Win!

  3. I have been flyfishing and tying flies for 40 years. If I could do it over, I would not tie flies for my own use only. The cost of materials and tools is substantial. I have several thousand dollars in tools and materials. You will have to tie several dozen of a single pattern to become proficient at that pattern. Until you become proficient, you will spend a lot of time per fly, and you will waste a lot of materials. It takes me 10-15 minutes to tie a bead-head pheasant tail nymph. I bill my time at $300/hour. That’s $75.00 of time for a single fly! I could do enough work to pay for several dozen flies in a short time, and I would not have spent the money on tools and materials. If you want to tie flies for the fun of it, that’s fine, but you will not save money by tying your own flies.

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