Fly-Tying Tools

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Quality Tools for Tying Productive Fly-Fishing Patterns

Find high-quality fly-tying scissors, bobbins, pliers, and other tools at Orvis, and keep them organized at your workstation in an innovative tool caddy. Discover the essential tools you need to start creating effective fly patterns. Our bobbins allow thread to move with ease, promising fluid and consistent tension for the tyer. We offer bobbins in three sizes so you can tie consistently with various thread sizes. Our fly-tying scissors are available in arrow point, razor, and all-purpose varieties. These surgical-quality scissors are perfect for cutting through conventional and difficult materials, including synthetics and deer hair. Bobbin threaders, pliers, and other tools eliminate hassle at the bench. Or choose a set and enjoy the convenience of all the essential fly-tying tools in a single kit. Keep your fly-tying workstation organized with a handy tool caddy. For precision work, our fly-tying magnifiers help you zoom in to see fine details. Orvis fly-tying tools are made to the highest standards and built to last for years to come—discover everything you need to tie up favorite fishing flies at your workbench.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tools do you need to tie flies?

Your basic fly-tying tool kit should include a vise, scissors, bobbin, bodkin, hair stacker, wire cutter, whip finishing tool, and a very good light.

How do you use basic fly-tying tools?

Using basic fly-tying tools is fairly straightforward. Each one helps you maneuver your materials more efficiently and facilitate the process of working with thread or very thin wire:

  • Vise: The vise is your main tool. You fit the hook into the jaws of the vise, securing the hook so you can add your fly materials.
  • Bobbin: The bobbin holds your spool of thread or wire. Fix the spool between the two heads, and then run the thread through the tube. Some bobbins come with a tension adjustment feature. If yours doesn’t, you’ll apply tension with your hand as you tie.
  • Bodkin: A long needle on a handle, the bodkin works by gripping the handle and maneuvering the needle to poke and prod fur or hairs into place or to add head cement.
  • Hair Stacker: This simple and important cylindrical tool aligns your fibers, hair clumps, or fur, giving them nice, even ends to add to your fly. Load the fibers into the barrel, tip ends first. Then load the barrel into the hair stacker frame. Knock it a few times against your workstation to organize the material. Then remove the barrel, pulling out the neatly stacked fibers.
  • Whip Finishing Tool: A whip finishing tool creates a slip knot to secure the thread to the hook so you don’t have to do it with your fingers. First, pull your bobbin to expose about three inches of thread. Then hold the whip finishing tool between your thumb and forefinger at the base. Put the tool’s hook end around your thread at the hook shank. Lay the tool’s notched end flat against the thread. Lift the bobbin upward as you slide your fingers to the handle of the whip finisher. The resulting shape of the thread should resemble a figure 4. Hold this figure 4 shape as you make four or five rotations of the tool, which winds the thread neatly around the hook shank. Leave the thread in the whip finisher’s hook but remove it from the notch, and then pull the bobbin, closing the thread around the hook shank.

How do you use a fly-tying whipping tool?

Whip finishing, creating slip knots to securely tie off your thread or finish a fly pattern, can be accomplished with your hands but is made easier with this specialized tool. First, pull your bobbin to expose about three inches of thread. Then hold the whip finishing tool between your thumb and forefinger at the base. Put the tool’s hook end around your thread at the hook shank. Lay the tool’s notched end flat against the thread. Lift the bobbin upward as you slide your fingers to the handle of the whip finisher. The thread should make a figure 4 shape. Hold this figure 4 shape as you make four or five rotations of the tool, which winds the thread neatly around the hook shank. Leave the thread in the whip finisher’s hook but remove it from the notch, and then pull the bobbin, closing the thread around the hook shank.

How do you use a dubbing tool?

A dubbing tool, or dubbing twister, creates a rope of material you can easily wind around a hook shank to create a fuzzy body. Also called a dubbing whirl or spinner, this tool is a weighted implement with hooks that attach to the bottom of a dubbing loop. Spin the dubbing twister, which cords up the dubbing loop to create a rope or noodle, with the dubbing material trapped inside. The result is easy to wrap around the hook shank. This one-minute Orvis fly-tying video shows you exactly how to use a dubbing tool.