Fly Tying Starter Kits, What To Look For In Fly Tying Kits For Beginners

What should a beginner fly tyer look for in a kit or should they purchase to start fly tying? There are ready made starter fly tying kits in the market produced by companies like Veniard ranging from tools kits to sets  with tools and some feathers to ultimate fly tyers staters kits containing a vast variety of tools and materials.

So What does a person starting fly tying really need to purchase to start fly tying? There are good budget tools and vices which will get the tyer started on making their own flies. It is not necessary to spend hundreds on a vice or purchase lots of materials. Lets look at the essentials needed to start fly tying. For more details about the fly tying tools check our Introduction to Fly Tying Tools blog post here

The 8 essential tools required for fly tying are:

  1. Vice
  2. Bobbin holder
  3. Scissors
  4. Hackle Pliers
  5. Whip Finish tools
  6. Dubbin needle or Bodkin
  7. Dubbing twister
  8. For those with poor eyesight or less dextrous we would advice a threader also

As well as these additional tools that can be of great benefit as you advance are:

  • Hair stackers

In you need to find out more check our Introduction to fly tying tools check our blog post here

So we have a basic range of fly tying tools for the beginner let us look at the materials required. Of course it depends upon where you go fishing river, still water or saltwater. For most fly fishermen we are looking at river or stillwaters so lets look at the ideal a range of flies that beginner should start tying, once we have looked at the flies we can recommend a basic range of materials for each type of fly tyers destinations.


Beginners Tool Kit


Veniard Beginners Tool Kit

Beginners Fly Tying Materials Set

Materials Starter Pack

Paramount Kit

Veniard Paramount Kit

River Flies For Beginners

Reality is that there are some basic flies that the fly tyer needs to tie and will fish with. The river fisherman will want some dry flies and bugs / nymphs. Lets look at some easy flies to tie, these are not based on the most deadly like Klinkhammer but flies that are easy to tie and will catch fish providing the maximum excitement for the new fly tyer.


Stillwater Flies For Beginners

Lures and attractors and some basic bugs are likely to be the starting point for the still water fly fisherman. All of the flies on the river would be suitable ties for the stillwater fly fisherman to learn to tie. However as oftten on stillwaters we are chasing Rainbows some lures and attractor patterns are worth adding to the basic tie list for the new stillwater fly tyer.


Dry Flies

  1. F Fly - different body colours can be suggestive of anything from olive, midges to even small mayflies and caddis
  2. Polywinged Midge suggestive of a range of small dark flies from midges to black gnat and hawthorn
  3. Griffiths Gnat - suggestive or midges and different small creatures trapped in the surface film.
  4. Adams - a great general purpose fly

Bugs and Nymphs

  1. Pheasant Tail Nymph - suggestive of baetis and mayfly nymphs
  2. GRHE - Gold RIbbed Hares Ear - an all ound deadly buggy looking fly
  3. Scud / Czech Shrimps - massive range of colours and deadly
  4. Prince Nymph - stonefly and general bug pattern
  5. Brassie - suggestive of a range of Midge pupae

These 9 patterns will get you tying flies that can catch fish but are relatively easy to tie


Lures and Streamers

  1. Viva
  2. Cats Whisker
  3. Woolly Bugger
  4. Blob
  5. Foam Arsed Blob
  6. Diawl Bach


  1. Bibio

Bugs and Nymphs

  1. Shipmans buzzer
  2. CDC Emerger

Cats Whisker



Pheasant Tail Nymph

All these fly tying patterns can be found in the great book The Fly Tying Bible by Peter Gathercole, well worth purchasing.

So based on these flies a recommended set of materials are as follows:

Threads - get a range including Semperfli Nano 50D Olive and Black, these are GSP threads and extraodinarily strong and thin, more likely to break the hook than snap. Alternatively use Uni 8/0 Black and Olive, these are great all round threads but are a larger diameter.

Hooks - Umpqua provide a deadly range of hooks in packs of 550 at great value, alternatively Veniard and Kamasan both provide quality hooks

For the new fly tyer planning to fIsh rivers a suggested materials list is as follows:

  • CDC feathers in natural and olive, optionally grey and black to create different coloured variants and some antron dubbing in Olive plus optionally grey and black (F Fly Wing), CDC Emerger (thorax cover and tail))
  • Antron Dubbing in Olive, black  Optional Brown, grey and (F Fly body, Palomine Midge Body, CDC Emerger body)
  • Black, Grizzle & Brown Cock Hackle (Indian or Chinese Cock are good value) (Polywinged Midge, Adams tail, Adams wing, Prince hackle, Viva hackle, Bibio hackle, Woolly Bugger hackles))
  • Grizzle Cock Hackle (Gritffiths Gnat hackles)
  • Polypropylene Yarn cream (Polywinged Midge wing), Chartreuse (Viva tail)
  • Peacock Herl (Griffiths Gnatt body, Pheasant Tal thorax, Brassie thorax, Prince Thorax)
  • Mole or Natural Rabbit dubbing (Adams body)
  • Cock Pheasant tail (Pheasant Tail Nymph)
  • Pearl Tinsel (Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph thorax cover, Prince nymph weighted, rib Shipmans uBzzers)
  • Hares Mask (GRHE (GRHE tail guard hairs, GRHE Body)
  • Lead wire or adhesive lead tape (weighted GRHE, Czech Nymph weights)
  • 0.1mm fine coper wire (Pheasant Tail Nymph rib, GRHE rib, Brassie sizes 16 to 20, Bibio rib)
  • 0.2mm copper wire (Brassie sizes 12 - 16, Prince Nymph rib)
  • 0.2mm silver wire (Viva rIb)
  • Shellback Thinskin - Clear (Czech Nymph back)
  • Straggle String (various colours as alternative body colours and Fluoro Red / Fluoro Orange for infected hot spots, Czech Nymph Bodies, SF0050 as Peacock Herl Substitute for Prince and PTN thorax, FLuoro Green (Cats Whisker Body))
  • Goose Biots (try Semperfli brand stunning Inferno Goose Biots) (Prince tail and wing)
  • Black, White & optional Fluorescent (Red, Chartreuse, Orange & Yellow) Marabou (Viva wing, Cats Whisker Wing, cats whisker tail or Fluro Chartreuse Marabou for Viva)
  • Black suede chenille (Viva body). Black, Olive, brown (Woolly Bugger Bodies)
  • Fluoro Brite Threads (for hot spots), Cats Whisker, Viva, Prince, PTN)
  • Seals Fur Substutute dubbing Black and Red (Bibio)
  • Antron, Olive, Black, White, Brown (Shipmans buzzers)

Finally some flashabou type materials or tinsels can really sice up patterns. Add tinsel to tails to add that extra attraction for example.

Check our post on Basic Fly Tying Techniques For A Fly Tyer To Master

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