take fly tying lessons
This list of beginner tying materials is simply a list based on my 35+ years experience in fly tying. The list provided below is for a new tyer who wants to tie trout flies but can spill over to different genres of fly tying. This is a BASIC list. Could other items have appeared on the list? Of course they could but that's somebody elses list. Other tyers will add or subtract materials to their liking. So be it. Remember this a BASIC list of materials. It contains materials the can tie hundreds or even thousands of fly patterns.
This list is in no order of preference. This list is provided for your convenience and in no way requires you to buy all tying materials all at once or any materials for that matter. It is also a generic list of materials as I really don't have any preferences as to what brand of materials you buy.
Eventually you will need materials if you want to continue tying flies. The list may give you a head start as to what you might want to buy
Again, you do not have to buy the entire list all at once!
Buy what you want when you need it!
1. Hooks (in different styles and sizes)
2. Thread (6/0 to start in black & white)
3. Pheasant Tail (center feathers when possible for the longest fibers)
4. Peacock Herl (eye feathers and strung herl)
5. Marabou (blood quills are better)
6. Deer hair
7. Elk hair
8. Buck tail (in different colors like red, yellow, or white)
9. Lead or non-lead wire (in different sizes)
10. Ribbing wire (silver, copper & gold)
11. Rooster Hackle (grizzly, brown, white & dun) A good option is an introduction pack
12. Hen neck or saddle (grizzly, brown, dun etc) (great for soft hackle & wings)
13. Hungarian Partridge Skin (great for soft hackles)
14. Dubbing dispenser of hares ear (various colors) & superfine dubbing for dry flies
15. Gray duck or goose wing feathers (used for wing cases)
16. Head cement (a good whip finish knot doesnt need head cement
17. Tinsel and other flash materials (in assorted colors)
18. Calf tail (start with white, add colors when necessary)
19. Yarns & chenille (used for making bodies, both in assorted colors)
20. Floss (1 strand or 4 strand in assorted colors)
21. Strung hackle (practice wrapping hackle with this. cheap alternative to the pricey hackles)
22. Beads (not necessary to begin tying flies but if you really need them get them)
Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them. Buy the best you can.
Another recommendation seen on most forums is to pick out 5-10 that you want to learn how to tie. buy the materials provided in the recipes of those flies. these materials are now the building blocks for tying different fly patterns in the future.
"The vice, bobbin, scissors and materials are fundamental."
a good vise can be found in stationary, rotary and true rotary models in different price points. a trip to your local fly shop can help you choose the right vise for you
a ceramic tube or tipped bobbin holder helps to keep the fraying of thread to a minimum
hackle plier - get an electrical test clip from radio shack or equivalent electrical supply house. ebay has them for as little as a $1 for 10 clips. dont forget to learn to wrap hackle with your fingers - theyre free
whip finish tool is not exactly needed as long as you learn to whip finish by hand
bodkin - make your own by sticking a sewing needle into the end of a wooden dowel
scissors - yes those 4 inch $5 fiskar scissors at walmart are perfect for flytying