My perspective of Fly Tying and Fly Fishing

Saving money on fly tying supplies…

This post is for those fly tiers looking to get an advantage on cost. As fly fisherman we have to deal with the fact that our sport does require a lot of cash for equipment and travel. However tying flies does put us in a cost advantage. Spending $30 in materials could create dozens of flies that in retail would cost hundreds of dollars. Some of us spend enough special ordering materials through the web, fly shops, fly shows, or directly from the supplier. Some get materials for gratis and will do god knows what for squirrel fur or a buck tail! However how many of us has really experienced a craft store?

Being the loving companion that I’am, I tagged along to help with the extremely exhausting task of planning a wedding. My wife and I were married last year and it required a few visits to the craft stores. Normally if I walked into a store and saw a bunch of knick knacks like this, I would hit the door running! However it was because of knick knacks like this I found materials like this…

A fully stocked shelf full of glass beads, perfect for my 18-22 sized hooks!

Now these glass beads work great!


You can find several different shades of colors and different cuts. Retail your looking at $1.69-$1.99 and would receive 200 glass beads in each color.

The competition typically retails at $2.50 and you normally get 100 beads or less.

Craft store            Competition

        1                                    0

Now I will say this, your going to get a good sales pitch that the glass beads from the competition will provide you a uniform shape and size. Personally, I dont think it matters to the fish, therefore it’s not going to matter to me.


Tinsel is a huge deal! Tinsel after a holiday like Christmas or Easter can be found 1/2 off or more! I paid $.20 once for a packet of tinsel at Michael’s and retail at the competition your looking at $2.00 or more

Craft store           Competition

        2                                    0

At a craft store your going to get a variety of chenille colors and texture. Cost $1.50 at the craft store Competition $2.45

Craft store           Competition

       3                                  0

Marabou is pretty much break even. Your going to find both for around $2.00 to $2.50. Im going to give a point for each. 1 point for competition because most will give you a lot of marabou in their packing. I will give a point to craft stores, because if you can find some coupons, your going to get the marabou a lot cheaper. After standing in line waiting to finalize my purchase I learned that coupons are a huge part of the craft store experience. Below is an example of what you might see available at a craft store… good luck asking Whiting Farms Hackle company for a coupon on their hackle strips!

Craft store           Competition

     4                                       1

 (and some places will let you use multiple coupons at the same time!)

Now your going to find an assortment of materials that you could use for fly tying (including some feathers believe it or not)! Hopefully this shows you how much more you can save.

Lastly, I wanted to provide a few examples of storage compartments you can store your materials in. Sometimes I think the most difficult part of fly tying is finding the materials in my desk. Below are some really effective compartments to store your hooks, feathers, beads, and more!

 Jolee’s Jewels Storage System, large

This storage kit is perfect for storing your hooks or beads. I mark the size of the hook and if its used for dry, curved, or streamers… They are almost like tic tac containers inside of a case. Very useful and only cost me $3.00!

June Tailor JT 672 Mini Mega Rak II, 60 Spool Embroidery & Sewing Thread, Hard Wood Stand, Hanging Rack, JT672 for Small Cylinder Threads, not Cones

$19.99 for this kit to store your threads!

Bead Storage Tray

Old storage kits can be found on clearance for under $4.00

Dont forget that if you find a coupon you’ll be able to save additional money!


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