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Fly Tying Station – How To Set One Up

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For beginner tyers, setting up a fly tying station can seem like a daunting process. There is quite a bit of gear you’ll need to get started. However, setting up a good station is pretty simple, and it’s mostly about personal preferences.

This article will cover the top items I have at my fly tying station, and will hopefully help you to get some ideas. The best fly tying stations are organized and clean. Once they get cluttered, it can be a real disaster. That’s why I like to have less items at the station, which makes things much easier. By keeping a cleaner station, you’ll become a more efficient fly tyer.

A Good Desk Is Essential

This is one of the most important items for a tying station. You want to make sure that it’s tall enough, sturdy enough, and offers enough space for all of your items.

I like my desks to be long and narrow, which fits much better in my apartment. Last year, I set up a new tying station and I went with the Dland Home Large Computer Desk. It is 63 inches long, 23.6 inches wide, and 29.5 inches tall. I have really been enjoying it over the last year, and it still holds up very well. It takes only 10 minutes to put together, and the build quality is impressive.

My Dland Home Desk

Another thing to consider is the color of the desks surface. A lighter color will make it easy to see your hooks and materials – which is why I went with the Teak wood version. Darker surfaces can make it much harder to find hooks and materials, so I would stay away from those.

You’ll also need a chair to sit in. I have a temporary cheap chair right now, but I really prefer a cushioned chair – like a gaming chair or computer chair. Again, this just comes down to personal preference.

Quality Vise

My Peak Rotary Vise

There are many quality vises on the market. Renzetti, Regal, Dyna King and Peak all make great vises. My personal vise is a Peak Vise, which I like a lot. They aren’t the prettiest, but they are extremely durable and they are also a Colorado company – which I am partial to. I have the full rotary pedestal base model, which comes in at just under $200.

In todays vise market, you can spend up to $1000 on a premium vise. I am more frugal, and the Peak works just fine for me. You can read my review on it here.

I like my vise to be the central point of my fly tying station. It is in the middle of the desk, and then everything else is positioned around the vise.

Although I highly recommend the Peak, tyers with more money to burn can look into Renzetti Master Vises, Dyna King Ultimate Indexers, Etc. These premium vises are truly works of art, and they will last a lifetime. The upfront cost can be painful, but you’ll never need another vise.

For tyers on a budget who want a true rotary vise, the Peak Rotary would be my #1 recommendation. Mine is about 7 years old and it hasn’t had any issues.

Material Organization

There are many ways to organize your materials. My favorite method is to use a ziplock bag system, which all sit inside of a plastic bin. Depending on which pattern I want to tie, I can just reach for the corresponding bag.

Some fly tyers prefer drawers or other systems, and that can definitely work. The ziplock bag system just keeps things compact and neat. If you have a large amount of materials, you may want to go for a more robust system – like drawers. I have a pretty modest amount of materials, which is much less than other fly tyers I know.

For my threads and wire, I have a wooden rack which keeps them very organized. This sits behind my tying vise for easy access. This is one of my favorite products at my fly tying station. I don’t have to dig around to find the right thread or wire – it is all laid out in front of me. If you’re interested in one, I have put an Amazon link below.

The Best Thread Rack!

Tool Caddy

Home Made Caddy

Tool caddys are another great item to have. They will hold bobbins, scissors, whip finishers, hackle pliers, bodkins, etc. It is a useful tool to keep you organized at the tying bench.

I made my tool caddy out of firewood. I drilled some holes and added some varnish to make an inexpensive caddy. It works well for me, but there are certainly nicer options on the market. Renzetti makes a great tool caddy, which lots of tyers use.

If you have a drill and some good wood lying around, making your own caddy is a fun little project – I highly recommend it! It will also save you some cash, which is a plus.

Light Source

LED Lamp

This is a very essential item, especially for tyers with poor eyesight. A good lamp will help you see your fly better, and will produce better results at the tying station. I always have my lamp on when i’m tying flies – it really does make a huge difference.

I highly recommend LED light sources – they don’t get hot and they don’t burn out easily. A good LED lamp will last for a long time. There are many good LED lamps on the market, and I think they are far superior than traditional lamps. You don’t have to deal with bulbs and unwanted heat – which is a big plus.

I like my lamps to be taller than my vise, so I don’t bump them when i’m tying flies. A taller lamp will always be better than a shorter lamp – so keep that in mind.


As you can see, there really aren’t many items at my tying station. I like to keep things simple so I can tie more efficiently. Hopefully this article helped you out in setting up your first tying station. It is a great hobby that is very rewarding!