5 Tips for Consistent Fly Tying

Want to tie consistent, clean, and proportionate rows of flies? Here's 5 tips to help you get there.

1. Prep your materials

Take the time to slide the beads on all of the hooks, then portion all of the fibers, wire, or whatever you are tying with. Lay them all out in rows, and then tie each fly. This allows you to see consistency between the flies as you tie them, and will also help you increase your tying speed.

2. Ditch the whip finish

This one might surprise many of you, but I'm a big advocate for the death of the whip finish. I think it's an archaic method of finishing a fly, and that there are much better options available for durability and consistency of finished flies. Especially when you whip finish a small fly, the potential for something to slip and mess up your bug is high, and it tends to add more bulk than is desirable. Instead, try brushing some Loctite brushable super glue on about an inch of the thread, and then wrap it onto the shank. This gives you an indestructible head/collar on you flies, and keeps everything clean and tight. Cut the thread with a razor blade so that you don't get glue all over your scissors. 

3. Tie the same pattern 

We've all heard it, "practice makes perfect". This definitely applies to fly tying. Especially when you are learning a new pattern, make sure to tie it several times until it looks nice, and the flies are consistent from one bug to the next. If you mess one up, don't be afraid to razor blade it off and start over. Don't move on to the next pattern of choice until you're satisfied with the one you're working with, and you've achieved the consistency you're looking for. 

4. Use thinner thread

Especially when you're tying smaller flies, make sure to downsize your thread. You'll have to be a little gentler in order to not break the thread, but this is something you'll need to learn anyways, and if you want nice and neat, consistent, and slim flies, you'll need thinner thread. My favorite is 30D nano silk, but there are a lot of good options out there.


You only need a couple wraps to secure your materials when you tie them in. Using too many wraps is probably the biggest mistake made by beginner fly tyers, and can be avoided / fixed if you really pay attention, go slow, and make each wrap count. Kelly Galloup does a good job of explaining this in his Slide Inn videos, so go check those out on youtube!



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