Do you save money by tying your own flies?

Updated: May 22

You save money by tying your own flies if you tie more than 400-500 of them throughout your lifetime. With all material and start up costs taken into account, between 400 and 500 flies is the break even point for saving money.


How much does it cost to tie your own flies


It costs between $.64 and $.88 per fly for the materials to tie your own flies. If materials and start up costs are included, it costs between $1.14 and $3.13 per fly, with an average of $491 to tie 500 flies.


The below table shows the average cost of tying 500 flies

average-cost-to-tie-flies-table

How much can you save by tying your own flies


You can save between $73 and $674 by tying your own flies instead of buying them. The amount saved per fly is between $.73 and $1.35.


The top 3 factors that determine how much you will save are:

  1. Start up costs

  2. Number of flies tied

  3. Specific patterns

To conduct my analysis of the actual savings of tying your own flies, I did a cost comparison between tying your own and buying, using a dry fly pattern (Parachute Adams), and a nymph pattern (Bead Head Pheasant Tail).


The table below shows overall savings for tying Parachute Adams vs Buying them *Note: This table DOES NOT include start up costs. To see a table including these costs, click here.

For Parachute Adams (Dry Fly)

money-saved-tying-dry-flies-table

Below is a breakdown of the cost or materials to tie Parachute Adams


* Below each material is an image that will take you to Amazon to see most current pricing of my top recommendation.


100 Parachute Adams

  • 100 dry fly hooks (1) $27

  • Spool of thread (1) $7


  • package of dubbing (1) $5

  • package of 100's dry fly grizzly hackle (1) $21

  • package of 100's dry fly ginger hackle (1) $21

  • Patch calf body hair (1) $7

*Could not find on Amazon


Total cost to tie 100 parachute adams flies = $88


Cost per fly = $.88

Cost to buy HIGH QUALITY parachute adams = $1.61 per fly

Cost to buy 100 HIGH QUALITY parachute adams = $161 total


Money saved by tying 100 of your own dry flies = $.73/fly

Total money saved = $73/100 flies

250 Parachute Adams flies:

  • 250 dry fly hooks (2.5) $68

  • Spool of thread (2) $14

  • Package of dubbing (2) $10

  • 1/2 saddle dry fly grizzly hackle $44

  • 1/2 fly ginger hackle $44

  • Patch calf body hair (2) $14

Total cost to tie 250 parachute adams flies = $195


Cost per fly = $.78

Cost to buy HIGH QUALITY = $1.61/ fly

Cost to buy 250 HIGH QUALITY parachute adams = $402 total


Money saved by tying 250 of your own dry flies = $.83/fly

Total money saved = $207/250 flies

500 Parachute Adams flies:

  • Package of 100 dry fly hooks (5) $135