The Joy of Crafting with the Perfect Fly Tying Desk

fly tying desk

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There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from crafting a fly by hand, almost as fulfilling as the thrill of fly fishing itself. And when the fishing season winds down, what better way to keep the spirit alive than by indulging in some fly tying? If you’re a fellow enthusiast, you likely find yourself spending hours immersed in this meticulous craft, accumulating a rich collection of supplies along the way. This is where a fly tying desk , that indispensable piece of furniture, comes into play.

Searching for the perfect fly tying bench setup? You’ve come to the right place. This guide aims to shed light on the elements that constitute the ultimate fly tying desk. We’ll also share some of our favorite fly tying desk models to help fuel your inspiration.

fly tying desk

What Makes the Perfect Fly Tying Desk?

Several key features set an exceptional fly tying desk apart. Let’s delve into these crucial factors for your ideal fly tying bench.

Generic Desk Vs. Fly Tying Desk

You might be tempted to cut corners with a generic or secondhand desk. While this approach could save some bucks, a standard desk lacks the specialized features essential for a fly tying station. If you’re serious about fly tying, you’ll soon find a regular desk inadequate. For instance, it doesn’t provide the tailored storage needed for all your supplies.

A Generous Tying Surface

The effectiveness of a desk largely hinges on the surface area available for tying your flies. You’ll need ample space to mount a vise and set up a fly tying light for illuminating your work area. Some desks even expand to provide additional space.

Plenty of Storage

A top-notch fly tying desk will provide ample storage for your fly fishing gear. You’ll need a place to house your hooks, hackles, fur, beads, and other essential materials.

Easy Access to Fly Tying Materials

Storage isn’t the only consideration; your materials should also be within easy reach. Ideally, you should be able to see what’s inside each drawer. Think about how the drawers or storage compartments will open without obstructing your work area.

fly tying bench

Size of the Desk

Do you have room for a full-sized desk, or do you need something more compact? Consider the space available for your new desk before you start shopping!


Fly tying desks can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. These desks are often handmade from solid wood by skilled carpenters, a process that requires meticulous craftsmanship. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs. If this is beyond your budget, consider creating your own fly tying bench or modifying a regular desk.


The finest fly tying desks are built to last for generations. For a desk that will stand the test of time, opt for one crafted from sturdy solid oak, maple, or cherry wood.

6 Examples of the Perfect Fly Tying Desk

We scoured the web to bring you some examples of the perfect fly tying desk. Here are some top models we found, each embodying unique qualities that make them stand out. Let these exquisite pieces inspire you as you decide on the type of bench you want.

Orvis Fly Tying Desk

orvis fly tying desk

This splendid fly tying desk by Orvis caters to all the needs of a fly tier. It provides a large, extendable work surface and several small drawers to keep your supplies organized. Crafted from sturdy wood, it features lovely finishing touches, such as the trout-shaped handles. This compact desk won’t occupy too much space, and you can close it up when not in use. The only drawback is that the slide-out table doesn’t lock into space, which can lead to the loss of small pieces. Other than that, it’s an excellent find. [1]

Montana Wood Catlin Desk

montana wood fly tying desk

The Catlin Desk by Shinn Custom Woodworks is a stunning example of a fly tying table. The attention to detail in Bruce Shinn’s custom-made fly desks is evident in this model, crafted from black walnut and cherry. It even includes an optional hackle box for additional storage.

You can customize the height of the work surface when open, and it neatly folds away after use. A fly tying table like this is every angler’s dream. [2]

Deluxe Fly Tying Workstation

fly tying workstation

If space (and budget) isn’t an issue, consider an expansive workstation like this one. It features three desk-height drawers and a large cabinet for additional supplies. With this workstation, you’ll never run out of space. Hang your tools in front for easy access and enjoy an uninterrupted fly tying experience. [3]

Fly Tying Roll Top Desk

philadelphia fly tying desk

The Philadelphia is a remarkable example of a handmade fly desk. This roll-top design opens smoothly, revealing four smaller drawers and one large central drawer with internal dividers. Raised above the tying surface, the drawers are easy to access. Made from high-quality red oak or cherry wood, this desk is built to last.

It even includes extras like a 50-position tool station and an entomology station. A fantastic find for any serious fly tier. [4]

Thos Moser Fly Tying Desk

thos moser fly tying desk

Thos. Moser collaborated with L.L. Bean to create a new, handmade desk specifically designed for fly tiers. This high-end piece might not be for everyone, but it sure is inspiring! It includes a full cabinet and workspace with various drawers. Built from durable black cherry wood, it includes neat details like a custom spool case. [5]

Simple Fly Tying Table

If you prefer something simpler, consider this handmade fly tying table. While it offers limited storage, it provides a vast workspace. Choose from one or two drawers, or none at all. You can add an optional rail around the table to prevent supplies from falling off. This simple fly tying table would work best alongside a standalone storage unit, provided you have the space and budget. [6]

The Wrap Up

If you’re passionate about crafting your own flies, a fly tying desk is a must-have. It enhances the enjoyment and practicality of your fly tying hobby. However, finding the right fly tying bench can be challenging, given the limited information on this specialized furniture. Hopefully, our guide has equipped you with the insights you need to find the perfect fly tying desk for you!

We’d love to hear which model caught your fancy, or if you’ve spotted any great desks that we missed! Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on Facebook if you found this guide helpful. For more top articles on all things fishing, visit Fly Fisher Pro.

And don’t forget, if you want to delve deeper into the fascinating world of fly fishing, download our series of fly fishing books below. Happy fishing!

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