If you’re anything like me, you love tying your own flies. But focusing on those tiny details can be hard work on the eyes. That’s why every fly tier needs a good magnifying glass to hand at all times! This useful tool can make all the difference when it comes to tying neat, precise flies (and avoiding eye strain!)
There’s a wide range of options on the market, from handheld magnifying glasses to models that clip onto your hat or glasses. Here’s our roundup of the best magnifying glasses for a fly tying vise. Read through, and you’ll be sure to find the right magnifier from our reviews!
There are a few things to look out for when you’re buying a magnifier for fly tying . In this section, we’ll quickly summarize the most important factors you should look out for, so you get the best magnifying glass for tying flies!
You’ll find that there are several different types of magnifiers on the market. Which type you should go for depends on how you use it and whether you need to be hands-free. You can choose from a headband magnifier or styles that can clip onto your hat or glasses.
There are also handheld magnifiers that can be very powerful. But the downside to handheld magnifiers is that you’ll only have one hand free to work. That can make fly tying pretty tricky!
Before you buy, you should also consider how comfortable you will be – especially if you go in for intense, long tying sessions! Ease of use is also a critical factor so that you can concentrate on your flies, rather than the magnifier.
Most magnifiers are built from plastic or metal, but they can vary wildly in their durability. That’s why we recommend checking reviews and seeing how the product performed over time. In general, metal magnifiers tend to be sturdier and more long-lasting than plastic models.
There are some flimsy products on the market which may seem cheap, but turn out to be a false economy when you need to replace them after a few uses.
The zoom power is, of course, another vital aspect when choosing the best magnifier for fly tying. While some magnifiers offer multiple options, other models will only have one setting. Generally, the more customizable the zoom power is, the better.
Make sure to check out the maximum magnification, too. How strong this should be will depend on your eyesight. If you have poor vision, you’ll need a stronger magnification, such as 2.5x.
You can also look for any other handy features the magnifier may have, such as lights or other tools. Some models have LED lights to make it even easier to see details on small flies.
Your budget should always come into consideration when buying any gear for fly tying or fly fishing. Magnifiers vary from budget prices to more expensive, premium models, so there’s the right product out there for everyone!
Best Magnifying Glass for Fly Tying: Our Reviews
Now, let’s get onto the reviews of the top magnifiers for fly tying on the market right now!
Boomerang Long Snip Cheaters
While this tool was mainly designed for line cutting, it can also come in handy if you need some quick magnification for your fly tying. It’s especially useful if you’re tying a few flies when you’re out on the water, as it’s lightweight and compact.
This magnifier is powerful, with 3x zoom allowing you to see tiny details with ease. Plus, it’s made from stainless steel, so it won’t rust and should last a long time.
However, this magnifier isn’t the easiest to use as it’s attached to the line cutter tool. While you can attach it to a lanyard or vest, this won’t give you a stable position to work on your flies. So, you’ll need to hold it the whole time, leaving only one hand free to tie knots and manipulate your materials.
If you’re in the market for a vest then check out our article where we review 9 of the best fly fishing vest options available today.
- Small and portable
- Doubles up as a line cutter
- Powerful 3x magnifying glass
- Not so easy to use
- Handheld design only leaves one hand free to work
- Not the cheapest price
Orvis Flip Focal
This magnifying clip-on is made by the well-known brand, Orvis. You can attach it to your hat with the clip and flip it up when not in use. This feature is useful because you won’t need to remove it and then reattach it every time. It can sit out of the way on your hat, but it’s ready for use with a quick flip. We recommend these as some of the best fishing hat options to use with the orvis flip focals.
However, the build isn’t the most durable. With a plastic construction, it feels quite flimsy and may not last too long. There’s also no choice between magnifying strength – this model only comes in the 2.25x zoom power. The size is also quite small, so you miss out on that broader field of vision.
- Hands-free magnifying clip-on for fly tying
- Clip it on and flip it down when required
- The build quality doesn’t seem great
- The flip focal is quite small
- No LED light
Hat Eyes Magnifier Lens
This magnifier is designed to clip onto your hat, allowing you to have close-up magnification close to your eyes. The result is a clear, powerful zoom that is perfect for fly tying. You can also keep your hands free, allowing you to hold your hook steady or use both hands for any small, fiddly details.
The benefit of using hat-clipped magnifiers is that you get a wider field of vision. It’s also simple to adjust the angle, which is helpful.
However, this magnifying glass doesn’t offer any options for zoom customization. Instead, you’ll have to take your pick from the range of single zoom settings, from 1.60x up to 2.75x.
While this is great because it allows you to choose the magnification you require, there’s no flexibility to adjust the zoom according to the situation. You’ll also have to wear a hat while you work, which could be annoying for some people.
- Portable – use them at home or on the water
- A choice of varying magnifications lets you get the right product to help you see clearly
- Affordable price
- Not very sturdy or durable
- No light or lamp included
MagniPros LED Illuminated Visor
This illuminated visor is one of the best options on the market when it comes to magnification for fly tying. With a choice of 5 different magnifying lenses and ultrabright LED lights, it has some great features.
You can take your pick from the 5 lenses, which vary from 1x up to 3.5x, allowing you to see clearly when fly tying. The LED lamp lights on the visor also help with this, giving you plenty of light to see every detail of your flies up close.
There are two different ways to wear it, as a headband or glasses, so you can choose what’s most comfortable for you. It also doubles up as a head lamp at night to light the way when fly fishing!
Overall, this is a great product that offers all the features you require for fly tying, from adjustable zoom settings to powerful lights!
See also our post here on the Best Headlamp for Fishing.
- Great affordable price
- Choice of 5 different lenses
- Adjustable LED light
- Comfortable fit
- The construction could be improved to make it feel more sturdy
Fancii Illuminated LED Handheld Set
In this set of handheld magnifying glasses, you get three different lenses that you can use according to the situation. Swapping out the lenses is quick and straightforward, thanks to the 2-button release system.
The lenses are clear and powerful, making this set well worth the price. The magnifying glass even has two lights included to help you see small details with ease.
The main drawback of this set is that you’ll have to hold it in one hand. This only leaves you with one hand free, which can be problematic for fly tying. There’s no option to clip it onto something, so it’s better for when you want to see close up for a quick fix, rather than epic fly tying sessions.
- This set comes with 3 different lenses
- The magnifying zoom is strong and powerful with superb clarity
- Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee
- Two lights to help you see clearly for fly tying
- You have to hold it while you work (tricky when fly tying)
- The price is quite expensive for what it is
The Wrap Up
So there you have the best magnifying glasses for fly tying on the market. We’ve covered everything from basic models at a low price to premium styles with lights and customizable zoom settings. You can also visit our post on the Best Fly Tying Light to make your fly tying easier.
Grab one of these models today to make your fly tying sessions more successful and take some strain off your eyes! Don’t forget that we have a whole section on fly tying and fly patterns at Fly Fisher Pro – why not have a browse? You might discover a new favorite fly pattern for your next fishing trip!