Best Bobbin For Fly Tying

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Bobbins come in a wide range of options. You can easily find yourself on the receiving end more so when in a hurry to choose one for your daily fly-fishing routine.

However, as an angler, you can surely find whatever suits your needs—the best bobbin. In this cheat sheet, we have curated some of the best options that you can try out. We will also take you the extra mile to recommend the best technique to use when choosing this fundamental gear.

So, which is the best bobbin? To be precise, there is no do-it-all bobbin that suits all anglers’ dynamic needs. What you prefer may be very different from what your friends and angling counterparts love.

You will be amazed by the varied preferences when it comes to choosing a bobbin. Some anglers love the expensive and automatic versions. Whereas, some just love the manual ones. Lastly, some prefer to hold their spool-thread using a hand—it is not magic, you can do it.

Nevertheless, some popular brands and versions work for most people. But, this does not make them the best. Going by the flow of this narrative, the best bobbin is, therefore, whatever satisfies the needs of your heart.

It weighs perfect and realizes excellent tension. It holds the spool thread efficiently without giving room for tangling or foul-outs. And lastly, it can be threaded as fast as possible to avoid waste of time and energy during your fly-fishing sessions.

A list of best bobbins that you can use:

Stonfo Elite Disc Drag

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If you are looking for a beast to beckon when it comes to choosing the right bobbin, then this is the variant to do with. Stonfo elite disc is not only popular for its magnificent finishing but also for the cutting edge efficiency that leaves anglers across the world all smiles.

The tool features weighted stainless steel to provide a smooth and hands-free thread winding options. Most Stonfo Elite Discs feature disc-drag design for quick adjustments when it comes to alternating your thread tensions.

Inside the tube is a steel hardening for a smooth thread sliding to prevent fraying or thread breakage when casting. Lastly, this super-versatile tool features an adjustment knob.

You can adjust the spool holder stem through rotating the knob either clockwise or anticlockwise (depending on your thread’s diameter) to prevent foul-outs. This last feature makes this tool usable with the most popular threads out there.

Rite Bobbins

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If you are looking for something to jump-start your fly-fishing journey, then here it is. Rite Bobbin comes in a wide range of options. There are brands for novice learners, intermediate and expert anglers. All the variants are micro-adjustable to achieve varied thread tensions according to your scale of preferences.

Unlike the Stonfo version, Rite Bobbins feature Cermag designs. They are made exclusively with stainless steel.

For the tubing, the iconic gems come with ceramic inserts to prevent fraying or breakage. And, since you want something long-lasting, the manufacturer company uses exclusively surgical stainless steels for the build-up of their brands.

Expert brands of the variant feature heavy-duty thread tension of about 2-16 ounces. They perfectly work with the deer hair. Otherwise, all Rite Brands come with click and drag system for apex thread tension when making your casts.

Factors to consider when choosing your bobbin

  1. The size

Size matters everywhere. Just like rods, lines and the threads, bobbins come in a wide range of sizes. And, of course, for different kinds of needs. The difference is attributed to the manufacturer companies’ preferences.

Two key factors should guide you when enlisting your sizes—the thread diameter and efficiency.

Almost all threads out there feature a diameter of 7.9mm (0.31″). Your bobbin should, therefore, feature a good tunnel diameter that fits the spool thread excellently. 

Your bobbin’s tunnel diameter also affects its efficiency.

When the tunnel is larger than the spool thread, it will not hold tightly to the thread hence burying the security aspect of the tool. Your spool thread is vulnerable to fouling out. So check out for that.

  1. The finishing

Some bobbins come with internal inserts while some do not. The insert, main ceramics in most cases, usually prevents the thread from fraying out during fly-fishing sessions.

You see, when casting, the system usually applies a negligible amount of pressure on the thread to realize a required tension.

With the internal surface of the tool unfinished, you risk fraying your thread hence causing it to fall vulnerable to breakage.

We would, therefore, recommend that you go for a variant with internal finishing when curating your options. A nicely polished metal tube is also a good alternative.

  1. Mode of operation

Oftentimes, you will hear many anglers complain about their bobbin tensioning not meeting the required standards. Either, the tool is breaking their threads or not secure enough to stiffly hold the spool thread for a good cast.

When choosing a bobbin, you have two options. You can either choose the manual or automatic variant. The difference between these two variants relies on tension.

A manual bobbin requires that you use your hand to tighten the thread for good tension. On the other hand, an automatic bobbin uses advanced techniques to achieve its own tensioning once you have fed the thread into it.

If you can tense your gear perfectly with your how hands, then go for a manual bobbin. However, if at all you fall into the bracket of anglers who often find themselves breaking their threads while tensioning, then automatic brands suit your needs.


The choice of your bobbin matters a lot when it comes to making a cast. A poor quality bobbin will not only bury the thread tension but also undermine the balancing weights on your gear.

Secondly, thread breaks or foul-outs that come with a poor choice are unwelcome during casting sessions. Therefore, to remain at par with other excellent anglers around the globe, you do not have any otherwise other than trying our recommended models.

Otherwise, you are free to buy and try some other variants until you land on the most preferred.