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Guide Picks: Top 10 Small-Batch Redfish Fly Tyers

Choosing the right flies when planning your next trip to fly fish for redfish can be tricky given the breadth of patterns to select from. A well-curated fly box should offer an angler diversity for different fishing situations, durability, value, and confidence in your fly selection. Guides understand this better than almost anyone, so we wanted to hear from our guide community on their top sources for killer redfish flies. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the best flies for redfish and show you our guide-sourced top 10 picks for redfish fly tyers.

Image courtesy of Fly Fish Charleston.

Image courtesy of Fly Fish Charleston.

This article covers:

  • Why buy from small-batch fly tyers?
  • Types of redfish flies
  • Our guides’ favorite redfish fly tyers
  • Booking your next redfish fishing adventure
  • Frequently asked questions about redfish fly tying

Why buy from small-batch fly tyers?

Buying flies from small-batch fly tyers is a great option if you're an avid angler. These artisans have a deep, often localized understanding of what works best for seasonal redfish fishing in their area. Whether their flies are designed for specific depths, seasonal trends, or localized forage species, small-batch tyers can create patterns best suited for your needs on your next trip. Plus, when you buy from these professional fly tyers, you're not just getting high-quality flies – you support a time-honored craft and local businesses! 

Types of redfish flies

A massive redfish hooked in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Courtesy of Lowcountry Premier Fly Fishing.

When targeting redfish, selecting the right fly can make all the difference. Redfish flies are crafted to imitate the diverse prey these fish feed. Below, we’ll talk about 3 broad categories of redfish flies: subsurface flies, topwater flies, and weedless flies. Each type has unique characteristics and applications, catering to different fishing environments and conditions. Whether you're fishing in shallow creeks, navigating across grassy flats, or aiming for exhilarating surface strikes, understanding the variety of redfish flies available will enhance your angling experience next time you’re fishing.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Redfish Flies for more in-depth information on redfish flies.


Subsurface redfish flies are flies crafted to sink down below the surface of the water. These flies imitate the various prey items redfish typically feed on like shrimp, crabs, and small baitfish. They are crafted to sink or hover just above the bottom, making them effective in the shallow, often murky waters where redfish are commonly found. Subsurface flies excel in inshore flats and deeper channels. 

These flies are typically weighted to ensure they sink quickly and get down to where the redfish are feeding. Anglers often retrieve these flies with a strip-and-pause technique, mimicking the natural movement of prey.


Topwater redfish flies are designed to float on the surface of the water and entice redfish to strike by mimicking prey that moves along the top, such as baitfish, shrimp, and even insects. These flies are especially exciting to use because of the visual thrill of watching a redfish break the surface to take the fly. 

Using topwater flies for redfish can be particularly effective during low light conditions, such as early morning or late evening, or when the water is calm and clear. The key to success with these flies is to create an enticing action that mimics natural prey and triggers predatory strikes. Ask your guide for instructions on a proper technique when fishing for redfish.

Weedless redfish flies

Weedless redfish flies are designed to navigate through vegetation, oyster beds, and other underwater obstructions without getting snagged. This makes them particularly useful in the shallow grass flats and marshes where redfish are commonly found. These flies typically feature special hooks and materials arranged to minimize snagging while maintaining an enticing presentation for the fish. Many weedless flies have a single-strand or dual-pronged guard made of monofilament or wire that covers the hook point, preventing it from catching on weeds or debris.

Weedless redfish flies allow anglers to fish confidently in areas with heavy cover, where redfish often hunt for food. The weedless design ensures that the fly can move naturally through the water without getting caught, increasing the chances of a successful hookup.

Our guides’ favorite redfish fly tyers

Bend It Flies

Tied in Charleston, South Carolina

@benditflies creates high-quality flies meant to tackle the nuances of redfish fishing in the South Carolina LowcountryCapt. Robbie Powell ties a great selection of patterns that are effective for a variety of conditions, and that represent a diverse array of endemic forage found in South Carolina’s marshes. Robbie (a.k.a. Chasing Tides Charters) also offers charters in and around Charleston, SC if you’re looking to see some prototype pattern R & D first-hand!

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Space Coast Flies

Tied in Central Florida, USA

Space Coast Flies crafts intricate saltwater flies meant to give anglers an edge when fishing in waters all around. Popular flies of theirs include the Marsh Rover and Lunar Goon. Their baitfish imitations also perform exceptionally well. Check out their Nova Minnow and Haley’s Minnow patterns, and head to the Space Coast Flies website for more redfish favorites.

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Ammo Flies

Tied in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Crafted from the Sunshine Coast of Australia, Ammo Flies develops quality flies for inshore waters around the world. Chris started Ammo Flies in 2014 as a hobby that quickly grew to become one of Australia’s most prominent custom fly-tying operations.

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Sight Cast Fishing Company

Tied in Texas, USA

Tied in Texas and designed for the Gulf Coast and East Coast, Sight Cast Fishing Company prides itself on creating new patterns and altering classics meant for a variety of inshore species. Check out their website or Instagram for more information or to order before your next trip to the Lone Star State.

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Sandbar Flies

Tied in Louisiana, USA

Hailing from the waters of the Florida Panhandle to the Louisiana marshes, Sandbar Flies creates exceptional tools to catch redfish in a variety of inshore waters. Originally from Louisiana, owner Nick Vlahos is a commercial fly tyer and designer with several signature patterns such as “The Sandbar Crab” that are quite effective when targeting redfish off the Gulf beaches.

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Tied in South Florida, USA

Owner and fly designer Brian Butts crafts flies to target an array of inshore and backcountry beasts like redfishtarponsnook, and permit. Shrimp flies, Kwan flies, and Strong Arm Merkins are just a few guide favorites from Brian specially made to tackle the flats in and around South Florida.

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Salty Fly Tying

Tied in Fort Myers, Florida

Author, instructor, and expert fly tyer Drew Chicone crafts specialty flies for guides and anglers globally through Salty Fly Tying. On top of being an expert fly craftsman, Drew also helps anglers at any level tie new or better fly patterns through books, eBooks, and more. Check out his website for tutorials, information, and fly offerings for your next redfish trip.

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Focus Fly Company

Tied in Charleston, South Carolina

Focus Fly Company produces quality flies specifically catered to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and other inshore bodies. With quality craftsmanship and local knowledge, guide favorites like the “Low Tide Larry” are excellent tools to have when targeting redfish in the  Charleston area. 

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Fly Skinz

Tied in the USA

Veteran-owned and family-run, Fly Skinz ties an array of flies meant for redfishtarpon, bass, and destination trip exotics. Check out their Custom Fly Selection to get expert consultation from their team and dial in exactly what you’ll need for your travels. If you’re tying your own flies, Fly Skinz also offers tying kits!


A selection of topwater and subsurface redfish fly patterns courtesy of FlySkinz.

Southeastern Fly Works

Tied in Georgia, USA

Owner of Southeastern Fly WorksMack Bryson, specializes in a variety of inshore flies for redfishsnook, trout, tarpon, and more. His versatile flies are applicable in many fishing settings and he has several custom flies, like the “Count of Monte Frisco,” that perform well for both saltwater and freshwater species.

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Booking your next redfish fishing adventure

A healthy redfish caught off of the Gulf Coast of Texas. Courtesy of Nueces Angling Co.

It's time to put this knowledge into action. Success in redfish fishing isn't just about having the best flies; it's about adapting to the ever-changing conditions on the water. As you gear up for your next fishing adventure, remember that AnyCreek is here to guide you. With our expert advice and top-notch guides, we'll ensure you have everything you need for a successful and memorable experience on the water.

Frequently asked questions about redfish fly tying

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