When shopping around for the best fly tying chenille, you’re going to be looking for material that you can easily manipulate, mimic the color of the natural forage, and will also be durable enough to stand up to a day spent fishing.

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Chenille is actually the french word for caterpillar. After taking one look at the material you’ll see why it was called that. When laid flat it definitely resembles that insect.

However, you don’t just have to tie caterpillars with this material. It can be used for many different types of insects, critters, or anything else you intend on tying while sitting at your fly tying desk.

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What is Chenille?

The best chenille is used for many things, not just fly tying. Many times it is woven into clothing. Giving this material the ability to be truly versatile which is great for fly tying.

fly tying Chenille

Overall, chenille is a woven fabric. It can be used to wrap around the shanks of hooks and give bodies to the flies that you are tying. The best chenille for fly tying will be versatile.

It comes in many different colors and sizes. Meaning you can tie big, medium, or small flies with it. Making it ideal for the angler who wants to have a variety of material to tie with.

When To Use Chenille

It is most often used as the body of flies. Usually, it’s used on larger streamers and nymphs. However, they do make smaller sizes that are great for pupae or egg patterns.

tying wooly bugger with hackle

They can also be used to tie a bunch of different salmon flies and steelhead flies. It truly is a very versatile piece of fly tying equipment.

Streamers might be the most popular though. The brightly colored patterns work wonders and can trigger reaction strikes from just about any type of fish whether it be fresh or saltwater.

Types of Chenille

Below, we’re going to go over a few different types of chenille. The best chenille material is going to have their own pros and cons so think about what you want to tie and apply that to the list.

Pearl Chenille

Pearl chenille has a sparkly outside that when fished in high light conditions can reflect the sun’s light from beneath the water and can entice bites from fish.

Finesse Chenille

The finesse chenille gives your fly a little bit of a different look. This is the best chenille fly tying material used to tie different variations of the game changer.

Fly Tying Chenille

Wooly Chenille

One of the most popular, the wooly chenille makes exactly what you think. The wooly bugger. The construction of the material is ideal for this fly and other alterations.

Glow in The Dark Chenille

Now this one is interesting. The glow in the dark chenille can be used in many low light situations. Whether that be deep in the water column or fished during twilight hours.

What Makes Good Fly Tying Chenille?

Below we’re going to go over a couple of different features that chenille is going to have. Each of these is going to have their own pros and cons so think about what you’re looking for and apply that to the list.

Color

The color of the chenille is important because it needs to match the rest of the fly in order to imitate the natural forage that fish will be targeting.

Fly Tying Chenille in different colors

Or, the color could be used to help initiate reaction strikes from fish. This is ideal for when the fish aren’t biting but you can get them to react to something based on the color of the fly.

Size

You need to pick a size for your fly that will allow you to catch the fish you’re pursuing. Which means it’s all the more important that you choose a chenille that matches this.

Luckily, chenille comes in many different sizes. It can be used to tie large streamers and nymphs. Or it can be used to tie small nymphs, pupae, and even egg patterns.

Body Type

There are many different types of bodies that a chenille can have. They have the finesse chenille, which we mentioned above is great for tying the game changer.

Then there is also the wooly chenille which can be used to tie the wooly bugger as well as other variations of this fly.

High Vis vs Low Vis

This does not necessarily mean the color of the thread. This is in regard to any added pops of color. Such as sparkles or glow in the dark.

The extra visibility could either give you the best day of fishing you’ve ever had or you could be skunked. So it needs to be used only when you know it could work.

Best Fly Tying Chenille

Below, we’re going to go over three different types of chenille. Each of them will work great on any fly tyers bench. So pick one out and see for yourself!

Phecda Sport 10 Cards Flash Chenille

The Phecda Sport 10 Card is a chenille kit that comes with 10 different colors and is sized at a width of 7mm or .28 inches. Making it a great size to tie a serious number of flies.

It can be used to tie different types of streamers, and insects. Along with some normal colors you also get some vibrant colors that sparkle as well.

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Creative Angler Chenille Assorted Chenille

The Creative Angler chenille comes in either individual packs or it can be sold in packs of five. Allowing you the freedom to purchase however many you want and still get what you need.

Each roll comes in a pack of 2 yards. Meaning you’ll be getting a good amount of chenille each time you order some.

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Tigofly 10 Cards Variety Chenille

The Tigo Fly 10 Cards Variety is a great set for someone who wants to tie either a bunch of different flies or for somehow is just starting out and needs a great selection. This pack comes with 24 different colors.

The width of these is around 7mm making them pretty versatile. So you’ll be able to tie many different types of flies with this material.

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Conclusion

Chenille is a great material for helping you to catch more fish. It gives the fly a body that looks realistic and it’s also easy to handle.

So, now that we know a little bit more about it you should head on down to your local fly shop and pick some up yourself!

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The Best Fly Tying ChenilleGuide To The Best  Fly Tying Chenille