Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Portable Fly Tying Kit

This is a project I have been thinking about for a while now.  I do a fair amount of fly tying on the road.  Several times a year I participate in fly tying demos for my local TU chapter. I am also involved in teaching fly tying for the same organization. Then there are the fishing trips; anytime I fish more than a day's travel from home I usually pack some sort of tying kit. More than once, a tough day's fishing has been saved by a pattern tied in camp or cabin the night before to match some local bug.

Until now, the game plan usually consists of throwing a bunch of materials and tools in some sort of container and calling it done.  What happens more times than not is I'll settle in to begin tying and realize I have forgotten the ribbing material, the dubbing or some other critical component I need to complete the pattern.  For now I am planning to build this kit around trout patterns since this is the fish I pursue most often.

My plan is to stock the kit with materials and tools and leave them there. Lord knows I have accumulated enough materials and supplies over the years to do this without a problem. I may need to pick up a few items but for the most part I should have everything I need in my current stock of supplies.

I was fortunate to receive not one but two Fish Pond tying kit bags for Christmas this year.  The Road Trip bag is a compact solution that will require careful consideration to what goes inside.  The Tomahawk bag is the everything but the kitchen sink approach to a portable kit. I am still on the fence about what approach to take when I put this kit together.

Marco Polo Tying Kit 
I want to design the kit around the Marco Polo kit I picked up last year.  That should take care of the vice and most of the tools the only question is what materials to stock.

I would love to hear from folks who maintain a separate kit for tying on the road.  What do you include in your kit.  Do you maintain a seperate stock of supplies or raid your home kit for materials every time you hit the road. If you keep a seperate stocked tying kit is it filled with basic materials, or do you stock it with materials for specific patterns you wish to tie?

I will post more on the subject, including the final inventory when I finish putting it all together. I'll even try to put up a review of the two Fish Pond bags as the look like they both are perfectly suited for the task.


  1. The Fishpond bags are pretty sweet. I like the look of that Marco Polo travel kit. Haven't seen that one before.

  2. The Fish Pond bags are great, very well made and will serve their role perfectly. I just need to decide large or small. The Marco Polo set is expensive though I got mine off eBay for a great price. It is a very high quality set up the vice and the tools are top notch.

  3. I wish I could afford a Marco Polo kit. They look really nice.