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Fly tying travel kit?

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:11 pm
by LabRat
Travel flytying kits seem inordinately expensive. Do any of you have a cheaper solution that you have tried and been happy with? I probably only travle and tie once or twice a year, so I don't want to sink a bunch of money into it.

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:28 am
by Danny S
Not sure if you mean complete kits including tools or just the travel tying bags, but.....

I use the same vise for travel as I use at home. It's a pedestal vise and breaks down nicely. If traveling by car, I pack all my fly tying materials and equipment into a plastic tote container--it's about 8" deep and 2'X3' and holds everything I need. If I pack it light enough, I can even get my tying lamp in it.

If flying, you can probably get away with some sort of duffle-type bag. They are likely much cheaper than the specially designed tying travel bags. Look for one that has pockets inside and out in case you want to keep some materials or tools separate from others and wrap items like the vise in bubble wrap or similar material to protect it.

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:24 am
by mickmcco
Mark's right. The commercially available travel tying kits can range all the way up to the Marco Polo from Scientific Anglers at $600 retail. I have one (not purchased at $600, though), but I have found there are better solutions when traveling.

I take my tying stuff on the road a lot, especially when I go away on business and have several nights scheduled in a hotel. I have purchased or been given several fly tying bags, but found they were more trouble than they were worth. So my "system" revolves around three padded zipper bags of different sizes that I found at REI under the general category of add-on accessory bags for backpacks.

In the first long, slender bag, I carry a Renzetti Traveler vise and attachments, including a McKenzie Vise Light and extension cord. In a second, smaller bag, I carry scissors, bobbins, thread, dubbing brush, whip finisher, small spools of wire, needle nose pliers (for bending down barbs), head cement, hooks, etc. -- whatever tools I think I'll need. In a third, larger bag, I carry other tying materials like peacock herl, flash, hackle, chenille, beads, tubing, biots, bucktail, marabou, etc. -- again choosing materials for the flies I plan to tie or think I might need for a given destination. Larger items that don't fit directly into the bags, like pheasant tails or capes and saddles, get packed loosely between my clothing in my suitcase.

If I'm taking my tying stuff on a fishing trip, I'll call ahead to see what flies I may need to tie for the trip, then tie as many as I can before leaving. But I'll also pack more materials, just in case. Last month, for example, Greg and I went to Durango and ended up fishing the San Juan. I'd tied a box of flies for the trip, then checked in with the local flyshop on arrival and found I needed to tie a few more. I had most of the tools and materials with me, and Greg and I were able to tie several dozen more flies by purchasing two packets of hooks and a few small packs of materials.

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:15 pm
by LabRat
Thanks guys...yes, I was specifically talking about the bags, not the compete kits.
I am taking the path Mick mentions. Heading to Creede, Co. in July. I have a pretty long list of flies from "Flyfishing Colorado" (I think that's the name...I am at work and not at my bench) that I have been tying, but in case of a color variation or size difference from what the "standard" list is, I want to be able to adapt.

Given what I am hearing, I think I may alter an old laptop computer bag I have and press it into service for this trip. I probably would only use a travel kit a couple times a year...thus the rare effort at frugality :wink:

I like the idea of the plastic tote can double as a clipping basket if shallow enough. I saw the guys in the TroutBum Diaries DVDs using a plastic tote and it got me thinking.

Thanks for the ideas!

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:15 pm
by Jimbo Roberts
When are you going to be in Creede? I'm headed up the last week in July to Pagosa Springs for the beginning of this year's Summer's Rocky Mountain Flyfishing Trip. If your there that late you could so me the spots you've found and I'll show you a few I know of off the beaten trail. Jimbo

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:32 pm
by dale_connally
You might also considered photo travel cases. Cases like ... ct_id=1823

Several show up on Ebay in different sizes/configurations. I have one that is a makeup case kinda like the old tackle boxes with two sets of shelves with little dividers that fold out. I can carry a vise, lots of tools and enough hackle to get by on a multi-day trip. My bro. has the camera case in the link above. It will hold lots of stuff and the interior can be customized. I think one could find either for under $30.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:37 pm
by LabRat
Jimbo, I sent you a PM...

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:47 pm
by tenbears66
I know I'm posting rather late on this topic but I thought anyone actully looking to create a travel fly tying bag at a reasonable price might be interested in my solution. I too thought those companies that offer a travel bag for tyers were awfully damned proud of their products. I searched for a couple of months and finally found the Flambeau 4003ST soft tackle bag. It cost only $19.99 and is perfect for a fly tying bag. The dimensions are 12" x 8" x 6" (30.48 x 20.32 x 15.24 cm).

The one listed on the Wal-Mart site and the Flambeau site are green and the ones I've seen in the store are blue like this: (I drew the dry fly on the flap)

The bag comes with 3 4006 Tuff Tainer Boxes. I removed the two in the main compartment and used the one in the front compartment for spools of thread, wire and floss. It will hold approx 46 Danville spools.

When you open up the front zippered compartment you'll find a place for a complete set of tools including bobbin, large and small english hackle pliers, bobbin threader, large and small hair stackers, two pair of scissors, hemostats, Thompson whip finisher, dubbing teaser, bodkin, dubbing loop and a magic marker.Image

In the right side pocket I have a Wapsi Sow/Scud dubbing box, Zap-a-Gap glue, seven bags of chenille and one bag of 2mm black foam:Image

In the left side pocket I have Wapsi beaver dubbing box, three bags of hare's mask and squirrel dubbing, dubbing wax and my reading glasses:

Inside the top flap over the main compartment I have my Griffen Odyssy Spider vice with hackle gauge, light reflector and allen wrench:Image

Inside the main compartment is the bulk of the tying supplies. To maintain an optimal condition to my expensive capes they go on top. Below them are my other feathers then my fur materials on the bottom.Image

You're wondering where are the hooks, beads, eggs, barbell eyes etc? Right here next to all of the materials. I find this also helps to maintain rigidity of the back side of the bag.Image

These last two pictures are to give you an idea of just how much this bag will hold. It was too much for one photo. This includes 5 full premium capes.Image


Not bad for a $19.99 bag from Wal-Mart?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:51 am
by mickmcco
Looks great. Could you pack one up for me?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:41 am
by Jimbo Roberts
Looks like this is a well though out and appropriate travel bag. Now could we talk about tying me up some flys? Jimbo

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:01 am
by Ron Mc
Jimbo is like me - by the light of the Coleman lantern, I pour the scotch and hold out my midge box.