DiY Vehicle Rod Holder

diy rod holder 01Like most things in the overpriced niche market of Fly Fishing, vehicle rod holders were something I wanted, but wasn't willing to spend $100-$200 on anytime soon. I studied a few of the designs I had come across and decided that I could probably make something comparable on the cheap. 

With a design in mind I made a trip to Harbor Freight and the local hardware store to pick up some supplies. About an hour later I had the first one made and testing it out on the car, a little later on its first trip to the San Juan in New Mexico. 

Almost 2 years later it has been on multiple trips, held a lot of rods and working great! I've had it up to 80mph on the freeway loaded down with rods, bumpy 4x4 trails in the forests, monsoon rains, frozen 18f mornings, 115f midday blazing sun and wet slushy snow all with no signs of failure. The key is getting a good suction location on the hood and windshield.

Recently my good buddy Ben Smith of Arizona Wanderings asked me if I could make a how-to on the rod holders. Luckily I had all but the collapsible nut on hand and built a second one for this tutorial. Its pic heavy as I tried to document each step in detail to make it easier to follow along at home... Here you go Ben!

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Spool Minders

spool minder onTired of having wire despool on you if you let go? Or wasting wire, floss, tinsel on each fly, it all ads up! These little Spool Minders are the solution. Put one of these on every spool that you don't normally pop into a bobbin and they will keep your materials on the spool while you tie, no waste, no dropped spools and 3 yards of floss ruined as it unspools across the floor.

A couple other guys have tutorials out there on how to make them, and Hareline even offers a commercial version for about a buck each. I've been making these for a few years and have my own take on them that I think is an improvement over the others out there.

Simple to make and work on the tying bench as well as tippet, line, and other unruly spools. Follow this tutorial on my take of the Spool Minders and let me know how they work for you!

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A2 Knot

a2 knotI'm always in search of an easier or quicker way to do things, and while I love the strength and versatility of the Uni Knot (Duncan) It was a little slow to tie, and difficult in some lines for me.

I had watched a fishing video with Kelly Galloup and he used a Figure 8 knot to tie his flies on and swore by the knot. I replicated the knot but soon forgot how to tie it out of not using it. A year or so later I sat down to try and remember that knot and couldn't quite get it. I tied the knot in a lot of different ways before finding a knot that wasn't the original, but tied easily and was very strong.

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DiY Egg Foam Tool

diy egg foam tool samplesMcFly Foam eggs are easy to tie, but tend to waste about double the material that is needed to tie the actual egg. With this simple tool you can tie eggs with virtually no waste.

There are commercial tools out there that work the same for the most part, but one shortcoming of those and the first DiY tools I made were they were too long. Once the foam goes into the tool, you can't keep the tension on it and you'll end up wasting that last 2 inches or so. This one is smaller and you end up being able to keep tention all the way up to the last 1/4" or so.

Give these a try if you want to be able to crank out eggs in less than 45 seconds!

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Furled Leaders - Part 2 Build Your Own Jig

furled leader jig

In this article I'm going to go over the contruction of the Jig and all the tools I use to make Furled Leaders.

This Jig is lightweight, portable and very inexpensive to make. You can change the number of sections and length easily after completed if you decide to experiment with other leader formulas or want to make shorter or longer leaders.

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Furled Leaders - Part 1 An Introduction

furled leader close-up

This is going to be a three part article on Furled Leaders. An Introduction to what they are, what's needed to build them yourself, and how to make them.

Furled Leaders are a type of knotless tapered fly fishing leader. They are known for their high performance, low memory, and soft fly presentations. These attributes are due to the way these leaders are constructed which is similar to creating rope. The big difference is that furled leaders are created with a taper. This twisted style of construction and being made from many filaments leads to a flexible leader with low to no memory. Properties similar to a section of rope

Furled leaders are created from monofilament fishing line or fly tying thread usually, but can be constructed from almost any other line. The line is wrapped around a jig in a series of interlocking loops which creates the taper of the leader. The leader is also created in two halves, each half is then twisted while under tension. Both halves are twisted in the same spinning direction. The halves are then combined together and then allowed to untwist under weight or tension or twisted opposite of the first twist mechanically. As the two halves untwist, they furl together to create the final structure that is shown in the picture above. The ends of the leader are then finished to hold the leaders furl. Lastly the leader is attached to the end of the fly line and tipped with tippet before use.

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