Friday 9 December 2011

Outlander Fly Tying Bag - Review

If you’re honest with yourself, how much of the fly tying materials you own gets regular use? How many necks and capes have you purchased that rarely get looked at, let alone a hackle selected and actually used? How many spools of thread do you own that never even come near to a bobbin? You probably don’t even know which beads, shell backs and hooks you actually own!

It’s not about ‘needing’; it’s an uncontrollable force that compels you to want more. As most fly tiers know, the range of materials you accumulate just continues to increase. As a result, travelling with fly tying equipment can be a frustration. Whether tying at shows , club demonstrations, teaching fly dressing or just fly tying away from home, there usually comes a time where you just cannot find that specific pack of feathers or that particular skin. Having tried for years without, it seemed time that I invested in a bag designed for the purpose of carrying materials – and the ‘Outlander’ bag, from fishing tackle supplier, Fishtec, has been a huge step forward.

Toughened plastic wallets - eight in total
This is a well designed and sturdy bag. Well made with stitched seams, you have every confidence in it keeping you kit safe. It’s pretty big too: 50cm x 40cm and with good depth. A clean, neat design, the bag looks good with its brown fabric exterior and tertiary coloured motif. With an external, zipped pocket, it certainly looks the part from the outside. 

Plenty of room and storage in the Outlander bag

Open it up and you are presented with a range of storage wallets. I must confess that filling the bag was really quite therapeutic – like a spring clean and a chance to really question ‘when did I last use that?’. At either end of the bag there is an open space for materials with a fabric cover. I found this perfect with one end holding a range of capes, necks and game skins. I could easily fit a couple of dozen of these in this area. The flap then pulls over and everything is secured with an adjustable strap and buckle clip. The other end houses rabbit and squirrel skins and a range of dubbing boxes. The pull-over flap on one side is actually a breathable zipped bag. Ideal for bulkier boxes of hooks, UV torches and beads.

 In the middle of the bag is a large, padded dividing board with 4 toughened plastic, zipped wallets on either side. Each bag can hold a good amount of materials. I chose to divide my materials up: for example specialist feathers, Coq de Leon, Shell backs, Synthetic strands, Wing post materials etc.  Usefully, this whole middle section is held in place by a tough Velcro strip – and therefore it can be lifted completely out of the bag
Plenty of room for all sorts of capes

The padded bag that keeps your vice safe and gives you even more storage pockets
A padded bag is also secure along the main bag’s Velcro spine and this is ideal for storing your fly tying vice safely. The range of pockets on the outer skin of this padded section is perfect for holding packs of hooks and magnetic hook boards. Each section of the whole bag seems to lie neatly upon the next.

Safe cushioning for your vice

Skins and dubbing boxes easily fit in one end of the bag

Both end spaces have secure clips with adjustabke straps - keeping everything in place

There’s easily enough space to house a few spools of thread and your tools too. Longer feathers, such as ostrich, peacock and pheasant tails centres can fit in the bag. In fact, it holds a surprising amount of kit.

I travel a lot with my fly tying materials. Whilst this bag hasn’t yet been overseas with me, I have every confidence in its design. A tough and reliable design, I have no hesitation in recommending it. The fact that you get change from £50 make it a no brainer! Highly recommended.

The Outlander fly tying bag is available from Fishtec.



Woz Andrew said...

Very informative and so true Dave...
I've never taken my tying gear any further than the garden on a nice day and that's a right royal pain just taking materials for a couple of patterns I'm going to tie. But I will seriously consider one of these for our bi-annual visit to the east coast and beyond that's if I can ever get my missus on to a plane 'crazy fool I ain't getting on no plane'.

Cheers... Woz

Unknown said...

I am really impressed by the work you did in this article. It’s great enough to pull my attention and in reading this article for once to understand that your pen is really mightier than the sword.

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