With cold weather arriving around the country, time on the water can be limited for many fly anglers. I feel fortunate to have access to year-round trout fisheries but there are certainly some days that I end up staying home looking for some angling-related activity to pass the time rather than freeze my butt and toes off. Sometimes it’s reading or tying flies and other times I’m looking for DIY fishing hacks or projects to enhance my time on the water the next time I venture out. Below are 5 ideas for DIY fly fishing hacks or projects and accompanying Youtube videos that can help you be readily equipped without breaking the bank.
DIY Fishing HACK #1. Homemade Rod Sleeves
Rod Sleeves are designed to protect fully rigged fly rods during transportation and storage. You can purchase them from manufacturers like Scientific Anglers but you can easily make them at home in a variety of different lengths and diameters to accommodate all your favorite rods, from lightweight single hand rods to longer two-hand Spey rods. Whether you store your rods in a closet, garage, rod vault, or drift boat, rod sleeves can provide extra protection against chips and scratches and also prevent your rigged flies and line from unnecessary tangles. While the video below from Blue Line Fishing focuses on conventional tackle, the same principles apply to making a fly rod sleeve.
DIY Fishing HACK #2. Homemade Fishing Net
Upcycling and reusing items around the house is a great way to outfit yourself with some fly fishing essentials. Repurposing tennis rackets into fishing nets is easy and can be accomplished in a few minutes with a replacement net bag, a needle, and some string. If you like the idea but would rather purchase a tennis racket net, be sure to give the “River Rat” net from Urban Anglers USA a look. Check out the video below from The Hank Fishing Show on Youtube for more info.
3. DIY Fly Boxes
Homemade fly boxes are a great way to maximize your fly storage without breaking the bank. Some DIY fly boxes are pretty easy to make, simply glue some foam and/or magnets into a small container like an empty Altoids tin, and voila. If you’ll be tying flies all winter without a place to store them, be sure to check out the DIY Fly Boxes video from Tim Cammisa of @troutandfeather.
4. Homemade Fly Fishing Seine Net
Matching the hatch can be the name of the game at certain times and a fly fishing seine net is a great way to determine what bugs you need to match. Making a seine is quick, easy and can help you land more fish by narrowing down your fly selection. The following video from Kayak Hacks Fishing shows a simple, homemade seine net and how to use one effectively.
5. DIY Rod Vault
Rod Vaults, River Quivers, and the Ultimate Rod Case are just a few of the products on the market designed to securely transport and store fly rods on vehicle roof racks. Rooftop rod carriers are particularly useful in the winter when spending an extra 10-15 minutes rigging your rod means extra time standing out in the cold. You can simply rig your rods the night before and head to your favorite spot ready to hit the water. These products can tend to get pretty expensive but there are homemade versions that can be assembled for around $50. Check out this video below from Drenalin Adventures that breaks down the materials and processes required to make your very own rod vault.
Hopefully one or some of these DIY fishing hacks will help you pass some time this winter and also help you be more prepared for your next adventure to your favorite waters. I’m always curious to hear other DIY ideas that have worked for our readers so leave a comment below.
Article by Evan Garda, he is on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing trout throughout the west with his trusty fly rod. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.