Friday, November 12, 2010

The Traveling Sakasa Kebari Fly Tying Kit

Traveling sakasa kebari fly tying kit
One of my characteristics of my personality is my need for minimizing or simplifying everything around me.  This has become especially true when I take along a small hip pack for hiking or my fishing gear.  This is probably one reason I have become obsessed with tenkara.  I began tying my own flies almost a year ago and I usually do my tying on a snack tray table in front of the TV with my wife once the kids are in bed.  This has led to a small problem.  A snack tray table really does not have a lot of space, so I have to pick the materials I need from my fly tying supply containers and bring them over to the couch.  Sometimes I would love to just sit down and start tying.  In addition, when I'm traveling,  I would like to tie some flies but usually don't because I don't want to lug all those containers around.  I hoping Santa will bring me a nice bag for that purpose (are you reading this Claudia?).  In the meantime I have to make do with what I have at hand.  The picture above is what I came up with.  This is a whole kit for tying several versions of sakasa kebari and it all fits into an old Altoids tin.  In a little zip lock I have various size hooks and in another bag I have "prepared" Hungarian hackle feathers.  The tin also has three colors of Pearsall's silk thread, a small container of head cement, a large pin, small bobbin, scissors, small hackle pliers, and lastly a small pin vise that used to hold very small drill bits.  The vise works pretty well even though the hook slips occasionally.  Going slow I have gotten the hang of not using a table top vise and my flies have come out nearly as good.  I even have a small tin with a kit for making usuals.  I have also experimented with using old digital camera cases and eye glass cases for making kits.  They allowed a little for room for a few more materials.  However, the Altoids tin was the smallest complete set I could put together and it will easily fit in my pocket.  I doubt that this kit could ever replace my other set up but its nice to know whether I'm stream side, traveling, or just reclined on the couch I can get my fly tying "fix."

All packed and ready to go


  1. Thanks very much. If anyone else out there has suggestions or ideas about making a "micro" sort of fly tying kit and what kind of flies you could make from it I would be very interested.

  2. I love the simplicity of this little kit and how minimal you've managed to keep it. Do you find it hard or tricky to tie the flies without the aid of a full vice? I feel like I'd need a third hand, maybe I just don't understand how you do it. Would love to know more! Thanks so much for sharing

  3. Hi Brian...Sorry it took a little to respond (on family vacation). I always prefer a regular vise but with a little practice I can use the pin vise and tie solid flies. I'm right handed and hold the pin vise with my left hand, mostly with my middle, ring, and pinky fingers. This allows me to partly use my index finger and thumb for tying. Unfortunately, its hard to visualize but easier to see. The kit is so handy that I can put it in my pocket with minimal supplies and be able to tie 12-15 different fly patterns or variations. If you have any specific questions please feel free to e-mail me.