A Fix-It Kit for Fly Fishing

By Scott Richmond

When I go fishing , I carry two kinds of first aid kits in my fish bag. One is for people; the other is for my fishing gear. You can guess which one is bigger (does that mean I'm more worried about my gear than my body? Probably).

Here's some of the things I carry in my fix-it kit:

  1. Saftey pins
  2. Eye-glass repair kit with small screwdriver
  3. Needle and thread
  4. Buttons in various sizes
  5. Duct tape
  6. Electrical tape
  7. Kevlar tying thread
  8. Bobbin
  9. Bobbin Threader
  10. Loop connectors
  11. Epoxy
  12. UV Knot Sense and UV Mini Lamp
  13. Spare batteries for above
  14. Zap-a-gap
  15. Line dressing
  16. Line cleaner
  17. Heavy Kevlar thread (for stripping coating from fly lines)
  18. Ferule cement
  19. Candle and matches for melting ferule cement
  20. Nail knot tyer
  21. Tip-tops and rod guides in various sizes
  22. Leatherman Juice 2 multi-tool.

All this goes into a waterproof mini Pelican case, except the Leatherman, which stays in my waders. If all goes well, I never have to get into it. But if you've been on more than three fly fishing trips, you know that things don't always go well: rod guides fall off, rod tips break, buttons fall off, clothes rip, wader leak, leaders need tying on, lines get dirty . . . and on and on.

The better your imagination, the more you'll realize you need a fix-it kit. It can salvage a fishing trip for you.

For example, if the top 10 inches of my only rod breaks off, I can glue on a new tip top and keep fishing; when I get home, the rod goes in for repair. It's not optimum, but it's better than driving home early and frustrated.

In other examples, the thread and bobbin can be used to put loops on the ends of a broken fly line, which keeps fishing with the loop-to-loop connection. A broken rod guide can be replaced by using electrical tape to temporarily attach a replacement. Clothing can be mended with the needle and thread, or just held together with safety pins. And of course, you could build an entire house with nothing but a multi-tool and some duct tape.

Joel LaFollette, retail manager at Kaufman's Streamborn in Portland, supplied many of the ideas for my fixit kit. He's used his many times when hosting expeditions to foreign waters.

Scott Richmond is Westfly's creator and Executive Director. He is the author of eight books on Oregon fly fishing, including Fishing Oregon's Deschutes River (second edition).