Friday, April 20, 2012

DIY Fly Fishing Lanyard

I have a few fly fishing trips scheduled for the next few months. Most notably, my Dad and I have a guided trip planned for the western part of Virginia. I am not an experienced fly fisherman. I did it a lot in high school, but that was 15 years ago. So, I am still learning the gear and all of the ins and outs of the sport.

While trying to figure out how I am going to lug all of the delicate equipment required, I came across a disturbing trend. I have the tendency to carry everything I own with me in the field. Now, when deer hunting from a stand this is not a bad thing. Sometimes the better prepared you are the more successful you can be. However, fishing a small stream is an entirely different story.

Fly fishing is a frustrating endeavor. There is all sorts of stuff that can get caught on other stuff. I have literally had my fly line completely wrapped around my body and the fly snagged on both my net and pants. The less stuff you have on you, the less chance there is of becoming a human tangle.

 For this reason I chose to forgo my normal fishing vest, which I can cram with ten pounds of crap, and go with a fly fishing lanyard. For those of you that do not know, a fly fishing lanyard is basically a necklace with snaps that hold your essential gear. They are light weight and convenient. You can find them for between $20 and $50. When I went shopping for one I was drawn to the more expensive ones. I did not end up buying a fly fishing lanyard because every time I looked at one I thought "I can make that".

I went home and sure enough, I could make one. It is not as pretty as the ones in the store, but it does exactly what I want and literally cost me $0. I found everything I needed lying around. If I had to buy the materials it would have cost me about $5, not including the equipment (nippers, fly box, etc...).

I started out with a few feet of paracord, some 1/4" id latex tubing, and some 1/4" id clear plastic tubing. The latex tubing is to add padding around the neck and the plastic tubing is to space out the equipment clasps.

I used large snap swivels and clasps like you see above (I forget their name). I threaded a cheap foam bobber onto the string to act as a fly holder.

I have ordered some zingers for the clippers and hemostat. I found them on eBay for about $2.50. I have room for a bottle of floatant, but am out, so it is not pictured.

The fly box I attached to the lanyard is one of those small foam ones. The lid clasps with magnets, it floats, and weighs almost nothing. The entire box filled with flies weighs less than my clippers. I purchased the box from L. L. Bean.

At the bottom of the lanyard I attached one of those file clasps that are always laying around at work. This easily attaches to my shirt and keeps the lanyard from swinging when I bend over.

I added a pouch that hangs over my shoulder. This contains miscellaneous stuff like strike indicators, leaders, and tippet. There is enough room for a small container of bug spray or candy bar if needed. I have not seen this added to a lanyard before, but it works very well.

My wife made me the pouch out of some canvas and paracord.

I think this pouch is genius. When I hang it over my shoulder it is out if the way and counter balances the stuff on the front, making the lanyard even more comfortable.

I think it is a great design and can't wait to try it out on the water. Maybe next week....

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