Posted on February 22 2008
Last week we were sent one of Fat Cat Fly Fishing’s new oversized fly wallets to review. It immediately got our attention because of its unusual approach to the concept of large fly storage. The “Old School Fly Wallet” is 12 inches long, and unfolds to reveal a 7″ by 11″ liner of faux sherpa ewe fleece. The Cordura shell is held closed by three velcro patches. The wallet was designed as a solution to the problem of storing large streamer flies, which most anglers keep in bulky plastic boxes. As inventor Mark Gustavson describes it: “Being a traditionalist at heart I decided to design a saltwater-proof fly wallet, no zippers to rust or jam, no metal or plastic snaps to corrode or break and no natural materials to rust. Though I now use 1000 denier Cordura I originally used outdoor canvas and the sherpa ewe fleece. It made for a very thin profile that allowed the wallet to be form fitting when stored in one’s wader tops. It held 12-inch flies or #6 shrimp patterns. Not one fly fell out, and I crush the barbs on all of my hooks.”
We like the idea of Fat Cat’s wallet for two reasons: the corrosion-conscious design and the storage solution it provides. The thought of being able to stuff one of these in a duffel and then pull it out to stick in waders for surf fishing is pretty appealing. But we also think it might be a good solution for those pursuing billfish, sharks and other saltwater species where extra-large flies are the name of the game; not only will the wallet securely hold flies with lots of bulky feathers or flies, but it strikes me that it could also be used to wrap around a rod rigged with a large fly in place to keep the fly from fouling while running. Del Brown used a similar concept that he called his “Snood” to protect permit flies.
The “Old School Fly Wallet” retails for $35 and is available on Fat Cat’s Web site.