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Make a dual purpose fly rod case

By By Otha Barham / outdoors editor
Sept. 5, 2003
Making a piece of your own gear for the outdoor sports adds to the rewards. Some sportsmen and women are so talented at crafting things that they are constantly outfitting themselves with all kinds of neat amenities.
Not being among the talented, I undertake mostly simple creative projects. The majority of these end up in the trash, but the few that are actually useful bring me perhaps as much pleasure as do the perfected creations of gifted craftsmen.
One item I am proud of is so simple to put together that even I could make a half dozen of them before dark. It is a hiking staff that doubles as a fly rod case. Why would one need a hiking staff in the flat river and creek bottoms of Mississippi where the ground is level, has few rocks and other obstacles, and where one usually travels on the four-wheeler to go fishing anyway, you might rightly ask.
Well, you've got me there. Except that you don't have to call it a hiking staff if your manhood or womanhood is threatened by the inference that you can't keep your balance on level ground. Just call it a fly rod case and a doohickey that you poke things with; like lizards and mushrooms and hickory nuts and other stuff. And a darn good fly rod protector it is, even if that is the only thing it ever does for you.
The raw materials
Cut yourself a piece of one inch diameter white PVC pipe that is at least a couple inches longer than the longest section of your two-piece fly rod and long enough to serve as a walking staff. Buy the thin wall type of pipe so the inside will be large enough to accommodate the fly rod handle. It will be rigid enough for a sturdy walking staff and almost, but not quite, strong enough to pry your leg from a wild hog's mouth. You will need two end caps. Affix a cap to one end permanently with the primer and cement made for the purpose. Before you cement the end cap, glue a piece of foam rubber, or other soft material, inside the cap so that the end of the fly rod will rest on it something springy to serve as a shock absorber.
The other end cap should slip onto the upper end of the staff and stay snug by friction.
(Those of my talent level be aware that If you glue this one, either your fly rod will be impossible to insert, or if it is already in there it will be really hard to get out.)
That's all there is to it. The clean, white pipe is very easy to write on with a permanent ink marker. Your name makes a good starter, and maybe your phone number in case a bear eats you in Montana (or an alligator on the lower Pearl) and someone wants to return the rod to your survivors.
Clever inscriptions
You can write other stuff on the rod, whatever pleases you; your motto, your girlfriend's name, a statement telling Ole Miss where to go, or just anything you choose.
You will really appreciate your fly rod case/walking staff if you hike to remote fishing water in mountainous terrain. A fly rod strapped to a back pack is asking to get broken on a limb, or when you slip and fall because you don't have a walking staff.
If you are approaching the walking stick age, you can get along through the woods with the aid of one of these "hiking staffs" and forego the stick for a while longer while suffering less self consciousness. You can label it "Fly Rod Case" even if you aren't carrying a fly rod, and use it in the woods well into your golden years as a walking stick and no one has to know.