Saturday, February 27, 2010

A wee project

Perfect activity for recovering from the Chinese Hackle Flu.

Years ago, I used to do a fair bit of antique leatherwork. I made armor, thigh-high medieval and renaissance boots, shoes, drinking vessels, pouches, scabbards, etc. I also tooled designs into leather. The other day, I rooted around in the basement and found what remains of my formerly large collection of leather and leatherwork tools. It now consists of one lone box.

The idea was to make a case for protection of the reel when it was both on and off the rod. Reels get scratched in two major ways:
  1. Dropped at home while being played with and fussed over.
  2. Dropped, scraped, or fallen on while entering or exiting the river.
The reel case prevents #2.

The whole thing turned out decently, except for the side material being cut a bit short, and the main panel cut a bit crooked. Whatever. Not too bad for the first time in twenty years. I remembered how to sew by hand using glover's needles and a sail stitch, and how to tool leather. I even used handmade scissors/shears to cut the leather, and sewed it to music from Europe and England from the 14th through the 17th century. How organic. Hope it provides some good JuJu.

The original neoprene case for this 4" spey reel got dropped in the river. Hope that does not happen to this one!

All in all, I enjoyed this project immensely. I forgot how much fun it is to create from scratch; to start with a simple idea, and with very little planning, just see what happens. Total time, around eight hours. Less if not hand drawing the knotwork.

Awaiting finishing

Tooling the Celtic knotwork circle for the rear panel

Ready for coloring if desired

I thought a green knot might be nice.

Staining the medallion

Front with adjustable closure flap

Rear panel with Celtic medallion


  1. Damn Erik! That is just awesome! Way too cool! By the way, if you have any free time...LOL. Actually, you ought to advertise those next to your flies! I can't be the only one who wants one.--AJ

  2. I shall require two, for a brace of Olsons my friend.....

  3. Awesome! Your a man of many talent.


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