Fly Rod Case

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Project by Carey Mitchell posted 02-10-2013 04:38 PM 4518 views 7 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have built several of these for my vintage bamboo fly rods. This one is done with 3/16” thick maple strips, alternated with lacewood. Getting the 30 degree bevel on long thin strips using the table saw was a bit of a safety challenge.

A second challenge was the brackets for the leather handle. They are made of 3/16 brass rod. Filed 45 degree notches, heated, bent and silver soldered. Made the plates of 1/16 brass and soldered the rods in.

Some of the cases have a brass plate on top with initials engraved.

Really a classy way to carry an antique rod on the trips to Montana.


1. The bevel on the strip edges is 30 degrees. I made all the half dozen cases on the table saw, very carefully and without incident. Featherboard from the side and hold-downs in front and back of the blade, and a zero clearance throat insert. There is probably a better way, but this worked.

2. The simple glue-up jig consists of 30 degree support blocks spaced about 6” apart. I made 2, one with the blocks on one side, and the other with blocks on both sides. On the early ones I used thin brads to hold the strips for drying. Then I changed to a pin nailer and the holes were almost invisible——BUT, the pins usually break instead of pulling out, so I’m back to brads.

Someone mentioned using tape, similar to glueing up a box. I have done boxes successfully using tape, but trying it on a case 38 or 40” long with 6 sides would present a challenge, and I only get one chance at it. I will give it a try next time.

3. The outside width of the strips on this one is 1 1/4”. This yields a case large enough to hold 2 3 piece rods with 2 tips in cloth cases (see photo). A 1” strip width yields a case for a single 2 piece rod. Strips 3/16” thick seems to work best, although 1/4 would be fine, just a little heavier.

Hope this helps.

11 comments so far

View RICOCO's profile


47 posts in 3861 days

#1 posted 02-10-2013 04:42 PM

Very beautiful case, I’d love to see the glue up jig

Thanks for posting

-- Paul

View tyvekboy's profile


2138 posts in 4293 days

#2 posted 02-10-2013 05:10 PM

Nice fly rod case

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3618 days

#3 posted 02-10-2013 05:27 PM

Good job. A case like that would work for pool ques as well.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3572 days

#4 posted 02-10-2013 06:18 PM

Ultra-cool! I’d love to carry my Orvis graphite rods to a local stream in a case like that; but, then I’d have to make a canvas case to protect such a fancy wood case. Thanks for sharing. Is there any chance you might be willing to share the design for the special jig you came up with to cut 60 degree bevels on the thin strips?

P.S. Great job on your handle brackets.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 02-10-2013 09:38 PM

Very nice indeed, I used to guide fly fishing trips on the Elk River in BC, and the mighty Bow River in Calgary. It was a hobby of mine, I did have a real job and was fortunate it was shift work.

I think that your rod cases would be perfect for gifts for the fly fisher who has everything. Very nice!

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3967 days

#6 posted 02-10-2013 10:07 PM

Great job!

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3334 days

#7 posted 02-11-2013 03:11 AM

that’s pretty sweet

-- Joel

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4241 days

#8 posted 02-11-2013 03:19 PM

Nice! Love it! I build custom rods and that would be a nice additional custom touch. My son gave me the outside width of the strips for a case but I can’t find the figures. Have to ask him again. Or….......will you share that info? Does 1-3/4 inch wide sound about right????
Let me add something here. I saw someone glue up a hex box. Several strips of masking tape were laid out on a workbench. The strips of wood were laid out on the tape, outside down. Glue was applied to the edges of the wood and the whole thing was rolled up like a jelly roll and secured with the tape. Hope this makes sense.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3455 days

#9 posted 02-12-2013 03:05 PM

Awesome case! Very cool to carry that one, like the beautiful wood, hardware and the leather handle. Great work!

View mlp490's profile


4 posts in 3209 days

#10 posted 02-12-2013 05:19 PM

Great project

View rk1981's profile


1 post in 395 days

#11 posted 10-24-2021 12:40 AM

Your tubes look great. I’m a believer in brass hinges as an alternative to a leather closure.I have been experimenting with octagonal tubes. I cut all the strips on the table saw and then establish the edge on a router table with a 22.5 degree CMT beveled router bit (also available in 30 degrees). I’ll be trying some variations with two 90 degree pieces to make a clamping form. More on that later if it works.

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