Every once and while, a piece of fly fishing gear can remind you of your childhood — of fishing with your dad, and the smells and feeling that went with it. Such is the experience I had with Finn Utility’s new Richmond Tube role.
Growing up going on fishing trips with my dad, he would often roll his fishing tubes into a role and throw this roll into the back of the car, or onto the plane. For years, I’ve been looking for one like it but was disappointed by what I saw, and what I didn’t see: I simply couldn’t find one that was made well. In conversation Ryan, the founder of Finn Utility, a company known for their beautifully made, rugged fly fishing packs and accessories, I shared this frustration. And to my delight, a few weeks later, a tube roll showed up at my door — precisely the design and kind I had been looking for for years.
This tube roll is rugged. Like all of Finn Utility’s products, they don’t skimp on materials: the brass buckles are sturdy, and the leather is thick. In handling it, you know that this is a product that will last for decades. Moreover, the waxed cotton will age beautifully with time, so that when you hand it down your son or daughter, its scuffs and wrinkles will remind them of fishing trips from years past.
It’s also adaptable. The tube roll fits 4 tubes up to 2″ in diameter, with a maximum length of 34″ long and a minimum length of 24″ long. It’s a perfect fit for both the more modern, larger tube from Orvis (my Helios 2 tube fits into it perfectly) as well as the thinner tubes most of my bamboo rods are in, as well as my much shorter Tenkara rod tube. For a weekend trip, or a week long trout trip, 4 rods is a good number, I think. One backup, and one of everything — a glass, a bamboo, and a graphite, for instance — or just a few of your favorites.
Finally, it’s useful. I like to keep my gear in good condition — even the tubes. For rods of any quality, you’re less likely to break them or damage them, if you keep them stored tightly and well organized. It’s simple, but something many people don’t do.
One added bonus here: you’ll never have to suffer the sound of rods tubes clinging against each other in the back of your car as you wind your way down a bumpy dirt road. This is the antidote to the noise you can’t fix from the front of your car. If you’re like me, constantly wedging folded paper or coins into rattling spots in your car, this is no small annoyance and one big gain.
It may be my bias, but in applications that don’t require absolute water-proofing, I prefer the more traditional fabrics of waxed cotton and leather to more contemporary fabrics. The latter don’t age nearly as well, for one. But they also don’t feel as good in the hand. I like a product that feels good to the touch, and that has some give to it; it’s more human, more natural, more comforting. Some people refer to this as “soul”, but I think these kinds of products have more humanity. In the case of Finn Utility, they’re designed and made by hand, right here in New England. They have a story, and a history — one to which you will add over time.
I highly recommend this tube roll, and not just for nostalgia’s sake — though the pleasure that brings is worth it, too. They’re currently made to order, so allow 2-3 weeks of processing time.
Note: Currently made to order