One of the frequent questions about my household, is “what do need all those g% d#@^&d hooks for?” A good question indeed, and my collection should be/is gradually being minimized to a smaller collection of favorites, even while I discover a few new hooks for particular patterns I’m introducing to my tying repertoire.
But in the meanwhile, an equally good question revolves around how to store and organize all those g% d#@^&d hooks. And beads.
I’ve seen lots of good ideas for storage of fly tying paraphenalia, and being rather a “piler” myself, am always fascinated by strategies that might assist in organizing & potentially streamlining my work. (I’m the kind of guy who was startled to discover that the “todo list” wasn’t named after Dorothy’s little dog; I can make one just fine, the issue seems to be the notion that you are actually expected to do the stuff).
I first discovered the Bead Storage Solutions storage trays pictured above on the Blue Quill Angler website, and ordered from them. I don’t find it among their current offerings, tho perhaps they rotate stock in & out. Subsequently, a little searching brought me to their source, which provided a few more options.
This is a plastic tray, 13-3/4 x 10-1/2 x 2 inches, sold in a set with 78 “tiny” (2 x 1-1/8 x 3/4″) clear latching containers. Larger “small” (2 x 1-1/8 x 1-1/16″) “medium” (2 x 1-3/4 x 1-1/8″) and “large” (3 x 2 x 1-1/8″) containers are available separately, taking up the space, respectively, of 2, 3 and 4 of the “tiny” containers in the tray, for storing larger items or production quantities of your favorite items. I do fine with the “tiny” containers for my hooks and beads. All is covered with a see-through tray cover, which latches securely over the tray at its sides, permitting stacking and spill-proof transport with easy visual location of items. Each individual storage container has a secure, yet easy-to-open, lid and has thumb-finger indents to permit easy removal of a single container from the filled tray. A pair of forceps completes the solution, permitting easy removal of individual beads or hooks.
I use a small computer-interfaced label printer to print out labels for these, including a graphic of each hook harvested from an internet search, for easy & quick identification of contents.
I use 3 of these trays for my outrageous menagerie of hooks – one for jig and curved/pupa nymph hooks, one for assorted other wet fly hooks, and one for dries; and a fourth for beads, tungsten ovals and nymph bodies in assorted materials, sizes and colors. (Sanity – which I occassionally heed, and am slowly migrating toward – suggests that 2 trays – one for hooks, one for beads – would be plenty for the average tyer’s needs).