I had the chance to test the new flypad system by Thinkfish, I tried it during our last trip in France on the Albarine river.
The flypad is a new way to store and carry flies. It allows you to have all your flies with you, in your car for example, and only select the flies that you will use in a very quick and efficient way.
The main idea is to make boxes (flypad) and fly-holding trays independent, with everything stored in a specifically designed transportable box (flypad box).
The Flypad is a real innovation in the fly fishing world, as there is no equivalent system with modular boxes.
Size and specifications
My first surprise uppon discovering the Flypad was its size. I was expecting something bigger and bulkier, but it is actually quite compact and is thus not only constrained to reservoir / lake fishing. Moreover, the boxes’ size is rather adapted to river fishing and to normal sized flies (dry flies , nymphs, etc.) than to large steamers etc.
The flypad box measures 20cm x 20cm x 11cm and can hold 10 trays and 2 flypads. This capacity allows to store more than 1200 flies of different types.
Indeed, Thinkfish offers multiple types of trays to your convenience. They are simple, efficient and light.
The box is equipped with a strap to easily carry it.
Two lateral trapdoors give access to the trays and are easily closed with their magnetic locks. Holes provide ventilation to keep the flies dry.
So in practice it is simpler to put the trays back in the flypad box to dry the flies, instead of having to open all our “classic” boxes. Some ingenious details!
The Flypad also got magnetic locks and is waterproof. Its transparent shell lets you see the flies without having to open the box.
For day to day fishing, the Flypad Box proves to be easily transportable. For example you can store it in your fishing corner and take it by car to your fishing spot or to a friend to share your last creations.
However you won’t be able to take all your flies on the river bank with you. That’s why you’ll need to organise yourself to be as efficient as possible. Personally, taking only 2 fly boxes with me is not enough, so to fully enjoy this system I would need 2 additional Flypad. This of course depends on my current method, of taking my boxes with me and choosing my flies by the water. I usually take two boxes of nymphs and one box of dry flies, but with multifaceted boxes.
There’s another possible approach with the Flypad Box, which is to store your flies on the trays and to prepare a few with an appropriate selection for various fishing conditions. I think it’s a good way to arrange your boxes and only take what’s useful with you on the river bank.
I think that you need to have your own approach and use the system in the way that fits to your needs !
I’m still skeptical for a specific usecase: airplane travel. The box fits in a suitcase but may not fit in a hiking bag, where you’re already short on space. For these types of use I would prefer taking multiple Flypad with me. I’ll need some more time to know if the Flypad can resist to the transport where it will ll receive important impacts.
On a practical viewpoint, the transparent shell of the Flypad is appreciated, it allows you to choose your fly before opening the box. Pretty useful when it’s raining!
The magnetic lock also adds a nice touch to the product. Not essential but still interesting.
Thinkfish offers trays of different forms, which is really nice. But I think a tray dedicated to large flies (steamers, big nymphs, etc.) could be added to the range.
Verdict and conclusion
Overall the Flypad system is a very nice product, the different parts of the kit are well built and the boxes are robust.
There’s real work behing the concept, a nice innovation that’s worth highlighting.
The Flypad is an excellent product and very innovative.
By thinking a bit further, I see lots of possibilities for future evolutions of the system.
For example, creating an second model of flypad that could store two trays at the same time, to get a two faced box.
Or a bigger Flypad Box, to store more trays or bigger trays for larger flies. I think these kind of trays would be appreciated by the fishing competitors and reservoir fishermen which always bring a lot of flies with them.
If you don’t know where to store your flies anymore and you like organising things, I think the Flypad is for you!
But if for you fly fishing is limited to a half stocked box, this kind of system may be overkill.
I also want to mention the design of the packing that is really nice and sober, too many brands forget this point that is really important and sometime lose some credibility…
All in all, it’s a well thought way of revising your way of using and storing your flies, be it for day to day fishing by bringing the flypads with you, or simply as a storage area.
One things certain, this product won’t let you indifferent !
More details about the flypad on Thinkfish’s website.
Update ( 03.06.2013 ) :
We got feedback from Thinkfish and they explained us that the FlyPad has been submitted to endurance tests (beaten with a hammer) and after quite a few strokes it didn’t break, just bended.
The reason behind this high resistance is the product used: polycarbonate used in automotive industry, a very expensive material but excelent quality.
This detail can therefore reassure us concerning plane travels !
An other interresting information, they will show in Wien new design of trays, including special shapes for zonkers, streamers, pike and salmon flies…and even one “self design tray”.
Perfect, isn’t it ?