Tip of the Month – Storing Natural Products

Tip of the Month for August 2014 – Storing your Natural Materials Safely


Aug wk 1 keough hackleFor most of us organizing our fly tying materials is a never ending quest – we are always tinkering with new systems and looking for a better way to store our materials.  Synthetic materials pose few problems.  The key to storing them is keeping them in some sort of neat, orderly fashion so that the material you are looking for is easy to find.  Natural materials however require more thought:


Neck and Saddle feathers on the skin require special care.  The best way to store them is in their original bag with the cardboard backing they came with.  The cardboard backing is designed to absorb any excess oils on the skin.   Many tyers like to add a piece of paper towel between the cardboard and the skin to absorb the oil.  The paper towel can then be replaced periodically as needed.  If you must put more than one neck or saddle in each bag then be sure to put them “skin to skin” so that the natural oils do not bleed onto the feathers.

We suggest the feathers then be stored in a plastic container with a secure closing lid.  Moth balls, urine blocks, or cedar should be added to the container before it is sealed.  While cedar and mothballs (naphthalene) are popular choice among fly tyers for repelling insects, urine blocks are much more effective because they contain paradichlorobenzene, a fumigant insecticide that repels and kills organisms such as mold, mildew, and insects.

mothballscedarballs pottypatties