Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gear: Cabela's Fly Tying Desk

Fresh out of college, getting a new piece of furniture more than likely included opening a carton and spending a frustrated hour or two trying to decipher assembly instructions that were no doubt written by the one semi English speaker in the piece's village of origin. Now, later in life, and having the ability to occasionally shop at stores where the furniture is already put together and delivered by men with trucks, I tend to avoid he particle board and hex fasteners. For this reason, I was somewhat skeptical when I discovered Cabela's Fly Tying Desk with "some assembly required."

When I found the large carton on my doorstep the first thing that I noticed was that one corner was rather mangled. As this normally does not bode well for the contents of a package, I was already expecting the worst. However, upon opening the box, I found that the ample packing material had taken the brunt with not even a scratch on the contents. A quick unpacking revealed the instruction sheet (not many words - mostly drawings) and the dreaded bag of hardware. I also noted happily that the sides, drawer, and desktop were all pre-assembled.

The desk itself is made of solid oak and assembles with small Phillips head lag screws that thread into a barrel nut that is inserted into pre-drilled holes. The base comes together by attaching the drawer supports to the side panels and the top attaches to the base with wood screws and dowels. It all comes together rather quickly into a very sturdy package. No fly tyer wants to wrap thread on a wobbly platform. (Hint: have a short Phillips head screw driver on hand when you attach the top to the base as clearance is tight between the top and the drawer supports.)

The drawer, which has removable dividers, fits snugly into the base and the drawer pulls complete the package with decorative flies burned into them. A final tightening of the fasteners and then covering the holes with oak plugs and you are done. The desk is unfinished so it can be stained to fit your decor but it is attractive enough in its natural state to make this step purely elective on your part.

The verdict? The Cabela's Fly Tying Desk (the MSRP is $179 but it has been on sale for as low as $159 in the past) is a sturdy piece of furniture that gives good value and performs well for the fly tyer who is looking for a compact work station and who wants to get their tying station off the kitchen table. In the case of the desk that I received, the tolerances were tight and the pieces went together without difficulty.

With dimensions of 40.5" H x 25"W x 14" D this desk is not well suited for the production fly tyer nor for the angler wishing to store large amounts of material away from the prying eyes of his or her spouse. It will however, make a nice addition to the tying area of your home.

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The Dentonista said...

I have the same desk and love it. The best part is if you are not going to be tying for awhile, you can close it. I did have to shim the fold down part to get it to remain level (instead of sagging) once weight is on it. Am debating as to whether to customize with some type of hole in it to clamp vise closer to middle of work surface. shannon

Murdock said...


Great point about the fold down desktop. I wondered how it might hold up over time. The brackets did seem like a weak spot. Would be nice if it had those slide out supports on the sides of the drawer.