What is the MagTrap Kit?
The MagTrap Kit or MagMini from Magnet-ique is a brand new multi-purpose magnetic fly patch that can be attached to your lanyard, pack, vest, wader pocket or jacket via either a carabiner clip or via the embedded magnet and metal plate provided.
It was designed by two UK fly fishers who were fed up with having their barbless flies fall out of their regular fly patches. They designed, developed and produced the MagTrap Kit in North Yorkshire and launched it at this year's British Fly Fair International in Staffordshire.
What's in the MagTrap Kit?
The MagTrap Kit includes two magnetic MagTrap fly patches, a central metal plate with an eyelet called the MagHub and a sturdy steel carabiner clip to let you attach it. As well as the MagTrap Kit, Magnet-ique also sells the individual pieces separately, allowing you to add extra MagTraps to your chest packs, waders or waist packs.
How can you use the MagMini?
The MagTrap Kit or MagMini can be used in two main ways. The most obvious way is to suspend it from a loop or connector on your lanyard or vest, with one or both of the MagTraps attached.
Or, you can take it apart and put one of the MagTraps on the outside of your pack, wader pocket, vest or jacket and place the MagHub place on the other side. The power of the magnet against the metal plate of the MagHub firmly holds the MagTrap on the outside of your wader pocket or pack, with the fabric sandwiched in between. For extra strength, Magnetique says you can remove the MagHub and use both MagTraps.
Is the MagTrap well made?
Yes, this has a premium feel to it. Everything is nicely designed, looks cool and there's great attention to detail in the design and branding. Even the carabiner clip is a really high-quality marine grade stainless steel one. It's very nicely put together. There's nothing to wear out, lose or break.
How strong are the magnets?
Given that the average decent quality fly costs a pound or so, most fly fishers are probably going to be a bit concerned about leaving a few of their favourite fly patterns attached to a completely open fly patch in which there's nothing to hold the flies in place, apart from magnetism.
However, you'd be surprised at the strength of the two neodymium magnets embedded into each MagTrap's core. They make it quite difficult to pull the MagTrap off the front of the MagHub - you're supposed to rotate the sections to take it apart. They hold flies in place really well.
You can literally drop flies a centimetre or two in front of the MagTrap and the power of the magnets will stop their descent and stick them to the front. Although the flies are easy to pull off when you need them, they don't brush off that easily and are surprisingly challenging to shake off using brute force.
What's it like to use?
The MagTrap works really well. Whether you're using it attached to a lanyard or using one of the individual MagTraps on a wader pocket or pack, it holds them securely and doesn't fall off. Attached to a shirt or wader pocket, it's great for those who like to travel light and can take a half dozen small fly patterns with ease.
There are some minor downsides, though. The MagTrap is quite small, so is best suited to river anglers and those who fish smaller fly patterns, like nymphs, bugs, spiders and dries. We found it did also cope OK with bigger fly patterns (even big perch flies), but there's not a huge amount of space for them and they're a little bit easier to brush off. Smaller, less bushy patterns stick to the front like glue and the concave face of the MagTrap minimises the likelihood of smaller flies getting brushed off.
It would be handy if the MagTrap Kit came with two MagHub plates to let you use both MagTraps simultaneously. With this kit, I can only use both of the MagTrap sides if I use them in lanyard mode with the MagHub sandwiched between.
If I want to use one MagTrap on my lanyard and the other one on my wader pocket or waist pack, I'd need to spend an extra £6.99 on an additional MagHub, which makes it a bit expensive. However, given that the metal bit is going to be hidden from view inside your bag or pocket, nobody is going to know if you've just used some other piece of metal or even a couple of 2p coins...
How much does it cost?
I paid £16 for my MagTrap at the BFFI. This isn't cheap as fly patches go but it's an innovative gadget that works really well and is so well made that it should last you a lifetime. We like it!