TrailLite Designs Ebira review (and some extras)

Quite a few months ago, Thom Darrah at TrailLite Designs sent me this, free and unsolicited, to review.  Fishing season has taken quite a while to get going, but the last few weeks have been exceptional and my Ebira has gotten a ton of use.

It’s a simple idea: a shoulder sling/pouch for a tenkara rod, and a pouch for flies, line and accessories.  All carried behind the back and out of the way during even the worst bushwacking, yet quickly and easily accessible for fishing.  And like most simple, well executed ideas, it works great.  It keeps all the stuff I’d need for a day of fishing handy and ready to grab, be it for an evening after work or a pre-breakfast morning in the backcountry.

Construction and design are impeccable.  The pocket is gusseted in just the right way, the top panel is wider than the bottom, thus making it easy to get things out as well as stuff it full.  The two top loops allow shorter and taller folks to set the shoulder sling at a good length.  I replaced the stock shoulder cord, with it’s cordlock adjusters, with a fixed length of slightly thicker cord, which tangles less in my backpacking pack.  I also replaced the dual-clip plastic buckles which attach the pouch to the quiver with loops of cord, which are lighter, more low-profile and little tighter.

The Ebira is a darn handy piece of kit.  Is it worth the steep price?  That’s something you’ll have to judge for yourself.

All the stuff I bring for a day of fishing, which fills the Ebira pouch to capacity: TenkaraUSA fly box, license, floatatant, spool of 6X tippet, and bit of foam board with two level line/tippet/fly combos pre-tied and ready to go.  You don’t need more, but there’s no room for indulgence.

My fly box at the moment.  It’s the one TenkaraUSA was giving away free with orders earlier this summer, and I really like the larger, thinner compartments.  I’d do a details analysis of what I carry and why, but I don’t know the names of most of these flies (and some I tied myself).  The general theme, as showcased in the leftmost six compartments, are larger, generously-hackled dry flies.  There have lots of float and visibility for high-gradient streams.  Top right are some nymphs and odd things, which hardly ever get used, and bottom right are the tiny flies.  These come in handy upon occasion when the tiny trout are biting, fish small enough that my larger flies have hooks to big to be easily swallowed.

I should finish by saying that I’ve enjoyed fly fishing so much more since I went tenkara.  Believe the hype, because it isn’t.

And now for something completely different: wearing women’s outdoor clothing.

This is a women’s R3 Hi-Loft hoody, size XL.  I got it half off from Patagonia’s website.  As keen observers are no doubt aware, Patagonia makes many great garments with great hoods, but often only for women.  The answer I’ve discovered for this dilemma is to buy an XL, which seems to have a sleeve length between a men’s M and L, and take in the torso to fit.  As you can see in the above photo, the torso it pretty room, and as you can see from aforelinkedto catalogue shot, the hoody is cut to show off sexy hips the I simply do not have.

Fortunately this mod is easy: measure the torso and waist diameters of a few of your favorite garments that fit, and figure out how much you’ll need to take it, next remove the stitching from the hem, so you can sew through it, then invert the garment and sew a simple stitch down the middle of the side, taking out as much as you need.  You can do this in stages, trying on the garment to check fit and fine tune. On this project I sewed up to just above the armpit.  Once you have the fit correct, run a second line of stitching over the first (use thinner thread and a tight, short stitch) then cut the excess fabric off.  Singe the fleece so it won’t fuzz out, resew the hem and you’re done.  The dedicated could add a binding to the new seam, but this is for aesthetics only and I’ve never bothered.All slimmed down.

The same procedure can be used on men’s jackets with baggy torsos: I’ve made a L Essenshell pullover fit perfectly, and tightened up my Houdini and DAS parka this way.  If nervous, practice on a throw-away sweater or flannel first.

And last but not least, for the patient, page 4 from the 2011-2012 Montbell dealers workbook, featuring some raingear in which ya’ll might be interested.

I’ve got a Versatile Jacket right here, and it’s very nice.  The zips seem of especially high quality.


  1. Have you tested the new Versalite yet? I’m curious how it feels against bare skin. I’ve yet to find a 2 or 2.5 L shell that doesn’t feel like a trash bag. :-)

  2. I’m disappointed no action shots of the hoody ;)

    Tenkara seems like a trout thing. I like panfishing with an UL (rod action, not UL weight) spinning rig. Maybe someday I’ll get more ambitious and learn to fly cast.

    1. I don’t know much about not-fly fishing, always found it dead boring. But it’s true, seems like 99% of fish caught on Tenkara are trout.

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s