Best Fly Box for Fly Fishing (Nov 2018 Reviews)
The fly box seems less than significant in the big picture but it serves an essential purpose. A quality fly box will hold your bugs securely and keep them dry while you are tramping around. The best boxes do not crush your flies and they store a great number of flies in a portable fashion. Fly boxes come in variety of shapes and sizes, with some being superior to others.
7 Best Fly Boxes (2018 Review)
As you build a large collection of flies, it makes sense to organize them in a box that will last and keep them safe. Flies are not cheap and you should do your best to protect them.
1. Tacky Fishing Original Fly Box
- Silicon Inserts
- Magnetic Closure
Medium- This box has a high capacity without adding bulk. It works for a variety of fly storage purposes and has a nice magnetic closure.
I use one as a stillwater box with chironomids, lake nymphs, damsels, etc. Nothing too large but some of the flies have a little mass.
I began the other as a dry fly box but now use it as a nymph box. This model matches the construction of the other waterproof models with a configuration that holds a ton of flies.
The tacky fly box has a hard shell made of clear plastic. It has a magnetic closure and a central page with slotted foam on either side. This models also has slotted foam rows on the inside of the plastic shell.
Overall, it is a nice looking design that allows you to see your flies and choose the correct door without any guessing.
It holds numerous flies in a variety of sizes. I like that the foam slots will secure a small streamer hook and bounce back into shape after it is removed.
I changed the second box from dries to nymphs because it doesn’t work well with hackles. When you close the box, the taller dry flies on either side press against each other and damage the hackles and wings.
You could solve this by placing very small flies on the lid side and slightly larger versions on the main page but I opted to use a different box for my dries.
I changed the box to a general nymph collection and it has worked very well for that purpose. It holds everything from size 22 midges to size 6 stoneflies without an issue.
2. C&F Fly Boxes
C&F; is known for making high quality fly boxes. They occupy the top shelf when it comes to price, but they also are some of the best performers on the market.
C&F Waterproof Fly Box
These are the top models from C&F; and they live up to the reputation. The boxes come in several different configurations. We have reviewed the 10/10/10 model with the flip page.
|C&F Design CF-2556N Medium Waterproof MSF & Nymphing Fly Box||$43.58||Amazon|
The C&F; Design Waterproof fly box in the 10/10/10 model over the course of several years. The waterproof model comes in a large or medium size option with different slotted foam and compartment options. The 10/10/10 model is ideal as an all-round nymph box but could also be used for an extensive midge collection and dry flies.
The box has a hard plastic exterior with a latch to hold it closed. The exterior has a ribbed texture for better grip and a hinge for open and closing motion. The interior has 10 slotted fly rows on each side and an additional 10 rows on each side of the page This creates a total of 40 rows with space for over 900 flies. You could realistically store everything you need for a day on the water in this single box. If you are fly hoarders, it is more than sufficient for a nymph collection.
The C&F; Design Waterproof fly box performs great. It is extremely durable and I have had no problems with the latch or hinges after at least a couple hundred days of use. The slots hold your flies secure and it is rare that one comes free.
The slots also hold their shape well after being used for different hook sizes. The adhesive that holds the page did wear on my box. Eventually, I pulled out the page, cleaned the tab, added some super glue and put it back in the slot. It has held steady with the glue.
This box has endured some hard blows and outside of a few scuff marks, there is no visible damage. It is one of the few boxes I have owned that actually keeps my flies dry.
It seals and no moisture enters period. Some boxes allow a seep of moisture and seal enough to ensure it cannot escape. This leads to rusted hooks and ruined flies. That is not the case with this box.
C&F 10 Row Fly Box
This is their basic box. It comes is several different configurations but all are pretty similar in design.
I use it as a dry fly box with the primary purpose being to carry parachutes. Storing parachute style dry flies is difficult without damaging the hackle and this box has evolved into my technical/parachute dry fly box.
The grey colored box has 5 rows of slotted foam on each side. The total number flies it can carry is 235. It has a hard plastic exterior and a hands free clip that holds it in a closed position. An easy pull on the tab opens the box to expose the flies. It is simple and the size is perfect for the front pocket of a fishing shirt. It also has clips for the C&F; Nail Knot tool attachment. We have not tested the attachment.
|C&F Design CF-1555 Micro Slit Foam 5/5 Rows Fly Box||$28.25||Amazon|
This is a great little fly box. It is functional, simple and durable. The exterior is scratched and scuffed but the plastic has not cracked. I have stepped on this box and dropped it on several hard surfaces.
It has been smashed under piles of gear and is not any worse for wear outside of the visible scratches. The slotted rows hold flies well and although it may hold 235 midge patterns, this is not the case for dry flies.
As noted earlier, I primarily use the box to keep my parachute hackles in fine order. I find that you need to space the flies roughly every other slot to prevent crowding. This is not a big deal but it means you can carry around 115 flies without smashing them together.
115 parachutes is more than enough to get any angler through a day on the water. If you are burning through more flies than that, you have some issues.
3. Flambeau Fly Boxes
They are well known for their tackle boxes and products for gear fisherman but they also have a few quality fly boxes on the market. They are tough and affordable options.
Large 12 Compartment Blue Ribbon Fly Box
Flambeau has really advanced their fly box options. This design is durable and effective.
Flambeau has numerous fly box options but the Blue Ribbon Series are really the cream of the crop. The Flambeau Blue Ribbon fly box series comes in different sizes and configurations with options for ripple foam, slotted foam and compartments.
They are all designed to be waterproof and durable. I have tested the Large 12 Compartment model over the course of 2 seasons.
I use it as my all-round box when I go into the backcountry for more than one day. It has been mildly abused but has not seen any extreme impacts.
|Flambeau Tackle L-RR Blue Ribbon Fly Box (Grey, 6.25x3.75x1.75-Inch)||$23.17||Amazon|
The box has a hard plastic shell with rubber bumpers and a latch closure. It has a gasket seal for waterproofing and the interior has ripple foam on one side and 12 compartments on the opposite side.
The compartments are on a hinged system with removable dividers. The box has a good look and the design is obviously durable.
This Flambeau Blue Ribbon fly box has performed well for me. The foam does not tear easily and it holds flies pretty tight. I use the foam for my nymphs and streamers and use the compartments for dries.
Having the removable divider option is nice for larger fly storage in a few compartments. The dividers are easy to remove but they do not slide out during use. The hinge snaps the compartment cover open with the push of a button and it easily locks back in place.
The exterior latch holds the box closed and works very well as does the exterior hinge. The rubber bumpers on the exterior are nice for traction in your vehicle or boat. They prevent the box from sliding all over your rig.
If there is one thing about this box I do not like, it is the compartment cover. Although it functions perfectly, all of your flies are exposed when it is open. This means you stand to lose everything in the compartments if you drop the with the cover open.
It is not a huge deal for most people and I have not lost any flies but you must be cautious while choosing a bug from the compartment section.
Overall, this is a good box and good value. It is a flexible design that allows you to store flies in almost all shapes and sizes. The price is solid when you consider the construction quality and build.
4. Scientific Angler Fly Box – Metallic Green 516 Fly Box
Well known for their quality fly lines, leaders, tippet and gear. SA has a nice collection of fly boxes, many of which are slotted foam and waterproof. They have a few specialty options that are nice for bulky flies.
Small- This little box holds a ton of flies and is great for midges. Read our review to learn more.
I use it as a midge box but also throw in any tiny dry flies like tricos and size 22 parachute adams.
It isnt the smallest of the SA waterproof boxes but it holds a bunch of flies. The constructions is the same for all of their waterproof models but the fly configurations and box sizes differ.
This box has a clear, hard plastic shell with a simple latch style locking mechanism to hold the doors closed. It has two doors, with slotted foam rows on the inside of each and a center leaf with slotted foam rows as well.
The center leaf is surrounded by a rubber seal for waterproofing and the doors swing on a hinge. The center leaf has a lime green color behind the rows and the same color is present on the door latches.
The exterior shell is also lightly textured but not enough to be anything valuable or significant.
The Box is Ideal for Midges and Small Flies.
This is a durable fly box that performs well. The small size is great considering you can stuff over 400 midges inside. Although I use this box for midges, it would also work well as a small stream companion.
The foam holds your flies well and very few have wiggled free so far. The doors remain shut and it definitely is waterproof.
It is worth noting that this box is not suited for larger flies. The foam slots are designed for smaller flies and your big bugs just don’t belong inside.
The clear shell allows you to see inside and eliminates guessing between the doors. It is a durable box and after a fair amount of abuse only minor scratches are present.
5. New Phase Salmon Fly Box- Holds Large Streamers and Flies
Large– If you want to carry bulky flies without using a large locker, this is one to con
It uses the same shell and overall design as the other SA waterproof models but the configuration is adjusted for larger flies.
Initially, I used this model as a streamer box but changes it to a large hopper and dry fly box after a year. It is now in transition to become my go to warm water box with large streamers and poppers for bass, pike, etc.
- Waterproof fly box sealed with rubber gaskets on both sides
- Long lasting, high density split foam liner, holds your flies securely
- Double-sided with plenty of room for your flies – holds up to 363 flies
- Tough black ABS plastic lids, great for salmon, steelhead and saltwater flies
- Stainless steel hinge pins – won’t corrode even for saltwater fishing, snap tight latch
|New Phase Salmon Fly Box- Holds Large Streamers and Flies by Kingfisher||$9.99||Amazon|
It still has the thick rubber gasket and the hinges and backing are a light green color or “mint green” according to the company. The foam is flat with vertical slots. There are nine rows on each side of the box and no rows inside of the covers. There is an additional row that is broken-up by the latches on each side.
The unique size of this box fantastic. It is large enough to hold your bulky patterns but small enough to fit in a hip pack or vest. The depth is also a major attraction. Many boxes are too shallow and ultimately do damage to your elk hair wings and taller hackles.
This model leaves plenty of space for taller flies and large popper heads. It is a great transition box that will hold bulk patterns in your boat bag while retaining the ability to fit in your day pack.
6. Richard Wheatley Fly Boxes
Medium- This is a straightforward streamer box with average capacity.
This is a classic box with great function. I have my wets in the black and my drys in the silver. This fly box holds enough flys and fits in my vest easily.
|Orvis Richard Wheatley 6" Black Box/Only Compartments/Foam||$89.00||Amazon|
This is the best Orvis Wheatley box on the market.
The fly stays where it is put and the construction of the box is solid. Plus the box holds a lot.
Notable are the slotted foam strips, which are perfectly cut and securely hold dries and nymphs down to size 22.
The box will only close completely with nymphs up to size 12, anything larger bottoms out on the slotted side lid and bumps into the compartment windows. The slotted side is also not good for parachute dries.
7. Umpqua Fly Box for Boats
It makes sense that the leading fly seller also makes fly boxes. They have some great options with unique designs and features.
Ultimate Boat Box
This box is a permanent fixture in many boats. It holds the big bugs and has a few features we love.
I primarily use the box on my drift boat but will also carry it in the car and pick off any bugs I need for my regular wading boxes.
Umpqua also makes a baby boat box and a variety of other boxes that are worth checking out. I use this box for streamers, large dry flies and a variety of large nymphs.
Eventually, I think this will become a monster streamer box only and separate boat boxes will be used for nymphs and dries.
|Charlie's Fly Box: Signature Flies for Fresh and Salt Water||$21.49||Amazon|