Use Old Plano Boxes For Bulk Fly Storage

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Plano boxes work great for boat and travel fly storage. Photo Louis Cahill

Of all the thousands of dollars of bass fishing gear that I’ve accumulated over the years there’s very little of it that I can find a use for in my fly fishing today.

Well, I could probably find a way to use some of it, but I’d definitely get bashed for it by my friends. My Plano tackle boxes, however, have proven to be very useful for me in my drift boat and when I’m traveling across the states on my fly fishing trips. I can load up one Plano box for my drift boat and I’m good for the day, and if I’m traveling out west, I often use one to throw all my big dry fly patterns or streamers in, so I don’t have to keep up with several smaller fly boxes during the trip. Every morning I’ll take out what I need and stow them in one or two fly boxes that I can carry easily with me on the water.

Plano boxes are cheap and they seem to last for ever if they’re not the super old models. Latches have been improved and these days you can even find waterproof models for just a few bucks extra. I’m all for using the state-of-the-art fly boxes on the market but I’ll never stop using my Plano boxes for bulk fly storage. I love that you can quickly adjust the compartment sizes to match the size of your flies, and you don’t have to struggle fitting your flies in tiny foam slots. Dig around your garage or in your tackle room next time you have a few minutes to mess around. Chances are, you’ll find at least one old unused Plano box that you can clean out and start using for your boat or travel fly fishing needs right away. And, it’s always a good feeling to recycle fishing gear.

Anyone else out there utilize Plano boxes for they’re fly fishing? Drop us a line.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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10 thoughts on “Use Old Plano Boxes For Bulk Fly Storage

  1. I pick them up cheap when they go on sale at home improvement stores. I label them and use them for bulk fly storge at home.

    Some patterns, like pheasant tails, fill a whole box. Others like, trico, get added to another box that might coincide with that hatch like terrestrials.

    For local trips I just run what I have in my fly boxes. For trips more than a couple hours away I grab the plano boxes revelevant to the season, stuff them in a milk crate and toss teh whole works in the jeep.

    It is nice to have a back up supply of the hot pattern of the day without having to stock eleventy billion of each color and size in my fly boxes.

  2. I use these for flies in my boat, they stack well and there are many soft tackle bags that are made to hold multiple boxes too. They also make deeper boxes which I use for musky flies, and for holding fly tying materials.

  3. Damn, another thing I thought I thought of first!
    A few years ago after spending a 4 day float trip on the Smith River in the snow and rain where eventually nothing is waterproof I came across the Plano box.
    Likewise I bulk store and day transfer for wade trips.
    They make great specialty boxes, pike, carp, salmonflies….
    Also Plano makes boxes for dry storage of other items(poor man’s Pelican boxes).
    Can also toss them around and the flies don’t dump all over.
    They are more durable than most fly boxes and you can buy them new, cheap!

  4. I keep a few stocked with bass flies for when I hike in to lakes and ponds. Big deer hair poppers fit really well.
    I have one that is full of just Pole Dancers for stripers on the Delta. No other box is gonna fit those things.

  5. Great tip…I’ve been using them since I started fly fishing.

    Here’s another idea: Those $40 “boat box” fly boxes for bass, pike and musky?

    Go to Bass Pro, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain…where ever… and buy a Plano pistol case. They cost between $7 – $10.

    Take out the egg crate foam…give t to your kid…glue a piece of cheap kraft foam inside each lid…instand big fly box, for about $10…

  6. I buy these boxes by that dozen when I find them on sale. Currently $2.88 at Walmart. Great place to store a ton of flies when winter tying. Easy to store in milk crate in a kayak or under the seat. After pricing “real” fly boxes I will use nothing else.

  7. There is nothing worse than putting your weedless bass flies in foam slots in the overpriced “big fly boxes”. Did it. Messed up the weedless loops. My bass flies and snook flies are in Plano Boxes. I like the deeper boxes so they don’t get crushed. Plano makes a 3 1/4″ deep box that is great.

  8. Look at dollar stores, My local has clear plastic divided boxes with latching lids used for organizing hardware etc. Similar to Plano boxes but at $1.25.
    I bought 6 or 7 labeled them according to fly type. Presently tying a half dozen of each fly I fish to keep a stock and it is a simple way to keep track of patterns I want to tie in the future write the pattern name on a post it note drop it in a slot of the corresponding pattern box and you’ll remember that pattern you want to experiment with.

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