By Justin Pickett
It’s been quite some time since there has been any kind of advancement in the fly box.
From the wool patches and Wheatley fly boxes of older times. To the eventual march towards foam lined plastic and other gadgets like Fishpond’s Sushi Roll, and Cliff’s numerous offerings. While all of these companies make great fly boxes and fly storage options (I own many of them and have enjoyed them all), one thing persists….. Foam eventually wears out, breaks down, and has to either be replaced or you have to buy a new box altogether.
Then the Tacky Fly Box hit the scene.
The guys at Tacky Fly Fishing have developed a very durable, slim fly box with a very different material that hopes to change the game when it comes to holding onto your bugs. Instead of using the usual slit foam, they have taken the time to perfect a silicone material that is said to hold flies better, and be more durable. Sounds good, right? But how does it compare the competition?
The Tacky Fly Box currently comes in the three sizes; The Original, The Day Pack, and their newest offering, the Big Bug Box. All three are slim and functional, making it easy to slip into a pocket, or if you’re like me, it’s incredibly easy to store numerous boxes in your pack. Just this past week I was out on the water and had five Tacky Fly Boxes in my Umpqua Overlook chest pack and I still had room for my iPhone and some streamers. The tops of the boxes are held tightly by a couple of strong magnets and are clear, making identification easy.
The ONLY thing that I wish this Tacky box had is a water tight lid, but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me. It’s the silicone inserts that sets this box apart from others. The silicone holds flies firmly in their position. In my experience it does not wear out, and isn’t as susceptible to “injury” from hook points/barbs, as well as being resistant to fatigue and flaring. Foam, of course, is easily destroyed by hooks and its elastic properties aren’t its strong suit. This leads to flies rattling around in the box, or worse, falling from the box at inopportune moments once the foam is damaged and becomes fatigued causing the slit to flare out. The silicone in the Tacky Fly Box has been less susceptible to “injury” and has kept its elastic characteristics. I have had one of my Tacky boxes since they came out and if you set it next to the Tacky box I bought a few weeks ago, you can’t tell the difference. It still holds flies like it did on day one. I can’t say the same for my foam boxes.
So how well do these boxes hold on to flies? I decided to do a drop test with two different boxes. My first Original Tacky box, and another “big-name” competitor, slit-foam lined box. Both were purchased within a few weeks of each other and have had comparable use. I placed the same tungsten beaded flies in each box to be fair. I dropped them both from knee-height, waist-height, and shoulder height. The foam box fared well from the knee. Only a few flies shifted in their slots. From the knee, the Tacky Fly Box laughed at the attempt. Nothing budged. From the waist, the foam-lined box began to fail, leaving a couple of the heavier flies clanking around inside. The Tacky Fly Box was unruffled at this feeble attempt to cause failure. Nothing budged yet again. From shoulder height….. The foam box died. It even opened, spilling its contents. Only a couple of small midges remained in their slots. I thought for sure I’d get the Tacky box on this one, but again the Tacky Fly Box just did its thing and held onto all of the flies and its lid remained shut tight. Only some of the larger, heavily beaded flies slipped just a little in their slots. Not one fly dislodged!
My conclusion – This fly box is badass!
Sure, foam fly boxes will get the job done, but their longevity and durability of the foam is their crutch. The Tacky Fly Box does not seem to have either of these issues, making it a sure fit in anyone’s arsenal of gear for the long haul. In my opinion they are well worth the investment!Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com email@example.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!