Fly boxes are my favorite piece of fly fishing gear to buy. If you’re really into the sport, whether you tie your own flies or not, chances are you’ve already started to accumulate a few flies.
For fly boxes, there are several different types of boxes. Obviously, the difference between fly boxes for dry flies and fly boxes for nymphs really isn’t that much, so there’s some carryover. But, there are boxes that are quite a bit larger used for streamers.
These are the best fly boxes money can buy.
- The Original Tacky Fly Box (#1 Fly Box of Decade)
- Tacky Flydrophobic Fly Box (Most Innovative Fly Box)
- Wetfly Slim 121 Fly Box
Best Rated Fly Boxes
Fly boxes are absolutely not built alike. There’s a reason there are just a handful of boxes for your fly fishing flies we recommend to new anglers. The thing is, when you’re in the middle of a stream, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around with your box, trying to get it to snap open or shut.
In our opinion, there are 3 things that set the best fly boxes apart from the rest. In no particular order, here they are.
- Easy of open and closure
Put simply, you want a fly box that’s going to open and close easily. The Tacky Fly Box does this. Then, you want a box that holds your flies so you can view them, and have multiple boxes in one pocket.
The Tacky Fly Box is the slimmest box we’ve found to date. And, obviously you want something that’s going to last you awhile. Check, check and check.
Of course, storing streamers is a bit different than storing your dry flies and nymphs. In this case, we’re writing about the best fly boxes for dry flies as well as boxes we recommend for storing your nymphs. The Tacky and Wetfly boxes will work well for both purposes.
As far as streamers are concerned, we consider it a different category. Check out our recommended streamer fly boxes.
Tacky Fly Box (#1 Fly Box of Decade)
I cannot get enough of the Tacky Fly Box. We wrote a review of the Tacky Fly Box several years ago, before they were acquired by Fishpond and since then, have literally recommended this box thousands of times.
When it comes to performance and durability, this box leaves nothing to be desired. It simply put, is the best box on the market. There’s no two ways about it, it’s worth every penny.
A couple things that I really like about it is that it’s got enough space to fit 168 flies with the single sided box or 336 with the double side fly box. If you have more flies than that, (which you likely will soon if not already), the Tacky Original box is quite slim so you can fit multiple in your vest or bag.
The material used to hold flies is a silicon material that is built to last a long time, unlike your standard foam fly box. The problem with standard slit foam boxes is that as you continue to use them, they get worn out. With a box like the Tacky, the silicone reforms after the fly is taken out.
The last feature that really separates this fly fishing box from the rest is that it has a magnetic closing system. The magnets are strong are enough where they WON’T open up in your bag unintended, but when you want access to your flies, it’s a hassle-free. Loved this about these boxes.
This is a really good box for dry flies.
Enough of the Tacky bandwagon. There’s multiple options, they were acquired by Fishpond which made them even better and cheaper in price, and there isn’t another box worth buying. With that being said, we covered a few (not so close) second options if you’re one that just has to go against the grain.
The Tacky Fly Box is simply put, the #1 fly box on the market and it's uncontested. If you're considering getting a new set of fly boxes, go Tacky, you'll never look back.
Tacky Flydrophobic Fly Box (Most Innovative Fly Box)
You know that favorite football team you had, but then grew up and it turns out that team was in another state?
So now you have to like your hometown team more but deep down you’re still a Bucs fan? Insert the Tacky Flydrophobic Fly Box. Out of respect for the OG Tacky Box, we listed this at number two, but in reality it’s probably the best. It’s just more innovative.
There is nothing Tacky can’t do.
After they were acquired by Fishpond, they released this box, which they call the “Flydrophobic” box, because of it’s ability to be both waterproof AND to dry flies from the inside of the box. What? Is that even possible?
Anyhow, this box is pretty slick. It does exactly as advertised. The flies inside dry while the box prevents water from entering. This is also a great stocking stuffer gift for any fly fisherman.
The Tacky Flydrophobic fly box is innovation you both thought wasn't possible, nor necessary, but in fact.. IS. Out of respect to the OG Tacky Box, this get's our #2 rating, but.. it's probably the correct best box on the market.
Wetfly Slim 121 Fly Box
As I write this, I feel like I’m cheating on an old girlfriend.
The Wetfly brand is basically your copycat knockoff of the Tacky Fly Box. Because I respect the game and we’re dutiful about providing insights on every piece of fly fishing gear, I present you the Wetfly Slim 121 box. This box is actually almost identical to the Original Tacky Fly Box.
It holds 121 flies as the name suggests, and it’s waterproof.
Overall this is a solid fly box when your out on the river fly fishing.
The off brand "OG Tacky" box. Actually not bad performance wise, it's waterproof and holds more flies than the single sided tacky. It's cheaper, too.
The Fly Box Buyers Guide, things to consider when starting your fly storage journey
Before you start buying boxes, remember this. It’s better to start buying one style of box, so that everything else in your vest is designed around it.
Personally, I use a Fishpond Fly Fishing Vest, and it just so happens that I already had Tacky boxes, so I stuck with them. If you’d rather use something like the Wetfly Slim we talked about, go ahead and do that. When I’m prowling the west looking for new fishing holes, the only box I really see in local fly shops is the Tacky. At the end of the day, storing your fly fishing flies is about preference and budget. If you want to save a bit of money, off brand boxes actually are not that bad. It just so happens that Tacky jumped on the market first and made a boring product, not boring!