A fly box does a lot more than just keep your flies, as experienced fly anglers know. While this is true, there are some elements to consider that turn a good fly box into a great one. Fly anglers require gear that works together to deliver the best benefit. To maximize your storage, you’ll need to pick fly boxes that fit the pockets of your vest or pack. As a result, Fly Fishing Atlas has compiled a list of the top fly boxes. We value high-quality fishing equipment, and a nice fly box that performs and lasts for years is a must-have. We hope the following article will assist you in locating exactly what you require.

What is a Fly Box, exactly?

When fly fishing, a Fly Box is a box constructed of plastic, wood, or aluminum in which you can store your flies. Dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, and terrestrials can all be stored in fly boxes, which are sometimes known as fly cases. 

Tacky Fishing Original Fly Box

Tacky Original Fly Box 2X, Double Sided Fly Box
  • Flies not included
  • Single Sided box Holds up to 168 flies
  • Double Sided box Holds up to 336 flies
  • Original patented silicone anchoring technology
  • Strong, latchless magnetic closure
Key features
  • Silicone Slotted 
  • High quality polycarbonate
  • Transparent cover

Tacky Fly Boxes is our top pick for the best fly box. These useful fly boxes are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate everything from large chunky streamers to large dry flies to tiny nymphs.

The boxes are manufactured from a polycarbonate that is strong and ready for the rigors of hard fishing. Anglers can see which flies are inside the Tacky Fly Box without opening it because the lid is clear. The vivid blue silicone insert adds a nice pop of color to most fly patterns. When it comes to the silicone insert, it’s far superior to foam inserts, which rip and shred over time. Slots within the silicone keep the flies securely and last for an extremely long period.

Tacky Fly Boxes include magnetic closures, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the locks on this fly box. We’re great admirers of the utilitarian designs of Tacky Fly Boxes. Whatever you require, they have it covered. A great fly box for huge hoppers and bugs with a foamy body?

Take a look at their Big Bug Box, for example. While Tacky Fly Box’s Predator is another great option for your streamers.

C&F Fly Boxes

C & F Design CF-3308 8 Row 12 Compartment Large Waterproof Fly Box
  • Fly size #10-16, Slots for 192 flies, 8 rows of Micro-Slit foam
  • 12 spacious compartments on other side hold a variety of gear
  • 100% waterproof
  • SIZE: 7.75" x 4.48" x 1.65" (19.7 x 11.4cm x 4.2cm)
  • Color: Off White

C&F is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality fly boxes. They are not only the most expensive on the market, but they are also some of the greatest performers. The Waterproof fly boxes are C&F’s top models, and they live up to their name. The boxes are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. With the flip page, we went through the 10/10/10 model.

Over the course of several years, I’ve used the C&F Design Waterproof fly box in the 10/10/10 model. The waterproof type is available in two sizes: large and medium, with various slotted foam and compartment options. The 10/10/10 model is perfect as an all-around nymph box, but it can also be used for dry flies and a large midge collection.

The box is made of strong plastic and features a lock to keep it closed. The exterior is ribbed for greater grip and has a hinge for easy opening and closing. On either side of the page, there are 10 slotted fly rows, with an additional 10 rows on each side of the page. This results in 40 rows with enough room for over 900 flies. This single box might realistically hold everything you need for a day on the water. It is more than enough for a nymph collection if you are a fly hoarder.

The C&F Design Waterproof Fly Box is a fantastic fly box. It is quite robust, and after at least a couple hundred days of use, I have had no difficulties with the latch or hinges. The slots keep your flies safe, and it’s unusual to get one for free. After being utilized for various hook sizes, the slots maintain their shape effectively. My box’s adhesive for holding the page had worn out. I eventually took the page out, cleaned the tab, added some super glue, and reinserted it into the slot. With the glue, it has stayed put.

This box has taken some heavy knocks, but there is no visible damage other than a few scuff scratches. It’s one of the few fly boxes I’ve had that keeps my flies dry. It seals, and no moisture can go in. Some boxes allow a small amount of moisture to flow through while sealing tightly enough to prevent it from escaping. Rusted hooks and damaged flies are the result of this. With this box, however, such is not the case.

New Phase Salmon Fly Box

Sale
New Phase - Fly Fishing Box Double Sided - Ice fishing Box - Grey - Holds Hundreds of Flies and Streamers
  • PERFECT SIZE - Watertight double sided fly box holds 363 lures. Great for Steelhead, Trout, Ice Fishing, Fishing, Salmon, Grayling, Pike, Bass, Panfish, Carp, salt water, Tarpin.  Measures 7.5" x 4.5"; x 1.75 ". Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • WATERTIGHT - High density plastic with rubber gaskets, keep your flies dry if you drop it in the water.  Floats for easy retrieval.
  • DURABLE - Our products are tested to ensure that they won’t let you down when you need them.  Snap tight lid and high density slit foam to keep your flys secure. Rugged, durable, watertight box that you will utilize for years.
  • GREAT GIFT – Do you have a fisherman or woman in your life and want to give him or her the best?  Makes a great birthday, Father’s Day, or just because gift for any Angler.
  • USA BUSINESS - Our business was created out of a love of fly fishing and the desire to bring the best products to you. We’re based in Southeast Idaho among some of the best trout fishing in the country.

This is one to consider if you want to transport huge flies without having to use a large locker.

The shell and overall design are the same as the other SA waterproof models, but the arrangement has been changed to accommodate larger flies. I started out using this model as a streamer box, but after a year, I switched it to a huge hopper and dry fly box. It’s on its way to being my go-to warm water box for large streamers and poppers for bass, pike, and other species.

  • Both sides of the watertight fly box are sealed with rubber gaskets.
  • The high-density split foam liner will keep your flies secure for a long time. 
  • With lots of area for your flies, this double-sided fly box can accommodate up to 363 flies. 
  • Salmon, steelhead, and saltwater flies love these tough black ABS plastic covers. 
  • Snap-tight latch, stainless steel hinge pins that won’t corrode even in seawater.

Cliff Outdoors Beast Fly Box

Cliff Outdoors Bugger Beast
  • Cliff's Slit Blue Foam
  • Keeps flies organized
  • Handle for easy carrying
  • Made for large flies
  • Winner of the 2007 Ka-Ching Award

Streamer flies can be difficult to work with in a standard fly box. Heavy flies take up a lot of room, and big barbed hooks can rip a foam insert to shreds. Cliff fly boxes come in handy in this situation. Fly anglers that like to throw huge meaty flies love the Bugger Beast and Bugger Beast Jr.

The Bugger Beast is 13.5′′ x 9′′ x 3′′ in size, while the Bugger Beast Jr. is 10′′ x 6.5′′ x 2.75″. Both can accommodate a big number of large streamer flies. You won’t find a better box for all your streamer fly storage needs than this one for professional fishing guides, fly tiers, and streamer fly fans.

Putting flies in a fly box

There are many different types of fishing flies available. Organizing your fly box so that you have quick access to the exact flies you need when you’re out on the water is an important aspect of having a successful day on the water.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to organizing your fly box. Here are some expert suggestions about how to go about it, along with a variety of options:

  • Use a fly box that is large enough to hold all of your flies. The finest boxes to use are midge boxes and huge streamer boxes.
  • Sort the flies into groups according to their fly kind.
  • Dry flies should be kept in one box, while nymphs, streamers, and bass poppers should be kept in another.
  • If you just have one box, divide it into sections for dry flies, nymphs, and poppers.
  • You can sort flies by pattern type, such as imitative pattern flies that resemble insects in one part, beautiful pattern flies in another, search pattern type flies in yet another, and impressionistic pattern type flies in another.

Organizing your fly box

Here are some additional ideas for organizing your fly box:

  • By profile and weight: this might aid in the selection of the appropriate fly for the water depth.
  • By seasons: this allows you to fill each box with a variety of flies. The changing seasons have an impact on insect species as well as fish behavior, thus organizing by season can be quite useful.
  • By water type: if you frequently switch up your fishing trips between rivers, lakes, and streams, this is a great strategy to employ. It can, however, result in a lot of overlap.
  • By personal preference: after a period of fishing, you’ll start to establish your favorite flies. Simply put your top 20 flies in your main fly box and use a simple coding system to pick out the proper one when you need it.

How many flies do you really need?

If you plan on fishing in a variety of water types, you’ll need four fly boxes:

  • Steamers
  • Dry flies
  • Nymphs
  • Terrestrials or wet flies

You should have three sizes of flies for each type: small, medium, and large. The ‘Black Woolly Bugger’ should be your number one streamer fly. In your range of 3-4 of these, have a choice of olive patterns. To complete your collection, add some Clousers and Mickey Finns. Hare’s ear, prince nymph, pheasant tail, and scuds in dark, medium, and light hues should all be included in your dry fly collection. Finally, include the Terrestrials: black and red hoppers and ants, as well as variably colored beetles, ants, and hoppers.

Buyer’s guide

Build

Rugged construction is always a plus, but your choice of materials for your fly box will most likely be based on function and aesthetics. We fly anglers appreciate beautiful things, regardless of whether they are made of plastic, wood, or metal. Take, for example, trout. And a fly box that looks great, works well, and lasts a long time will swiftly rise up the ranks to claim the title of “best fly box.” A clear cover allows you to look into the container from the outside.

Size of the fly

Only a few big chunky streamers will fit in a small fly box. Similarly, compared to a thin box of equal size, a thick fly box full of rocking nymph collection will be a huge waste of space. It will go a long way toward maximizing storage if you have a good plan for what you want to do with your fly box. Thin boxes work well for nymphs, while thicker boxes work well for streamers and large bushy dry flies.

Size of the pocket

You’ll need to know the internal size of your pockets if you want your fly box to fit in a specific vest or chest pack. You can contact the manufacturer, collect measurements, or even create a cardboard fake fly box to see what works.

Brand

The fly box’s brand is obviously something to think about. Not only is there a manufacturer’s warranty, but the method by which the fly box holds the actual hook varies from one company to the next. Some use a simple piece of foam into which the hook is inserted. Others use tightly slotted foam or silicone to keep the hook’s bend after it’s slid into the slot.

Waterproofing

If you drop your fly box, a waterproof fly box can come in. Now, unless you have a lanyard attachment to keep it from going out of reach in a fast-moving river, that won’t help you much. In calmer waters, however, a waterproof floating fly box that falls out of your float tube or canoe can be readily retrieved, saving you hundreds of dollars in fly replacement.

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