Anglers want gear that will help them catch more fish than the other guy in the boat and look good while doing it.
Tacky Fly Fishing answered the call with its first product, the Tacky Fly Box. Simply put, the box makes foam-lined fly organization antiquated. Instead of foam, silicone provides a sticky and durable backdrop to hold flies. A slim design accommodates an impressive number of flies in a small package, and the clear top means I can select the desired fly before dredging through the box.
I tested the design on the waters of the Northeast, and I am looking forward to getting it back on my home rivers of Montana. Here’s a first look.
The Gear: Tacky Fly Box by Tacky Fishing ($24.95)
Where To Test It: This tester used the box on the trout waters of southern Vermont, both rowing a drift boat and teaching beginning anglers while on a mountain lake, and fishing solo on the Battenkill River and Roaring Branch Creek.
Who’s It For: Any angler looking to stay organized. When fly cups begin to overtake your fishing bag, it’s time to organize into a fly box. The slimline Tacky Fly Box is unobtrusive in a shirt or jacket pocket, making it ideal for the minimalist fisherman.
The box was created by a group of professional fly-fishing guides, and it shows in the pure functionality of design. Its smaller size means it’s not the best choice for those anglers looking to keep a large selection of flies close at hand; it’s best suited to fishermen who like a smaller fly selection.
Boring But Important: Crafted of polycarbonate (the same material used in sunglass lenses), the box is touted as extremely durable and shatter-resistant. After a drop from the back of my Subaru onto a concrete parking lot, I’m inclined to agree. The box showed no sign of the fall, other than a very slight scuff. I’ve broken old plastic boxes with less impact.
Important Specs: This is the fly box to grab after work and slip into your shirt pocket. 7” x 3.5” x .75”, it holds 168 flies. It has more than enough space to fit a selection of nymphs and dries for an evening on the water. A magnetic closure system avoids the bulk of a latch and is easy to open with cold, numb fingers.
Made In: China.
Awesome!: Silicone takes the place of foam in this box, resulting in a thinner, more compact interior. Due to its nature, I have a strong suspicion the silicone will not crumble with age and hard use like so many foam sheets. Silicone’s inherently tacky nature (hence the name) definitely has resulted in fewer flies lost to the river when I’m too lazy to nestle them correctly in the slots.
And, speaking of slots. The teardrop-shaped cutouts in the Tacky Fly Box seem to grip small nymphs better than the triangle-shaped slits in most boxes. My Czech nymphs escaped for fewer jaunts around the box, and the Beadhead Cooper Johns didn’t migrate to join their Hare’s Ear kin. The Tacky team says the silicone holds flies more tightly than foam, and I’m inclined to agree.
The clear lid makes it easy to spot flies before opening the box, crucial on windy days when a rogue gust seems ready to rip your dry flies from their home.
Flaw: I’m eagerly awaiting the day Tacky comes out with a smaller box that fits easily in my pants pocket for quick lunchtime fishing sessions. While this size fits oh-so-easily in my fishing sling pack and tucks into a jacket pocket, on hot summer days I want something even smaller.
While most dries, and certainly nymphs, fit in the .75”-tall box with ease, I found myself wishing for a tiny bit more height for larger dries to ensure that I wouldn’t smush the post.
And it definitely would be nice to have a streamer box with this same technology.
First Impressions: Light. Slim. Sexy. Dig it. The guys behind the brand are legitimate guides and anglers and funded the business off Kickstarter to begin with. With kudos such as “Best of Show Fly Box / Storage System” at this year’s International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) Show in Orlando, they are making a bold entrance into the fly-fishing industry.
Who Should Buy It: Any angler looking to up their fly-organizing game. On the water, being able to find what you want, when you want it, is key.
Contact Brand/More Beta: Tacky Fishing, Saratoga Springs, UT, 801-885-5722, tackflyfishing.com
—Jessica McGlothlin is a freelance photojournalist and writer. Currently Vermont-based, she keeps busy with her business, Fire Girl Photography, and tries to make it home to Montana as often as she can.