Thursday, October 23, 2014

First Cast: A Tacky Fly Box

Good Morning Folks,
    A while back I started to hear murmurings about a new fly box that was getting ready to come to market.  It was supposed to be a revolutionary new design and far better at holding flies than anything that's come out before.  When I finally learned the name of the box, I wasn't sure if they were trying to be cute and put some kind of gaudy decoration on a typical fly box, or if there was actually something sticky inside that held the flies in place.  Now, if you're like me, you don't own just one fly box.  I'm sure my collection pales in comparison to many, but I've got some with lamb shearling, some with little doors, some metal hooks all the way up to different foam configurations and foam with slits in it.  It really didn't seem like there was much room in the market for yet another fly box design.  Then, I went to IFTD.  
  IFTD was an amazing place.  Lots of huge, colorful booths with everything a fly fisherman (or fisherwoman) could ever want.  Me personally, though, I like to check out the smaller booths.  It seems like that is where more innovation lies.  On one of my trips up and down the aisles, I came across the Tacky Fly Box booth.  Finally, I get to see this box that I've been hearing about!  To my surprise, the box was of a very simple design.  No crazy accouterments or unnecessary gadgets, and a nice, slim profile that will slip easily into a pocket.  
TheTacky table at IFTD.
  I got to meet Tim Jenkins and Ki Aston, the founders and creators of the Tacky Fly Box, two incredibly nice fellows, both scientists (which appealed to my engineering background) and both Orvis endorsed fishing guides.  Not only are these guys experienced enough to know what a revolutionary fly box should be, but they used the scientific method to reach a final design!  How cool is that?!?!
  We talked about fly fishing for trout in Utah, and I tried to convince them that bluegill in Georgia were fun, too!  I tried to learn as much as I could about their fly box and how they went about designing and testing them.  To my surprise, they very graciously gave me a Tacky Fly Box to try out for myself. 
Are you willing to hold an open fly box upside down?
  I couldn't wait to get back to camp that night.  As soon as I got the fire started, I sat down and loaded up a bunch of flies into my new Tacky Fly box.  I put everything I had in it.  Then, started flinging it around like a madman.  First with the lid closed (just to be on the safe side), then with the lid open!  Not one fly moved.  I mean, didn't budge!  I was impressed!  I've lost flies out of my boxes before because they weren't held in securely.  I really wanted to test the holding power of the silicon mat that makes the Tacky Fly Box what it is.  Friday night, after IFTD, I sought out Orlando Outfitters to find the biggest fresh water popper I could get my hands on!  Orlando Outfitters is a great shop with some very nice, knowledgeable guys working the counter.  They've even started their own fly fishing expo to coincide with IFTD, I'll be checking that out in 2015!!!  I picked up a handful of flies, and some more tying supplies (I'm really going to tie some flies one of these days, I really am!) while I was there.  One fly in particular was just to test my new fly box: a size 4 Mossy Green BooglePopper.  My ultralight rods will never cast this monster of a popper, but I had to see if the Tacky Fly Box would hold it!  
  Hold it, it did!  I put the big bug in the box and turned it upside down.  Nothing.  I gave it a shake.  Didn't move.  So, I gave it a fling.  The only movement I could get from the popper was a bit of a rise.  The silicon slits never let it go, though!  
  I've been using this box for a few months now.  It's really become my go to fly box, the first to get loaded up before I head out.  It's thin profile makes it perfect to slide into a back pocket if you don't want to carry a pack or bag with you.  My lumbar pack that I use fishing typically only holds 4 of my boxes comfortably, but I'm pretty sure I could double or triple that number with these Tacky boxes.  Speaking with Ki, I've learned that they have some other sizes and styles in the works, so there will be no trouble with the lid closing on my big poppers when the new boxes are released.  
Another from the Tacky table.  That's a lot of flies!
  The silicon insert is very durable, and, as I've said, holds the flies incredibly well.  Have you ever left a foam insert fly box in a hot car or in the sun for too long?  The foam will degrade and curl and the glue will even let go sometimes.  That was a design consideration for the Tacky Fly Box.  I leave mine in the car, in the sun, quite often and I have yet to see any signs of degradation to the silicon.  I think this box is going to last a long, long time!  Check out the video from Tacky of a Jeep driving over a Tacky Fly Box.  I hope I never experience that with mine, but I feel a little better about accidentally sitting on it!  I've broken a few boxes by forgetting they were in my back pocket!  
  I have tons of praise for these boxes and I hope you don't find me credulous because of it.  There is only one downside that I have found.  I try to be very open and honest with my reviews, and my reviews are purely my opinion.  I think most folks won't find this as a downside and it is a very small thing.  I realize that we are in a global economy and country of origin shouldn't carry a whole lot of weight when making a purchase decision.  The Tacky Fly Box is a very high quality product of which I am happy to own and very proud to have met the creators.  However, the box is manufactured in China and that just tends to be a sore spot with me.  I'm sure it was purely a "final-cost" decision, as US manufacturing can be expensive.  I love the box, I use it constantly and I will definitely be purchasing another when the other sizes come out.  I just wish they were manufactured in the USA.
  That's my review, let me know if you have any questions for me or the Tacky Fly Box guys and I'll do my best to get them answered.  Check out these boxes, if your local shop isn't carrying them yet ask them to!  You won't be disappointed!  I can't wait to get another!
  I hope you're all doing well, 
      Tight lines and Tacky boxes!

You can't have too many mossy log pictures, right?


  1. I liked your review. One thing though, that was the first thing I noticed and I can't believe nobody else is saying anything is that this box could be absolutely perfect if it had a rubber bead around the inside making it water proof. The way that the magnets pull it together, if you had a weather strip in there this thing would be truly bomb proof! Hopefully when the new versions come out this will some how be incorporated. If so, put me down for about 5 more. - Jeremy

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