What are these new fly boxes?
Fulling Mill's new range of fly boxes have been two years in the making and have been produced entirely in the UK. They come in a wide range of sizes, from a tiny Pocket Box to hold 143 small flies, right up to the Tactical Max Box, which manages to pack in 1158 fly slots into a rectangle that would comfortably fit in a large jacket pocket.
What are the fly boxes made from?
The new Fulling Mill fly boxes are made from bright red and frosted transparent polycarbonate plastic, which makes them hard-wearing and more resistant to drops. The inside uses good quality hard grey foam, rather than the silicone in Fulling Mill's other boxes, and the lids close using powerful neodymium magnets situated in the front corners.
How big are they and how many flies do they hold?
There are five models. The Pocket Box, Stealth Box, and Streamer Box all have a clear polycarbonate lid and a red base and feature a single layer of slotted foam which hold 143, 304, and 60 flies respectively.
The two biggest models, the Tactical Box and the Tactical Max Box have foam inside both lids, with the Tactical Max having an additional central leaf, with foam on each side, giving it an enormous capacity. It can hold over 1000 flies!
|Pocket Box||Up to 143 flies||11.9 x 8.3 x 1.7cm||60g|
|Stealth Box||Up to 304 flies||18.6 x 10.4 x 1.7cm||114g|
|Streamer Box||Up to 60 flies||18.6 x 10.4 x 3cm||133g|
|Tactical Box||Up to 608 flies||18.6 x 10.4 x 3cm||149g|
|Tactical Max Box||Up to 1158 flies||18.6 x 10.4 x 4.5cm||250g|
The maximum capacity is stated for each fly box, based on the number of fly slits provided. However, you'd struggle to max-out any fly box completely, unless you were cramming it full of tiny nymphs.
Larger flies benefit from a bit of extra space to prevent hackles or tails getting damaged, so the capacity is a guide only. However, they're all based on the usual "standard" fly box sizes, so will neatly fit into vest or jacket pockets or in chest or sling packs.
What's the build quality like?
These fly boxes are neatly put together, and feel very robust, with little or no flex in the plastic. There are some cleverly thought out design features on them. The boxes open and close smoothly thanks to the excellent magnetic closure which should be easy to open even when your fingers have frozen in the winter.
The largest Tactical Max Box is particularly good and includes four "pages" of flies, thanks to that central leaf. Unlike the leaves in similar boxes I've used, this central one feels very sturdy and includes a little thumb tab to make it easy to pick up and a stopper to prevent the leaf crushing the flies below. Neat!
What are they like to use?
These boxes work well, open and close easily, and include loads of room for flies. They're slightly deeper than Fulling Mill's Tactical Slimline boxes so are better suited to dries than the Slimline versions.
While it would have been nice to have had a more hard-wearing silicone base instead of slotted foam, the foam used does work very well and is perfectly cut to fit each box. Not using silicone also keeps the price down significantly, making these very good value, given their robustness.
The distinctive red colour is handy on the bank or the boat, as you're unlikely to miss one if you put it down. The only downside is that they feel a fraction heavier than some other boxes due to the strong build, however, we're only talking a few grams and I honestly didn't notice it when they were in my bag.
How much do they cost?
Fulling Mill sent these ones to us to review. They're on sale at Fulling Mill stockists and via the Fulling Mill website from late October. They are priced at £9.95 for the Pocket Box; £14.95 for the Stealth Box, £17.95 for Streamer Box; £17.95 for the Tactical Box and the £29.95 for the capacious Tactical Max Box. You can get them from Fulling Mill stockists or buy them directly from their website.
More information: Fulling Mill