What's special about the Original Tacky Fly Box?
The main thing you'll notice that's different about the Tacky Fly Box is that the flies are inserted into a thin blue silicone rubber material, rather than the usual slotted foam.
That slotted foam stuff you get in most fly boxes is fine for a while, but after you've inserted and removed flies many times it tends not to grip them very well.
The glue holding it down also has a tendency to slip if your fly box gets hot and it's a bit rubbish for holding flies tied on larger hooks.
The blue silicone rubber in the Tacky fly box is supposed to avoid all of these problems.
How well does it grip flies?
Pretty well. I tried inserting a range of flies into mine, from tiny size 20s right up to bigger size 6 and size 4 flies.
They're easy to insert, yet if you turn the box over and give it a whack you'll find it extremely difficult or impossible to bash them out of their slots, so any flies you insert should stay put.
The trick to inserting them is to put the point of the hook into the teardrop shaped hole and then push the bend of the hook right into the slot. This creates a nice firm grip.
The grip's not quite so good with bigger, fluffier lures. With wet fingers and strong winds they can sometimes become dislodged and be blown away, but the grip is no worse than you'd get on a traditional foam slot fly box.
What's it made from?
The Tacky Fly Box is made from a hard polycarbonate plastic. The rear of the box is grey, while the top is clear so you can see what's inside without opening up the lid.
There's a simple hinge on the back of the box, with a long pin through the middle, which seems fairly sturdy, and there are a couple of tiny but powerful magnets in the outer corners to hold the lid shut.
How many flies does the Original Tacky Fly Box hold?
The Original Tacky Fly Box holds up to 168 flies. Each row of slits is slightly offset from the previous row so you can fit them in without them overlapping too much.
However, you'll only really be able to shoehorn 168 flies in here if you only fish tiny patterns. For larger flies, like the sort of thing you'd normally see hanging from a leader at your average stillwater trout fishery, you'll fit in far fewer than that.
Are Tacky fly boxes suitable for dry flies?
You could put dry flies in here, but like the usual slit foam fly boxes, you could end up with slightly squished hackles.
There's no room to accommodate the hackle below the slit and the lid provides relatively little clearance. However, they're ideal for buzzers, nymphs, bugs and smaller lures.
Do they come in other sizes?
As the name suggests, the Original Tacky Fly Box was the first model. However, two others have been released since its launch and I'm sure others will follow.
The Day Pack model is a smaller box measuring 5" x 3", yet holding up to a massive 180 flies thanks to a new bi-directional slit. This one even has a lanyard hole, which could be very handy.
The biggest one, The Big Bug Box, has a totally different, thicker silicone base and can take massive flies, right up to 2/0, so it's ideal for pike fly fishers.
What's it like to use?
The Tacky Fly Box is strong, light, easy to open and provides plenty of room for a good selection of flies. The only downside I've come across so far is that the clear polycarbonate case is quite unresistant to scratches.
I've got a couple of the Original Tacky Fly Boxes and after just two trips, they're covered in scratches from rubbing against each other in my bag. I reckon they'll look pretty scruffy in a few months, which is a bit disappointing.
How much are they and where can I get one?
In the UK quite a few dealers are now stocking Tacky Fly Boxes - including my local Orvis store, but I think they're exclusively distributed by Fulling Mill. I've only seen the Original Tacky Fly Box on sale so far though, so I am guessing the others aren't available here yet.
They retail for just under £20 over here, but I picked up a couple from Orvis with one of their discount codes and got £25 off, which were shipped over from the States.
They're a bit dearer than most other fly boxes, but they look great quality and should hopefully last a long while, so that could be £20 well spent (poor scratch resistance aside).
The only other problem is, I need several. You can never have enough fly boxes can you?!
Available from: Amazon