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Tacky Fly Box Review – Long Term

Tacky Fly Boxes have been around for awhile now. They started as a small start up and have now grown to be one of the most popular fly boxes around. They look so sleek that many anglers will buy them just for looks, but they offer more than that.

Fishpond has acquired Tacky now, and they have expanded their collection of fly boxes. I have a newer tacky and I also have a couple Original Tacky’s. They are still in use and I haven’t had any issues with them. Fly boxes usually don’t last forever, and that is fine with me. However, considering i’m still using some of the very first Tacky boxes, I thought they deserved a review.

Tacky boxes are designed to last long term, and they can definitely take a beating. If you’re looking for a high quality, reliable fly box – consider a Tacky.

This guide will cover the pros and cons of Tacky fly boxes, and should help you decide if you want to jump on board with them. Many anglers enjoy using them, but some prefer to stick with more traditional fly boxes.

Pros Of Tacky Fly Boxes

  • Silicone Inserts – These inserts are molded and cut to exacting specifications. The cool thing is that they never really wear out. Foam boxes have a tendency to get torn up over time, and this has always been an issue. Silicone inserts are self healing, and they will always return to their original form. This is why my original Tacky boxes are still in use
  • Magnetic Closure – Instead of using a latch to close the box, Tacky uses opposing magnets. This makes it a breeze to open and close the boxes. Fly box latches have a tendency to wear down and break over time, while magnets stay tough for way longer. Tacky was one of the earlier companies to use magnet closures, and it worked out great.
  • Lower Prices – While Tacky boxes definitely aren’t cheap, they are priced at a point that most fly anglers can afford. Originally, they started at $25, now they have other options ranging from $25-$50. Considering how long they last, this price point is very fair in my opinion
  • Fly Spacing – Since the fly slots are cut by a machine, you know exactly where they should go. No more cramming a bunch of flies together. This makes them hard to get out and you have to use forceps. The fly spacing is great because it allows the angler to stay more organized.

Cons Of Tacky Fly Boxes

  • Not Waterproof – Most Tacky boxes don’t include a waterproof gasket. This means that if your fly box falls in the river, all of your flies will get soaked. This is always an annoying situation, and having a Tacky box will not help. If you need maximum waterproofing on your fly boxes, Tacky is not a good choice.
  • Holds Less Flies – Since the silicone slots are spaced out, the Tacky box holds less flies than a traditional foam fly box. With foam fly boxes, you can pack in as many flies as you want. With Tacky’s, you are limited by the number of spaces you are given.
  • Plastic Scratches Easily – Although the plastic is tough, it scratches very easily. You can see that on my original Tacky’s, you can hardly see the flies anymore. Luckily this is just superficial, because the boxes still work great. However if this will bother you, you may want to look for a different fly box.
  • They Don’t Hold Large Flies – Since the Tacky “Original” box is quite slim, it is hard to fit large hoppers and streamers into it. You really have to watch your fly size with these boxes. They are best for smaller to medium sized nymphs and dries. For larger flies, the Tacky Pescador box is a better option. It is a jumbo box that can hold very large flies. It retails for $50.

Tacky Original Fly Boxes

This is my favorite model that Tacky makes. It is great for trout fisherman because it can fit into any pack, and you can stack several of these boxes since they’re so thin.

Tacky now makes a 2X version of the Original box. The 2X has 2 sides and holds twice the amount of flies. For only $5 more, you double the fly carrying capacity. Now that is worth it! Originals are $25 and Original 2X are $30. It is a great value.

The one sided Original carries 168 flies, while the 2X Original carries 336 flies.

I use my newer 2X to carry my eggs and worms. It is a one stop shop for all of my egg and worm patterns.

Below are some photos of my old original, vs the newer 2x original.

You can see that the old Originals are very, very scratched up. There’s really no way to see the flies that are in them.

The new Original 2X is made with colored plastic. It seems to scratch a bit less, and it looks ok as it ages. There is no way to see through this new model, so I just labeled it.

The magnets on my older boxes are still holding up well, but they have a bit of rust on them. The metal rod in the hinges also has some rust. These older Tacky’s have seen a lot of days on the water, so it makes sense that there’s some rust.

On my older boxes, the silicone slits have started to widen a bit. They don’t hold flies as tightly as they used to. This isn’t a huge deal, but just know that the slits will widen over time. If you are looking to hold small midges, this can become a problem since the hooks are so thin.

Other Tacky Fly Boxes

Although the Original Tacky boxes are very popular, there are other models as well.

The Tacky Day Pack is a much smaller box designed for the minimalist fisherman. The Day Pack also comes in a 2X with 2 sides and twice the fly capacity. The Day Pack measures 5” x 3.125” x .75”. It is actually so small that I didn’t end up buying one. I would have to dig around in my pack just to find it. The Day Pack holds up to 180 flies, while the Day Pack 2X holds up to 360 flies. These boxes feature a double slit design that allows for more fly storage.

The Double Haul is another Tacky model. It is a bit larger and measures 7” x 3.75” x 1”. The left side has larger slits to hold bigger dry flies, and the right side is designed for storing nymphs or smaller flies.

The Pescador Large Box is for the big flies. These are designed to carry large streamers, especially for saltwater fishing. The gasket on these boxes makes them waterproof, which is a great feature. Streamers usually cost a lot more money than nymphs, so it’s good not to get them wet before you fish them. Keeping a streamer wet will corrode the hook and the materials on the fly. If you’re looking for a big bug box, check out the Tacky Pescador Large.

Conclusion

Based on my experience, Tacky fly boxes last a long time. If you like the looks and functionality of them, you can rest assured that they will last you. For an affordable price, these boxes can withstand abuse and provide years of service.

The silicone slit approach is such a great feature, and I really prefer to have it instead of foam.

For my personal rating, I would give Tacky Boxes a 10 out of 10. They hold flies well, and they can really take a beating. If you’re in the market for a new fly box, check out a Tacky!