Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Flybox for under $10

I'm preparing for a trip down to Florida where I will be trying my hand at saltwater fly fishing for the first time.  I've been reading voraciously and have begun tying up some standard saltwater patterns like deceivers, clousers, and other marabou/bucktail streamers.  What I realized when doing this is that I don't have a box big enough to handle these large flies, so I started shopping around and couldn't find anything super cheap that did what I wanted.

I wasn't interested in spending $30 on a fly box for saltwater flies that I might use 1-2 times a year so I started a DIY Google hunt.  That's when I found this blog post and thought it looked like exactly what I wanted, the price was right, and it should be a fun Sunday project.

I headed down to my local fabric/craft store and was able to find everything I needed in under 5 minutes and my grand total came to a whopping $6 per fly box total.  Here's the breakdown of how construction went.

I started with the "photo case" from the craft store:

Photo Case Flybox

The other supply purchased was a corkboard from the children's department.  It's essentially just a firm blue foam on top of a standard cork backing.  It fits the box perfectly and the cork backing helps give some extra rigidity (is that a word?).  

Corkboard Foam

After placing the case face down on the corkboard, I traced the outline of the box with a pen and then carefully cut the shape out of the foam.  A fresh blade in my utility knife made this extremely easy.  


From here, it's just a matter of cleaning up the cuts a bit so things look tidy.  After that, I made long parallel cuts in the foam for the flies to be placed into.  I made mine kind of wide...on my next one I plan to place them a little bit closer together.  

Next step was pressing the foam/cork into the box.  If you traced the outline properly and cut well, the foam will fit tightly and hold itself in the box.  At this point, I suppose I could have glued the foam in, but the fit was so snug that I didn't feel it was necessary.  

DIY Fly Box

I placed a few flies in there to test out the box, and was really pleased with the results.  I plan to make at least a few more of these in the next few days.  For $6 a piece and about 10 minutes of labor, it's a no-brainer.

Fly Box With Flies

Flybox With Flies

Finished DIY Fly Box

Hopefully this shows how simple and cheap this box can be and is helpful to someone looking for a quick solution without breaking the bank.  Don't get me wrong, I love "nice" boxes from the retailers as much as the next guy, but in this instance and for this use I find this box to be perfect.

If you found this post helpful and would like to check out where I got the idea from, don't forget to look at Dharma of the Drift, which happens to be a terrific blog.


  1. H. Looking awesome! I have been thinking of doing a salt blog!
    Can't wait to captain you tryin those salt flies!

  2. Thanks, Dave! Can't wait to get down there. I thought you'd be all over the first post's title and video...scroll down. ;)