If you’re shopping for a new fly box, take a minute to learn about the different kinds of fly boxes available to help you make a more informed decision.

Slit Foam Fly Boxes

By far the most common variety of fly box, slit foam fly boxes have been the go-to option for decades. Using rows of foam material lined with small slits, these fly boxes hold flies securely by the bend of the hook so that when you peek in, all your flies are lined up neatly. A really popular slit foam fly box can be found at AMAZON super competitive prices
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Maxcatch Two-sided Waterproof Fly Box Slit Foam/Easy Grip Foam Fly Fishing Box?

Slit foam fly boxes can hold practically any style of fly and are especially good for holding flies like nymphs and streamers. If you use a lot of dry flies, you may want to check out a different fly box design as the hackles often get crushed inside a slit foam fly box.

You’ll find slit foam fly boxes available in a huge range of sizes from pocket-sized to briefcase-sized, and in a variety of materials, the most popular of which are generally durable plastics, lightweight aluminum, or highly buoyant all-foam designs.

Streamer Fly Boxes for Big Flies

It’s important to have a box that lay out the flies so you can see them. Streamer Flies are big, those bushy tail will take up a lot of spce in your box, so alternately you need to have a big box to old them

I have been recommending the cover a Cliff Bugger Beast fly boxes for years. You can read moore about these boxes in this article – Best Streamer Fly Boxes.

If you\’d like to skip all that and just get the box here’s an AMAZON Link – Cliff Bugger Beast.

Compartment Fly Boxes

Compartment fly boxes are very similar to “Plano-style” tackle boxes and hold the flies loosely but contained in small compartments. Since the flies aren’t anchored in place, compartment fly boxes are ideal for storing dry flies as the hackles aren’t as likely to get squished.

The main downside of using a compartment fly box is that since the flies are stored loose, there’s always the risk of spilling your flies every time you open the lid. Some of the higher-end designs, such as the famous Wheatley fly boxes (Amazon link to check amazing prices), use small spring-operated boxes to hold the flies in, while others incorporate magnets in the bottoms of the compartments to provide more security.

Magnetic Fly Boxes

Some of the best fly boxes for tiny flies such as midges and other small nymphs feature magnetic panels to hold flies secure. Since these diminutive flies are difficult to handle, the magnetic panels allow you to simply drop the fly into the box instead of working it into a slit.

Use the Right Box for the Job

As your fly collection grows, you’ll find that certain fly boxes work better for certain types of flies. Don’t hesitate to mix and match fly box styles and be sure to check out our article on how to organize your fly boxes to keep them in good order!

Sources and More Reading

I’ve written quite a lot on this website on fly boxes. I actually sell personalized fly boxes with my company River Traditions.

Read in this article about How to Organize a Fly Box

Read about Storing Fly Boxes in your fly fishing vest in this article, How to Organize a Fly Fishing Vest.