smashed hackles

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  wheezeburnt 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #4845

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I have been tying quite a lot of flies lately replenishing my arsenal for this coming year, and when I opened my fly box to place them in, I noticed that my hackles on the previous flies, along with the wings have been smashed down by the flies from the other side of the box. I have a SA double sided box, medium size.

    I’m thinking of switching out and either getting a large box or going to a craft store and getting containers that are similar to pill boxes to help keep my hackle from getting smashed down. And that way I can keep the different sized flies in their own compartments freely. I use these types to keep my hooks stored in.

    Has any of you had this issue, and if you did, what remedied the problem for you?

    #4846

    Creek
    Participant

    I use compartment fly boxes for dry flies for just that reason.

    #4847

    Dry Fly Guy
    Keymaster

    I’m probably the only one… But I even hate hackle getting crushed on the underside (Hook Gape). In fact, I think I can make a pretty good argument that those hackle fibers are more important to not crush than the ones “topside”. So I prefer not to put dry flies in anything but a compartment box. Doesn’t have to be fancy, or even have multiple compartments. (Altoids tin) But I’m sold on dry flies in a compartment box.

    Having said that…… It is very nice to have multiple compartments, each with their own little lid. One ill timed gust of wind with anything else, and you’ll understand why I feel that way.

    ~ DFG

    #4848

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    DFG, I’m with you on the bottom hackle being flattened. The fly doesn’t sit right on the water. Shouldn’t even be an argument, it’s self evident.

    Fly boxes I have noticed look real nice, but if they’re going to damage my flies, they’re not practical. I suppose it’s off to the craft store and see what they have for compartment boxes.

    Thanks guys.

    #4849

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    I’m also a big fan of compartment boxes for dries, although most of mine have a single lid and many compartments, and the comment about wind is very valid.
    You might also want to check out Walmart and similar stores. They tend to sell a number of sizes in the fishing (and hardware) sections, and some of them offer some flexibility in the placement of the partitions. I have a number of double-sided boxes specifically made for flies (and sold at a fly shop), but they are a fairly brittle plastic, and don’t stand up to ‘accidents’ as well as the softer, translucent boxes mentioned above.
    If you have a Michael’s craft store nearby, I just two days ago picked up a six-compartment, six-lid box for about $2, in their beading section. Its ostensibly for storing your beads.
    brent

    #4850

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    All of my fly boxes are compartment type. One has the movable partitions as wheezeburnt mentioned. The others are fixed, some from flyshops others from hardware or craft stores for about 1/3 the price. I had a really nice Wheatley with individual lids for each little compartment but the darn thing was just too heavy so I filled each section with a different dry and gave it to a bamboo rodmaker who’d gifted me a bamboo blank a few months previously.

    Like the Altoids tin idea – a small act of rebellion against the trend to over-specialize in everything flyfishing related.

    #4851

    Creek
    Participant
    #4852

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Brent, yes we do have a Michael’s in the next town over. I pass it on my way to work. My wife bought me some Cortland compartment fly boxes that are real nice, but they are single lid boxes, but I can put them to use. I live where the wind blows at times, so the six compartments each with a lid would be ideal. I will go there this week and take a look. And I don’t know anyone who does like the brittle hard plastic boxes, they are horrible. Looks like a trip to Mike’s. Thank you.

    Creek, those are great looking boxes that I see are practical. The 1609 is what I would love to have, but it doesn’t sit right to me paying that much for a fly box. Though maybe in the future I may be able to.

    Grsdlnr, 1/3 the price is why I am looking at craft shops. My wife sews quilts and things, then sells them at the craft fairs, so if I can’t find any, I know she can. Brent mentioned Michael’s, and she goes there often.

    Thank you all for the advice.

    #4853

    Creek
    Participant

    The price has gotten pretty bad on the Wheatley’s. Like everything else now. Mine are 30 years old, and were pretty reasonable to buy back then.

    When I was into using the North Country Spiders the Wheatley box seemed so right to use. 😀

    #4856

    Lightline
    Participant

    Two Easy fixes. I use ripple foam boxes I cut my own slits into for hackled dries, and they don’t get crushed because the boxes are wide enough, and the hook bend rests in the foam high enough not to squash the hackle. The second option is compartment boxes like discussed, but with an addition. Magnetic bottom! That way those wind gust don’t blow ’em all away. Orvis makes some that I love, or you can also just glue some squares of magnetic “tape” into nearly any compartment box you have and the flies won’t fly anywhere.

    So, thicker ripple foam, or compartments with magnetic bottom. Or both! Merry Christmas all!

    #4858

    Lightline
    Participant
    #4859

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Lightline, you may have something there with the magnet idea. You know those little magnet squares that come in packages of hooks? They fit perfectly in the Cortland boxes my wife got me. And I need to get some hooks. Two birds with one stone!

    Thanks for bringing that idea up Lightline! But I will look at the Orvis line, I do like some of they’re products.

    #4860

    Lightline
    Participant

    Yep, you got it! Nothing like a good excuse to “need” to buy more hooks! If you like the boxes you have, adding the magnets is easy, whether Altoids, “craft” boxes, Cortland’s or Wheatley’s.

    #4861

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Just took a look at the Orvis boxes. When I saw the price on the Wheatley boxes I was shocked. $200 for a box is not for me. Great looking box though, but these Cortland boxes will be really good for storing my reserves till I need them to fish. Wasn’t able to get to Michaels today and see what they had, too busy trying to sell my mandolin.

    It’s all good.

    #4862

    Lightline
    Participant

    Another idea I forgot is to look for some round, clear, compartment boxes at the craft store. The ladies use ’em for beads and such. I got a bunch at Joann’s for $2.00 a piece. They look like the pill containers, only no writing and clear. I have a 6 compartment. I use them to store flies before putting them in the “working” box to carry streamside, but they fit in a pocket or vest too. Here’s a link to an 8 compartment.
    http://www.joann.com/bead-storage-organizer-box-4in-8-pkg-/11765856.html#sz=18&start=37

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