Tobacco Tin Fly Boxes

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Tracy Lauricella, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I was starting to run out of room in my fly boxes, and being the cheap bastard that I am, was hesitating to fork out big bucks for "real" fly boxes.

    Then I had an idea. I have a bunch of empty tobacco tins from my pipe tobaccos. Most of these are round tins with a lid that unscrews with a quarter or half twist. They have a rubber seal inside the lid, so they close fairly securely.

    The only problem is that they are round- fly boxes are generally rectangular. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that wasn't really an issue. In fact, I checked all the pockets on my fly vest, and the round tins fit quite well.

    So I took one of my tins and modified it into a fly box. Rather than lay the flies out in rows like you would in a rectangular box, I made the mounting strips in concentric circles.

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    Here's the first tin. This one is slightly larger than most of the others.

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    Here's the insides. Plenty of clearance between the lid and base, so flies don't get squished. (most of my dry flies were getting crushed in the old box)

    [IMG]
    Nymphs in the base of the tin.

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    Some dry flies in the lid.

    [IMG]
    Plenty more to choose from.
    dfl, Jamie Wilson, Pat Lat and 2 others like this.
  2. Loren Jensen Active Member

    Posts: 1,013
    Sedro-Woolley, Washington
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    those are sweet! almost makes me want to buy one in the future
  3. Loopy Member

    Posts: 403
    St Albans Old England
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Like those. Spose you label the underside of the tin in order to remember what is in what.

    Thanks for showing.

    :beer1:
  4. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    great job! I like them.
  5. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Smart Dude!
    I've been making my own fly boxes lately as well, it's fun.
  6. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Tracy, those are great. Really creative use of what you have in hand. I have a few metal tins that I toss flies in. I feel so wrong for not putting forth the effort to make mine nicer.
  7. DaveH New Member

    Posts: 19
    Eastern wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Great idea and nice result! hmmmm, wonder what I could make a box out of???
  8. Warren Perry Grizzly 6

    Posts: 254
    Bow, New Hampshire, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    did you make or buy the mounting strips, either way i'd like to know the source (where you bought them or how you made them)

    Great idea, they would make a great package for gift flies i tie for friends

    Warren
  9. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    Makes me want to start smoking!
  10. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I just used craft foam from Michaels Crafts. I had it on hand since I bought a bunch for fly tying materials. The tan foam is the thin stuff, and the black foam is thicker. I just drew the circles and cut them with scissors. They're not really precisely made, but they don't need to be.

    I've used Altoids tins and metal gift card tins before, but they are pretty small, these have more room- not just surface area for more flies, but also give more clearance so they don't get squashed.
  11. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I easily could, though I'm not sure it's needed right now. I had no problem remembering when they were in fly boxes (so long as the fly boxes didn't look identical.) As I fill more tins, it'll probably become an issue.
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Holy crap. I've got a bunch of foam. Anyone have any cool metal tins they want to offload?
  13. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Pipe smoking and fly fishing seem to go quite well together for me. Both require patience and relaxation to do properly.
  14. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Bitterroot smokes pipe
  15. Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Posts: 786
    Tsawwassen, BC
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    Dude, those things are brilliant! You could easily eliminate unnecessary clutter by labeling the bottoms for each body of water and season.
    Example "East fork X river, spring" and have the needed nymphs in the bottom and dries in the top. That way you'd only need to have one tin, giving you room in your pockets for whatever else you'd need. I usually fish super light with only the things I need (never found the need to be tricked out in all the gear) for that specific body of water and your idea totally works. You should make a whole bunch up and sell them/trade them.
  16. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,319
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,264 / 0
    I've been doing the same thing. I've also been stealing the refrigerator magnets to glue into boxes for my small flies.
  17. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    That's a fine looking rusticated Peterson.
  18. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I don't know that those round "chew" containers would work as well. They are a lot smaller, and don't usually have the same kind of lid that a pipe tobacco tin has. (the kind that locks down with a small rotation.) I'd consider the chew containers to be roughly equivalent to the round Altoids tins.
  19. Loren Jensen Active Member

    Posts: 1,013
    Sedro-Woolley, Washington
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    copenhagen cans are made of waxed cardboard and have a pretty snug seal. i use them for holding small pices of stuff or small flies..and making huge pyramids
  20. Big Wood Nymph New Member

    Posts: 7
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Do you by chance have any for sale?