Tobacco Tin Fly Boxes

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

  1. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    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.

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

    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)

    Nymphs in the base of the tin.

    Some dry flies in the lid.

    Plenty more to choose from.
    dfl, Jamie Wilson, Pat Lat and 2 others like this.
  2. Loren Jensen

    Loren Jensen Active Member

    those are sweet! almost makes me want to buy one in the future
  3. Loopy

    Loopy Member

    Like those. Spose you label the underside of the tin in order to remember what is in what.

    Thanks for showing.

  4. Chef

    Chef New Member

    great job! I like them.
  5. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

    Smart Dude!
    I've been making my own fly boxes lately as well, it's fun.
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    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

    DaveH New Member

    Great idea and nice result! hmmmm, wonder what I could make a box out of???
  8. Warren Perry

    Warren Perry Grizzly 6

    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

  9. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Makes me want to start smoking!
  10. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    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

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    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

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Holy crap. I've got a bunch of foam. Anyone have any cool metal tins they want to offload?
  13. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Pipe smoking and fly fishing seem to go quite well together for me. Both require patience and relaxation to do properly.
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Bitterroot smokes pipe
  15. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

    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

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    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

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    That's a fine looking rusticated Peterson.
  18. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    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

    Loren Jensen Active Member

    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

    Big Wood Nymph New Member

    Do you by chance have any for sale?