As avid fly fishermen and guides we have long recognized the limitations of currently available boxes for holding flies. We have spent a lot of time identifying solutions to those limitations so that you can spend less time thinking about your flies and more time finding fish.
The most widely used boxes utilize a thin sheet of foam with slits to hold flies. This works fine when the boxes are new, but these sheets are readily susceptible to wear and tear, and the adhesives used to secure the foam sheets to the boxes are prone to de-lamination in extreme temperatures (such as in your car during Summer months). The foam slits also develop memory when flies have been placed for an extended period (see image below). This is a big problem when you try to put a midge in a slot that previously held a big hopper or even a medium sized nymph.
We tested many different materials and a number of different formats to address these problems. After numerous design variations in the inserts over the past two years including variations in materials, dimensions, and cutout formats, we finally identified this patent pending system that utilizes a similar slit-based mechanism using a far superior material and an ideal tear-drop shaped cutout that will ensure excellent functionality and a lifetime of fly-boxing bliss.
We tested many different systems for fly retention. The earliest versions utilized slits in thin plastic sheets that overlayed super-strong rare-earth magnets. While this system worked quite well, the box was heavy and the system was cost-prohibitive.
Next we tested many different rubber compounds such as natural rubber, neoprene, and silicone. We settled on silicone for a number of reasons including its versatility and its excellent properties in extreme temperatures. We have designed a fly box insert utilizing inherently sticky, or “tacky,” silicone sheets that anchor the flies extremely effectively. We have exhaustively tested multiple thicknesses and durometers of silicone to identify the optimum scenario for holding a fly. Through the testing process we also learned that silicone is by nature a non-stick material, so some adhesives are not suited to adhering a silicone rubber to the inside of a plastic box. Fortunately, the adhesive experts at 3M have developed a series of adhesives specifically designed to adhere to silicone.
Another part of the evolution of the perfect box was to decide on the best material and dimensions for the box. We started with a wood box because we love the look and feel of exotic hardwoods, but we decided wood was not very practical for a number of reasons including durability and manufacturing complexity.
Next we designed a machined aluminum box. This rendition was beautiful, but again not entirely practical due to its weight and manufacturing costs (behold the $200 box).
After all that we decided that most fly boxes are plastic for a reason- plastic is light, inexpensive, and versatile. This box will be constructed of polycarbonate (the same plastic used in the lenses of most sunglasses) because it is extremely durable and shatter resistant. We have identified the ideal box size for the typical fly fisher’s pack. The box is approximately 7" x 3.5" x 3/4" thick and holds 168 Flies. We designed the box with a magnetic closure system to avoid the latch closure mechanism that is prone to damage and failure.
Tacky Fly boxes have many benefits over those that are currently available:
- Hold flies tighter
- Last Longer
- Have virtually no memory
- Utilize a 3M adhesive that will not warp or degrade when exposed to the sun or variations in temperature
We have also designed the retention pattern for maximum efficiency by offsetting the slits in the silicone. The resulting product can anchor long flies in one row, without overlapping the next row, effectively enabling you to fit more flies in a smaller space.
Below are images of our prototypes
Below are renderings of the final product!
We have applied all we have learned, and this is a rendering of what you can expect to receive. The final product will be a tough and sleek polycarbonate box with a clear top, a magnet closure system and a patent-pending silicone rubber insert. Box dimensions will be approximately 7" x 3.5" x 3/4", with slots for 168 flies.
We are very excited about this product and have been fishing with prototypes over the past year with great success, but now we need your help.
The money we will raise will go toward the tooling costs for the box and insert molds. Once this cost is covered we can move into full-scale production!
We are offering 4 main rewards for our backers:
- The Tacky Fly Box (Obviously). For your demonstration of confidence in our idea, you will be rewarded with the coolest fly box around for at least 25% off the future retail price. You can get an even steeper discount should you order early.
- A Tacky T-Shirt. Wear this and you will confirm to the world that you truly are the coolest fisherman/fisherwoman around.
- A UV neck/head protector sleeve with the Tacky logo. Protect yourself from the sun on hot days in the "Tacky"est possible way.
- The greatest day of fly-fishing ever, with members of the Tacky crew. As a premium backer you (on your own or with a guest) will have the unique opportunity of meeting us here in Utah where we will take you out for hours of fun on a local river, or lake if you prefer. Now this is not your ordinary trip, we will take you where the fishing is the hottest and the crowds are sparse. We will be fishing right along side you as pals. Don't worry though, we'll let you have first crack at the good holes, hook you up with flies, and even untie your knots if the need arises. This reward is limited so get on it early.
Immediately after completion of the Kickstarter campaign we will complete the order for the tooling to build molds for the box and insert. We will concurrently initiate production of the t-shirts and UV sleeves. We have identified sources for each of these steps, so orders can be placed the day the campaign ends. We are allocating 40 days for production of the molds with an additional 20 days to review and approve first-run boxes. After the final product is approved, a full run production to fulfill all Kickstarter orders will be completed in 45 days, followed by 15 days for box assembly, 30 days for shipment from the manufacturer to Utah. When we receive the boxes we will ship them out as quickly as possible, so you should receive your box the first part of July. We have built extra production time into the timeline, so it is likely that you will receive your box earlier than July, but there is of course a chance that production could be delayed due to unanticipated problems. If this happens at any point during the process we will keep you informed. We will email all backers upon completion of each major milestone so that you will be up-to-date on on progress.
If you love to fish, we promise this product won’t disappoint you. If you don’t fish you should probably start, or at the very least let your friends know about us. We’d love for you to partner with us to make this a reality!
Risks and challenges
We have done all that we can up to this point to ensure that manufacturers are aware of our needs and time frame. Because we are working with an established manufacturer we should not have issues with the availability of the hardware or the raw materials (silicone and plastics).
To ensure the highest quality product may require some tweaking in the QC period, but this is built into our timeline so we should be able to finalize our products approximately 5 months following the closure of the campaign. After which we will begin fulfillment.
Over the entirety of the project we will be in touch with our backers to keep them informed of the milestones we meet. If for some reason we do experience a challenge along the way that affects the completion date of the project and/or the fulfillment of any of the rewards, we will be open and honest and keep you well informed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)