I am sure most of you will be delighted that this blog is definitely going to be a lot shorter than the others but there’s only so much text you can use when writing about a fly box. But please be aware, this is not just any fly box.
As I mention quite a bit in the blogs, I think one of the highlights of the angler’s year, other than fishing itself, is that period when the tackle companies are either pushing out the old stock before the new stock arrives, or when the new stock comes in and they attempt to convince you that this new product is what you should be looking for. As a result, I am one of those people who do not delete my marketing emails from all of the brands, just in the off chance that I might want something. There was one from Snowbee that caught my eye last year and having had a look through, I genuinely took the time to message Jeff from Snowbee and tell him that it was a great idea. I previously had the pleasure of collaborating with Snowbee while reviewing both the Spectre rod and the Nivalis coat and I have learned that Snowbee dare to be different with their product design and stand over it. In this case it was the Snowbee Fly Tying Display Set. It might not have been the fanciest looking box in the range but it was unique and it would definitely serve a purpose.
The more I thought about it, it was genius but so simple. The box simply opens up and has 10 fly clips and multiple slots for flies and that’s it. That one sentence for me, undersells the product so I will elaborate further.
As an avid fly tyer, or rather, somebody who spends at least 50-75% of their evening, trying to develop that one fly that will encourage fish to look at your fly and ignore everyone else’s, I knew this was for me. The product has just jumped feet first into a niche market and targeted the tyer specifically.
When would I use one?
I would normally organise and attend local flytying evenings with the Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association (Check out their Facebook page here to follow some of the great work that they do in the community https://www.facebook.com/Threemilewater/ ). As many tyers know, at these type of events, you not only perform the role of performing monkey and teacher, but you also form your own mini production line and it’s basically about tying as many patterns as possible in a short space of time. I had always ended up putting new patterns back in the box and then people would come and ask me what I had tied today, and I would have to delve back in and show them. I then took the notion to acquire a display stand.
A few months back, in anticipation of some of the upcoming events, I went to the pet shop and bought some hardwood for a vivarium or a fish tank, drilled some holes into it and inserted some fly clips. Strangely, it was a lot more difficult than I anticipated as uneven hardwood is not necessarily the easiest to drill into and on quite a few times, I almost drilled into flesh and bone instead. Something I wouldn’t advise on trying. Just get a display box.
The product itself is a clear, double sided, foam lined, ABS plastic box. The box divides into one side with 115 fly slots. The fly clips themselves are snugly nestled within their own foam slots. The clips can be erected and placed into any of the 15 circular slots for the base. Perfect if you have just tied a fly and have it out to be varnished.
With a width of 12.5cm, length of 13cm and depth of 2.3cm, it does appear small, but don’t let that fool you.
What is ABS plastic? What’s the relevance here?
Those regular readers will know by now, I don’t like to leave people on a jargon cliff-hanger. My research concludes that ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which means nothing to you or I, but it should!
The 3 monomers when combined, form a tough and durable polymer. The combination gives durability against chemicals, temperature and can be particularly strong with drops and falls. The plastic is therefore able to withstand heavy use and outdoor environmental wear and tear. Perfect for a fly box. But also reassuring that if it’s at the bottom of a flytying bag en route to an event and getting bashed around, that it’s still going to survive.
Given that ABS is easily moulded, and shaped the possibilities are endless where production is concerned. It is cheap to produce and is a recyclable material. Other notable products such as Lego or standard hard hats are made with the same material. It is worth noting, however that the Snowbee Fly Tying Display Set is not as hard as both plastics.
The display box is suitable for anyone who ties. I personally see more use or benefit to the people who fall into the below categories:
- The person who ties in bulk
- The roving flytyer
- The tyer who attends many events
- The social media tyer
That’s to say, it’s very practical, it’s small and durable and can transport a high number of flies while saving a lot of space. Very useful indeed.
How would I improve this product?
It does the basics right and I couldn’t ask for much more. If I was to be slightly pedantic. I would probably ask for a silicon lining. It’s hard to fault a silicon flybox for its capability and durability when securing flies, though I would expect it would raise the cost ever so slightly so it’s hard to strike the perfect balance and remain adorable. But I’d still be happy with no change, as this is a flybox that I use for simply transferring to another box once I get home anyway. However the odd time, I haven’t had time and just bring it along.
Equally as innovative and serving the similar purpose and deserving of a mention, must be the Snowbee Fly Box/ Tool Kit which houses a zinger, stainless steel snips, long nosed, lockable forceps and leather leader straightener/fly line cleaner. Another product which appears to go under the commercial radar, but one which can prove very useful to the angler.
David Thompson – The Naked Fly Fisher