This project came about not so much because of the money but because of the inability to find a pre made fly box of the size, quality and configuration that I was looking for. Basically, I was looking to reduce the number of my many little fly boxes down to one single package BUT (big but) I wanted that package to be as compact and efficient as possible. So with that in mind I began my search but, to my disappointment, discovered through the process that I was unable to locate a fly box to meet this criteria!
There are a lot of decent size fly boxes out there but I found that most did not take advantage of their size. It was frustrating as I really don’t understand the logic behind a 3 inch plus deep fly box with only one layer! Sure the deeper box has more volume but the actual usable “fly holding” real estate is still limited to the length and width regardless of how deep it is! Flies are just not that bulky so I was sure that the fly holding capacity of a box that big could easily be doubled with the addition of a layer … which brought me to plan B … refocus my search on double layered fly boxes!
Well in the interest of keeping this post to a decent length and focused on the topic I’m not going to go into the frustration of trying to find a pre made and reasonably priced double decker fly box. Suffice to say, it was time for plan C … a DIY custom built, reasonably sized & priced (OK frugal), double decker, home made fly box!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Double decker box of the size and quality that you require. I went with the Plano 4700 Guide Series Stowaway. The 4700 is a double decker box measuring approximately 14″ long x 9″ wide x 2.75″ deep – perfect for what I was looking for and a wopping $9.99 at Canadian Tire!!The only problem was that it is full of a bunch of little compartments … but don’t worry about that for now cause we’ll be taking care of it a little later.
1 Can of Spray on Adhesive. I don’t really think it matters which brand you use but for what it’s worth we went with Elmers Acid Free Craft Bond – $5.99 at Walmart.
- Dremel with a cutting bit
- Cutting Board
- Straight Edge
- Razor Knife
- Measuring Tape
- Hearing Protection
- Safety Glasses
- Disposable Rubber Gloves
OK the easy part is over and now it’s time to get your hands dirty.
Remember all those little compartments I told you about? Well step one is to spark up your dremel and remove them all.
*Dremel tools are quite loud and there will definitely be small pieces of plastic being whipped through the air as you are cutting so before you start anything be sure to don your safety eye wear and hearing protection!
Now taking your time, carefully cut away all of the dividers inside both layers of the box. Your are done when both sections of the box are fully open and empty. It should look something very similar to this:
Don’t worry too much about how messy it looks as everything will eventually be covered by the foam.
The next step is to measure and cut each of the 4 pieces of foam to fit the 4 surface areas in the box. It is important you take the time to do this step well as the better the job you do here, the better the look of the finished product in the end. Measure twice, mark your cuts and then use the straight edge and razor knife to cut the foam to as tight tolerances as you can. I always cut a bit bigger than I think I’ll need as i can always remove material to make it fit but can’t add it back if I mess up.
Once the 4 foam pieces are cut to fit their corresponding surfaces the final step is to use the spray on adhesive to secure each piece of foam in its place. Do yourself a favour and wear those rubber gloves for this step! Once in place, weight the top of the foam with whatever you have handy that fits and let stand until dry. Once dry, you will be left with high density compact fly box like this:
That’s it folks … a custom built, reasonably sized & priced, double decker, home made fly box with a surface area of approximately 384 square inches! That’s a lot of fly real estate for around $20.00 … not a bad value if I do say so myself! The only thing left to do now is get to the tying bench and start filling it!
Hope you find this helpful ………………. krazy!
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