Cheap New Fly Boxes

People familiar with how inexpensive it can be to source plastic fly boxes have been commenting for several years that C&F Design‘s reign at the top could not last forever. Those people were right. This year’s show boasts no fewer than two new fly box entries which seem at first glance (and then at second, third and fourth glance) to be C&F Design waterproof boxes. These copies are really good; they are made of the same high-density plastic as the original boxes, come in the same shades of tan and gray (for now), have slit foam, and essentially the same rubber gasket system as the original.
Best of all, they are about half the price of the equivalent C&F Design: $20-28 retail depending on the level of customization your local fly shop puts on them. The first box is offered to shops by Angler’s Sport Group (but will probably be re-badged for sale to actual anglers), while the second is offered by TFO parent company Springbrook.
Close examination of the ASG model honestly revealed only one noticeable difference from the equivalent C&F: a valve to allow you to squeeze the air out of the box prior to clasping the locking clip. This unobtrusive little hole was only noticeable because the plug which fits into it (on the clip), is somewhat sharp and gouged my finger the first time I used it.
Honestly, boxes like this make it very hard to justify the cost of an original C&F Design. C&F has some tricks up its sleeve, however, which we’ll discuss in a later post.
Fly boxes have always generated tons of angler comment here on Midcurrent. Air your thoughts and questions in the Comments section!

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  • Roundman

    The devils in the details. I have quite a few different types of fly boxes. I finally stopped buying any other kind but the waterproof C&F. I have never had a failure of the hardware on these boxes. I usually watch for them on sale and pickup a few even if I dont need them at that time. If they are truly the same quality then I will be interested.If not they just another cheap imitation of a great product. TFO seems to be in tune with bringing quality equipment to the sport a a good price. While I appriecate this when I cast my TFO rod it is still not my Sage or my Cross Current. As far as a flybox is concerned . If it keeps the water out ,protects my flies and doesnt come apart on me on the water and will last a fair time then I will be interested in saving the ten bucks.But only then. In the salt, quality cannot be imitated only duplicated.

  • Chris

    Check our I just bought a box from them. I submerged it in my sink. Waterproof. They’re a great design and seem every durable. I was quite impressed. I’ll keep everyone posted on the longevity of the product.

  • robert morselli

    Gotta agree with Roundman on this one: you generally get what you pay for, so I always view ‘cheaper versions’ of a product with some degree of suspicion – at least initially. Someone should post a review after a season’s worth of field testing.