Way back in 2016 we told you about the first release of Plan D Articulated Fly Boxes – fly boxes designed specifically to house articulated and ‘stinger-style’ flies (something we use a lot of at our lodges).
Plan D’s innovative ‘eye-hook’ and slotted foam design was the best solution to taming free-swinging articulated patterns we’d seen to date, and the design has been gaining population amongst the articulation nation ever since.
This past fall, the good folks at Plan D released their latest models of articulated fly boxes. We finally got our paws on some and we’re happy to report that while we were big fans of the original boxes, we think the new models are a massive improvement, and today we’re going to tell you why.
Same Great ‘Eye-Hook’ Design
Like the original model, Plan D’s new articulated fly boxes also feature their patent-pending ‘eye-hook’ design. It’s a good thing too, because frankly we can’t see how anchoring articulated flies could be any simpler. Simply slide the eye of the fly onto the hook attached to the top (or bottom) of the box, press the trailer-hook of the fly into the slotted foam and voila! The fly is anchored from two positions, keeping it locked in position without tangling with nearby flies.
Admittedly, one of our least favorite aspects about the original Plan D Articulated Fly Boxes was a lack of a waterproof gasket. We’ve all waded a little deeper than we should have at times, and most of us have fumbled more than a few boxes into the drink, and a weatherproof seal can be a huge help to keep your expensive flies dry. That being said, we liked the anchor system so much on the original boxes, that we thought a little extra effort to keep the box dry was a small price to pay.
It’s a mute point now however, as all Plan D models (with the exception of the ‘Boat’ fly case) now feature a rubberized weather resistant seal to keep moisture out.
Another interesting feature found on all single sided ‘Pocket’ and ‘Pack’ models is waterproof vent located on the spine of the box. This keeps the lid from creating a vacuum, eliminating the need to dig at the box to get it open. Instead, once unlatched the cover flips open with ease, while still remaining weather resistant.
We love the unique anchoring system in the articulated boxes. We’re also really happy that they now feature a weather resistant seal. However, we’d be lying if we said that the thing that didn’t impress us most about the Plan D’s new Articulated Boxes is just how rugged they’re built. Seriously.
It’s difficult to explain the quality of plastic in writing, but if a comparison does any justice, we found the new Articulated Boxes to more closely resemble a clear topped Pelican Case than your traditional fly box. With the price of many articulated flies for salmon, steelhead, or even trout approaching the price of a conventional lure these days, that level of protection is a good thing.
Another subtle, but extremely well thought out feature, that also adds to the boxes’ durability is a self stopping hinge that eliminates the possibility of the box being opened further than 180 degrees – a common way that many cheaper boxes tend to break over time.
Multiple Layouts Available
Out of their new boxes (we’re excluding ‘Boat’ models, click here to read more on those), Plan D offers four different models of differing fly capacity – The Pocket, Pocket Max, Pack, and Pack Max. However, amongst each model, several layouts are also available as well depending on your needs – A single sided box for articulated flies, a double sided box for articulated flies, a double sided box with one articulated side and one standard slotted foam side (for non-articulated flies), or even a double sided box with only standard slotted foam (for all non-articulated flies).
Considering there’s a good chance not every fly you fish is going to be the same, there’s a layout for just about every situation you can think of. There’s even options for tube flies! But that’s a topic for another post.
We have no reservation in saying that we think the new Articulated Fly Boxes from Plan D are some of the highest quality fly boxes we’ve seen. Their design also continues to be the best solution for organizing articulated flies we’ve come across as well. For that reason alone, we highly recommend them.
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