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Fly Fishing (Storage) Review

Building a better fly box, Scientific Anglers System X (continued)

Operation cont'd: Even though the box floats it does hold out water even when fully submerged. Suppose you had it in your vest and slipped or dropped into a pocket in the river. Though your vest might get soaked at least your flies will remain dry and ready for use.

On one side you can hold dry flies

The System X makes it easy to draw the right flies with transparent lids, you never open up the wrong side. The boxes are available in many configurations but the nymph/dry fly combo we tested was our favorite. Not only does it hold flies of both types securely and separate it also has storage space for indicators and shot for nymph fishing.

The durable foam material holds hooks securely in place

In terms of the actual foam itself, the System X makes use of durable foam which firmly holds all types of flies and exhibits very little long term memory damage. The foam handles large hooks and tiny hooks equally well, and even when the box is violently shaken or tossed the flies stay exactly where they are inserted. Overall the System X box is easy to use and configure, and among the very best boxes I have ever used when it comes to organization and storage.

The other side of the patent pending design has a section for indicators and shot for nymph fishing

Durability: We have already established that the System X box is easy to use, but how well does it hold up to abuse? We dunked it in the river, threw it against rocks, bounced it off the pavement, and the box still performed well and maintained its watertight seal. The sides of the box do scratch, but it is still easy to see your flies inside the box.

The box holds plenty of nymphs side by side

The box has small raised bumps on the surface which help reduce scratches and also make it easier to grab the box even when wet. The System X box is certainly able to take more punishment than a standard aluminum fly box, and in terms of the interior if you rip up the foam with oversized hooks (which is really hard to do with anything but streamers) you can always change the insert.

The outside of the gasket has holes to secure the box to a vest

Price & Applications: The System X box retails for 21.95, which is reasonable for a plastic fly box, but what makes this solution so robust is the ability to use the plastic sides with additional inserts. These inserts (four variations) are sold for 12.95 a piece. If you are a serious fly fisherman we recommend investing in two complete boxes then loading up on a few more inserts. The extra inserts can actually be used in another box that Scientific Anglers sells, the Fly Suitcase, which carries or stores up to four System X foam inserts at a time (dimensions: 10-1/2"L x 6-1/2"W x 3"H).

The easy to use floating System X box gave me the confidence to change out flies right in the middle of the river

The boxes are small enough to fit into just about any vest, but too large to put inside a regular pocket. The system is so good we wished that Scientific Anglers made a half size box for backcountry trout anglers, but for now the current system addresses a wide range of angling applications. The boxes are not too large that they canít fit in a vest, yet are big enough to hold even mid-sized streamers depending on what interchangeable foam insert you choose.


Scientific Anglers System X Fly Box Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good use of high quality shatterproof plastic and the foam used in teh inserts holds hooks securely with little to no memory whatsoever. The interchangeable design allows you to really customize your box for the water you are fishing 9
Performance Great performance in waterproof tests, and excellent performance in durability tests. We really put the hurt on this box and it handled it all with no problems 9
Price A decent price for a box this detailed in design 9
Features The System X box is waterproof, easy to use, durable, interchangeable, and it floats....nuff said 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) A great design, one that blows away most fly boxes we have seen. It is easy to use and the interchangeable yet waterproof system is fantastic 9
Application Able to handle a range of flies this system is so good that we wished there was a half size box for those looking for an ultra portable solution 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Interchangeable design L Only one size available
J Easy to use and maintain  
J Waterproof  
J Reasonable price  

Innovating in the fly fishing category poses a unique challenge for manufacturers, as the sport is one deeply seeding in tradition. Scientific Anglerís may make use of the latest technology and thinking in their designs, but they somehow preserve the tradition and feel behind fly fishing. The System X box doesnít look like your granddad's fly box, but it does the same thingÖ.only better. In fact the box is better than the average box in just about every way. The System X box is affordable, durable, waterproof, customizable, easy to use, and it floats. How many fly boxes can do all that? Scientific Anglers has built a quality product, one that both minimalists and tackle junkies will appreciate.










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