Just about all of us have had something delivered online now. But for some reason, that trip to the fly shop is still something we hang on to.
What if I told you, that you could get a box of fly fishing goodies every month? It’s tailored to the season and your location to ensure you can spend more time on the water without having to wait till the shop opens?
After an exhaustive review we found that the best fly fishing subscription boxes are:
- The Fly Crate
- Post Fly
- Freestone Fly Fishing Company
- Lucky Tackle Box
The Fly Crate Review
Fly fishing subscription boxes allow you to try new gear monthly. In this article, we do a deep dive into The Fly Crate subscription box and compare competing services to find out why you should give it a go today!
We managed to strike up a deal with the guys at The Fly Crate to provide you with double the flies on your first purchase. It’s only available for readers of Fly Fisher Pro. If you click the link here then enter DOUBLETHEFLIES at checkout you’ll get our special deal and double flies on your first order. The perfect way to get things rolling!
The company’s mission is to:
Educate fly anglers with captivating tips, advice, stories, and news that lead them to discover and explore all corners of fly fishing. Help others discover the outdoors, support our youth, aid our veterans, and inspire adventure.
Essentially, they are a monthly fly club and online fly shop from Pennsylvania that provides top quality flies, tips and stickers monthly.
The company donates flies and is committed to donating 2% of all subscription box sales to help rehabilitate disabled veterans through their partnership with Project Healing Waters, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Available for yourself or you can send it as one of the best fly fishing gifts that I can imagine, you first need to select your target species. At present, there are two target species both Trout and Bass.
You get a new subscription box of flies delivered to you monthly. You may not know it, but compared to when I started 20 years ago the fly tying world is advancing at a rapid pace. The fish have seen it all! So trying the latest fly patterns is important.
However, if you’re like me and fish a lot, they also offer you a discount on all of their current stock of nymphs, flies and streamers. This will mean that your fly boxes are never empty!
Multiple Subscription Plans
From here there are three options that range in price and the number of flies included in the subscription. This is where company are differentiated from their competitors. They have three offerings ranging from as low as $14 per month.
If you’re looking to really grow your collection they have $24 per month subscription plans that will add 12 flies to your tackle box a month. That’s 144 extra flies every year, some new designs designed by professionals and some dependable favourites.
Flies Tailored To Your Location
The flies that are selected are tailored for your area and the time of year. Most of the company team are highly experienced to help fill your box with useful flies.
Corey has a masters degree in stream ecology and Nick is a professional fly fishing guide and writer. The founder Nate, who I spoke to personally for this article, is as mad about fly fishing as I am. So you’re in good hands!
What is Inside?
I picked up The Lifestyle Plan for trout. It includes 12 flies for trou. This is broken into the following:
- 2x Jigged Mop Fly – Size 12 (different colours)
- 1x Yellow Sally Dry Fly – Size 14
- 1x Bloom’s Parachute Caddis – Size 16
- 2x Morrish Hopper – Size 8
- 2x Pink Punny Jig Nymph – Size 10
- 2x Hot Head Woolly Bugger – Size 8
- 2x Jigged Squirmy Wormy – Size 12
That covers the flies, but I also found out that there are more fishing goodies inside the box. These were:
- 2x Strike Indicator Pucks
- 1x Chums Eyewear Retainer
- 1x Sticker
- 1x Guide Magazine
I found there was quite a bit more than I expected in the subscription box. Considering that each time I head to the fly shop I end up spending at least the same amount (usually more) and I rarely try out new fly patterns. We all know that with new gear fishing becomes much more fun!
That doesn’t mean that the fly shop becomes obsolete. You can take the new patterns that you discover at fly crate and pick up other options that are similar and add them to your box.
While “sticking with what works” is a good plan generally, finding a new successful fly (fresh from the fly box) can be a fantastic feeling. Especially when what’s working stops working. Or, your last olive green caddis gets stuck in a tree!
If you find a pattern that works amazingly then can then re-order any number of them in different sizes from their online store. With their membership plan, you get a 15% off everything in The Fly Crate store (included when you subscribe).
After having a very positive initial experience myself I dug into some of their reviews online and was pretty blown away. I’ve included some below:
Have used these leaders all winter long and they are great!! Have hooked plenty of fish tying on size 20/22 nymphs all the way up to size 6 streamers. Sturdy leader yet fools fish. Have been recommending to everyone on the river! Great product
Excellent Service and Flies
I am new to fly fishing and although I have purchased a lot of flies Fly Crate has well tied flies and great customer service. I had purchased the lifestyle pack and some other flies as well and was too impatient to wait. I chatted with Nathaniel Treichler via the chat and he was able to get me my first set and my order within 3 days. Flies came and I am dying to use them. Much better option than Postfly or any other company.
First Time Order
Received my first order yesterday and couldn’t be more pleased. Shipping was extremely quick and all the flies look great. Looking forward to trying out these poppers and some other new bass flies this weekend.
Alternative Subscription Boxes
There are a number of different online store subscriptions in the fishing world, so I think it’s worth having a look at them before making your decision.
$24.95 – $44.95 per month
Postfly is the most premium of the various subscription boxes. They include a small disposable tackle box with varying numbers of flies. You can choose the box that best suits the type of fishing you like to do. Such as:
- Steelhead & Salmon
- Fly Tying Kits
Every box comes with a new leader, stickers, a magazine and accessories. If you’re really into fishing (say you’re a guide) they offer a double subscription box that includes twice the number of flies. But at $44.95 you’d need to cancel a couple of other subscriptions to make it worth your while.
Check out their fishing subscription box here: Post Fly
Freestone Fly Fishing Company
$18.95 per Month
Freestone flies have a very similar offering that includes Trout, Salmon/Steelhead Flies or materials to tie flies. You can pick from the different options at checkout.
As with the other subscriptions they include stickers and some bonus fishing items to help you get outdoors. They also appear to have fantastic reviews, however, it doesn’t seem to focus on the fact that the flies are expertly chosen for your area.
This seems to be the main point of difference between Freestone and the other subscription boxes. When you subscribe to The Fly Crate or Post Fly, you have a fishing expert basically sending you the box of your dreams. This didn’t seem to be the focus at Freestone and inevitably could be the reason it didn’t land in my cart.
Check out their fishing subscription box here: Freestone Fly Fishing
5 Flies £7 – 20 Flies £16
iFlies is a smaller section of Cratejoy. They are based out of the UK and offer a more budget subscription box. Each box includes either 5, 10 or 20 flies. They provide flies for trout, salmon and warm water species.
iFlies send their subscription box all over the world every month. They also mention that they match the hatch for you. In fact so much so that they claim that people using their subscription box have caught:
Brown, Rainbow, Tiger, Sea, and Brook Trout around the world.
I think that this may be great for budget-minded individuals. Their subscriptions go as low as £7 monthly for 5 flies and £16 for 20 flies which sounds pretty good.
They do sound like an amazing offering, but as they’re based offshore I am not sure how well they know fishing in the US. For now, I will continue my experiment with The Fly Crate and perhaps in a few months, I can compare them with iFlies.
Check out their fishing subscription box here: iFlies
From this analysis and hands on review it looks as though the best fly fishing subscription box comes from The Fly Crate. They seem to strike the balance between cost, quality and local knowledge. We managed to strike up a deal with the guys at The Fly Crate to provide you with double the flies on your first purchase. It’s only available for readers of Fly Fisher Pro. If you click the link here then enter DOUBLETHEFLIES at checkout you’ll get our special deal and double flies on your first order. The perfect way to get things rolling!