February 07, 2013
Vintage Tackle Contest: The Common Sense Fly Box
By Joe Cermele
A few weeks ago we had an old fly with a cool story in the vintage tackle contest, so this week why not a fly box? This gem was entered by Charlie Krause, who found the box in an assortment of old fly tying stuff that belonged to the father a friend. According to Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, what Charlie has here is a box better than most of the ones hanging for sale in fly shops today.
Dr. Todd says:
"You really found an outstanding fly fishing item! It's the "Improved Common Sense Dry Fly Box" made by F.W. Klinger & Langbein Co. of Philadelphia, Penn. ca. 1938. K&L Common Sense fly wallets and boxes were a mainstay of the American fly angler for 75 years, but especially in the first half of the 20th century. Yours is the "Rolls Royce" of Common Sense boxes, the "Improved" polished aluminum fly box with twin transparent covers and tweezers. It's a lower cost version of the British-made Wheatley box, and a great item. It was offered alone, and attached to a genuine pigskin fly wallet. In nice shape with tweezers, this box is worth $50-$75 -- but try and buy a better fly box on the market today for that price. You can't. To see a 1938 advertisement for the Common Sense Box and Wallet ($6.50 new at wholesale -- which is about $85.00 today), click here."
Great find, Charlie. I'd take the Doc's advice and load that old box with new bugs. It'll be a great conversation piece on the river! Thanks for sending, and keep an eye on your mailbox, because there's a set of Berkley Aluminum Pliers headed your way.
If you've already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven't and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to email@example.com, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above) worth $50.