Best Tackle Box – Tackle Storage Done Right
You have your rod. Your reel is spooled.
But where are you going to keep all the rest of you tackle? Your lines, lures and tools?
It's time to talk tackle boxes!
Tackle boxes come in different forms and sizes. Which one you choose depends on the type of fish you’re hunting, where you are fishing, and the means by which you intend to spend the trip.
We’re going to go through some of the basics of fishing tackle storage, and hopefully make it easy for you to choose the best tackle box for your fishing trips.
Our Top Picks:
Best Tackle Box For Fishing - 6 Reviews
Here are some tackle boxes for fishing enthusiast to consider. We have added a variety of different types for balance. Happy fishing!
1: Plano 3740 Waterproof StowAway (Waterproof Tackle Box)
With its Dri-Loc O-ring seal, and three latches to keep the lid firmly fastened, this is a great storage box for those who want to keep their stuff bone dry. If you’re a kayak fisherman, this may be a good choice for you.
It comes with 4 fixed horizontal compartments. There are additional dividers included so you can build up as many compartments as you want (up to 23).
2: Plano Double-sided StowAway Tackle Box (Small Tackle Box)
If you just need a small and very portable box, then check out the StowAway boxes from Plano. This one in particular is the medium sized box, (but still small).
Create between 12 and 18 compartments to keep your hooks, lure and bait.
The box is clear so you can see where your gear is without opening the lid (the lid latches securely).
Away from fishing…some customers end up using these to store small tools, like drill bits, screws and nails.
3: Ready 2 Fish Tackle Box (Budget Hard Box)
And here we have the cost-effective option, for those wanting to go hard plastic. This one is probably best suited for casual fishing or those just getting into the hobby who want to get up and running quickly. It ships with some hooks, jig heads, floats and weights.
Features two trays that comprises of 132 pieces of assorted tackle. Note that the trays are hinged to the box, but there are dividers included so you can shape the compartments to the size of your liking.
Also comes with a handy fishing guide.
4: Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle Large Backpack (Fishing Tackle Backpack)
The Wild River 3606 is a great multi-purpose storage backpack, with the option to purchase with or without fishing trays.
There are multiple zipped and meshed side pockets on the outside, which are ideal for taking tools and gadgets that you need to get your hands on in a hurry.
The main storage area (inside), is roomy enough to store up to 6 tackle containers. There’s also a large front pocket, where you can store an additional 4 boxes (we’re talking the Wild River 3600 & 3500 boxes here).
It has adjustable shoulder straps and the bottom is protected with base pads to combat wear and tear.
5: Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag (Soft Fishing Tackle Bag)
This tough polyester water-resistant bag offering from Spiderwire is the first soft bag on our list.
It has a durable molded bottom, suitable for all conditions, along with PVC backing. And, inside, it includes four plastic storage containers for all your lures.
There are a few other useful features too. It has large storage pockets on the outside (located on the front and side), with zippers, for placing valuables such as phones or small cameras or other bits and pieces. There are pockets inside too. And there’s the holders for pliers.
Can be carried around with its adjustable padded strap or with the fixed carry handle on top.
6: Striper Saltwater Surf Fisherman's Lure & Plug Ten Compartment Bag Case (For Saltwater & Wading)
This bag contains 10 equally sized compartments.
There is a convenient padded strap (which adjusts) so you can carry over the shoulder. Comes with extra pockets.
Designed for surf fishing/wading.
The Bare Necessities Of A Tackle Box
Tackle boxes are used to store all the bits and pieces you need for a day out fishing.
Some equipment is considered essential, no matter what level of fishing you are at, where you are fishing, or the kind of fish you want to catch.
Here are lists of the equipment you probably want to be thinking about packing away in your trusted tackle box:
- Bait/Lures (there are of course different types – so whatever type you need for the day)
- Bobbers, Rigs, Floats or Sinkers
- Fishing Line
- Nose Pliers and/or Scissors (or a good multi-tool)
- Hooks, Swivels
- First Aid Kit
- Gloves (for certain fish and using a knife)
- Insect Repellent (Bug Spray)
- Sun tan lotion (Sunscreen)
- License (of course essential if in a licensed area)
And then there are the nice-to-have’s like portable scales, hook removers, a fishing guide, a good fillet knife, leaders, a camera, phone, fire starters (lighter, flint etc), stringer.
Now you may not want to keep all of these in your tackle box, but you’ll maybe want to bring them anyway, depending on your goals for the trip.
Fishing Tackle Boxes: Types and Features
From a high level, the two main types of tackle boxes are either hard or soft.
When most people think of a tackle box, they think of the hard type, which is a box. The soft type are actually backpacks, which are carried using a padded shoulder strap like any other backpack.
You can also choose from bags, which are in the shape of a box, but made from soft, padded material.
Hard Tackle Storage Boxes
Tackle boxes are robust, particularly if they are made well. Just make sure any hinges or handles are strong and sturdy. Having internal utility boxes is a bonus too.
The vast majority are made from hardened plastic. Why plastic? Well, plastic tends to be lighter and isn’t susceptible to damage from too much exposure to water.
Now don’t think that all plastic boxes are waterproof, they’re not (although water won’t damage the plastic itself, of course).
Be sure to check that whatever box you’re intending to buy, is actually waterproof (I.E. it won’t leak in water) if you want the inside contents to remain dry and you know the box will be in contact with water (or accidentally will be! – if you’re out on a fishing kayak, your box may get wet, even if you thought it wouldn’t).
From an organizational point of view, you might want to consider having spinnerbait racks, a sunglasses compartment and other little features that will carry your fishing essentials.
It is possible to buy metal boxes, which are a little ‘old skool’ now. They can get damaged quite easily with dents, especially if it’s not well made, and they absorb heat more than plastic. So, if you’re out on a hot sunny day, the contents are going to get pretty toasty! And then of course there are corrosion issues is you're a saltwater fishing kind of person.
Are there any downsides to choosing hard box storage options?
Well, it takes up one of your hands when you’re moving around. You can end up more limited with what else you can carry with the one spare arm.
Tackle boxes are great for the necessities, but if you want to carry lots of extras, they aren’t so good. Cameras, rod holders, and extra clothing for example. A box isn’t going to be as useful and dynamic as a backpack. Of course, this isn’t as important if you live by the water or you drive your car to your favorite fishing location. But if you need to walk any distance, bear these negatives in mind.
Hard Tackle Box Features: The two main types are ‘Tray’ and ‘Drawer’ style, although you can get variations of both.
Tray Style Tackle Box
These are the most common type. Tackle trays, storing all different sizes of your smaller kit, lift in and out of the box for easy access.
Tackle Box With Drawers
The drawer type boxes have sliding drawers for access to your essentials. They often vary in size so you can store items according to size and type in different slots.
A lot of bulk storage boxes are hybrids of the two we have mentioned. For example, you can buy boxes which fold out to display multiple levels of trays or drawers and trays. These are often referred to as racked tackle boxes.
Soft Tackle Boxes and Bags
The soft box option is normally made from nylon.
Because you are hands-free, you can easily navigate obstacles en route to your fishing spot.
One of the big advantages of a soft tackle bag is the amount of fishing gear you can carry around. They generally take more than the hard option. You can bring flashlights, knives, cameras, water bottles, your fishing license and much more. They can even be used to carry portable rods (poles that come in separate pieces).
There's usually storage pocket options for carrying smaller fishing accessories too.
Another benefit is weight. Soft tackle bags and backpacks are usually lighter. Be warned though, if you carry too much stuff, it can get heavy, so try not to bring everything you have.
Try to think about the essentials that you need and the "nice-to-have’s", but try not to carry around stuff that you know you aren’t going to use on a trip. Otherwise you are adding extra weight for no reason.
Top Tip – Small Tackle Boxes:
You can always keep small hard tackle storage within the backpack or fishing bag. Things like bait/lures, hooks, line and other bits and pieces.
Use small plastic compartmental boxes to keep everything where it needs to be, so you can easily grab anything you want as and when you are fishing.
These boxes should comfortably fit into a backpack, where you can then store other tackle and accessories that you need for a successful day on the water.
Ok, over to you... do you own a tackle box? Do you have any of the ones on our list? Can you recommend other boxes for others who will embark on a future fishing expedition?
Let us know all about it in the comments section below...