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Fishing Tackle Box Essentials

How often do you:

  1. Miss a good fish because of dull hooks?
  2. Waist time untangling a mess of lures and lines at the bottom of your box, or worse yet, tackle bag while trying to get at that one particular lure?
  3. Buy a bunch of plugs that are too large to fit the compartments in your tackle box?

If you have some of these troubles, you also have lots of company. Most anglers go fishing without a complete and efficient kit of fishing supplies and accessories. An impressive and fully stocked box doesn’t make a good fisher­man.

But why make it harder for yourself?

In fact, who wants to handicap himself at all when work­ing today’s heavily fished waters where some of the most sophisticated fish in the world live or if catching a fish means the difference between you eating or going hungry.

The Tackle Box

Plano Guide Series Tackle Bag | Premium Tackle Storage with No Slip Base and Included stows, Khaki with Brown and Black Trim, 3500 (PLABG350)

Before even thinking about getting all of the needed gear; you will first need the right fishing tackle box and other equipment. Having the best fishing gear is useless if you lose it, it becomes damaged, or so tangled up that you cannot use it

Don’t just go into a store and ask the salesman to show you one at a special price, as most fishermen do when they need one. Before you start shopping, you should know what box is best suited to your needs.

Don’t just go into a store and ask the salesman to show you one at a set price, as most fishermen do when they need one. Before you start shopping, you should know precisely what box is best suited to your needs. The following are what you should look or when shopping for a box.

How Many Compartments?

First, look for a box with enough compartments of suitable size. It’s a good idea to measure your largest lures, checking both length and height, in­cluding the hooks. Many anglers get fooled by measuring only their lures length, then when they get home to discover that their new box won’t close because the treble hooks on the largest lures stand too high in the compart­ments. If you use such bulky lures, you’ll need a box with deep compart­ments. Figure out how many lures of different sizes you’ll want to carry with you. Then add about ten percent to that number.

Some anglers take this matter of lure compartments so seriously that they lay their lures out the way they want them to lie, and then they make a diagram on a piece of paper to use when shopping for a new box. Such men usually end up with a box that has ad­justable compartment walls that snap into grooves provided for this purpose. Then they can arrange the compart­ments to suit their needs, provided the trays are deep enough. A few boxes are so constructed that you can make long compartments by placing the partitions lengthwise in the bins and securing them in position with the aid of a small soldering iron.

How Deep Is The Accessory Well?

The second consideration when wanting to purchase one is how deep is the size of the accessory well at the bottom of the box, which holds reels, extra lines, various accessories. Filling your box with the correct lures and such is only one part of being prepared. The other part lies in what you carry in your accessory well at the bottom of your box. Having the right fishing equipment can, in an extreme situation, mean the difference between you catching a fish or ending up with nothing and not eating that evening.

It’s a good idea to assemble on a table all of the accessories you use and meas­ure the space they take up, including width, length, and height. That will be the size of your accessory well.

Is It Water Proof?

Look for a box that is as nearly wa­tertight as you can find. Most manufacturers advertise their tackle boxes as being waterproof. But I’ve tested quite a few brands and haven’t yet found an entirely waterproof one. All will leak if wholly submerged in water. A well-made box will stay dry inside during pouring rain or from water sprays from a boat. Some will float if dropped overboard, unless densely filled; others will sink, even when empty, as water comes in at the seams. Get the most watertight box you can find. Look for a box that resists rust and corrosion; this is especially important if you fish on or near saltwater. Locks, handles, hinges, bolts, and screws should be solid brass, bronze, nickel-plated steel, or durable, heavy-duty, plastic. A cheap box is no bargain when you find it rusting after being used a few times in the rain or pitted with small holes after use in saltwater.

How Noisy Is The Box?

A quiet box is a boon to good fishing. So, avoid a box that has a handle that rattles, lures move around in their com­partments, or a box that makes a loud squeak every time you open and close the box. Such noise spooks nervous fish near your boat. Look for handles that are tight enough not to rattle when trolling, and lure compartments lined with cork, rubber, or plastic. You’ll have to fix the bottom of your box yourself, for even the plastic ones are not quite enough. Buy a small, rubber mat cut it to fit the bottom of your box, and attach it with rubber cement. Then you can set your box down in any boat quietly, troll with fewer rattles, and open and shut it with less noise. Weight is an important consideration also as you want it to be as light as possible if you are planning to carry your box a long distance to a boat or riverbank.

Fishing Tackle Box List

Be Prepared-Nobody can tell another angler ex­actly what accessories he should carry. But, the following is a good place to start or see if you are missing anything.

Hooks of various sizes

A fish hook needs to be big enough to secure the bait, yet not too big that it cannot fit in a fish’s mouth. Tip-Use the smallest hook that you can use for the type of fish you want to catch.

HETH 1600pcs Bigger Size Fishing Worm Hooks High Carbon Steel Wide Gap Offset Fishing Hook Set for Saltwater and Freshwater with 10 Sizes


A bobber has three jobs: 1.) Make sure the bait stays where you want it to stay. 2.) Signal when a fish has taken a bite out of your bait. 3.) Stop bait from falling down to the bottom of the lake, river, or wherever you are fishing.

junxi Fishing Bobbers Assortment, Large & Small Red and White Fishing Bobbers for Fishing Bobbers Floats, Fishing Bobber Set 16 Bobbers

Fishing Sinkers

Sinker’s are weights attached to the fishing line used to ensure that your bait goes down deep in the water where the fish are located. When fishing, you need to use an amount that allows a bobber to stay up and only half be submerged in the water. When you are buying your sinkers ask for split shot sinkers, which are the most common types of sinkers.

LikeFish 205pcs Round Split Shot Sinker Removable Fishing Weight Sinkers 5 Sizes Weights Total 3.35oz


So, that your lure does not twist up your fishing line, a swivel is attached right before the lure.

Siasky 200PCS Fishing Rolling Bearing Connector, Rolling Barrel Fishing Stainless Steel, Corrosion Resistant Fishing Swivels Tackle Accessories Kit #1, 3, 5, 7, 8 for 31lb-104lb


Artificial Lure

You won’t always be able to use live bait available. So, you need to carry a variety of artificial lures. For example, a plastic worm is essential. Choose lures geared toward the type of fish you are trying or are most likely to catch. An example of this is that if you are going to be going bass fishing or think you will, you should consider including soft plastic lures designed to catch bass. If you are wanting to catch trout it is the same thing. Plastic bait is especially helpful because it cannot rust.

When starting out knowing what fishing lure to purchase can be confusing. Start simple and then purchase more advanced lures. So, get the basic first and then, later on, buy the fancy spinnerbait. The following are recommended when you are first starting out.

  • For Deep Waters-Jigs (1/32 to half an ounce)
  • Medium- Depth waters-Average floating crankbait
  • Shallow or Top Water Fishing-Smaller buzz bait.
  • Leaders- Various sizes for all scenarios

Extra fishing Line

Hope for the best. But prepare for the worst as fishing lines break, get tangled up on trees, and other obstacles.   That is why, other than the pole (although you can make a makeshift pole), extra fishing line is the most essential thing to have in your fishing equipment.  Also, you should have different pound test lines for catching a bigger fish.

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line,6LB,150Yard


Needle Nose Pliers

The needle nose pliers are an invaluable fishing tool. They are primarily used to take a hook out of a fish’s mouth and remove crimp sinkers from your line.

SE Professional Quality 6" Mini Needle Nose Pliers - LF01

Fingler Nail Clippers

Clippers are perfect for cutting off a hook swallowed by a fish and trimming knots.

Measuring tape And Small Scale (For Normal Times)

To stay out of trouble and do the right thing, you’ll want to ensure that you follow all of your local fishing regulations. So, be sure to measure all fish you caught to ensure that they are within standards.

Rhorawill Fishing Scale, 165lb/75kg Digital Hanging Hook Scale with Ruler Measuring Tape, Temperature, Backlit LCD Display, and 2 AAA Batteries for Home and Outdoor

Fishing Knife

KastKing Folding Fillet/Fishing/Camping/Hunting Knife, Razor Sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel Blade, Non-Slip Handles, 13 ½ inch Overall Length, only 7 ½ inch Folded, Includes Sheath


Assuming you do not have GPS, a compass is useful for foggy days on large lakes

SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass with Pouch - CC4580


Plastic License Cover

Either laminate your fishing license or cover them up in a plastic cover.


The following is needed when you are, either in an SHTF scenario or going away from civilization and you cannot afford to go back to town and get a new rod or reel.

  • Small Screwdriver and Reel Wrench-Useful for repairing your fishing rod and reel
  • Extra Parts-Spare parts to replace delicate or easily lost reel parts
  • Fishing Reel Oil-

Depending On The Situation

Depending upon your situation (I.E. How far you are from civilization, your car, etc.) you should carry basic outdoor survival equipment with you. I.E. Flashlight, waterproof matches or another fire starter, first-aid kit, a poncho for emergency shelter. etc.

Final Thoughts

The above guide should be used with common sense as it is not one size fits all. For example, tackle boxes used for a recreational fishing trip will have more fishing lures and other accessories. Likewise, a box in an SHTF situation will be a leaner and mean. But, this article and common sense will help make sure that you can correctly select the best tackle box for your particular needs.