Whether you fish as a hobby or more professionally, you’ll inevitably end up with boxes upon boxes of tackle and other gear. It’s easy to gather so much stuff you feel like you’re drowning in it, which is why you need to invest in a quality tackle box to help you keep track of things. Here’s what you should look for.

Hard or Soft Exterior

You’ll have two primary choices when shopping — a hard tackle box or a soft tackle bag. Tackle boxes are made from hard plastic. If you’re clumsy and prone to dropping things or are planning to use soft baits you don’t want to squish, opting for a hard plastic tackle box might be a good idea. 

hard tackle box

Soft tackle bags are incredibly flexible — both in their material and in your organizational options. If you like to swap out your tackle to chase different species of fish, these bags make it easier. They hold plastic trays you can swap out in an instant, so you don’t spend all your prep time sorting through hooks, weights and bobbers. 

Organizational Options

Next, you need to consider your organizational options. Hooks, weights, bobbers, lures, soft baits, spinners, jerk baits — the list goes on. It’s easy to make a mess of things unless you have a nicely organized tackle box. Plus, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than digging through a mess of lures and hooks, unless you’re fond of catching your finger. 

tackle box with compartments

You’ll want some customizable storage containers or compartments that will fit in your box because not all fishing tackle is created equal. Don’t try to squish big hooks into small spaces, or you’ll end up breaking them. 

Specialized Storage

Tackle isn’t the only thing you need to store. Even if you just fish as a hobby, you’ll need different types of rod and reel combinations, and most of these are too large to fit in your tackle box. Plus there’s all your ice fishing gear, including augers, sleds, and tip-ups, which all need someplace to stay. Next time you organize your garage, separate your belongings into categories and give each of them a section so you can easily get to them when it’s time.  

You can make DIY rod storage with a couple of 2x4s and some PVC pipe. Attach the pipes to the wood and anchor them to the wall. You’ll have plenty of space to store everything without tripping over your rods.

More Than Just Tackle

Finally, you’ll need to consider if you want a box with pouches for more than just tackle. If you’re heading out for the day and don’t want to haul multiple bags and coolers out to your favorite fishing spot, a multipurpose bag might be the best solution. These have plenty of room for snacks, drinks, cellphones, sunglasses and anything else you’ll need for a day on the lake. 

bank fishing

You don’t need to find the biggest and most elaborate tackle box — just choose something that meets your needs and won’t weigh too much when you’re making your way to your spot. 

Keep Your Tackle Together

Choosing the right tackle box won’t just make your trips to the lake more fun — it will also keep everything in neat, organized rows so you can find what you’re looking for without getting hooked yourself.