Best Fishing Tackle Boxes & Ways to Store Gear
It doesn’t take long for your collection of fishing lures and tackle to grow to a large and expensive collection. If you want to protect your investment and make your gear last it is important to store everything properly. This is something I get asked all the time. How do you store your baits, terminal tackle, line, ect? As you can image just by looking at your lures with all the different shapes and sizes there really isn’t just one storage solution for everything. So in the post I want to breakdown all the storage methods that I use and recommend.
Basic Lure Storage & Organization
Let’s dive into the first storage option, the generic Plano 3700. Plano just about set the standard for all the other tackle boxes on the market. Just about every brand uses their size system with the 3600 and 3700. It truly has become a staple for all other boxes. These are great for tackle storage as they are inexpensive that comes with dividers so you can separate all of your stuff out and keeps things very organized. This is gonna be your entry level box and most used box. They can take a beating and last for years. These are great for organizing and storing lures at home.
Alabama Rig Storage
The Alabama Rig also known as the A Rig is a very unique bait that requires a specialized storage box to better protect them. If you have multiple A Rigs we recommend the Plano Alabama Rig 3708 box. This box comes with inserts so you take your compressed Alabama Rigs through the separator to keep the wires untangled and protected. This allows you to store multiple fully rigged rigs without the mess. This is an absolute must have if you throw A Rigs very often.
Frog Tackle Box
Frog fishing is a lot of peoples favorite style of fishing. This leads anglers to have a tons of frog baits. The problem with frog baits is they can fill with water as you fish them. This causes issue when you put them in your tackle box before they have fully dried. The moisture can get trapped which leads to your hooks rusting. The other option is to let your frogs dry out on your deck before storing but this leads to a mess and is a pain. But the Plano Hydro-Flow has built-in holes all through the lid and base to let the box breath. This allows and remaining water to evaporate. I haven’t had any rust issues with this box. This is a must have if you are a diehard frog fisherman. I wouldn’t recommend this box for baits that have treble hooks because they get hung up in all the little holes. If you decide to stick with normal boxes you can put baby powder on your frogs to keep them dry and the legs soft.
Crankbait Tackle Box
The Plano Custom Divider 3770 is the same size and profile of the Plano 3700 but it comes with a rail system. The rail system is lined every
1/8″ for the option to place dividers. This allows you to make compartments as small or as big as you want. Unique to this box is that it actually comes with angled dividers. This is very beneficial for crankbaits because you can angle your compartments the same angle as the bills on your crankbaits. Aligning your crankbaits allows you to maximize the space in a 3700.
Terminal Tackle & General Waterproof Storage
For storing terminal tackle I recommend using Plano WaterProof 3740. This is a waterproof box with 3 latches and an o-ring seal. Being waterproof is great for preventing rust and keeping your hooks sharp. Another benefit is it will float as long as it is closed and sealed. This is huge for kayak anglers and clumsy boat anglers. Thankfully it hasn’t happened to me but I have witnessed kayakers flip and lose their gear to the depths of the lake. I organized all my trouble hooks by size. A tip is to keep the foam that comes out of a hook pack in each compartment and hook your
hooks into them. This will prevent them from sliding around and getting tangled and dulled. This tacklebox is great for general baits as well.
If you want to go really high end you should check out the Plano Edge Series. Edge boxes are waterproof and feature a really cool single latch system. The oversized latch allows you to open the box one handed. The entire box is made to eliminate rust and keep your terminal tackle and expensive baits safe and protected. One of the unique features of these tackle boxes is they come with a water wicking pack divider. This movable divider is just like those silicone pouches you might find in a shoebox. They are used to take moisture out of the air and keep humidity low. The pouches can be changed out as you use them. Another thing I like about this lineup is the dividers come pre-cut. I don’t know about you but I always hated cutting the plastic off each divider. I really like the new Plano edge line and have been very impressed by it. Although it is much more expensive I have started switching all my tackle over to this new line.
Kayak Fishing Tackle Storage
Fishing from a kayak introduces some new challenges. Kayaks have limited space and the high chance of losing anything not tied down. The only thing I have on my kayak that is not attached to it is myself and the fishing pole I am currently using. Everything else is tied down. I do this by using a crate which I think is a necessity for kayak fishing. You can go the DIY route for a cheap solution by using a milk crate and zip tying a side mount rod holder to it. With that combo you can store plenty of 3600 sized boxes, more than enough for a day of fishing and your rods. From there I use a couple short bungee cords over the top to keep the tackle boxes in the crate even if I flip, while still being easy to access. To lock down my rods I use some paracord with clips on each end, one end I can clip to the rod holder and the other gets clicked to the rods I’m not using. I then can attached the crate to the kayak while I’m fishing and detach it when I’m done and carry the crate with everything in it to the car or in the house. This setup really vital to kayak fishing in my opinion.
You can also go the non diy route with the Flambeau Tuff Krate or the top of the line Wilderness Systems Krate. These are both cleaner and better looking than the diy option. They also have additional features that you might find useful. The Wilderness System will do a lot better job at keeping your gear dry and has better securing your gear in the box. Another nice thing is the rod holders can be raised and tilted to better fit most fishing kayaks.
Bass Mafia Money Bags
We have gone over a few boxes so now I want to jump in to some bags. The first one being the Bass Mafia Money Bags. These bags come in a variety of sizes but they are great for general storage like all your extra hooks still in the boxes or all your extra soft plastics. The smaller size is perfect for keeping your fishing license, keys, phone, ect dry as well. These bags have a zipper on top and another one on the inside so you can be confident they will keep water out. These bags are much stronger and more durable than a normal ziplock bag, supposedly 20 times stronger. These are just great to have around in a few sizes, they seem to be useful in a lot of situations.
Backpack Tackle Box
Tackle backpacks are one of the best storage options for shoreline fishing or co-anglers on a boat. Tackle backpacks are great for how portable they are. The Tackle Warehouse Angler Backpack which I use, can hold 3 3700 sized boxes in the main compartment and a 3600 in the front compartment. So it has more than enough room for the lures that you could need in a day. Additionally it has a ton of pockets so plenty of room for your soft plastics, fishing license, wallet, keys, ect. It also has two rod holders on the sides. So you can carry everything you could possible need for a day out fishing with both of your hands free. This makes hiking on rough terrain a lot safer and hoping on your buddies boat a lot easier. If you do much shore fishing this is a no brainier at under $70
Soft Plastic Storage
Soft plastics are a huge part of fishing. From technique specific worms to all the different trailers, it is easy to build a large collection of soft plastics. Iv tried ziplock bags and general tackle boxes but the best way I have found to store soft plastics is Plano KVD Speedbags. They come two sizes that are advertised as holding 20 or 40 packs of
soft plastics. I found they hold a bit less if you store many thicker soft plastics like creature baits or keitechs. These are great for organizing for technique specific baits or by brand or color. I organize mine by category so all my worms are in one bag and my trailers in another. Depending on your collection you may only need one bag or many. These bags just make storing and organizing soft plastics so easy, I always know exactly where a bait I am looking for is.
Large Swim Bait & Glide Bait Storage
Large swimbaits and glide baits are expensive so it is vital that you protect them. I use the Eye Surrender Bait Wraps to protect my big expensive baits. The wrap prevents the baits from sliding around like a normal tackle box. This keeps the tails from getting smashed and the paint from scratching. It’s got a velcro strap on the back that when undone folds open giving you access to 4 very thick plastic sleeves. Unless you really force it the hooks will not gonna puncture the sleeves. You can fit two baits per sleeve for a total of 8 baits. To store, just zip it up and fold it in half twice for a real nice compact storage.
Fishing Line Storage
Fishing line is another item that you can build quite the collection of if you fish many different techniques. I use all three line types in a variety of sizes depending on the situation. For storage I keep most of my line in plastic storage boxes at home. On the boat or when I need to spool a reel I use a Spoolin Buddy. The Spoolin Buddy makes organizing line and spooling reels so much easier. Its portable and made to last for years. But what I really like about it vs other line storage options is you can keep any size spool. Options like the Plano Spool Box limit you to 1″ wide spools whereas the Spoolin Buddy you can mix and match spool sizes. I use mostly braid with fluoro or mono leaders so this allows me to buy larger spools of braid to use for all my rods instead of buying and storing a ton of 150yd spools. This is the one thing on the list that I bought less for storage and more for easier reel spooling.