What to Put in Your Tackle Box (18 Fishing Essentials)

what to put in tackle box

For most anglers, their tackle boxes are as essential as a mechanic’s toolbox, to each his own. Although every person might be unique in some of the items they regard as crucial contents in their tackle boxes, many bits of tackle and tools are essential in any tackle box, including tackle, tools and more.

Fishing License

If you must have a fishing license, you might want to get that out of the way. Make sure you always have it in a plastic sleeve and in your tackle box whenever you go fishing.

Which items of tackle should go in your tackle box?

1.  Extra Line:

The chances of having your line snapped or tangled are always high. It will not be much of a calamity if you have extra spools of fishing line in your tackle box. Base your choice of line on where you fish and the type of fish you’re hoping to catch.

2.  Extra Hooks:

It’s always a good idea to be ready and have a variety of hooks. Whether you favor the french hook or the more traditional J-hook, add various other sizes to your box not to be caught unawares.

3.  Bobbers:

Do you call them floaters or bobbers? Regardless, they can make your life easier. Every time a fish bites, the bobber sinks, telling you to do your thing and reel in your catch. You can stock your tackle box with your preferred type of bobbers.

4.  Sinkers:

Without a sinker, your hook and worm will not be heavy enough to sink deep enough. It is not uncommon to lose sinkers, so having a few extras in your tackle box is crucial. Note that lead can damage the environment, so choose tungsten, bismuth, steel or brass instead.

5.  Rubber and Plastic Bait:

Even if you prefer using live bait, various hard and soft lures deserve a special space in your tackle box. Any underwater creature finds these creative soft lures irresistible. There is an endless list of options, including spoons and spinners, top water lures, minnow imitations and more.

6.  Don’t forget the Swivels:

Swivels have multiple uses, like preventing your line from twisting and easing the rig and jig tying processes.

7.  Extra Rigs:

Tying and preparing rigs take time, and it is a good idea to be proactive and pre-tie them in advance. Whether you are an experienced angler or a beginner, you’ll never regret having extra rigs in your tackle box.

Which Tools should you pack in your tackle box?

When it comes to tools, it’s really up to the angler, but here are some ideas.

1.  Towel or a Rag:

Not essential but undoubtedly handy for when you work with live bait, handle a particularly slippery fish, clear your rig of a seaweed clump and more.

2.  Pliers and Fishing Scissors:

Needle nose pliers are essential for removing the hook from the fish if you don’t have a hook remover. It can also help when you’re tying knots and more. Equally indispensable is a pair of good fishing scissors to cut bait and line.

3.  Hook Remover:

A hook remover is especially handy for newbie anglers. Removing the fishhook after reeling your fish in could be challenging. You’d be surprised to see the dangerous teeth in the mouth of some fish species. This tool can prevent damaging the fish or injuring yourself.

4.  Tape Measure:

There are regulations in place that govern the minimum size most fish should be for keeping them. Smaller fish must be returned to the water. Having a tape measure handy can ensure you don’t violate those regulations. You might also want to measure a good catch to substantiate your bragging rights.

5.  Fish Scale: 

While we’re on the subject of bragging rights, you don’t want to guess the weight of the monster-sized bass you’ve just caught, right?

6.  Fish Stringer:

If you fish on a boat, you will likely have a fishing well available to keep your fish fresh. However, if you’re not, a fish stringer can keep your catch together, anchored to a shore point in the water.

What should you pack for personal protection?

1.  First Aid Kit:

There are scores of insignificant injuries that happen on fishing trips. A hook in your thumb is just one of them. All you need is a small kit containing band-aids, waterproof medical tape, Neosporin and several small bandages.

2.  Sunscreen:

Unless you do your fishing at night, you’ll be vulnerable to the dangers of excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun and, ultimately, skin cancer. If you have sunscreen in your tackle box, all you have to do is remember to apply it.

3.  Bug Spray:

Mosquitos are never absent in fishing bays, lakes, inlets, rivers and other onshore fishing spots. However, they are not such a bother offshore. Keep the bug spray in your tackle box because that is just about the only way to keep them from feasting on your blood.

One final note

One more thing to keep in your tackle box is a small flashlight — you never know when you might need it.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.