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A reliable tackle box is an essential piece of gear for any fishing trip. You need a spacious and efficient tackle box to carry and organize all your hardware, tools, and lures. Being organized will ensure an enjoyable fishing trip.
When you’re out on the water you have to expect the unexpected. From snags to inclement weather to the fish behaving in ways you didn’t expect, a lot can happen. To be at your best you will need to have the gear to adapt or else risk scrapping the entire trip. That means you need the best tackle box for the job.
Keeping everything from swivels, sinkers, bobbers and monofilament line organized can be difficult. You need the right fishing tackle box to make it easier. There are many options available to suit your tackle, your budget, and even the fish you’re after. Your grandfather may have used a metal toolbox for fishing, but the times have changed.
It can be daunting at first to dive into the realm of tackle boxes. On the surface, so many of them seem the same. There are a lot of factors worth taking into consideration and a lot of features you may not be aware of. Here are 10 of the best tackle boxes on the market today, each of which could up your fishing game. They offer a wide variety of benefits depending on your needs.
Best Overall Choice
1. Plano 7771 Guide Series Tackle Box
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The Plano Guide Series is one of the best all-around tackle boxes you’ll find on the market today. The Plano Guide Series stands out from the crowd when it comes to features.
Clocking in at 22 x 13 x 13 inches, this is a large box. It should be able to handle everything serious anglers need to bring with them. The main compartment is a large bulk storage space. There are 3 top access spinnerbait racks and 4 removable storage trays. It can handle all the lures and rigs you have. The clear lid is convenient with easy access so you can see what you’re looking for before cracking it open.
Plano’s construction is strong and durable. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s one of the most efficient organization systems you’ll find. Plano doesn’t have the over-the-top features of more expensive boxes, nor does it need them.
For the price, which is moderate, you get top quality construction and a lot of solid features. If you want to bring a lot of gear with you to your favorite fishing spot, it’s a great choice. You can have everything stored securely in the Plano 7771 Guide Series tackle box.
Durable and strong construction
Lots of storage space
Maybe bigger than you need
Could be bulky for some anglers
Best Budget Choice
2. Berkley Fishing Bag
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The Berkley Fishing Bag resembles a small cooler bag. The sort that you might use for your lunch. It’s easy to transport and won’t get in your way. It fits two trays inside and features pockets to carry tools like pliers, scissors, and more. It’s easy to carry over your shoulder with a comfortable shoulder strap, or in your hand like a lunch box. When you’re keeping it sparse and spartan, you can’t go wrong with a tackle bag like this one.
The Berkley Fishing Bag is the best choice if you know you will not need a lot of gear when you head out. It’s also one of the most affordable tackle bags that you will find. The tackle bag is sturdy enough to handle some bumps and bruises. It’s also comfortable enough for carrying at the same time.
The bag is perfect if you’re heading out alone for a short trip. It’s also the best choice if you’re going with a less experienced angler who doesn’t have a lot of gear to use. At the end of the day it’s a functional soft tackle system that won’t hurt your wallet.
Not a lot of room
Included trays aren’t the highest quality
3. Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag
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When it comes to advanced boxes, the Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag is top of the line. The price tag is more than reasonable for the size and durability. The 1680 denier polyester with a PVC backing means it can take whatever abuse you throw at it. Capable of holding 38.8 liters, you won’t find a better tackle bag out there than the Spiderwire Wolf. This is one of the best of the best.
The bag measures 15.75 x 10.8 x 8.2 inches and they back it with a lifetime guarantee. You know the manufacturer was serious about the quality that went into it. It can also hold up to 4 tackle boxes. Unlike some bags, the manufacturer includes them here.
Inside the bag, you’ll also find two front pockets with organizer compartments. There’s enough room for flashlights, knives, and other tools. There are removable fishing line dispensers on either end of the tackle bag and two slots for pliers. It also comes with adjustable dividers. These allow you to alter the space of the compartments to fit your needs for larger or smaller gear. A large mesh pocket on the back is there for any extras that don’t fit on the inside.
The Spiderwire Wolf tackle bag is very durable and will likely stand up to years of wear and tear. You need to know that the zippers are metal and may corrode. If you want the bag to be safe in wet conditions, you’ll need to treat the metal parts with something like Corrosion X.
Comfortable shoulder strap
No spinner racks
4. KastKing 3600
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The KastKing fishing tackle bag features an excellent water repellent coating. There are 15 pockets to hold any fishing gear you could think to bring with you on a fishing trip. You can also get the KastKing in three different sizes. The largest of their sizes can hold one dozen 3700 size tackle trays.
There are five easy-access front and side pockets. Also, 7 rubber-coated mesh pockets, 4 zippered pockets, and 2 tool holders. In total, there are 20 internal and external pockets for storage that can handle your hard tackle. The zippers are self-healing and rust-resistant and come with pull tabs on them. That’s a small feature, but one many units forget.
There’s a neo-grip anti-slip shoulder strap for comfort. Also a waterproof non-slip compression molded bottom to keep things both secure. The bag itself is 420D rip-stop nylon material. Combined with the inner PVC layer and the hydrophobic coating, it should keep all your gear high and dry.
The company does not include trays in the buy price. That said, he standard 3600 and 3700 sizes fit so if you have some already you’ll be good to go. The bag’s design is unassuming and it can double as a camping bag or even a gym bag.
Stitching may not be reliable
Doesn’t come with trays
Best Premium Choice
5. Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box
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If you have a lot of gear to carry around with you the Elkton Outdoor Rolling Tackle Box is a solid choice. Especially if you don’t want to actually carry anything. Capable of holding almost 27 pounds of gear, you can wear it as a backpack. It also works as a shoulder bag, or you pull it along the ground like luggage with the retractable handle.
The rolling feature is helpful for anglers with limited physical abilities. If you have suffered a debilitating illness or injury, this is a real advantage. Rather than limiting your gear the rolling tackle box allows you to bring everything. It’s all about choice without causing discomfort.
Featuring four rod holders, the top compartment can hold up to five 3600 storage trays. The spacious inside compartment features five retractable storage trays. The fabric is durable and waterproof. It also has a shoulder strap for the times when the terrain is too rough to drag it behind you. Also, if you feel like carrying rather than pulling it for a while, you can.
If you’re an angler who likes to bring a lot of gear, the Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box will fit your needs. Give this one a try if you don’t like the strain of having to carry it all. Likewise if you have a physical disability that makes carrying a big box difficult.
Lots of space
Can be tough to move over uneven terrain and sand
6. Okeechobee Fats Fisherman Deluxe Tackle Bag
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If you’re not a fan of the traditional tackle box look, the Okeechobee Fats Tackle Bag has a much more duffle bag look to it. If someone saw it sitting in your backseat, they could mistake it for your gym bag.
The top-loading compartment comes with four large storage boxes but can hold up to 8 trays inside of it. There are two tool holders on the front and three zippered accessory pockets. It also features space for pliers, and a hard shell sunglasses case.
If you’re in the market for a large bag with tons of storage, the Okeechobee Fats Deluxe bag is exceptional. It isn’t as bulky and awkward to carry around as some all-plastic tackle boxes, either. The downside is that the 100% polyester bag is only water-resistant. That means it’s not as waterproof as some competing bags.
Lots of room
Easy to carry
7. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
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One of the best fishing backpacks on the market is the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack. It’s big enough to carry everything you could want to bring with you on your next trip out. It’s also easy to manage and comfortable. That makes it superior to several more cumbersome choices.
Piscifun makes the bag out of water-resistant 1200D high-density nylon fabric. It also features KAM buckle and SBS zippers. They divide the pack into 11 different compartments. These can be further subdivided into 18 areas. It’s also available in distinct colors and patterns, which is a feature a lot of other bags overlook. The inside has a removable clapboard to either divide the space up or make it one sizable storage area.
Piscifun designed both the straps and the back to be breathable and ergonomic. It also features a reflective strip for visibility and a hard case for sunglasses. The base has rubber feet for traction and to keep it dry, plus there’s a rain cover to keep things extra dry. When it’s uncovered, the bag is not waterproof. That means you don’t want to keep anything valuable in it if there’s a chance it could go overboard.
It’s strong, durable, portable, and well-priced for the features it offers. If you like backpack tackle boxes, give this one a try.
Great extra features
Backpack design isn’t appealing to everyone
8. Kingfisher Fly Box
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The Kingfisher Fly Box is the best for holding your flies and river tackle without crushing them. It’s capable of holding hundreds of flies in the sturdy, waterproof ABS case. The stainless steel latches and hinges will resist rust for years.
It’s small enough that you can carry it in a larger bag or case with some drinks. If you want, you can toss it in the glove box when you’re not using it. It doesn’t have traditional compartments like other boxes, but it doesn’t need them.
Flies can be very delicate and if you make them yourself you know the time and effort required to tie one. A regular tackle box can hold them, but not as securely. Plus, if you’re only going fly-fishing, why bring everything but the kitchen sink with you, too?
With 9 rows capable of holding 24 flies, you’ve got room for 216 here. That’s more than enough to hold all your favorites, no matter what you’re fishing for. When other boxes are too big and unnecessary, this may be the best choice.
Lots of room for flies
Only good for storing flies
9. Plano 3 Tray
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The Plano 3 tray tackle box is an exceptional choice for beginner anglers. It’s also ideal or for those who don’t want to be weighed down with a lot of excess gear. It’s made from sturdy plastic and has a straightforward design. If you’re an angler who doesn’t need to have a ton of gear and isn’t into any frills, this gets the job done.
It features three cantilever trays that fold up and can hold 22 to 34 compartments worth of gear. The large bulk storage below the trays can hold reels and spools. The top access storage can handle hooks, weights, lures, and other minor items.
There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles that come with this tackle box, and that’s the point. If you’re looking to get to fishing right away, it’s a great choice. It’s also ideal to introduce someone new and inexperienced to fishing.
Easy to organize
Not particularly durable
10. Plano 4 Drawer
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If you have a lot of fishing gear to bring with you, you want a large tackle box. Also if you don’t want to have to sort through some things and leave others at home. Your best bet for most storage is the Plano 4 Drawer Tackle Box. This massive rig is 20.75 x 11.5 x 13.88 inches and features four removable bait racks in the ample storage space. There are enough dividers to create between 36 and 53 compartments. They all fit well inside the durable plastic frame.
The lid features a deep storage section as well with a brass latch. There is ample room for reels, spools, and more. It’s one of the few solid, all-around utility boxes to meet many needs. Plus it has large enough compartments for all your hard tackle, lures, and assorted gear.
It’s definitely the bulkiest tackle box on the list and the portability suffers. If you need a large storage box and you’re not concerned with the bulk, this is the best choice. When you’ve got the extra room on your boat, or room in the back of the truck, this will be no problem. Likewise, if you plan on planting this on the ground next to you when you fish, give one of these tackle boxes a try.
Room for everything
Awkward to carry
Can be cluttered
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Tackle Box
There are a lot of choices when shopping for a tackle box. Keep these basics n mind and you’ll always find something that suits your needs. Whether that means a general utility box or a fishing tackle box that has many compartments. Also ones for hard tackle like lures, large tackle, or a soft tackle system like any of the tackle bags.
The larger the tackle box, the heavier it will be. If you’re not planning on doing much moving when you’re fishing then the weight of the tackle box may not be an issue. If you plant yourself at the shore or sit on a boat, then the weight won’t slow you down. But if you’re mobile when you fish, it should be one of your key concerns. The best tackle boxes have to strike a balance between weight and convenience.
If you plan to move locations like when you’re sport fishing a lightweight tackle box is best. Ones you can wear as a backpack and won’t slow you down are great choices. Heavier tackle boxes are best-reserved for the times when you want to sit and relax while you fish.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing tackle box size. You want to use the box that’s going to best meet your needs. If you’re heading out for catfish, for instance, then you might only pack your catfishing rigs. You won’t need an enormous box full of various lures if you will not use them.
Some anglers are more comfortable bringing everything they own in their tackle box. Just in case the opportunity arises to use something else. In cases like that, it’s more beneficial to have a large box with a larger storage capacity. That way you don’t have to worry about having left anything at home that you expect needing.
The best size for a tackle box will always depend on what you’re fishing for that day.
Classic old school tackle boxes were almost always made of metal. Plastic took over when it became a practical option. These days they make most tackle boxes out of plastic, but you can still find a variety of materials.
Hard plastic and metal trunk style tackle boxes dominated the field for years. They’re easy to use and everyone recognizes them. These tackle boxes can usually take a bit of a beating. They range in size from as small as a child’s lunch box to large-scale tackle boxes that are very weighty.
There are also soft tackle boxes that you can get made of waterproof fabric like polyester or nylon. Soft materials have advantages over the harder, more rigid materials. You can wear soft tackle boxes as a backpack and they can take some abuse without the risk of cracks and dents. Many of them can also float if your tackle goes overboard. A lot of traditional, lower-quality plastic fishing tackle boxes will sink. Metal ones will do so as well.
The tackle box that can’t keep your gear organized is not worth your time. No doubt you’ve seen some cheap tackle boxes that are little more than plastic containers. The kind into which you dump all your gear. If you’re not bringing a lot of tackle with you out on the water, this might work best for you. A single storage compartment has easy access. You can get basic tackle boxes almost anywhere from Walmart to local dollar stores. In a pinch, any utility boxes will do.
If you’re looking for a serious experience, you want tackle boxes that keep your gear separate. The more spaces available in the tackle box, the better. You want to find something with a variety of compartments. The best come in different depths and sizes to handle holding everything. From simple lead sinkers to large hooks and lures, the best boxes prevent them crossing over.
Tackle boxes are often best for organization but don’t discount a tackle bag. It’s not the traditional choice but many bags offer easy access and as much storage as tackle boxes.
Things get a little rough when you’re out fishing. That means you need to make sure you’re getting a durable tackle box that can handle it. Soft-sided tackle boxes are good in the short-term. But on a long enough time span, they start to wear down and can fall apart.
Plastic tackle boxes are the most durable on the market. As strong as metal is it will eventually rust and is prone to dents. A high-quality plastic box will be waterproof and strong enough to handle bumps. Plastic tackle boxes are the most durable tackle boxes on the market today.
Whatever you’re fishing for, if you’re prepared it makes the experience more enjoyable. Be prepared and stay safe.