If you’ve been fishing long enough, you know all too well the amount of work it takes to keep your tackle box organized.
Heck! I admit, I often STRUGGLE to keep my tackle box organized!
So don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling too.
I’ll share with you tips that I use to help me keep my tackle organized.
I promise these tips will be different than the advice you’ve probably heard of before, like:
- Use the compartments on your tackle box,
- Use dividers to create dedicated sections in your tackle box’s trays,
- Label everything,
- Pick the right size tackle box,
- Don’t overpack your tackle box,
- Store like-colour soft plastics together because the colours can bleed out over time.
Don’t get me wrong! These are valuable tips, and you should be using tips.
But I wanted to give you some ideas on keeping your tackle box organized that you may not find anywhere else.
1. Use The Store Tackle’s Packaging
Kicking things off with an obvious but not so obvious tip.
After you buy your tackle from the store, what is the first thing you do when you get home?
If you answered, “I take the tackle out of the package and organize it in my tackle box.”
Well, stop it! You might be creating extra work for yourself.
Instead, keep the tackle in its packaging and place the whole thing in your tackle box.
This is helpful for several reasons:
- All the information about the item is already on the packaging. This saves you from having to label things in your tackle box.
- For items like snaps and hooks, it keeps everything neat in a bag. Having loose items in your tackle box may not seem like a big deal. Until your tackle box gets knocked over, then, you got a mess on your hands.
- Helps protect items from getting rusty, especially if you do a lot of saltwater fishing like me.
I know what you are thinking – “Seems like a lot of work to always have to take hooks out of a bag.”
Well, you might have a point there, but it segues nicely into my next tip.
2. Premake Your Leaders
This is not only an organizing tip but a time-saving time tip as well.
Before you head out fishing, premake a bunch of leaders and have it wrapped around some cardboard or styrofoam.
Having the leaders warped around something makes it easy to store in your tackle box.
Pre making your leaders ahead of time means less time you spend in your tackle box while out in the water.
And the less time you spend in your tackle box, the less likely you’re going to cause a mess.
3. Put a Pin in it!
This tip goes to an angler I met years ago. I never used this tip personally, but it was definitely CREATIVE.
So I had to include it on this list.
If you have a lot of small tackle in your tackle box, that tends to cause a mess.
Use a safety pin and run the pin through the eye of the tackle that you want to keep together.
This works great to keep loose tackle together like:
Hopefully, this tip sparks other ideas on how you can use safety pins to keep your tackle organized.
4. Use Those Utility Boxes
Another common issue I see with anglers, especially beginners, is that they feel like they need to fit EVERYTHING in their tackle box.
Here is a good example:
If you were fishing two species of fish or more and needed completely different tackle. Where would you put all this tackle?
If you’ve answered – “In my tackle box, of course.”
Then you are making a common mistake.
Try separating your tackle into different containers organized by a particular species of fish.
For the example above, you would store your tackle for each fish species in a different container and bring each container with you when fishing.
I’m not suggesting for you to get another tackle box. Tackle boxes can be expensive and clunky.
Instead, get a utility box!
Use a utility box to organize your tackle for a particular fish. These boxes have dividers, similar to a tackle box, and are more compact. Utility boxes offer similar benefits as a tackle box without the cost.
Because of their compact designs, utility boxes are easy to pack away for a trip and take less room when storing gear during the offseason.
5. Keep Those Empty Food Containers
HOLD ON THERE!
Don’t you dare throw away those empty food containers!
Did you know these food containers can be a great way to store some of your tackle?
That’s right! I said food containers!
Empty food containers can be a great way to store tackle that may be taking too much room in your tackle box. Yogurt, peanut butter, and pringles containers all work great.
Personally, I use these containers to store fishing weights.
When I go fishing, I put the container of weights in a bucket rather than my tackle box. This makes my tackle box lighter and easier to handle. Not to mention, less weight means less stress and a longer lifespan.
Plus, a heavy tackle box does not feel great on the hands if you got a long walk from the car to the boat.
6. Winter Is Coming. Time For Cleaning
Anglers are notorious for collecting things.
Despite your best efforts, at the end of the season, you might have to do some purging.
Think of it as “Spring Cleaning” – Just in winter.
Don’t be one of those people that looks at something and can’t remember the last time you used it but thinks, “Well, I will use it next time.”
You’ve probably said that to yourself on other things, but “next time” never came.
Actually, purge items that you don’t use anymore!
This way, you won’t find yourself being overwhelmed, managing an ever-growing amount of tackle.
If you have tackle that you don’t use but is still in good condition. Don’t throw it in the trash. Try to sell it on Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace to get some cashback to put forward for new tackle in the next season.
It’s About Winning The War, Not The Battle.
Keeping your tackle organized really does feel like a battle at times.
When I accepted that I will never keep my tackle box organized 100% of the time, it was a big stress relief.
I mean, I used to stress out about it. It really did feel like a losing battle.
Instead, I looked at it like I’m fighting a war. I may lose some, but I may win some.
It’s about making sure your tackle box does not become out of control at the end of the day. Use these tips and find out which one works for you.
Get creative with how you want to organize your tackle box.
Remember, there are no rules when it comes to keeping your tackle box and tackle organized.