Best Tackle Boxes

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Successful fishing requires more than just a rod and reel. In fact, most fishermen know that a good tackle box is what can set their success and their failures apart from one another. A well-organized, prepared tackle box is a go-to item for all fishermen looking to make a catch. It can also aid in keeping their vehicle, storage space, and a fishing trip from becoming hectic or cluttered.

All in all, tackle boxes are designed to provide fishers with everything they need. Great – but which tackle box is the best to buy? While this is a matter of opinion, there are a few specific tackle boxes that stand out.

Today, we’re going to share those with you, along with a rundown of what makes each one special and any downfalls it may have. Here are 10 of the best tackle box options on the market.

10 Best Tackle Boxes for 2020

1. KastKing Fishing Tackle Bag

KastKing Fishing Tackle Bag

KastKing tackle bags are known for being tough and water-resistant. They are made from durable 420D rip-stop nylon, making them ideal for withstanding harsh conditions. This nylon has been treated with a specialized coating and features a PVC inner layer that prevents water from getting inside.

The bottom of the tackle bag is made with molded, waterproof material, with the outside featuring a layer of grip that stops it from sliding around in the bottom of a wet boat. Inside, the bag features various compartments and mesh pockets, with the zippered pockets using self-healing zippers that are easy to repair if broken.

The internal mesh pockets are rubber coated, which helps prevent tangling of fishing lines, spools, and soft baits that could otherwise get caught in the fine mesh.  For easy carrying and transport, each bag comes with a neo-grip shoulder strap that won’t fall off or slip on your shoulder.

It also features external carrying handles and a dedicated, top pocket that has been designed for a tackle box.

Pros
  • Waterproof exterior
  • A plethora of different-sized pockets
  • Molded, ultra-grippy bottom
  • Shoulder straps and carrying handles
Cons
  • Strap pads reportedly uncomfortable

2. Plano 137401 Tackle Box

Plano 137401 Tackle Box

By Plano, this hard tackle box is built to be durable and last a long time. It’s made of strong plastic, with thick, tight-fitting closures and a sturdy handle. Its sleek color combination of graphite and sandstone is perfect for minimalist aesthetics and those who don’t want their tackle box to be too loud.

Internally, the tackle box uses Plano’s new and improved rack system, which gives it a better organizational layout and allows for more storage space. It includes 4 standard-sized drawers and has a top section that features a clear lid so you can see what’s inside.

Each of the drawers are easy to access as well as interchangeable with many of Plano’s 3700 series storage boxes and accessories. The tackle box is water-resistant and great for keeping lures dry and in good condition.

Pros
  • Water and moisture resistant with tight seals
  • New and improved, 4-rack system
  • Clear lid for easy viewing
  • Interchangeable with Plano 3700 series accessories
Cons
  • Cannot ship to all locations

3. Elkton Fishing Tackle Storage Backpack

Elkton Fishing Tackle Storage Backpack

Boasting an incredible amount of storage space and an easy-to-transport build, this handy storage backpack is perfect for beginners and serious anglers alike. Each tackle backpack is mounted on a set of wheels and includes an extendable handle that makes it easy to move from one fishing spot to another. Alternatively, it can be carried using a top handle or shoulder strap.

The backpack is crafted from a combination of tough plastic and fitted with durable zippers that prevent water from leaking into the bag. In terms of storage, each bag is broken into a number of compartments and trays, totaling 18 cells for lures, bait, hooks, sinkers, and other accessories. They also have four fishing rod holders made of sturdy PVC.

By itself, the bag weighs under 20 pounds but is able to hold an added 26.5 pounds of gear, making it highly efficient for large trips.

Pros
  • 5 clear tackle trays for storing tackle and small accessories
  • Lightweight but strong enough to support a lot of gear
  • Various carrying options for transport
  • Includes fishing rod holders
Cons
  • Tough zippers


4. Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag

Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag

The Spiderwire Wold tackle bag is designed to be taken anywhere and everywhere that fish are biting and to set you up for a successful fishing trip. The durable bag is constructed from polyester, with PVC backing and a molded bottom that protects its contents from the elements, while providing a measure of stability.

Inside, the bag features adjustable dividers that can be used to organize reels, tackle boxes, and other essential gear. The outside has two large pockets equipped with fishing organizers and a number of additional pockets, including one mesh pocket.

To make transport easy, the bag includes a padded shoulder strap as well as a top-located handle. The shoulder strap’s padding can be adjusted to cushion any part of the shoulder as needed. In addition, to ensure that items inside the bag stay secure and safe, the main pocket snaps shut using secure fasteners that prevent the lid from flying open.

Pros
  • Skid-resistant, molded bottom
  • Equipped with a variety of different sized pockets
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Secure compartments
Cons
  • Plastic fishing line dispensers are prone to damage

5. Okeechobee Fats Deluxe Tackle Bag

Okeechobee Fats Deluxe Tackle Bag

With the Okeechobee Fats Deluxe tackle bag, you can live by the saying “a place for everything, everything in its place.” This bad truly does have a place for everything – including both internal and external pockets and dedicated holders for rods and small utility tools.

The bag is compact and made of durable water-resistant material that protects contents from rain, moisture, and unexpected poor weather. Contents can be tucked into any of the three zippered compartments, the main pocket, the side pockets, or the top and back mesh pockets. The outside of the bag even features a zippered sunglasses compartment.

The biggest compartment features removable dividers, that can be taken out or adjusted as you see fit. This helps to ensure that larger pieces of gear like collapsible rods can fit inside of the bag.

Moreover, the main compartment can hold up to 8 utility boxes, all of which are included with the purchase of the tackle bag. Even when packed full, the product is easy to carry thanks to the padded shoulder strap, that can be adjusted to meet your individual needs.

Pros
  • A plethora of both small and large pockets
  • Padded shoulder strap that can be adjusted
  • Made of water-resistant, durable fabrics
  • Plenty of room for large items
Cons
  • Reports of included trays arriving broken


6. YVLEEN Tackle Backpack

YVLEEN Tackle Backpack

The generous size of the YVLEEN tackle backpack makes it a great choice for anyone who’s serious about angling. Various pockets and compartments make it easy to pack for a successful fishing trip.

The backpack is available in a number of unique styles, all of which are highly functional and ideal for everyday use. Depending on the style you choose, your backpack could have cup pockets rod holders, or extra zip pockets, giving you versatility and all the room you need.

Regardless of which style you choose, you can rest assured that each and every tackle backpack from YVLEEN is made of durable, high-quality materials. These materials are 1000D water-resistant nylon and breathable mesh. The mesh areas are located on the back of the backpack, preventing excess sweat from building up on the wearer’s back.

To hold the backpack shut securely, the largest top compartment clips to the bottom-most section of the pack using a KAM buckle that uses pressure and resistance to protect items from falling out. In addition, the zippers found on the backpack are doubled for extra security.

Pros
  • Made of durable, water-resistant 1000D nylon
  • Breathable mesh backing
  • Four styles to choose from
  • KAM buckles for item security
Cons
  • Reportedly hard to get off

7. Ugly Stik Fishing Bag

Ugly Stik Fishing Bag

With a classic black and grey design and plenty of pockets, the Ugly Stik fishing bag is a go-to tackle bag for many fishers all over the world. Each bag has a capacity of 20.8-litres and enough room to hold four generously sized tackle boxes, which are included with the bag.

To keep items inside of the bag organized and prevent damage, the bottom has been crafted from a durable, non-slip material that helps the bag keep its shape. It also works to help prevent sagging when full. Otherwise, the bag has soft, polyester sides that make it easy to stuff the bag to capacity.

The bag’s various pockets are secured using thick buckles and strong, reliable zippers. Making the bag even more interesting is the included tool belt, which can be removed and used elsewhere.

Once full, the bag can be carried using the padded shoulder straps or top handle, which is made of soft foam material for comfortable carrying.

Pros
  • Non-slip, molded bottom
  • Made of durable nylon that resists tearing and stretching
  • Included removable tool holster
  • Shoulder strap for carrying
Cons
  • Tackle trays have very small sections

8. Flambeau Outdoors Duffle

Flambeau Outdoors Duffle

The Flambeau duffle is a no-nonsense, stylish tackle bag. It is a vibrant red color that makes it easy to spot and locate amongst other gear. It is also incredibly spacious and known for its large holding capacity.

The tackle bag features a large main pocket. In this pocket fit the four included tackle boxes, which are made of durable plastic and are virtually air-tight when sealed. In addition to the main pocket, the tackle bug also boasts various smaller zipper pockets and side pockets, as well as a flat mesh pocket for smaller, flatter items.

Each bag is made using durable material that is resistant to both wear and tear and water. Moreover, every bag is fitted with a long shoulder strap and thick, comfortable handles that are located on the top of the bag.

Pros
  • Spacious
  • Made of durable, damage-resistant materials
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Includes four plastic tackle boxes
Cons
  • No reviews

9. Plano 4-Drawer Tackle Box

Plano 4-Drawer Tackle Box

This 4-drawer tackle box is popular among fishermen of all experience levels and skillsets. The company, which was established in 1952, has kept their tackle box much the same throughout the years. This has, in turn, created a highly-reliable, well-known tackle box that today’s fishermen love.

The tackle box has been crafted from a thick plastic that is guaranteed not to bend, crack, or break under tough conditions or when full. The lid of the tackle box snaps shut with a brass latch and features a sturdy carrying handle.

The outside of the box has a handy tools holder that can hold things like pliers and snips, while the inside of the tackle box has removable divider inserts and a full-length tray. This tray can be used to store a plethora of necessary items and accessories such as spray bottles, hooks, and even a water bottle.

Pros
  • Secure brass latch closure
  • Made of thick plastic that protects items inside
  • Removable dividers
  • Full-length tray and various pull-out drawers
Cons
  • Latching issues

10. Piscifun Outdoor Fishing Tackle Box Bag

Piscifun Outdoor Fishing Tackle Box Bag

A must-have tackle bag for every trip, the Piscifun tackle bag is ideal for camping and ice, bank, kayak, and boat fishing. The bag provides users with a hassle-free storage and organization solution, as it features a number of pockets and a large holding capacity.

It has compartments on the sides, back, and front, with a large main compartment. It also has various small inner pockets for things like cards and personal documents, as well as a fishing reel storage bag that attaches to the top of the unit. Rod holders are included, alongside a set of carabiners for hanging other small tools and accessories.

The entire bag is made of 1000D nylon fabric and professional, double-stitched seams. It is lightweight, weighing only 27 pounds, and resistant to both water and general wear and tear. For transport, it has a soft shoulder strap with padding and a set of handles.

Pros
  • Durable but lightweight
  • Features a variety of pockets and storage spaces
  • Included rod holders and carabiners
  • Water-resistant
Cons
  • Does not include tackle boxes

Tackle Box Buying Guide

Hard vs. soft

Tackle boxes come in two categories: hard and soft.

Hard tackle boxes tend to be sturdier and more solid. They usually have fold-out or pull-out trays and compartments to keep your gear safe and secure. Soft tackle boxes are made of fabric, which makes them more flexible and generally lighter in weight. Due to their flexibility, they are able to have more items crammed inside of them.

Waterproofing

The waterproofing of your tackle box of choice is another important factor to consider. Fishing is an activity that involves water, so there’s always a chance that your equipment can get wet. Hard tackle boxes are usually made of plastic, which almost always makes them waterproof.

If you’re going for a softbox, though, you’ll need to make sure that the fabric has been treated with waterproofing of some sort. You can buy soft tackle boxes that are pre-treated and made with water-resistant material, or you can opt to use a waterproofing spray at home.

Size

A tackle box’s size is one of the most important features. When considering the size of your box, you also need to consider the number of items you want to pack inside of it and how big of a box you want to tote around with you.

Tackle boxes come in a variety of sizes, so it’s worth some extra time to shop around and find a size that suits all your needs.

Durability

When all is said and done, you want to have a tackle box that will serve you well for a long time, providing you with good value for your money.  While plastic tackle boxes tend to be the most durable, the right fabric tackle box can be used in the long run, too.

To ensure you get a durable tackle box be sure to examine the hinges, closures, and handles for damage or weakness. You should also look for the use of heavy-duty materials, be it hard plastic or thick nylon. In the case of soft tackle boxes, also take a check for strong zippers and quality stitching and seams.

Make sure that the handles and/or straps of your tackle box are attached securely. You might even want to conduct a simple test to ensure durability. To do this, just gentle tug on the straps and observe if they seem to strain or not.

Tackle box with fishing stuff

Organizing Your New Tackle Box: Tips & Tricks

Empty your tackle box every so often

Emptying your tackle box is like pulling the bandage off a wound. It’s best to hurry up and get it done with. The idea might not be very appealing, but you’ll feel better once you’re done.

Take everything out of your tackle box. Remove the shelves, dividers, cubbies, and sections and give everything a good wipe. You might also choose to use a small vacuum cleaner to get rid of the stubborn debris and dust.

Once you’ve cleared the tackle box out, you can get ready to reload your tackle box. Why would you want to do this? Well, you want to clear your tackle box out every so often because a tackle box that has never been cleaned is likely a tackle box that’s unorganized and hard to deal with.

Store soft plastics in baggies

Store soft plastics in resealable plastic bags. Organize them as needed, using type as your main sort criteria. For example, store worms in one, crawfish in another, newts in another, and so on. This makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for when you need it.

Use labels

Another great way to find what you need when you need it is by using labels! A bit old fashioned, sure, but using them will help you find specific items within a few seconds. Label any bags, boxes, and drawers so you know where to find your items.

You can use a piece of tape and a marker, or even splurge and by real labels that can be customized for your needs.

Get rid of broken/damaged accessories

If you have a habit of holding onto broken fishing gear, it’s time to throw that out the window. To stay organized, you’ll want to ensure that all broken or unusable gear is taken out of your tackle box and thrown away.

Since you can’t use it, there’s no point in having it in your box. All it does is take up space, create clutter, and remind you of the money you lost when the item broke.

This rule of the organization goes for lures, bait, and reels, as well as the rods themselves.

Replace essential items

Going with the tip above, you need to replace any essential items that get rid of. If you use one kind of reel and have a preference for it or find that it works particularly well for your goals, be sure to replace it with another.

This way, you always have what you need in good condition and at your disposal.

The Biggest Benefit of Having A Good Tackle Box

If you’re planning on doing any fishing that requires you to do more than just pack up and head down to your local river, you’ll want to make sure that you have all of the necessary gear you need. This includes much more than just a hook, a tub of worms, and a standard fishing pole.

There are all sorts of things that you’ll benefit from having with you, and, let’s face it, it won’t all fit inside of a backpack. Well, it might…but it definitely won’t be organized or easy to find.

This is where a great tackle box comes in handy: organization. As you’ve seen above, there are a variety of different tackle boxes that are available to be your first, next, or favorite tackle box. You could go with a hard-cased tackle box or a soft-backed case. You might even opt to go in the direction of a tackle backpack! Fortunately, you have more options than you would have had a few decades ago.

Vintage tackle box

The History of Tackle Boxes

The earliest rendition of tackle boxes was made from either wood or leather. They were available through the 1930s and 40s. During this time, Tronicks of Wisconsin was primarily responsible for the creation of wood tackle boxes, while Richard Wheatley of Great Britain was the main exporter of leather tackle boxes.

Early 19th century models are very uncommon today as most early anglers had minimal need for larger tackle boxes. Many also faced financial hardship and couldn’t afford to purchase enough tackle to fill up a larger model. In the 1970s, tackle started to come down in price, which slowly increased the size of the tackle boxes being produced. During this time, Knickerbocker and Excelsior were two of the most popular tackle boxes.

However, since the Victorian era was a prime time for the carpentry trade, both carpenters and tanners took to making their own tackle boxes. Today, these handmade tackle boxes are considered to be works of art, earning them the nickname “folk art boxes”. Most of them are unmarked and unlabeled. When they are labeled (which is rare), they can be found in an astounding array of colors and styles.

Metal tackle boxes began to make waves during the 1870s. They were marketed by nearly every wholesaler and retailer in the nation, with many of them making millions of highly-affordable tackle boxes that appealed to the American angler. For much of the 20th century, there was very little distinction between metal tackle boxes and metal toolboxes – that’s why it’s so common to find vintage metal tackle boxes that are mislabeled as toolboxes.

Going back to the 1930s, this decade saw the first wave of plastic tackle boxes. The majority of the early plastic models were small and compact, designed for fly fishing. These tackle boxes are delicate and easy to break.

The post-WWII era had plastic tackle boxes both expanding and improving. It did this alongside the revolution of the plastic industry, as well as the popularity increase of American fishing, which was kick-started by the spinning tackle. Plano, PAL, and UMCO among many others, quickly saturated the fishing market with new tackle boxes made of plastic. They continued to offer trademark aluminum tackle boxes, though.

After the 1930s, tackle boxes quickly expanded. New brands and companies popped up all over the world, with many American companies reaching superior heights among serious anglers. Plastic tool boxes became the most popular, but all varieties continued to be offered and can still be found on the market today.

Frenquently Asked Questions

What are tackle boxes?

Tackle boxes are storage items that fishermen use to keep their gear organized and in good condition. Tackle boxes are portable and easy to use.

What is the largest tackle box?

The largest tackle boxes are generally tackle bags, as they can be stuffed full.

What should be in every tackle box?

Every tackle box should include fishing line, lures, and hooks.

What is the best tackle box?

The best tackle box is one that fits all of your unique needs and makes your fishing trips enjoyable and stress-free.

What are tackle boxes used for?

Tackle boxes are used for fishing. However, they can also be used for storing other things such as craft materials and small tools.

Are tackle boxes affordable?

They can be. Tackle boxes are available at varying prices.

What features do tackle boxes have?

It depends on the tackle box in question. They can include things like water bottle pockets, rod holders, mesh pockets, removable sections, and detachable bait bags.

Conclusion

Tackle boxes are a fisherman’s best friend. Regardless of what they’re made of, they prove to be useful time and time again. From their varying price points to capacities and weights, they’re almost as versatile as the people who use them.

Buying them can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. The process can be made simple and stress-free by keeping the above factors in mind, as well as reminding yourself that a tackle box is just an accessory – your success depends on you and not your tackle box.

Next time you’re in the market for a tackle box, don’t be afraid to take a chance on any of the tackle boxes we recommended in the above sections. Each one mentioned is trusted and loved by thousands (if not millions) of people around the world.