10 Best Tackle Boxes and Bags

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Anglers collect tackle fast since it’s easy to believe the next lure you buy will be the one that the fish can’t resist. While having enough tackle to be sure you have the right setup at the right time is great, it won’t do much good if you can’t keep it organized enough to find. Enter the tackle box or case.

The basic concept for any tackle box is the same, but these now come in lots of flavors, from dainty fly boxes to the ubiquitous plastic cases to large backpack-style bags with built-in coolers for fish. There are even airplane-luggage-style wheeled tackle boxes for when you have more lures than you can reasonably carry.

Your style of fishing and the amount of tackle you own will dictate the type and the amount of cases you will use, so read on to learn more about what type is right for you and to sort through our recommendations across a range of tackle organization solutions.

Best Tackle Boxes

  • Best All-Around Tackle Box: Plano Angled Tackle System
  • Best Waterproof Tackle Box: Flambeau Outdoors Waterproof Tackle Satchel
  • Best Backpack: Calissa Rolling Tackle Backpack
  • Best Splurge Backpack: Wild River Nomad Lighted Tackle Backpack
  • Best Budget Tackle Box: Plano 1001 Tackle Box

The Expert:

Types of Tackle Boxes

Unless you’re shopping at an antiques dealer, you’re probably not looking at metal or wicker tackle solutions, which means you’ll be considering one of two main types: a hard plastic case or a soft fabric bag.

The hard plastic tackle box is the most common and often the most affordable. This type of tackle box offers several benefits, including high durability. Given its plastic construction, it’s essentially waterproof, though the closing and sealing mechanism matters a lot for submersion. If you want a truly waterproof tackle box, look for a tight, secure close and a rubber gasket around the edges.

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A subset of the hard plastic tackle box is the tackle case, which is where most anglers end up when their collections start to outgrow a single box. These cases are cheap and an easy way to keep different types of lures and tackle organized and separated because they’re usually clear (so you can see what’s inside before opening). They feature customizable dividers inside so it’s simple to accommodate a wide range of sizes and types of tackle. Conveniently, most tackle bags are built around housing these cases, which come in a few standard sizes.

There are also plenty of lunchbox-style fabric tackle boxes (some with plastic box inserts), but obviously fabric runs the risk of not only getting wet, but waterlogged, especially if the fabric isn’t well-coated with waterproofing. Soft bags usually are structured to accommodate smaller clear plastic cases used to keep lures and other tackle organized. Fabric and treble hooks just don’t mix well.

In general, fabric bag solutions are better when you have lots of gear and things besides tackle to keep organized, such as extra clothing layers. Many come with backpack straps, so they’re a decent option when you need to be mobile with your tackle. Plastic tackle boxes are usually more affordable and are great for boats and kayaks when they’re able to stay in one place.

Size

If your tackle collection is small and minimal, as with fly fishing, you may not need a large tackle box. Likewise, if you’re deep sea fishing with lots of tackle and large lures, you’ll need something bigger, and depending on how heavy it gets, you may even prefer a tackle box on wheels. If you’re starting from zero building your tackle collection, go a little larger than you think you’ll need. You’ll be surprised how fast you collect gear, and you’d rather deal with a partially filled tackle box than an overfilled one.

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Internal Storage

Many fishermen opt for smaller individual storage cases, such as the ubiquitous Plano-brand clear plastic cases. The 3600 series is a popular size, and while the Plano brand is widely available, there are plenty of comparable options. Many of the recommendations below, especially the fabric bag type, are built with these cases in mind. If you already own these types of cases, just confirm in the product description for any tackle box that it will accommodate your size cases.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>