You need a place to safely and securely store your tackle, fishing line, bait, hooks, and other gear. The best tackle box will provide you with plenty of room for everything, water-resistance, and it’ll be organized, so you don’t have to fish around looking for things.
The tackle boxes our grandparents used, and even some of the ones I grew up with are far different than the ones I see today. You used to come home from work on a Friday afternoon, take your lunch scraps out of your lunch box, throw in your lures, and be on your way to the lake!
Today you’ve got all kinds of soft tackle boxes, hard tackle boxes, organizers, and much more. In this guide, I’m breaking down 12 of the best tackle boxes, and I’ll even help you choose one towards the end. Stick around!
Our Reviews Of The Best Tackle Boxes
Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag
While this might not be the most affordable tackle box on my list, I still think it’s the best budget pick because you get a lot for your money. There’s a ton of organizational features on this bag from trays inside to a line dispenser on the outside. It’s almost overkill because I don’t know that I would use all these features, but for the price, you can’t go wrong!
Wild River by CLC Custom Handle Bar Fishing Tackle Bag
The CLC Custom tackle box is packed with features, but those don’t matter too much if the box starts breaking down after a few months of use, right? During my research, I found that many people had issues with the handle breaking. That said, if you’re an occasional angler looking for plenty of room to store your gear, give this one a shot.
Okeechobee Fats Fisherman Deluxe Tackle Bag
If you’re looking to get an affordable tackle box that will last you many years, then this is the one. It’s lightweight, easy to carry with the padded shoulder strap, and it has enough room to hold more than you thought imaginable.
Plano By Rack System 3700 Size Tackle Box
This no-frills tackle box will offer enough for most anglers. It’s the little brother of the 7771-01 that we reviewed above. If you’re looking for a simple everyday tackle box with a multi-tray system, this is a great choice.
KastKing Large Saltwater Resistant Fishing Bag
If you’re fishing the salt and getting wet on a regular basis, you might want to think about how that will impact a standard tackle box. You might need something a little more geared towards saltwater fishing, so that’s where this one comes in. The only problem is, you need to purchase tackle organizers separately. That brings us to the next product!
Flambeau Outdoors Tuff Tainer
I recommend this box mostly for shoreline fishing because you can’t fit it in a big tackle box like the ones I’m reviewing. This is a standalone so you could keep the big box in your vehicle and transfer what you plan on using into this box. Plus, the rust-free technology will help you feel more comfortable about leaving them in here.
YUKI Waterproof Fishing Lure Box
Just to clear things up, there aren’t many “completely” waterproof tackle boxes. This one does come in larger sizes, though, so if you wanted something that could accommodate more lures, give it a look. It’s 100% watertight, so it’s a great way to protect your more valuable tackle.
Kingfisher Fly Box With Swing Leaf Center
Elkton Outdoors Rolling Waterproof Fishing Bag
A rolling tackle box might seem like a luxury or a liability for some. It’s all great until you reach a point where you can’t roll it anymore, and then you have to lug around this giant bag that isn’t made for lifting. That isn’t the case here. The company did a good job of making it functional when both wheeling and carrying.
Plano 3-Tray Tackle Box
If you’re looking for a simple design that you know and understand, then you’ll want to go with this tackle box. It has your traditional cantilever trays with a big opening at the bottom. You should have no trouble fitting all of your tackle in here.
Plano Youth Zombie Fish Tackle Box
There are few better ways to bond with your child than teaching them how to fish and spending that quality time with them. Bass fishing has a way of bringing people together, and this tackle box will allow your kid to feel like a “grown-up.” It gets the job done and is more than enough to get them started.
Types of Tackle Boxes
There are a few different types of boxes to choose from, and they each come with their own features. Let’s take a look at them.
A hard box is your standard option that usually comes with cantilever trays on the inside. These are traditional options with a hard body and a solid handle on the top. Many people go with hard boxes because they offer the most durability and water resistance as long as they have a strong, rust-proof latch on the front. The problem with these is they can crack and damage if you drop them or bang them around too much.
Another issue that many anglers have with hard body boxes is that they are a bit bulky and usually heavier than their soft counterparts.
A soft tackle bag is a great alternative to the hard style because they’re usually lighter, and in some cases, these can fit more gear. They come with removable compartment trays on the inside so you can take them out and see what lures you have without having to remove them all from the bag.
The bottom of the bag is usually waterproof or resistant, and as long as you get a durable bag, you shouldn’t have to worry about tearing or damage. I would use a soft bag because it’s easier to carry and usually comes with a shoulder strap. Overall, I see more and more people turning to this type of tackle storage because it’s more efficient and easier to move around.
Rollable tackle bags can come in both the hard and soft variety. They’re essentially the same as most soft tackle bags, but they have wheels and a handle that extends so you can roll them around like a suitcase. If you’ve decided you want to go with this type, I recommend that you get one that you can carry.
No matter where you fish, you won’t be able to roll everywhere, and there will be plenty of times where you need to lift the bag, and if there isn’t a shoulder strap, you’ll be wishing you made a different choice.
How To Choose The Best Tackle Box
I think you’ve seen from the reviews above that there are many types of tackle boxes, each with their own unique features. Make sure to feel some of the following factors in mind before choosing the right one for you.
Size is the clearest factor to keep in mind because you need to make sure you have enough space to store your jigs, crankbaits, soft plastics, topwaters, and the rest of your largemouth bass fishing lures. On the flip side, you don’t want something so enormous that you can’t even get it into the boat or to the right spot along the shore.
I think most people reading this will do just fine with a tackle box capable of holding three or four compartment boxes, so you shouldn’t need anything too crazy.
That said, if you fish many different species, you might need to have a large assortment of tackle for each trip. If that sounds like you, then you’ll want to have a large box so you can keep everything on-hand at one time. The last thing you want to worry about is having to leave something in the car right when you realize it would be the perfect opportunity for it.
Another thing you should think about relating to size is where you fish and how you get there. For me personally, I have a pretty substantial walk to get to some of the places I fish, so I don’t want to drag a giant tackle box with me, and I can’t always wheel one either. I’m a fan of having a big tackle system for my car and then a smaller box I bring down to the water with me.
Going hand in hand with space is the amount of storage you have inside your box. It sounds silly, but you can have a large tackle box that doesn’t have as much storage as a smaller one. The best ones should provide you with plenty of ways to organize everything separately so it all looks neat and you can spot everything quickly.
The more lures you carry, the more space and organizational features you’ll need. If you frequently fish for many different species, you’ll likely want to have more storage because you’ll have more lures to bring. Some of you might even need a place to keep live bait like shad and minnows.
Many of the hard boxes you’ll find use a cantilever system, which I like because you can see everything, and it’s incredibly neat, but these can be clunky and heavy when they’re full. Plus, a lot of these hard containers don’t come with any anti-rust technology, so the moisture builds up on the inside if you have wet lures and causes them all to rust out.
Make sure to keep that factor in mind as well. Some soft bags come with separate compartments with mesh where you can keep wet gear, so it gets some air. This feature is especially important if you’re switching lures frequently and drowning a lot of different tackle.
You should get many years out of your box and not have to stretch out the last few with duct tape and glue. Hard boxes are the most durable because few things can happen to them, and they’re more waterproof.
When you’re choosing a hard box, make sure it’s constructed using molded plastic if possible because it’s less likely to crack or damage due to weather. If you’re fishing in the rain a lot, you’ll want to pay extra attention to this.
Also, long-term exposure to hot sun will start to wear down the plastic, so if you can keep it in the shade, it should help to extend the life of the box.
- Jig heads
- Weedless lures
- Lipless crankbait
- Drop shots
- Soft baits
- Artificial frogs
The best way to keep your box organized is to buy one that takes the organization out of the equation. Many of the recommendations above take care of this for you. Since they’re already built with compartments and trays, you don’t need to worry as much. Just make sure to not overfill it and cycle the old lures that you don’t use anymore out of the box.
It’s up to you! Always remember that a box is usually more durable, but they’re more bulky and difficult to manage. A backpack might be easier to carry around, but you might not get as much space, and I find that carrying the lures this way is a sure-fire way to make them shuffle and move around more than I’d like.
So, we’re comparing the cantilever compartments to the containers that come right out, and you have to open them up. I think the removable containers are better if you’re keeping everything well organized. If you’re disorganized, it doesn’t matter because everything is out of place anyway. I like the removable containers because you can organize them based on lure type, and you don’t need to keep the whole bag open if you don’t want to. You can take out the tray you plan on using for the next few hours and stick to that.
Not really. If you’re fishing for really big bass around the 8lb marker or larger, you might be using lures that won’t fit in most tackle boxes, and you’ll need special trays. All finesse lures and standard size bass gear should fit in any of the tackle boxes we looked at above. Even if you do have extra-large lures, you can buy special trays to accommodate that.
Sure! Here’s the TOPFORT 187 piece Accessory Kit. Tackle box kits are nice if you’re getting started fishing for the first time or diving back into the sport after being out for a few years. Most will come with a variety of jig heads, hooks, sinkers, and swivels. I can’t back up the quality of any of these accessories, but for an affordable price, it’s a great way to get most of the supporting gear all at once.
A tackle box might seem like a simple purchase, but it’s something you’ll use for many years, so you don’t want to take it too lightly. Keep in mind the different style boxes and how they’ll impact your storage and organization. The most important buying factor is plenty of organizational features, and all of the boxes recommended above have more than enough for the average angler.
Give them all a second look, and be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions about any of the gear in this article. Thanks for reading, and good luck out there!