The Best Kayak Tackle Box From a Real Kayak Anglers Point Of View

Last Updated on June 23, 2022

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Choosing a tackle box for kayak fishing is only as complicated as we make it. I prefer to keep things simple and compact while on the water.

Other kayak anglers cram as much gear as they can onto their kayak.

Neither way is wrong.

My approach is to take only what I’ll need while others take everything they might need (and a little more).

So if you’re like me, then the Plano Flex’N Go Satchel is the best kayak tackle box for you.

The YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit is the best milk crate tackle box for beginners and it’s what I’d recommend if you like bringing as much gear as possible with you on the water.

If you’re an angler stuck in the middle of both of these approaches, don’t worry; there are plenty of other options! So keep scrolling to see the rest of the best kayak fishing tackle boxes.

Comparison Table – Best Kayak Tackle Box on the Market

ImageFeaturesRatingPrice
Best Overall
Plano Flex'N Go Satchel
Plano Flex'N Go Satchel
  • Dimensions - 15-3/8" x 11-7/8" x 4-7/8"
  • Style - Satchel
  • Waterproof - No
8
Bass ProCabela's
Best Kayak Fishing Bag
Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack
Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack
  • Dimensions - 23" x 11-1/2" x 7"
  • Style - Backpack with two 3750 boxes
  • Waterproof - Yes
8
Bass ProCabela's
Best Crate for Beginners
YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit
YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit
  • Dimensions - 13" x 13"
  • Style - Milkcrate
  • Waterproof - No
7
Bass ProCabela's
Budget-Friendly
Plano 1715 Satchel
Plano 1715 Satchel
  • Dimensions - 11-1/4" x 8-1/4" x 3"
  • Style - Satchel
  • Waterproof - No
7
Bass ProCabela's
Best Waterproof Box
Flambeau Waterproof Satchel
Flambeau Waterproof Satchel
  • Dimensions - 14-7/8" x 11-5/8" x 5-1/4"
  • Style - Satchel
  • Waterproof - Yes
8
Bass ProCabela's

Reviews Of Kayak Fishing Tackle Boxes

Plano Flex’N Go Satchel

Plano Flex'N Go Satchel

BEST KAYAK TACKLE BOX OVERALL

Specs

  • Dimensions: 15-3/8″ x 11-7/8″ x 4-7/8″
  • Style: Satchel
  • Waterproof: No

Pros

  • Compact
  • Adjustable compartments
  • Double-sided storage
  • Duraview lid

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • I’m not a fan of the straps.

Why We Chose It

Plano is the leader in the tackle box realm. So it’s no surprise that they dominated the top kayak fishing box list. The Plano Flex’N Go Satchel has many features that kayak anglers will find beneficial.

I admire the double-sided compact nature of the Flex’N Go because kayaks are cramped for space, and saving room where we can is essential. As with most tackle boxes, the compartments are adjustable, so you’ll be able to fix most baits in the 3650 or 3750 boxes.

The Duraview lid is great because you can see the lure or tackle you need before opening the lid and digging through everything. I wish it were waterproof because everything in a kayak will get wet. We’re too close to the water, not too. I’m also not a fan of the straps that hold on the two 3650 or 3750 boxes.

The straps will deteriorate over time, and I feel I would often snag them.

Despite the minor downfalls of this tackle box, I believe the Plano Flex’N Go Satchel is the best kayak tackle box overall because it holds plenty of tackle for a day trip and is still compact.

Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack

BEST KAYAK FISHING BAG

Specs

  • Dimensions: 23″ x 11-1/2″ x 7″
  • Style: Backpack with two 3750 boxes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Material: 500-denier PVC with welded seams

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Easy to carry
  • Padded shoulder strap and sternum strap
  • Multiple attachment points
  • It comes with two 3750 boxes

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Expensive

Why We Chose It

As usual, Plano is at the leading edge of innovation for tackle management. The Z-Series Waterproof Backpack has many benefits for the average kayak angler and only a couple of minor shortcomings.

I’m a massive fan that the bag is waterproof. Like I mentioned earlier, everything in a kayak is bound to get wet, so it’s essential to protect your tackle from the water. Yes, I know fishing tackle is designed to be used in the water, but getting water in your tackle box will cause your hooks to rust.

The fishing tackle bag is easy to carry by the padded straps when you’re not in your kayak.

The multiple attachment points not only mean you can carry other gear, but they can also be used to secure the backpack to your kayak, so you don’t lose it if you flip or encounter rough water. The biggest downfall is how bulky tackle backpacks are, especially in kayaks.

This shouldn’t matter too much if you’re in a fishing kayak because they often have plenty of storage.

The Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack is the best kayak fishing backpack because it’s waterproof and will hold enough tackle for an entire fishing trip.

YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit

YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit

BEST MILK CRATE TACKLE BOX FOR BEGINNERS

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13″ x 13″
  • Style: Milkcrate
  • Waterproof: No

Pros

  • Centralize your tackle boxes
  • It comes with rod holders
  • It fits in most tank wells or decks
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No lid
  • It doesn’t come with a way to secure it to your kayak.

Why We Chose It

YakGear manufactures kayaking accessories that make kayak fishing even more enjoyable. The simplicity of the Anglers Crate Starter Kit keeps your kayak tackle management frustration-free.

The YakGear Anglers Crate does not have all the features of high-end kayak crates but costs much less than the high-end crates, so you can decide if kayak fishing is something you want to pursue further without spending a fortune on gear.

I also like that it fits in most fishing kayaks, and you can customize it to fit your fishing style instead of you adjusting to it.

This crate will hold most tackle boxes and keep them in one location in your kayak. However, they are not secured if your kayak flips. You will also need to find a way to secure the crate to your kayak. This isn’t difficult to accomplish, but it might take some creativity and a tie-down, depending on your kayak.

The YakGear Anglers Crate Starter Kit is the best milk crate tackle box for beginners, so we shouldn’t expect it to have all the features and benefits of the high-end kayak crates. However, it’s still effective for bulk storage for your fishing accessories like spare fishing line.

Plano 1715 Satchel

Plano 1715 Satchel

BUDGET-FRIENDLY KAYAK TACKLE BOX

Specs

  • Dimensions: 11-1/4″ x 8-1/4″ x 3″
  • Style: Satchel
  • Waterproof: No

Pros

  • Compact
  • Removable dividers
  • Double-sided tray tackle box
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Poor latches
  • Not waterproof

Why We Chose It

Plano leads the industry in innovation, but they also know not everyone is interested in spending a fortune on tackle boxes. So they make storage solutions for every budget!

The 1715 Satchel offers kayak anglers a compact double-sided hard tackle box. So your fishing gear won’t constantly be in the way, and you can bring more during your kayak fishing trips. The removable dividers mean you can customize your storage box for easy access to your favorite lures.

Because the 1715 Satchel is very inexpensive, it doesn’t have heavy-duty latches, which might break after many uses. As you already know, I would prefer it to be waterproof, but that’s asking a lot at this price.

The Plano 1715 Satchel is the best tackle box for anyone on a tight budget. It lacks a few benefits that other more expensive models offer. However, it’s hard to beat for a kayak tackle storage system for the price.

Flambeau Waterproof Satchel

Flambeau Waterproof Satchel

BEST WATERPROOF KAYAK TACKLE BOX

Specs

  • Dimensions: 14-7/8″ x 11-5/8″ x 5-1/4″
  • Style: Satchel
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Compact
  • Easy access to gear
  • Recessed lid
  • Rust inhibiting polymer

Cons

  • The larger model has fixed dividers.

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Flambeau Waterproof Satchel as a kayak angler. Flambeau manufactures affordable outdoor gear for the average outdoor enthusiast. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better water-resistant tackled box at this price.

The Flambeau Waterproof Satchel offers kayak anglers a compact waterproof storage area. I love that the top trays rotate so you can quickly access the main compartment. This means all of your fishing tackle is easy to access.

The Zerust dividers feature a cooked-in polymer that inhibits rust, so your hooks won’t be as likely to rust if you do get water in the box.

The lid is a fantastic feature for two reasons; first, it’s clear, so you can easily spot your go-to lure. The second is that the lid is recessed to have a workspace on your lap to tie on jigs or bass fishing rigs. I wouldn’t say I like that the larger model has dividers that aren’t removable, so you’re stuck with the size the manufacturer thinks is best.

Other than that single drawback, the Flambeau Waterproof Satchel is a kayak angler’s dream kayak tackle storage system because it’s compact and will hold plenty of gear for a long day of fishing.

Kayak Tackle Storage: What to Look For

what to look for in kayak tackle box

I’m not here to make purchasing a kayak tackle box more complicated. In fact, I believe it should be relatively simple, especially if you keep these factors in mind:

  • Size
  • Storage location
  • Hard Vs. Soft

Let’s dive a little deeper and understand why these factors are the most important to consider.

Size

With the limited space on a kayak, we can’t bring any tackle box on board like a bass boat. I prefer compact tackle boxes to maintain as much open room on my deck as possible. However, the downfall to using compact tackle boxes is that you are forced to carry fewer lures, and some large crankbaits or Alabama Rigs won’t fit.

The size also determines where you’ll store your tackle box in and out of the kayak.

Where You’ll Store The Tackle Box

Where You'll Store The Tackle Box

Unlike bass boats, kayaks don’t have much storage space. There are typically lots of storage compartments in a bass boat to hold all of your fishing gear. We don’t have that luxury as kayak anglers, so you’ll need to determine where you’ll keep your tackle boxes and bags.

That can be in a kayak crate, under your seat, or in a specially designed storage compartment on your fishing kayak. These locations require a compact tackle box like a stowaway or guide series Plano box.

It would be best if you also thought about where you’re going to store your tackle box while you’re not angling. They end up in the shed most of the time, which isn’t the worst place for them, but there are better options.

Hard Storage Options vs. Soft Tackle Boxes

I believe each option has its place, but I prefer hard storage over soft storage for a couple of reasons. The first is because hard tackle boxes protect your tackle better. The second is that I always get hooks stuck in soft tackle boxes.

I would recommend using both, especially if both are waterproof. Using a waterproof tackle bag with a waterproof stowaway and utility boxes will keep your gear even more protected, and hooks are less likely to get stuck in waterproof material like 500-denier PVC.

However, using both in a kayak is cumbersome at times.

You’ll Also Need

Suppose you’re like me, then you like collecting gear, especially kayak fishing gear. What’s surprising is that I don’t particularly appreciate bringing it all with me while I’m on my kayak. However, I like the feeling I get knowing that I can grab it anytime I’d like!

The following gear will make kayak fishing possible and more enjoyable altogether. Some of the items are must-haves, while others are luxuries.

Kayak Fishing PFD

A kayak fishing PFD is a must-have. I never leave the bank without mine on and buckled. I know some lifejackets can be uncomfortable and make fishing or paddling difficult. Still, the best kayak fishing PFD was designed for fishing from a kayak, so it has storage pockets for pliers and small utility boxes.

Best of all, it doesn’t interfere with paddling or fishing!

If you already have a lifejacket, please wear it; no matter how strong a swimmer you are, a PFD can save your life.

Kayak Fishing Paddle

A kayak paddle is a kayak paddle, right? Actually, there are paddles designed for kayak fishing. While they are not essential, they come in handy while on the water. I highly recommend purchasing a paddle that is the correct length for your height and the width of your kayak.

Using a short paddle will cause you to work harder than you need to while paddling.

Kayak Fishing Rod And Reel

Kayak Fishing Rod And Reel

Using the correct rod and reel can be the difference between landing the fish of a lifetime and telling another story about the one that got away. Companies are beginning to design fishing rods explicitly for kayak fishing. These rods have a slightly shorter handle to make casting and fighting fish easier.

However, don’t feel like you must go out and purchase another rod and reel. I use the same ones in my kayak as I do for bank and bass boat fishing. Once one breaks, I upgrade to a kayak-specific rod and reel set up.

Kayak Fish Finder

One item that has helped my fishing game is a fish finder. When I installed my inexpensive kayak fish finder, it gave me the depth, water temp, and contour of the bottom—three vital pieces of information for any angler.

Of course, you can install the best kayak fish finder on your kayak for better results, but you also need to know how to read sonar and, more importantly, learn to think like a fish, so you’re not dependent upon sonar to catch fish.

Kayak Trolling Motor

When I installed my fish finder, I also installed a kayak trolling motor. I can now go further faster without becoming exhausted from paddling. It also gives me better control of my kayak, especially on windy days.

As always, there are different price levels of kayak trolling motors, and you can learn about the best kayak trolling motor in my article. Using the best equipment will give you the best chance of having a successful day. Keep in mind if you’re on the water, you’re having a successful day!

Kayak Trolling Motor Battery

If you’re running electronics like a fish finder and trolling motor, you’re going to need a power source. The best kayak trolling motor battery is a Lithium-Ion battery. It is more lightweight, longer-lasting, and more powerful than a Lead-Acid battery.

You’ll see many kayak anglers run their sonar off of a different battery than their trolling motor. This is smart because they won’t drain their trolling motor battery as quickly. However, it adds weight to their kayak.

Most fishing kayaks can handle the extra weight, but it’s always wise to keep the weight limit in mind, as the closer you get to the weight limit, your kayak will become less stable.

Bass Fishing Lures

Bass Fishing Lures

Now that you have the best kayak tackle box, it’s time to fill it up with the best bass fishing lures. Choosing the best bait is based on the time of year, water clarity, and location, amongst others.

Keeping these three factors in mind will help you catch more fish from your kayak.

One More Cast

There’s no need to overcomplicate purchasing the best kayak tackle box. There are many storage options on the market, so you’re certain to find one that fits your needs.

If you’re asking me, the Plano Flex’N Go Satchel is the best tackle box for kayak fishing because it’s compact and double-sided, so it holds plenty of gear for a day of angling.

You also can’t go wrong with the Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack because it’s waterproof and can attach to your kayak so that you won’t lose it or your fishing gear inside.

Let me know what your favorite tackle box is in the comments below!

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