Tidying your tackle
  |  First Published: March 2007

Being an organised angler will allow you to become more efficient on the water. Whether you hike along an alpine stream in search of trout or fly to an exotic island in search of brutal hoodlums, there is a tackle system to keep your gear organised and protected against damage.

Tackle boxes, bags and trays come in a huge assortment of sizes and types, often leaving anglers confused when it is time to upgrade. The following suggestions about new storage systems may just prompt a better idea for you to store that bunch of oversized lures you never knew where to put.


Standard tackle boxes are the most convenient way to store your fishing tackle. There is a large range of designs that includes boxes with one, two or three trays, draws and even loose single trays. The variety of brands is also extensive. As a consequence, finding a tackle box to suit your needs can be a very challenging task. Whenever I look for a new box it isn’t the brand calling out to me but the features. Three trays, strong latches, extra boxes, and so on: this is all important information. Remember your new tackle box is going to be exposed to the elements, so purchase one that is going to withstand the toughest of conditions.

In the last few years, Flambeau has introduced a polymer that is moulded into many of Flambeau’s products. This polymer is known as Zerust, and is a good way to protect your terminal tackle against rust and corrosion. It does this by emitting a harmless vapour that forms a protective layer around metal surfaces. Yep, that’s right, no more rusty hooks in the tackle box! The manufacturers claim Zerust will last up to five years, worth considering the next time you buy a tackle box.

When purchasing a new box remember to inspect it closely. Ask questions like: is it strong? Does it have sturdy handles and secure latches? What about roomy lure compartments that will allow the storage of larger lures? Most of all, has it got a deep base that can hold a variety of miscellaneous tackle like knives and leader rolls? The only downfall to plastic tackle boxes is their weight, which brings us to tackle bags.


An alternative to tackle boxes is to use a number of separate, self-contained trays that house different types of tackle. If you decide to use this option to store your fishing tackle then you will need something to carry the trays around in. These days, most leading tackle storage manufacturers produce tackle bags that are capable of carrying up to 5 trays, some even more.

If you’re a soft plastics nut, then products like the Guide Series from Plano can accommodate the large number of trays you’ll require. Similarly the Black Magic bag has a three-tray capacity and four large pockets capable of carrying excess leader, reels and other accessories you may have. Whether you decide to carry an assortment of different sized trays on a long hike inland or just down to the local jetty, there will be a model to suit your needs.

For those going on fishing safaris, large tackle bags are also available to carry your lunch and clothes. Some models such as the Plano 3397 even have wheels, which suits me because I usually stuff mine so full I can’t lift it!


An alternative for storing soft plastics is to place them into a wrap. Specially designed wraps are available so that when you purchase your packets of softies, each packet fits neatly into a pocket. Soft wraps come with a small tackle boxes so you can put some jigheads into it as well. This is ideal if you’re walking riverbanks or long beaches flicking lures about. Even when in the boat they are a neat way to keep your plastics together and organised.


Storing fishing rods can be problematic in the house or garage. Usually the rods get thrown into a corner of a room or pushed aside into some other nook or cranny. Rod racking provides a solution, and can be quite inexpensive. On the other hand it can be quite the opposite, it all depends how you want to store your rods.

Rod racking comes in different forms such as rubber holders, hard plastic holders, wooden stands and plastic stands. If you’re only allowed to keep your rods in the garage because the fun police won’t allow them in the house, I suggest purchasing some rubber rod racking to screw into the wall to hold your rods neatly upright. Otherwise purchase a wooden or plastic rod holder capable of holding up to 20 or so rods. This way your rods will be neat and tidy and your better half might let you keep them in the house. You can only hope!


All too often I see reels so neglected and full of salt that the only place for them is as a chock under the wheel of your car. After fishing, by simply giving them a hose down and a good wash to get rid of all the salt, they will last a whole lot longer.

As far as storage goes I always remove my reels from the rods to stop salt build-up behind the reel foot. If left attached to the rod, the salt can eat away at the foot making it weak. My reels are then are placed into a reel storage container so they don’t get scratched or damaged, plus they remain clean for the next time I go fishing.

Sometimes when you purchase a reel it might even come with a reel bag to help keep them in optimum condition during storage. For travelling anglers there are also hard reel cases available, such as the Plano 1404, that can prevent any damage to your reels. Some you can even secure with a padlock for an added level of security.


With the sport of jigging becoming more and more popular, there are now specially designed jig bags on the market. Jig anglers tend to be travelling anglers, carrying with them only a rod and reel, leader, braid, jigs, hooks, swivels and split ring pliers. The newly designed jig bags are small and compact yet have the capacity to carry 15 or more jigs, plus all the relevant components for the travelling jigger. They won’t cost you a fortune and if you ask me they are an accessory you don’t want to forget.


Game anglers tend to have multitudes of large skirted lures with fierce hooks and other pointy bits that can inflict quite a nasty wound. Specially designed lure wraps enable anglers to store their lures neatly and safely after a day’s fishing. Not just that, they have a netting backing so the wrap can be strung up and hosed off to get rid of all the salt. They can then be air dried and put away for the next outing.


I think this is the best invention since tackle boxes. Leader holders have been unbelievably handy in the last few years. How many times do you tie up a rig, wrap it up and try to store it in the top of your tackle box, only to have it all unwrap. The result? Line, hooks, sinkers and tangles everywhere. To prevent this, Mirafont manufactures a polystyrene rig holder that enables anglers to pre-tie rigs and store them tidily on this holder. This way you can just take the holder out fishing, rather than an entire tackle box.

When I first started collecting fishing tackle almost 20 years ago I was not a very organised angler. I can even remember using 35mm film canisters for holding my fishing hooks. At the time I thought this was a great idea, but after a few drops of saltwater all that was left was a pile of rusty hooks. Today my fishing tackle is much more organised. Lures in specially designed lure trays, rigs in rig wraps and rods neatly on display where they won’t get broken or scratched. If you too want to break the cycle of rusty hooks and mixed up swivels then get out and start organising!

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