Fishing is an excellent antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s just you, the water, and the all-absorbing challenge of hooking a tasty trout or two before the sun goes down. Being in nature and keeping the pace slow is a surefire way to calm your nerves and relax from the stress of the day to day. No wonder fishing is one of the most popular pastimes – even if all you end up netting is a tall story about the whopper that got away.
Whether it is to get away for a few hours for some waterside R&R, an offshore adrenaline trip with your buddies, or down to the river to catch that night’s supper, you still need to be organized with all your fishing gear. This is why our guide to the best fishing tackle boxes is such a timely catch.
The best tackle box will transform your fishing, and with all your lures, baits, lines, and bobbers easy to spot and well-organized, you’ll be reeling in the compliments and fish on your next fishing trip. So whatever type of angler you are, we have the right fishing tackle box to fall for you– hook, line, and sinker.
Type of Tackle Boxes
Unless you’re at an antiques dealer, you’re probably not looking at metal or wicker tackle solutions and are 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. And 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.
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 also getting 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 layers. Many come with backpack straps, so they’re a good 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.
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.
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.
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 our 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.
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.
Tackle Box or Tackle Bag?
Soft-sided tackle bags have become more and more popular lately. The old-fashioned, hard-sided tackle box is still the most popular, but we know lots of avid fishermen who switched to a soft-sided bag and have not gone back. It really comes down to personal preference, but we suggest you give both a look.
In our opinion, a hard tackle box keeps lures and gear more neatly organized, and tends to be more waterproof in the boat or a rand storm. We also like that a tackle box is more intuitive if multiple people will be using it. You can see things more clearly. If you are bringing the tackle for a group of 2-3 people, a box might be the easiest to use. We also like that a tackle box stores easily and flatly in a storage room or garage, and can be neatly placed on a shelf with easy access just like a tool box.
The tackle bag comes in handy when the name of the came is portability. They are generally easier to lug around, so if you are walking-in to a fishing spot that requires a mile hike first, you just might find that a tackle bag is the best choice. They are also great for kayak fishing.
Tackle boxes are just kind of bulky, unless you get a tiny one that can fit inside your other gear. We also find that many solo fishing enthusiasts prefer the tackle bag, because it often allows them to go to the boat or fishing spot in one trip, rather than having to lug multiple containers and boxes around.
Our Top Picks
Our best choice fishing tackle box is the Plano 7771. This product is a great, all-around box that sucks up all of your gear in its cavernous storage space and spits it out in an organized fashion.
Maximizing on the Plano Stowaway Rack System, there’s everything you need to get your tackle and fishing supplies organized and ready to go. The box includes four utility boxes and a bulk storage area underneath a clear view cover for your fishing lures, bobbers, etc. The secure lid also has three removable spinnerbait racks for quick and easy access. The durable, water-resistant exterior of this plastic tackle box protects your gear and takes dents, dings, and scratches, so your gear doesn’t have to.
If you are looking for one tackle box to fit all, then the 7771 could well be the tackle carrier for you. It also comes with an over-molded handle for comfort but be warned, when fully packed, this tackle box can be weighty and may not be the best choice if you have a long trek to your fishing site. But other than that, it’s a great design and a good tackle box.
With eight tray compartments and six removable dividers, the Flambeau Outdoors 6382 Classic 2-Tray Tackle Box can micromanage a whole fishing trip by itself. Even though it is a bit on the small side, the fact that it has a well-thought-out layout helps make up for it. It also has increased base storage, so though it looks small, this tackle box can carry a whole lot more than anticipated.
In addition to this, the near-flawless design provides access to other fishing tackle with the help of a flip-top lid accessory compartment. Everything is kept in place thanks to a secure drawtite latch and handy tip-guard tray supports.
We love this option for kids because it weighs a mere one pound, is bright enough to be found easily, and allows space for plenty of gear to get a young angler started. This box provides ample storage space for a novice or intermediate angler of any age.
The Plano 732 Angled Tackle System is another firm favorite amongst fishing enthusiasts. This highly-rated Plano tackle box features a built-in storage rack that holds two medium and three large utility boxes.
Its total dimensions are 18 x 9 x 10 inches, whilst its weight is 5.65 pounds (without gear). Although it’s not the most lightweight tackle box on our list, we reckon it’s a fair trade-off considering its ample storage space and durability. If you own a boat, this could be the tackle box for you.
Made from hard plastic, the Plano 732 Angled Fishing Tackle Box features a built-in storage rack with multiple utility boxes that sit at a nice 15-degree angle. This ‘angled’ configuration allows you to quickly reach for anything you want, providing you with easy access when you need it.
This tackle box also includes additional storage compartments situated on top of the lid and an extra storage area below the lid that can hold a lot of tackle or other fishing accessories.
Perfect for little anglers, the solid plastic tackle box offers you very good storage flexibility. For easy organization, the box features a lid with a spacious built-in storage compartment for quick access to essential fishing gear. The single tote tray with a handle offers additional storage, and it can be removed from the box to give you unrestricted access to the compartment below.
All your gear will be safely stored inside due to the multiple latches that help to secure all contents inside the tackle box.
Young and old anglers will enjoy using this tackle box. It has a compact design, and its collapsible handle makes it effortless to transport from your vehicle to the water’s edge.
This lure box is watertight and has the ability to float if closed properly. It’s available in black, fluorescent yellow, green, grey, and orange and comes in three sizes, each with 12, 16, and 30 separate compartments. The medium and large sizes have removable dividers for adjustable compartments, and the smallest sizes may even fit into your pocket. This lure box is also lightweight, making it easy to take with you wherever you go.
If you’re not an angler but need a storage box, this lure box could easily double as a place to store your medications, odds and ends like rubber bands or beads, and more.
This tackle box not only looks great, but the top is both waterproof to shield your gear from unintentional splashing and tea-colored to keep your lures from becoming sun damaged, which will result in discoloration over time. While tinted, the cover is also transparent, allowing you to quickly find the proper lures and other gear or tools when you need them.
You’ll get customizable DIY dividers to adjust according to your desired compartment sizes, and four latches seal each tray tightly in place. This tackle box is recommended for long-lasting gear.
The RUNCL Tackle Box is one of the very few out there that come with a 360-degree waterproof gasket. It comes with removable dividers to let you neatly organize your stuff. The tackle box’s translucent appearance lets you see what is inside at a quick glance.
A thicker frame won’t let the brunt of any impact get to the gear stored inside. Three heavy-duty latches allow for one-handed operation while also keeping the tackle box from opening in case it flips. And thanks to its compact dimensions, it can easily fit inside a 3600 or 3700 size tackle bag.
The KastKing tackle boxes are designed to store smaller items. Constructed of plastic, they have the ability to carry plastic baits, terminal tackle, spools of thread and just about any other small tackle. Their translucent construction lets you see everything inside without having to unlatch the lid.
These boxes come with pre-cut dividers to let you customize their storage compartments according to your needs. Precision-machined latches have what it takes to secure your tackle, and the durable molded hinge looks and feels sturdy and long lasting.
And here we have the cost-effective option, for those wanting to go hard plastic. This one is probably best suited for casual fishing or those just getting into the hobby who want to get up and running quickly. It ships with some hooks, jig heads, floats and weights.
Features two trays that comprises of 132 pieces of assorted tackle. Note that the trays are hinged to the box, but there are dividers included so you can shape the compartments to the size of your liking.
If you’re heading out and you need to walk a decent distance to get to your fishing spot or boat, a rolling tackle box might be for you.
Whether you’re walking down the boardwalk or carrying gear from the cabin to the boat, a rolling tackle box makes it easy to juggle equipment and Elkton delivers. If you manage to pack this huge rolling tackle box full, it can handle up to 25 pounds of gear total.
That’s a ton of gear when you consider how lightweight most fishing gear is. Don’t worry about overloading the tackle box with weight, it’s nearly impossible. One feature that I’m really glad they included is a shoulder strap.
There are plenty of situations where rolling the bag just doesn’t make sense. When that happens, retract the handle and throw on the shoulder strap to haul the bag along with you over any terrain.
What is a good tackle box?
A good tackle box is durable, has enough room to store your tackle so it doesn’t tangle, and compartments to keep it all organized. Many tackle boxes have adjustable compartments which can help you tailor the box specifically to your fishing equipment.
Who makes the best tackle boxes?
Who makes the best tackle box depends on who you talk to. Plano tackle boxes are ubiquitous, but plenty of other fishing supply companies make quality tackle boxes as well.
What should be in a beginner’s tackle box?
What should be in a bigger tackle box are the essentials required to catch fish. This changes depending on where you fish and what species you target, but it’s typically a supply of hooks, sinkers, bobbers, lures and other terminal tackle, as well as a pair of long-nosed pliers to remove hooks, and line cutters if the pliers don’t have that. A simple pair of fingernail clippers will work to cut fishing line.