Tackle boxes are essential tools for avid anglers. You can use them to store your lures, hooks, fishing line, a knife for emergency line-cutting and documents such as your fishing license, a trail map or personal identification. All tackle boxes fulfill essentially the same tasks, but there are several types, each designed to meet your angling needs. If you're a fly fisherman, a fresh-water boat angler or you just like to sit on the dock, there's a tackle box for you.
Soft Tackle Bags
Tackle bags are gaining in favor with many anglers who don't have room in their car trunks for a big, plastic tackle box. Tackle bags are made of soft material, with some give, making them perfect for storage in the more confined quarters of a car or backpack. The bags generally feature several interior see-through pouches that zip open or have velcro closures. Gear can safely be kept within the pouches. On the downside, storing your hooks can be a bit challenging, because their pointed ends can rip holes in see-through bags. If you plan on hiking a long way to your fishing hole, though, the convenience of a tackle bag in your backpack makes up for any downside.
Standard Tackle Boxes
Choose a standard type of tackle box if you appreciate the hard-plastic segments that make the storage of hooks, knives and scissors safe and functional. Plastic tackle boxes also will keep a good bit of moisture out and can take the occasional fall. In a pinch, your sturdy plastic tackle box can double as a seat on the bank of a river or lake.
The downside is you may find standard plastic tackle boxes cumbersome to load, especially if your trunk is filled with camping or backpacking paraphernalia. Also, the bottom compartment of plastic tackle boxes tends to become a catch-all for discarded bait and may require frequent cleaning and sorting.
Pocket Lined Life Jackets
Check out at the personal flotation devices that are now made specifically for anglers. They are lightweight, keep you safe as you wade into a river or lake, and contain many different-sized pockets to keep your essential fishing gear on hand.
While you may not be able to keep everything in one of these jackets, PFDs are perfect for fly fishermen who routinely find themselves in the middle of a river or lake and don't want to wade out every time a fly gets caught on something and needs to be replaced. A PFD is a great 2-in-1 bit of gear that also makes boating a lot easier because there is less to carry.