When it comes to fish, the bigger the better. However, when it comes to fishing gear, this isn’t always the case. You need to assess exactly what you need, when you need it, and why you need it. Then work out what you’re going to use to carry it all in. 

Someone new to the sport of fishing is often completely overwhelmed when they discover the incredible range and variety of gear. It’s not just simply trying to pick the right rod and reel combo for the type of fish they’re after, but the lures, spinners and even the boxes or bags used to store everything. While the experienced fisherman or fisherwoman is more comfortable with the types of equipment around, there is still a huge range of new gear that is regularly coming on to the market, so staying up to date with even apparently simple things like the best fishing tackle bags can be surprisingly difficult.

For example, can you remember when the best, ultimate in fishing boxes was a dual tone light/dark brown plastic box with an internal expanding tray? Every fishing parent received one for Christmas for about a ten-year period. However, the range available now is truly exciting, even a little overwhelming, so how do you choose? 

Does Size Matter?

Let’s start with the most basic thing to think about when you are getting a new storage container – do you need something to store all your gear, or are you looking for something to take just want you need on fishing trips? Chances are pretty high that you will actually need both options to be covered, particularly if you are a more experienced fisherperson, or if you go after a variety of species and change your water type regularly. There is certainly not a lot in common between eeling in a creek and deep-water fishing for Marlin. 

For most situations, you won’t actually need to take all that much gear with you, so you are unlikely to need to invest in a 50L flight capable tackle bag – although thinking about how you are going to easily store the excess equipment that you will accumulate (and want easy access to) is a wise idea. For this a large specialist plastic storage box with lure trays is often perfect, particularly if it is on wheels, water tight, and able to be easily moved around your garage space. https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/article/64/8/1499/613997

Must Have Features

One of the most obvious things about any type of fishing, whether its on the ice, out on the ocean, in the reeds or off rocks into the surf, is that water is involved. Obvious yes, but yet you can still buy tackle boxes and bags that aren’t actually watertight! Bags are great because they are usually lighter and more easily carried (particularly if you get a backpack variety), however you do want to ensure that they have a waterproof lining. 

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your plastic tackle box will do the trick just because plastic is waterproof. Often these offer no form of seal, so water gets in through the hinges, handles and opening connections. 

For the vast majority of people, you are going to want something with a LOT of compartments, but you will also want to think about whether you want your bag to be able to hold your rod and reel as well – some can, some don’t. Whether this is a need will depend largely on where you are going. If you’re going to be getting out of your car and hoping straight on a deep-sea fishing boat it won’t be such an issue. However, if you’re going to be tracking through overgrown scrub to get to your secret fishing spot then you’ll want to make sure that carrying your gear is a simplistic experience where nothing gets dropped or lost. 

Nice To Have Features

When you start looking at the list of things that are really great, there will be a few that you’ll wonder how you’ve ever coped without. But again, this will come down to what you’re catching. Things like a cool box to hold a beer might be amazing out on the boat, but just add annoying weight if you’re carrying everything for a distance. 

You can get bags that have legs that fold down to provide a comfortable stool to sit on, that have battery compartments that allow you to charge up your radio, phone or GPS fish finder, or even a special space for your sunglasses. 

You’ll also want to think about how you will carry it, although some are a trolley system, you can get optional trolley’s that can be removed when they will get in the way. Reading the reviews on how comfortable and strong the handles or carry straps are is always a very good idea, as the last thing you want is your bag braking and spilling tackle everywhere. 

External pockets or compartments are great for being able to easily access items that you will want frequently and don’t want to have to fish around in a large compartment for. You could also look for one that has an attached toolbelt – how easy is that when you’re out? Load the belt up with everything you’ll need while you’re wading and just put it on when you get to your spot.