The 10 Best Tackle Boxes

Updated May 02, 2018 by Ben G

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you go with one of the tackle boxes we've selected, you’ll be better prepared and far more organized the next time you embark on a fishing expedition. We've included affordable, traditional designs along with some more upscale and inventive options that could make an excellent gift for the passionate angler in your life. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tackle box on Amazon.

10. Flambeau T4

The Flambeau T4 is designed to give you quick access to six of its storage compartments by just opening the flip-top lid. It is impressively lightweight as well, making it a good choice for longer trips that involve some hiking.
  • perfect for traveling anglers
  • 4 ports for dispensing line
  • not enough space for some
Brand Flambeau Tackle
Model T4
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Berkley Fishing Bag

With two trays that offer plenty of room for jigs, twister tails and sinkers, the Berkley Fishing Bag is a nice accessory for a quick session or when portaging. For a full day on the water, though, you may want to go with a more substantial model.
  • hook-and-loop closure on front pouch
  • handy removable shoulder strap
  • plastic tray latches are not durable
Brand Berkley
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Piscifun Shoulder Bag

The unique ergonomic cross-body design makes the Piscifun Shoulder Bag a nifty lightweight option if you’re combining hiking, camping, or cycling with your fishing trip. It’s convenient to carry, and offers more durability than a purse with less bulk than a backpack.
  • 3 handy attachment loops
  • comes in fashionable color options
  • too small to carry a lot of gear
Brand Piscifun
Model pending
Weight 15 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Wild River 3606

The innovative Wild River 3606 offers convenience in a backpack-style design. Its main storage area has a removable divider for separating things, plus the front pocket folds down to provide a handy work surface for making quick adjustments.
  • side storage for dirty items
  • clear zippered exterior pocket
  • top opening is rather narrow
Brand Wild River
Model WN3606-PARENT
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Okeechobee Fats

The handle on the Okeechobee Fats is wrapped in neoprene, making it easy and comfortable to carry over long distances, and there are spike pads on the bottom that ensure it won't slip away, even when it's on a slightly slick surface.
  • includes 4 tackle boxes
  • hard-shell sunglasses case
  • larger than most people need
Model FBA300WFSH-000
Weight 9.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Plano FTO Elite Ultimate

The hard-sided Plano FTO Elite Ultimate is packed with seven waterproof stowaways that pull out at a convenient 15-degree angle in order to provide easy access to their contents at all times. Thanks to its non-skid rubber feet, it stays put on any surface.
  • made in the united states
  • expandable rear pocket
  • container latches are highly secure
Brand Plano
Model 797010
Weight 18 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Ready 2 Fish Soft Sided

The waterproof Ready 2 Fish Soft Sided is a multifunctional solution that keeps your gear safe and protected no matter where you go. It's loaded with a variety of adjustable compartments, including a dedicated electronics pocket.
  • cable net to hold gloves
  • easy-to-clean leakproof interior
  • shoulder strap is adjustable
Brand Ready 2 Fish
Model R2F-SSTB
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Wild River Custom Leathercraft

The Wild River Custom Leathercraft is a fisherman's dream, featuring a bar handle that has a rotating grip with a built-in LED light that allows you see into your bag at night. It can accommodate up to 5 large #3700-style trays and includes customizable dividers.
  • clear internal pocket for dry items
  • base pads to reduce wear and tear
  • bag-to-belt removable pliers holder
Brand Wild River
Model WT3702AMZ
Weight 11.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. MyGift Multipurpose

If you're looking for the simplest possible solution, the MyGift Multipurpose is a great choice for an incredibly low price. Plus, when you aren't fishing, you can use it to hold makeup, craft supplies, or just about anything else of comparable size.
  • removable tray included
  • can fit in larger boxes as required
  • transparent for viewing contents
Brand MyGift
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Outdoor Active Gear RealTree Max-5

The Outdoor Active Gear RealTree Max-5 is designed with an eye-catching camo printed exterior, so fellow fishermen will know you mean business. It features oversized heavy-duty zippers and closed-cell foam for durability that will last for years.
  • corrosion-resistant hardware
  • bottom board provides stability
  • mini lure box fits in end pockets
Brand Outdoor Active Gear
Model MXFTB-5
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Hard or Soft? Tackle Box or Tackle Bag?

The question of hard versus soft tackle boxes can't be compared to much anything else. It isn't a question of preference, it's a question of utility, of what kind of fishing you do, of the where and the when. It verges on being a philosophical question, and that's what makes it so interesting and what makes the debate that surrounds it unwinnable.

For every bulky tackle box that opens like an old-school lunchbox, there's a soft tackle bag that doubles as a backpack or a shoulder bag with a plethora of pockets. In here you might hide an extra pair of socks, water bottle, or first-aid kit. Tackle bags with shoulder straps or that double as backpacks are great for hiking to remote areas. Single-handle tackle boxes are not.

Likewise, for every flimsy tackle bag, there's a hard tackle box that protects your hooks, lines, and sinkers in the rare event you accidentally drop the box along your journey. More importantly, you can open the box in a single motion to display all of the trays simultaneously without having to pull out each tray individually and scatter them around on the ground, making cleanup at the end of the day much less tedious. Not only are tackle boxes waterproof, but you can set them down on a rock or a log and they won't tip over in the breeze the way a backpack might. As with most things, there are pros and there are cons. It all depends on what kind of fishing you like to do.

Deciding on the Perfect Size for You

Whether you hike and climb your way to your favorite fishing spot and therefore require a backpack, or you park your car ten feet from a riverbank and have no need for anything other than a plastic handle, the next step in your selection is determining how big or small your box or bag should be. The answer to the question of size lies in which type of fish you like to catch.

Squid fishing, for example, does not require much in the way of tackle. A handful of lures of varying shapes and two or three lines ranging from six- to twenty-pound test are the essentials, leaving even medium-sized tackle boxes with a lot of empty space. In fact, if you already know ahead of time what size squid to expect, you might even reduce the amount of tackle you bring down to a single tray.

For freshwater fishing that includes multiple species of fish, a larger box or bag is necessary. While different species of fish are attracted to different types of lures, they also vary dramatically in size and weight, demanding two, three, or even four types of line. Multiple species means multiple trays, one for each species of fish or one for each type of bobber. And if you find yourself doing a lot of wading, you're going to want a tackle box large enough to hold a smaller tackle box that you can clip to your fly fishing vest or your waders. That way, you don't have to return to shore every time you lose a hook or need a new lure.

Regardless of what size tackle box or bag you choose, remember to leave room for your collection of gear to grow. The more you fish, the more you learn new tricks, and the more you learn about the art of fishing, the more you find yourself returning to the shops to pick out a new lure or two for those special situations. Indeed, the last thing you want is to find yourself choosing between your two favorite lures so you can make room for your new favorite lure.

What to Include in Your Tackle Box or Bag

Before taking your new tackle box out for a field test, you'll want to make sure you have everything you need. The only thing worse than forgetting essential tackle is admitting to your fishing buddies that you forgot and asking them for a loaner.

In keeping with the old idiom, your hook, line, and sinker are three most important things apart from the fishing pole itself. Even if you do forget your pole, you can still wrap your line around an empty water bottle and hope to real your catch in that way. But without those three essentials, you might as well toss your live bait in the water just to feed the fish.

Apart from the basics–your bobbers, lures, leaders, and swivels–there's also a list of some obvious and some not-so-obvious tools and accessories you'll want to bring along, including a multi-tool with pliers, such as a Leatherman, some models of which already include nail clippers and a hook file.

Always bring a flashlight and bug spray in case you find yourself fishing after the sun goes down and the mosquitoes come out. And in the event you like to fish in some of the stricter national parks, it's also best to bring along a scale and mini tape measure to ensure you don't get fined for catching a skinny fish a half inch too short.

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Last updated on May 02, 2018 by Ben G

Ben is a writer from California. He mostly dives into film, videogames, and science fiction literature. Also Hello Kitty. He likes Hello Kitty a whole lot.

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