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Flambeau 4007 Tuff Tainer
Anti-corrosion technology protects hooks and lures against rust, with the adjustable dividers and secure twin latches.
Plano Tackle Box
Regardless of which model you choose, you get a strong, durable fishing tackle box with cantilevered tackle trays.
Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 350 Tackle Tote Bag
A great do-it-all tackle bag at a reasonable price point.
Nothing says fishing like the heady odor of a well-used tackle box. For most anglers, just the smell is enough to get the blood pumping, because when you open your box it means you’re going fishing. The right box will be large enough to carry all of your fishing supplies—lures, pliers, hooks, sinkers, extra fishing line, jigs, and baits—without being overly bulky. It should have plenty of compartments that allow you to organize your gear, keep it from tangling, and have it all easily accessible. These are the best tackle boxes for every angler.
Best Classic: Plano Tackle BoxBest Utility: Flambeau Outdoors 4007 Tuff TainerBest Bag: Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 350 Tackle Tote BagBest Backpack: Bass Pro Shops Advanced Anglers II BackpackBest for Kids: Plano Ready-Set-Fish 1-Tray Tackle Box for KidsBest Cheap: Plano StowAway 2-Sided Tackle Box
How We Made Our Picks
Tackle box selection comes down to many considerations like size, style of fishing, and design. Many of these are preferences, and that’s why we made sure to include a variety of picks in our roundup. Classic hard-sided tackle boxes still get the job, but there have been many improvements in tackle storage, such as backpacks and tote bags. We put together a collection of the best designs, sizes, and models in tackle boxes so you can find the best one for your style of fishing.
Best Tackle Boxes: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Classic: Plano Tackle Box
Why It Made the Cut: As classic as it gets, the hard plastic Plano Tackle Box offers one-, two-, and three-tray options that each have solid tackle space and storage.
Classic hard plasticCantilever traysBrass-bailed latch
Simple design with plenty of storageThree size optionsTwo top quick-access storage areas
Not the best for carrying on foot
If you’re considering an old-school box, you’ll want to think about the size, how many trays you’ll get. The Plano Tackle Box comes with one-, two-, and three-tray options, all of which boast the company’s classic design. Regardless of which model you choose, you get a strong, durable box with cantilevered tackle trays that will help you stay organized on the water.
For choosing the right size, start by looking at a double-decker—or “two-tray”—tackle box as a happy medium. This won’t give you as much storage capabilities as the larger ones that are available today, but a two tray box is a good compromise between size and portability. If you think you’ll need more room, go with a three-tray box (it’s surprising how quickly a box can fill up with tackle!).
Best Utility: Flambeau Outdoors 4007 Tuff Tainer
Why It Made the Cut: An adjustable divider system with corrosion-defense technology makes this a standout utility box, though it comes at a routine price.
Smart divider systemZerust anti-corrosionTranslucent plastic
Simple, easy identification outer 5-years of protection from the anti-corrosionMade in USA
Other utility boxes can be just as effective
The 4007 Tuff Tainer is made with anti-corrosion technology to protect hooks and lures against rust. The dividers are adjustable, and the twin latches close securely.
Great for portability, utility boxes are small and made of clear plastic that allows you to see what is stored inside when it’s closed. They’re just one-level and don’t have extending trays like a traditional tackle box. You can look at your tackle without opening the box, which is especially helpful on windy days. The rigid compartments prevent fragile flies and lures from breaking apart and wearing out. You can easily pack one inside of a backpack and bring it with you deep into the backcountry, or buy several and carry them in a tackle bag.
The Tuff Tainer does all this, with the addition of an adjustable divider system, and the anti-corrosion technology to protect your tackle.
Why It Made the Cut: A great upgrade on the old-school box, this tackle bag offers easy storage and the ability to customize space with how many utility boxes you used.
Water-repellent material with vinyl bottomZippered compartmentsTote-carry
Space for five 350-utility boxesPlenty of additional storageHeavy-duty feel
Material is more difficult than plastic to maintain
Like I said, the tackle bag is the modern-day tackle box, and the Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 350 Tackle Tote Bag is a great do-it-all tackle bag. It comes at a reasonable price point and a heavy-duty, water-repellent vinyl bottom. Easy access zipper pockets allow storage of pliers, spools, and other items.
Tackle bags will hold individual lure boxes, so an angler can keep lure types—soft plastics, crankbaits, topwater lures, deep-diving lures—in separate spaces. The Qualifier 350 does so superbly well, allowing easy storage of the lure boxes, and quick access to them.
Best Backpack: Bass Pro Shops Advanced Anglers II Backpack
Why It Made the Cut: Durable and water-resistant 600-denier polyester pair with the backpack carry to make this a great all-in-one option for adventurous anglers.
Backpack carryLarge storage compartments600-denier polyester body
Storage space and comfort when carryingWaterproof electronics pouchRain cover
Price, though it’s good for what you get
Fishing tackle boxes are built to be carried much like a lunch or tool box, fine for short trips from your house or vehicle to a boat or the water’s edge. But many anglers prefer taking the trail less traveled and getting into more remote stretches of water. If you like to hike or bike for several miles to reach secluded fishing spots, The Bass Pro Shops Advanced Anglers II Backpack is a perfect tackle backpack.
It’s a well-made backpack made with durable and water-resistant 600-denier polyester. It has an array of different-sized easy-access pouches, a top loading compartment for bulky items, and two tool holsters. It comes with four utility boxes in three sizes. With added features such as a sunglasses pocket and water hydration bladder compatibility, it’s a great option for the angler on the go.
Best for Kids: Plano Ready-Set-Fish 1-Tray Tackle Box for Kids
Why It Made the Cut: Like Plano’s original, this tackle box is great because of its simplicity, especially durable for a young angler.
PlasticBrass bail latchPre-packed with starter tackle
DurabileKid-friendly colorKid-friendly size
For a young angler, there’s not much wrong with it
The Plano Ready-Set-Fish 1-Tray Tackle Box is a great option for any young angler. One of the best pieces of fishing gear to buy for your kid is their own box. It’s the perfect way to help a young angler take ownership of their fishing. With a tackle box, they can store and organize their own gear, learn how to rig up, and start fishing on their own. This kind of freedom combined with responsibility is key to their growing interest in fishing.
This Plano box for kids is durable and will stand up to abuse on the water, a great option for any young angler. The hard-plastic construction and brass bail latch will endure rough handling, and a full-size, 10-compartment lift-out tackle tray comes loaded with essential tackle. It blends functionality with a fun, kid-friendly design. It’s small enough to lug to the neighborhood pond, while still having plenty of room to store the essential fishing equipment needed to catch a mess of trout or panfish.
Best Cheap: Plano StowAway 2-Sided Tackle Box
Why It Made the Cut: If you need to get any simpler, Plano’s StowAway is great. With Plano’s classic design, but a cheap price tag and packable size.
PriceGreat for small tackleRemovable dividers
Size and storage
The Plano StowAway 2-Sided Tackle Box is a simple and inexpensive lure box. It’s small and will only store small baits and terminal tackle. The size makes it a great pick to stash in a backpack and bring with you on backcountry adventures.
Tackle boxes aren’t very expensive in the first place, so the very least expensive boxes are made with low-quality plastic, have weak hinges and latches, and can break easily. The StowAway stands above others, because it comes from a reputable manufacturer. Though it may be a budget pick, this Plano box can still get the job done.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tackle Box
Though a fishing tackle box will not directly determine how many fish you catch, it will make a big impact on your day on the water. You can’t catch fish if you’re not prepared, and the right tackle box is key.
Type of box you want
The classic tackle box is a plastic or aluminum box with a secure latch or latches on the front. It looks similar to and opens much like an old-school tool box. This style of fishing box typically includes one or more (sometimes many more) trays that accordion out when you open the box. Each tray has several distinct compartments that allow you to store individual lures and other tackle items. These slots keep lures from tangling with each other, and also allow easy access to hooks and sinkers. The large space on the bottom holds larger pieces of gear, such as hook disgorgers and spare reel spools.
There are many variations on this tried and true style of tackle box. If you like to head on backcountry expeditions, look for a small utility box that fits easily inside of a backpack. If you’ll be fishing from a boat, opt for a standard tackle box that allows quick access to tackle. If you change fishing spots often, consider a fishing tackle backpack, which combines the storage capabilities of a tackle box with a backpack that also has room for personal supplies.
There’s nothing wrong with going old-school …
There are a lot of new developments in tackle boxes, but for many anglers, a classic box will do just fine—as long as it has enough space and storage compartments for your gear. If you’re considering an old-school tackle box, consider what size you’ll want. A two-tray option would likely work for the casual angler. But if you like to carry a lot of tackle or just want the extra space, consider a three-tray option.
… But the tackle bag is the modern tackle box
In recent years, fishing bags have become popular among all types of anglers. Fishing bags serve the same purpose as tackle boxes except they are soft-sided and are designed to hold individual lure boxes. Tackle bags come in either tote- or sling-carry designs. Sling carry tackle bags (or even tackle backpacks) are ideal for carrying long distances, while tote bags are carried similarly to a conventional tackle box.
What about portability?
For portability, you can use a utility box. A utility box is small and made of clear plastic that allows you to see what is stored inside when it’s closed. You can easily pack one inside of a backpack and bring it with you deep into the backcountry, or buy several and carry them in a tackle bag.
Or, just look for a fishing tackle backpack. A good fishing backpack has numerous compartments that you can access individually, much like a normal tackle box. The fishing backpack should have enough storage to carry all of your gear, as well as a water bottle and food. Most fishing tackle backpacks come equipped with compatible utility boxes. All you have to do is load it up with your gear and go.
Q: 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 boxes have adjustable compartments which can help you tailor the box specifically to your fishing equipment.
Q: Who makes the best tackle boxes?
Who makes the best tackle box depends on who you talk to. Plano boxes are ubiquitous, but plenty of other fishing supply companies make quality tackle boxes as well.
Q: What should be in a beginner’s 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.
Final Thoughts on the Best Tackle Boxes
The purpose of a tackle box is to help you keep your gear organized—not the opposite. Yet, many anglers open their tackle boxes and can’t find the lure or hook they’re looking for. Look for the right size and organization system that is going to fit your style of fishing. Whether that’s a backpack, tote bag, or simple container. Once you find the right tackle box, it’s up to you to keep it organized.
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