Every veteran angler knows the key to your catch (besides skill) are the items you pack in your tackle box.
The right tools and gear can prepare you for success on the water whether you're fishing in a lake, stream, river or the great vast ocean.
With all the choices of equipment and tackle, it can be tough to know what to pack. Especially when you're new to fishing.
To make it a little easier, we've come up with the ideal checklist with the essential tackle box items.
Let's reel them in.
10 Must-Pack Items For The Ultimate Tackle Box
1. A Spare Line
A spare line is the most important item in your tackle box. Use a spare line for those days when your line gets tangled, snaps or snags. You'll be glad you brought an extra line.
When choosing a line, pick up some extra spools in a variety of weights. For a decent multi-purpose line, get a fine single strand line made of nylon. The line is easy to use and appears almost invisible.
For more strength in your line, choose a microfilament line or one that's braided. Although it's harder to tie, it's strong and has minimal stretch. Use it where the line gets more pressure for those heavy fish you can brag about later.
What fishing enthusiast doesn't need a bunch of spare hooks in their tackle box? Hooks come in a variety of sizes depending on what you're fishing for.
Using different sized hooks works well when you plan to fish for a catch of multiple sizes, A smaller hook will be concealed by your bait. But you will need stronger hooks for the strength of a bigger hook in a small hook.
Choose your hook depending on the size of the bait you'll use for the best results. Hook tips are essential as well. A needle edge tip is simple to remove from a fish.
Yet knife-edge tips should be chosen for hard-mouthed fish species. But it might cut the fish. Nowadays they manufacture hooks that are much tougher to remove, but they can damage your fish.
It's not like the old days when fisherman added barbs to their hooks to keep the bait in place.
Make sure to use pliers to flatten barbs flat against your hook when you practice catch and release.
You'll want to keep the hooks in their packaging until you need them. You can keep them dry and free from rust with a few sachets of desiccant.
When you're looking for sinkers or weights it's good to know they do more than keep down the bait in the water. Put the right size sinker or weight in your tackle box and you'll be able to hold it in the right spot in the current.
Originally, sinkers were constructed of lead. But now many sinkers are made from metals like tungsten, steel, and brass that are gentler on the environment.
When you see a sinker with a small, round ball with a slit in the center, that's a split-shot sinker. They're good because you can pinch them so they grip your line.
Rubber sinkers are easy to twist on and off the line. And you tie bell sinkers on. They contain the better weight for casting your line, but they can be a little more complex to use.
Some sinkers are designed for specific fishing environments such as cone, bank and egg sinkers.
Every lure is made to lure in a particular fish, so you need to think about the variety of fish you're planning on catching.
Fishing tackle boxes should contain a wide choice of lures. Having different lures in your tackle box to up the advantage of helping you adapt to the fish you want to attract and the water conditions.
For bass, get plastic worms or other soft lures that wiggle. Plugs or crankbaits come in an array of choices. They'll dive as they're dragged through the water. Other lures look like small minnows.
Crankbaits or plugs come in a wide variety. Some will dive down as they're pulled through the water, others are like tiny minnows.
Spoon lures make a good lure for larger fish. They catch the light and wobble as they move through the water.
Jigs offer versatility. That's why they're so popular. Spinners are good lures when you're fishing near a hard structure
Remember to keep a variety of lures in your tackle box and if your target species, there are a lot more fish biting. Here are some handy tips for choosing the right lure.
5. Bobbers and Floats
Bobbers and floats rest on the surface of the water until your catch takes a bite. Get bobbers that are both round or elongated and see what works best.
The object is to hang your bait under the bobber at the correct depth. Select a bobber or floaters that's light for your target fish to pull. Then just sit on the edge of the water and watch until your fish bites.
6. Needle Nose Pliers
Another item you need in your tackle box is a pair of needle-nose pliers. They're good to quickly remove the hooks from your fish. They work well for fishing contests because you won't spend too much time removing your hooks.
You can also use pliers for tying knots, handling difficult hooks and flattening barbs.
If you're new to fishing, you might not know that a leader is the short piece of wire between your hook and the main line. Sometimes it's harder to spot than it is to see the main line.
Leaders are strong and help prevent breaking caused by sharp-toothed predators. Use them when fishing against rocks.
8. Fishing Line Clippers
Want to trim a knot or cut through a tangled line in a hurry? Then you need a pair of fishing line clippers. They're easier to use than a pair of scissors, especially when you're wearing a pair of gloves.
9. Digital Lip Grip Scale And A Ruler
This is the tool to measure the big one!
A digital lip grip scale lets you know. Works well to let you know if you can keep your fish when there are minimum weight restrictions.
Make sure to bring a ruler when regulations require a legal length for your catch like these rules for the state of New York.
10. Protective Gloves
Every fishing tackle box must include a pair of protective gloves. They will protect your hands from bites, scratches, cuts and the elements. For added dexterity, choose gloves with removable fingers and thumbs.
Reeling It In: 10 Things You Must Have In Your Tackle Box
Now you know the exact gear you need in your tackle box for a great fishing experience!
Feeling overwhelmed by all the fishing lure choices out there?If you're just getting started with fishing, it can be hard to know what lure to pick. There are so many different types of lures for different fish. Should you choose natural bait or artificial lures? And if you go artificial, which shiny, spinny, or wiggly [...]
More than 45.7 million Americans took at least one fishing trip in 2015. If they didn't do their research and have the right equipment their fishing trip probably didn't go how they hoped. If you are wanting to get into fishing there are some important fishing tips you should know before you get started. The amount [...]
Fishing is so relaxing, yet at a moment's notice can get your heart pumping and adrenaline running. It draws people in, and it's really no wonder. There's nothing quite like spending a day on the water and hauling in some fish.Because the experience is such unique blend of relaxation and excitement, people quickly become diehard [...]
Nothing is funner than fishing. In fact, some people claim that the worst day of fishing is better than the best day of work. Fishing lures come in a number of types, including different sizes, shapes, and colors. And every species of fish has its own specific diet. Choosing the right lure can make the different between [...]