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As the popular saying goes, “A bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at work!” You’ve waited all week to get your line wet, so the last thing you want to do is spend half your time with your head in your tackle box. No one wants to be that guy untangling lines, searching for the X-rap that you know is in there somewhere, all the while missing the giant school that just swam by.

If you’re wondering how to organize your tackle box, then you’re not alone. Organization skills don’t come naturally to everyone but having a well-organized tackle box can help make sure you get maximum time with your line in the water. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled this handy guide on how to organize a tackle box, as well as how to take care of it.

Your Tackle Box

Having a decent tackle box with lots of different compartments is pretty important. Depending on the number of times you go fishing, as well as the variety of fishing you do, it may even call for two or three boxes.

Some tackle boxes have sizes and number of compartments that can be changed by adding in extra dividers. This is particularly handy if the amount of tackle you are carrying is constantly increasing as your love for fishing grows.

You can also add extra organization to your tackle box by utilizing resealable bags and utility boxes. Also, removable tackle trays are great as you can pack them to suit the location and type of fishing you plan on doing that day.


A good general rule of thumb is to organize your tackle by size and type.

1. Size

Use smaller compartments to organize the smaller items you have such as your hooks, sinkers, beads, and swivels. Depending on how many compartments you have available for this, you may also need to use small resealable bags to enable you to have them separated in size order from left to right (or right to left) from smallest to largest or lightest to heaviest.

If using boxes and bags, then make sure you label them clearly with their contents so that you can find what you are looking for quickly. Using a sharpie to write directly on the plastic will work but will eventually wear off, so we recommend that you use stick-on labels.

If you don’t have enough space for your smaller items, then you can also consider old plastic film cases or anything similar that you can get your hands on. As long as it is small, has a secure lid, and can be labeled, it’ll do the job.

2. Type

One tip on how to organize your tackle box is to use medium- and large-sized compartments and boxes to organize your lures based on what they do. The more you have, the more you will need to separate them in different ways. You can do this by categorizing them into soft or hard, depth, and action.

  • Soft Baits

Broadly speaking, these can be separated into ones that you use for fishing above-bottom fishing and those used for bottom fishing. The best way to store soft baits is within the manufacturer’s bags they come in and then grouped using freezer bags.

That way, you can stack them up and still see exactly what you have without them compromising other tackle that you carry. If you have a lot, you can also organize them into body styles as well, keeping the lizards separate from the craws and so on.

  • Hard Baits

An excellent way to organize your hard baits is first to separate them into crankbaits, jerk baits, and topwater. If you have a lot of each, then you can sort them further by depth and profile so that the deeper-diving, large profiles go into one box and the mid-diver, small profiles into another.

Utility boxes are great for storing your hard baits, and there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to compartment size so that you can buy one that suits your needs.

Bonus: Tools

It’s also important to keep your tools, such as your pliers and knives, somewhere safe and easily accessible. Whether you store them with pockets and clips provided within your tackle box, or if you designate them their own bag or box, what’s important is that you can easily locate them. Also, make sure you clean, dry, and store them away in the same place each time so that you know where to find them.

Tackle Maintenance

Fishing gear doesn’t come cheaply so make sure that you look after it and it will look after you.

  • Keep soft plastic baits in different compartments or in bags to prevent color bleeding.
  • Keep soft plastics away from your lures and jigs so that they don’t get damaged as some chemicals used in the soft plastic will eat away the paint used on lures.
  • Use stick-on labels to clearly mark ALL bags and boxes with lids so that you can identify their contents quickly and easily. If you keep your boxes stacked side by side, then make sure you have labeled the sides of the boxes.
  • Once organized, be disciplined in putting everything away in its proper place at the end of the day.
  • Make sure you dry out your tackle box or gear after you’ve used it to prevent your tackle from rusting.
  • Once dry, remember to close and lock it back up so that if it accidentally gets knocked over, it doesn’t spill its contents everywhere, potentially causing damage and leaving you to organize all over again.

Fishing Time

Now that you know how to organize your tackle box, get organizing and get out there fishing to try it out! Knowing where your next lure is coming from can help you get more casts out after snagging your last one. Having the compartments in your tray, in order, can help you find the right hook and sinker in no time at all.

There is no one, right way to organize your tackle box but the main thing is to put some time into it and be strict on yourself in keeping it up. As long as you know where everything is, you’ll be able to get your hands on exactly what you need, when you need it.