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Discussion Starter #1
One of the things that is good about fishing with someone who has been doing it a while is that you find that you've both faced similar dilemmas. Therefore, I'd thought I'd ask the experts on this board about this subject. In general, I'm the type of person who isn't very good at coming up with a scheme of organization unless I've given it a great deal of thought, but once a scheme is established I am pretty good about following along. I also try to learn from what others have done. I know that tackle box organization has a lot to do with fishing style and perhaps even the labels and categories that a person is most comfortable with. So, with that introduction, I was wondering what people have done in the way of organizing their tackle box(es) and lures?

For background, here is what I have done to date...

I have two main tackle boxes: a boat sized one and a carry around one.

My boat sized tackle box is one of those large canvas ones with side pockets and plastic utility boxes. I keep things like plastics, popgear, flashers and blades, steel leaders, tools and bottom bouncers in those size zippered pockets. I have 12 plastic containers each containing the following lures and I've listed the relative capacity of each container at this point in time:

Container LabelCurrent Capacity
Spoonsmed/full
Topwater Lureslow
Hot-N-Tot/Rat-L-Trapslow/med
Spinnersfull
Jigsmed
Minnows/Stickbaitslow/med
Shallow Crankslow
Medium Cranksfull
Medium Cranksmed
Deep Cranksmed
Muskie/Pike Luresfull
Swivels, Jigheads, Splitshot, Weights, etc.full


In my "normal sized" tackle box I carry a subset of everything (it is usually filled with some of the more recently used lures). I use this normal sized tackle box when I just take a trip in the truck and fish from shore, for example, and so it also contains basic necessities like line, swivels, weights, hooks, clippers, bobbers and the like.

I've purchased some new plastic containers with a gift certificate and so I am in the process of reorganizing things once again and so I thought it would be a good time to hear what other people have done.

So, how about you and your method of tackle organization?
 

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Complete and utter chaos, most of the time it looks like it fell out of the truck on the way to the lake, ;D. I will spend a day cleaning and organizing everything and it's in good shape until it spends a day on the boat with the wife,granpa and the kids. :eek: ??? :mad:
 

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I pretty much just throw everything in the bottom of my boat.  If I need something I just yell, "hey, can you give that rust colored jig by your foot?"

Actually, I have one main bag with removable trays for all the various lures. One tray is exclusively for terminal gear. I use the outer pockets for maps, stringers, weights, extra spools of line, tools etc.

I keep all of my soft plastics, gulp type baits etc. in a separate nylon bag.  

I sometimes wear a vest with various tools and small trays for smaller lures if I am working a shore.

I usually end up having to reorganize everything every couple of weeks during my busiest fishing time.

I have a couple of hardside tackleboxes at home that I don't usually use.  Sometimes I will break out a smaller one for ice fishing or trips that I have limited space.

Dan
 

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Great minds think alike. Our two tackle boxes are nearly identical. The major differences are:
1. I have no Hot-N-Tot/Rat-L-Traps category, those are mixed in with my crankbaits.
2. My topwater lures category is nearly full.
3. My version of the "normal sized" tackle box for shore fishing is more restricted to light weight lures and spinners of all kinds, because I tend to do a lot of ultralight fishing from shore, but it does have a few medium size cranks.

In the main, I agree very much with your organization.

I think I'm way ahead of my Dad, his tackle box was a five gallon bucket, and nobody in his right mind would dare to stick a hand in there -- a dangerous environment for fingers. Every couple of years somebody would give him a real nice tackle box for Christmas, and it promptly went into his workshop as something to store unused lures in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Walking Eagle said:
Great minds think alike. Our two tackle boxes are nearly identical.

-snip-
Hey, W.E. that is pretty impressive! I guess this means we have given this some thought and maybe this basic organization is worth keeping. I think that I was looking at the low capacity containers as possible areas to consolidate. One of the things about lures is that they seem to encourage the pack rat in me. For example, I am quick to replace a lure that I've lost in a snag as long as it has worked for me. Other lures that I've tried once or twice just sit in the tackle box and get moved from one box to another in perpetuity...

I can also understand less formal ways of organizing things and that is really what I've used for my smaller tackle box...
 

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The unused lures problem has been solved for me by a 9 year old grandkid who has turned into a black hole for lures. If I as much as mention the slightest dissatisfaction with a lure, there is a big whooshing sound and it disappears.

I'm about to get hit by another organization problem, though, and that is the plastics. I have been watching the fishing shows on the Outdoor Channel all winter, and as soon as I see somebody catching big fish on a new kind of plastic, I run out and buy a bag of them. Now I have this big pile of Ugly Otters, Baby Brush Hogs, and God knows what else, most of them looking like the alien menace from outer space. I never used a lot of plastics before except for the good old standard plastic worms for bass.

The weird plastic critters don't fit all that well in your standard plastic trays, and the only thing I can think of to do is like Dan says, put them in a separate bag. Except I'm not all that keen on having another separate bag. This is a problem I need to solve before spring.
 

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2 trays of big spoons,
1 tray of big hard baits,
1 tray of medium hard baits
1 tray of expensive baits like yozuri and lucky craft
1 tray of rainbow/kokanee stuff
1 tray hooks and swivels
1 tray jig heads
1 laker-plastic jigs
1 tray smaller weights
1 tray top water
1 rollup
1 big box misc stuff, line and big weights
bag o plastic

and lots of stuff rolling around in the bottom of boat.
 

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I think I'm on line with Work2fish and WE. I've got the soft sided box with plastic inserts...nice because I can leave it on my shoulder for shore fishing or wading.

my box assortiment goes as such:

Deep/ Sinking cranks and jerks...over filled
inline spinners.............................3/4 full
Spoons........................................full
Shallow cranks, floaters, surface...overfilled
wire baits (spinner/ buzz)..............overfilled

small plastic box with frequently used grub tails (for trailers) and extra spinnerbait skirts

small plastic box for terminal tackle, plastic worm hooks, split shot, etc

side pouches...one contains various senkos with the terminal tackle box,
front contains an overload of plastics...extra grub tails, crawdads, tubes
other side contains pliers, pens, screwdirvers, license, clippers, swiss army knife, extra line, tape measure, etc.

Man, I love tackle....I try my best to keep organized but each time I buy something new it takes me 2 hours to re-organize and fit it in.
 
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W2F-

I'm organized like you.  Soft sided bags with plastic boxes broken down by type of lure.  Several boxes of tube jigs (sizes and colors for bass and walleyes and several other boxes with sizes and colors for lake trout), boxes of ice fishing jigs, small jigging spoons, large jigging spoons, suspending crankbaits, shallow cranks, deep diving cranks, topwater, bass jigs, baithooks, spinner rigs, grubs, senkos, etc., etc.

With the new regs I guess I'm going to have to make a box or 2 of "unscented and unsalted" tubes, worms, grubs and stickbaits.

Organized this way I can load up a bag or 2 for a particular trip with boxes tailored to what I plan to fish for.  Works for me.  But over the decades I've just accumulated too much stuff!
 

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As you know Mike, I have the same Cabelas Super Mag bag that you have. It holds 12 of the 3700 boxs. I have filled 16 now. When Walleye and Wiper fishing I carry a 12 box set up for them. The other four are stocked solely for pike fishing. I also have a Bass Pro SHops bag that will hold five of the 3700 boxs. I use this bag to carry in for Pike fishing at 11-Mile or bass fishing at Quincy or Aurora. This bag also has a couple of big pockets for stocking up lots of soft plastics also.

I just got done putting together a smaller hard box that I can carry around for nightfishing at Chatfield and Cherry Creek. It is stocked with lots of STick and Jerk baits, Swim Baits, and large soft plastics.
 

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I try to keep everything in somewhat of an order.

Spoons in 1 box
Cranks in 1 box
Kwikfish in 1 box
Curly Tails in 1 box
Jig heads in 1 box

But like most, as soon as the fishing starts the deal is off. things are all over the place.

[me=Jay_In_Parker] [/me]
 

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I haven't tried to really organize my tackle box by lure types, etc. But one thing I did has made some things a little easier. I have a big soft side with about 15 of those clear plastic boxes with compartments. I have a pretty big collection of crankbaits and hard bodies for bass, wallies, etc. and I used to take the lures out of their box or package and put them in the clear plastic boxes. To me, a lot of the lures look sort of alike and I would forget which were shallow, long cast, tail dancer, dive to, deep runners, etc. To help my memory, I began using a fine line Sharpie to write the lure type or model on the bottom of the compartment in the plastic box where I put the lure after taking it out of the original package. Now, when I want a specific type of lure, I just look at the plastic box and find the one I want.
 

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We like to travel light, so all our gear is stuffed in our backpacks.

One compartment has a set of dry clothes, flashlight, water bottle, and poncho. The other big compartment has small plastic boxes crammed with various lures. The side pockets are stuffed with fly boxes and the front pocket has the hardware (line, swivels, clips, weights, clippers, pliers, bubbles, etc, etc...).

Since a lot of our spots require a hike, it's nice to have the weight on our backs and not hand-held.

PS... Evergreen Girl's backpack is organized like everyone else's. Mine is in Beerman's territory! ;D
 

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Cabela's Advanced Angler's Backpacks...utility storage plus pockets made for fishing...allows you to pack your gear and walk and cast...or throw in a boat...
 

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I stopped using tackle boxes and started using the soft totes with the plano plastic trays for storage, but when I am headed to the lake I pick 2 or 3 trays and throw them in a backpack.  While I am actually fishing my tackle gets destroyed, but I usually reorganize it when I get home.
 

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I'm bored so here goes...

I shore-fish most frequently. I move around a lot. In a morning, I could probably cover up to over a mile or more of shoreline if I wanted to (legally).. My boat has been sold so I'm back to my roots, shorefishing. Staying mobile from shore is just as effective. Gotta keep light so I try to keep all my gear to just what I need.

I keep all my stuff in a backpack and in it (which I bought a new waterproof backpack from the ISE this year!) I include:


I have a Plano Guide Series StowAway 4700 as my main tacklebox.. Organize the top with crankbaits and whatnot. I divide the top into quarters.

1 quarter for lipless cranks in different colors and different sizes (Rattlin Rapalas & Rat-L-Traps only).

1 quarter for stickbaits (Husky Jerks, X-Raps, Original Floater etc).

1 quarter for oddball lures (Yozuri Aile Gobies, Pins Minnows, Budwesier lure from Cabela's etc)..

1 quarter for miscellaneous lures/cranks (Shad Raps, Jointed Shad Raps, Jointed, Countdowns).

All this stuff fits quite well into this little storage tool as long as I only buy stuff that I really need. Everything else that doesn't or hasn't worked stays in the 5 gallon bucket in the shed.

Bottom half holds some of my terminal tackle (egg sinkers, snap on sinkers, swivels, steel leaders, hooks) and jig heads. I keep a few miscellaneous lures such as swimbaits on this bottom half too, just to fill space.

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I also keep all my hooks in a little Plano 1061 "waterproof" Accessory Box. I use the one that's divided into four so I could organize my bait hooks by size. This thing fits perfectly into the bottom right compartment of the Plano Guide Series StowAway 4700. This prevents rust which I soooo hate on my bait hooks. "For some reason, it's only the baithooks that I get very compulsive about..."

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Plano 3540 Waterproof StowAway.. I have two of these. One holds all of my spinners (mainly Panther Martins & Rooster Tails) and Kastmasters all divided by type of lure, color and size. The 2nd stowaway holds all my Crappie Jigs which I try best to keep dry until in use. See image below  ;D



I'm aiming to get a third Plano 3540 Waterproof StowAway to put Lucky Craft lures in ;D..
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The front pockets of the backpack hold everything else. I keep all my plastics/softbaits (Culprit worms, Berkley worms, Berkley Gulp lures, YUM) and crappie tube jigs in the original packaging and same goes for the hooks (Mustad & Gamakatsu) to be used with them. This stuff stays in the smallest front pocket. When unzipped, it's like a filing cabinet filled with different packages of plastics. The bigger pocket holds extra spools, utility tools, stick bobbers, slip bobbers & accessories, round weighted Bets Floats etc, extra fishing line, tape measure and a stringer.. A digi scale is soon to be added.

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With all this stuff, the main compartment of my backpack still has enough room for a drink, a camera and room to bag a few fish when and if some are to be kept (I always keep a few trash bags in the backpack for either pickin up garbage, keeping a few fish or both). I keep ponchos and extra beanies in there too. All weighs about 10lbs plus or minus a pound.





Here's a poopy Microsoft Paint version of what it would look like stacked inide the backpack itself. That Plano Guide Series StowAway 4700 stays standing up to support my back too so it works great.


Wow, all of the above is a result of many years of shore fishing and well...... Cabin fever and way too much time on my hands... Yeah, wayyyy too much... Hurry up, spring!!!

1eyeReD
 

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Discussion Starter #19
1eye,

Wow, that's a very informative post and I know how long those can take to put together. I'm sure everyone appreciates the effort you put into it (I sure do) and it really gives some great tips on how to organize for shore fishing - THANKS!

I was particularly eyeing those waterproof containers. I once weathered a heavy rainstorm in my boat and, not thinking about it, just left things as they were for the most part and covered the boat. A week or so later, when I lifted my boat cover I noticed that an entire container full of spinnerbaits and buzzbaits like this 3504 on the right:


was full of rusty metal and I spent hours trying to clean to the rust away but ended up having to replace most of what was in there (a big ouch in the pocketbook I might add!). So henceforth I'm very aware of rust and waterproof tackle storage.

Speaking of rust, has anybody tried these containers yet:



They are supposed to prevent rust by "emiting a harmless, odorless vapor which fills the inside of the tackle box to form a protective layer around your lures and other terminal tackle" ::) (nothing like a good marketing blurb). OK, so it sounds suspicious, but I'm still curious.
 

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work2fish,

Ah, thanks for sharing the info on the Flambeau containers. I guess we'll have to try em out to figure if it's worth the buy. Yeah, I learned the hard way too. I went to Neenoshe last year and jumped out on a float tube. The waves got water into all my tackle boxes and afterwards, I removed and drived all my stuff, but forgot about jig heads and baithooks. I ended up throwing away a good pile of different sized bait hooks and jig heads. It was sad. Since then, I pay particular attention to keeping the smaller, harder to seperate stuff in waterproof containers.

Your welcome for whatever you got out of my post and I thank you kindly for sharing those Flambeau products. Good luck on the waters...

1eyeReD
 
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