A big part of fishing is having a good quality tackle box to hold all of your fishing gear. So we put together a guide of the best tackle boxes for fishing that runs the gamut from small pocket boxes all the way up to configurable multi-tray boxes.
BEST TACKLE BOX TYPES
While the classic style tackle box with the expanding trays and drawers are fine and keep it pretty simple for beginning anglers, anglers today like modular systems that can work in a boat, in a backpack, in a kayak or just thrown in the back of a truck. So we advise different styles of modular tray and waterproof utility style hard tackle boxes that are easily stored in a backpack or compartment in a boat.
You can buy many simple trays and put different types of lures in each one. Or you can buy the bigger configurable ones and put all different types of tackle for the bodies of water you fish in one.
Many preconfigured tackle boxes will serve specific purposes, and we like those, but we also like tackle boxes you can configure on the fly yourself.
BEST TACKLE BOXES FOR KAYAK FISHING
The most important things for kayak fishing tackle boxes are as follows:
- being waterproof
- being easily accesible
- being stable in the kayak
While most folks opt for small waterproof satchels or a krate that holds multiple waterproof boxes, a good dry bag with a few small boxes also works as well. It all depends on the size and layout of your kayak and how much gear you want to carry on a certain body of water.
BEST TACKLE BOXES FOR BOATS
For us, the most useful tackle boxes in boats are the 3600 and 3700 utility boxes that you can stack on their sides to fill up a tackle compartment. When you have a boat, you tend to carry a lot more tackle organized by type of lure or even color or season. And if you’re like us, you keep the bulk of your tackle at home and load in just the boxes you need for that season or type of fish you are chasing. So you can’t go wrong with a bunch of Plano Stowaways or Flambeau Utility Boxes with Zerust.
BEST TACKLE BOXES FOR SOFT PLASTICS
You can certainly store soft plastics in hard boxes. We do keep a few boxes with soft plastics that we go through a lot in a trip or season of quickly. But keep in mind, plastics and materials like Elaztech can warp and compromise thinly made plastic tackle boxes. So often their packages are the best storage for them so they won’t dry out and warp boxes.
For that reason, we mostly keep our soft plastics in their original bags and then store those bags in soft cases like the Buzbe Quik Qubes, Plano Speedbags, Flambeau Heritage Bait Binders, or Bass Mafia Money Bags.
BEST TACKLE BOXES FOR SPECIFIC FISHING
So now that you are more familiar with the various uses for different tackle boxes, here is a list of individual picks for best tackle boxes that we like for a lot of different categories of fishing needs.
BEST CONFIGURABLE TACKLE BOX – PLANO EDGE FLEX TACKLE BOX
Plano released the Edge Series of boxes a few years ago, and they have been expanding the line every year. In fact they released a new Frog Box and a new Spinnerbait Box and Bladed Jig Box.
Our favorite is the Edge Flex box which is a deep 3700 size Edge Box that comes with lots of different dividers to literally configure it anyway you want. This has become our go-to travel box for trips because I can resize the compartments to fit any types of lures, bags or accessories I need to take on a trip in one box. It’s super versatile, rugged, waterproof and quick and easy to access.
Read our full review on it here
BEST SATCHEL STYLE TACKLE BOX – FLAMBEAU SATCHEL
At $69.99, the Flambeau Waterproof Satchel 3000 with two WP3012 Ultimate Tuff Tainers is a bit of an investment, but one that’s well worth it. Able to organize, protect and make readily available a wide variety of tackle and gear, this is the perfect tackle box for avid anglers and recreational fishermen alike.
BEST PROTECTION – BASS MAFIA CLEARVIEW BAIT COFFIN
The original Bass Mafia Coffins were created because the founder stepped back on “another brand’s” box on a fishing trip and ended up in the emergency room with multiple big deep diving crankbait hooks in his foot.
The latest iteration is the Bass Mafia Clearview Coffin with a crystal clear lid that allows for easy identification of your tackle at a glance while still offering their heavy duty protection and durability. The heavy duty hinges, clasps and dividers keeps your tackle secure and in place.
BEST BAIT SPECIFIC BOX – DAIWA TACTICAL LONG STICKBAIT BOX
These new Daiwa Tactical storage boxes are slick and we especially like the one for jerkbaits. If you pay high dollar prices for the prettiest and nicest jerkbaits out there, you want to not only keep them secure and protected but maybe show them off in this slick box. It’s narrow profile, easy open lid, hook slots ad more make this the total package for jerkbait storage. It holds 16 of your best jerkbaits.
BEST JIG BOX – DAIWA G-BOX 3200
Gamakatsu has been making these foam insert G-Boxes for a couple of years, but they are still our favorite for storing hooks, jigheads, jigs. They are inexpensive, keep all your terminal tackle secure and make everything easy to grab and rig in an instant. They are small light, with a quick action clasp. I love these boxes for storing all my crappie jigs, treble hooks, hand tied jigs.
BEST DEEP TRAY BOX – BUZBE COLONY 28 MOD DEEP
The nice thing with the customizable bins on the Colony 28D is you can get larger bins for your bigger lures and smaller bins for your tiny baits and terminal tackle. It’s also handy for when, like with my lipless crankbait collection, I have 30 of a shade of crawfish but maybe only a half dozen gold baits. So it can be modular to the size of the lures or terminal tackle or it can be modular to the quantity of a particular lure or color. That gives you a lot of options as an angler depending on your individual collection of baits.
Check out our full review here
BEST 3-TRAY BOX – LURE LOCK 4-IN-1 BOX
The Lure Lock 4-in-1 Box comes with the big box, two additional trays and two different systems for dividers. With the original divider system you can create 1-24 deep spaces. With the wider green dividers you can have 1-18 deep spaces. With the two tray system, you can have three levels of narrow wide storage and with everything out of the box you can have one big box for bulk storing anything from line to tools or large swimbaits.
BEST BEGINNERS TACKLE BOX – Flambeau Small Double Satchel
The double sided lightweight and portable design of the Flambeau Small Double Sided Satchel makes it perfect for a fishing trip or weekend exercusion. Multi-depth compartments provide storage for lots of different size lures and terminal tackle. It’s very affordable at $15 which makes it a great pick for beginning anglers just getting started that haven’t accumulated boxes and boxes of tackle yet.
BEST POCKET BOX – GAMAKATSU G-BOX POCKET UTILITY CASE
These small Pocket G-Boxes from Gamakatsu fit in a small front pocket of your shorts or vest and make carrying your terminal tackle easy. I often have a couple bags of plastics and a some hooks and weights when I pond hop or jump on the paddle board to fish small bodies of water. They box is really thin so you can only carry small tackle in it. But it’s nice for small bullet sinkers, hooks, beads, bobber stops, split shot, split rings, small jigheads, o-rings, etc.
BEST PANFISH BOX – GRUV SMALL JIG BOX
These Gruv Small Jig Boxes are still some of the best small jig boxes I’ve found for things like flies, tungsten ice jigs, small jigheads and little hooks for panfish. I have one of these boxes in a small zipper pouch with my few bags of panfish plastics and the whole thing fits in a pocket. So I always have my panfish jig kit ready wherever I travel.
The Gruv Small Jig Box features rubber jig holder slots, a magnetic closure that stays shut and makes accessing jigs with cold hands quick and easy.
BEST BRANDS FOR TACKLE BOXES
So that is a good list of specific boxes that we have used a bunch and really like for various applications. But every angler is different and if you don’t see one that fits your needs perfectly, the great thing is there are dozens of options out there for you.
If you’re going to explore more tackle box options, we recommend the following tackle box brands:
- Bass Mafia
- Evolution Outdoors
We tested the tackle boxes. Ones that were said to be water proof we tested by pouring water onto them when closed and also by placing them into the water to see if water seeped in. Real world tests on waterproofing.
We tested lure compartments to see if the held tackle securely or leeched into other compartments. We tested latches to test for longevity, durability and security. Nothing worse than a tackle box that’s always coming unlatched. After that we test useability in a variety of options like in boat compartments, loose in vehicles, in backpacks and in kayaks.
After that we tested configurability to see what different things can be done with the boxes. After testing dozens of boxes like that. These are the choices we settled on.
If you want to compare whose lids can be bent the farthest, we’re not the place for you. If you want to see who does the best job holding your prized tackle, then take our advice. We’ve been testing tens of thousands of products for the better part of two decades. And we don’t care who has the strongest hinges. Just who stores tackle the best.