Fresh Water Tackle Box Checklist: What to Put in a Tackle Box

Fresh Water Tackle Box Checklist: What to Put in a Tackle Box

There are a few things that you can say are more fun on a bright sunny day than enjoying the outdoors and fishing. The latter is slightly unpredictable so you need to be prepared for just about anything. Jigs and lures get lost, lines break and the fishing adventure can end abruptly if you don’t have the right tackle box with essential gear.

We’ll help you plan for your fishing adventure for a better experience the next time you are in the water.

What to Put in a Tackle Box

Here’s what to put in a fresh water tackle box:

  1. Bait and Lures


You can’t catch anything in water without a bait or lure. Always pack extras to last you the entire trip in case of an emergency. They will come in handy especially when there are no bait shops around when you go fishing. Ensure you have the best lure designed for the type of fish you are going for. It’s always advisable to have different colors and styles and switch them up to find out what the fish prefers.

The water condition will help you determine the best lure to use. What the fish are interested in at that particular moment, the tide and current will dictate the type of lures and bait to use. Having an assortment at your disposal helps ensure you stay on even the pickiest of fish.

2. Extra Hooks

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You should have extra hooks when fishing as they will come in handy when the lure gets damaged or the rig gets stuck on the rock. In this case, you should go for an assortment of hooks in different styles and sizes so that you can switch them up when the need arises. You can also tie the new rig if you’re cut off on the rocks.

3. An Extra Line

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Carry along an extra fishing line during the trip as they tend to break which is quite normal. Tangles do happen, fish snap it and rock embankments can also cut through it. You don’t want to leave the house without a spool of fishing line. You don’t need an entire spool since a few yards of fishing line will work just fine when you’re on the water.

If you’re using a spin caster or casting rod to fish in an area with lots of bird’s nests, consider bringing along a large spool so that you can respool the rod. This is when you need to take out the nest using the nuclear approach.

4. Extra Rigs


Rigs also play a significant role when it comes to fishing for professional anglers and the novice alike. Rigs are pre-tied set-ups uniquely designed for a variety of fish. Typing the rigs requires some technical know-how and is equally time-consuming.

Most terminal tackle brands usually make relatively affordable pre-tied rigs. The rigs are easy to use and will save you aggravation and time when fishing. What’s more, these rigs help catch the type of fish which they’re specifically designed for. This means that they work perfectly well when set up correctly.

5. Floats and Sinkers

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Floats and sinkers are quite handy depending on a number of factors including where you’re fishing. The latter ensures the bait can comfortably sink to the bottom of the water body to allow you target the fish that hang around the lower water column. Most saltwater and fresh water species feed at the bottom of the water. You might want to carry along different variations of sinkers.

Floats, on the other hand, are designed to help keep the bait suspended to a certain level. This allows you to target the fish feeding on the surface of the water or a bit higher in the water column. Floats are quite handy when targeting different freshwater species. It’s always advisable to have more than two floats especially when fishing in a pond or lake.

6. Snaps and Swivels

Snaps and Swivels


These tiny tackle pieces usually serve different functions. They provide an easy solution when it comes to tying complex rigs and will also help improve your fishing techniques. Swivels are ideal for eliminating any twists on the line when casting and reeling. They also allow the angler to tie on rigs and leaders without the need of being conversant with other different knots.

You can use swivel snaps for other different applications including attaching sinkers, lures, hooks and terminal tackles to the rig effortlessly.

7. A Knife


You’ll also need an all-purpose knife at your disposal. The knife will come in handy as it can be used for different purposes during the trip from filleting fish to cutting lines.

8. Needle Nose Pliers


Most anglers usually use needle nose pliers for different functions. You can use the pliers to remove hooks from the fish, attach split shot sinkers, tune up the lures and tie strong knots. Different companies make this type of pliers uniquely designed for fishing. However, any pair and not necessarily a needle nose pliers will work just fine. Ensure you dry the needle nose pliers before putting them back in the tackle box.

9. A Towel or Rag


If you’re dealing with a live bait, then a rag or towel will come in handy during the entire trip. You can easily clean your hands with a rag after baiting the hook, when handling a slippery species or removing sea wood clump from the rig.

10. A Hook Remover


A hook remover is a great arsenal in your tackle box especially for beginners. Removing the hook from the catch after reeling is not a walk in the park when dealing with a toothy fish that wouldn’t hesitate biting off your finger. Besides, not removing the hook correctly can result in injuries to the fish your yourself.

There are different types of hooks available on the market. They come in a range of styles for ease of unhooking the fish without causing any injuries whether you plan on carrying them home for dinner or throwing them back into the water. A pistol grip hook remover is best suited for starters and is equally safe and easy to use.

11. A Hat and Sunscreen


There’s a lot of shade to protect you from direct sunlight on the land which is quite the opposite when you are on water. A hat and sunscreen will protect you from harmful UV rays to prevent you from having nasty sunburns.

12. Bug Spray


Bugs are obnoxious especially during the summer season but this depends on where you go fishing. The ocean has fewer bugs. However, you’ll be contending with bugs when fishing in lakes, bays, rivers and inlets. If you’re still pondering on what to put in a fresh water tackle box, bring along a bug spray to keep them away during the trip.

13. First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit


When fishing, scrapes and cuts are quite common among other minor injuries. This is because fishing involves getting your hands dirty and handling sharp hooks and bait. That’s why you need a simple first aid kit. You might need alcohol pads, gauze and bandages to treat the small injuries that you get when fishing.

14. Sunglasses


A pair of polarized sunglasses are the best when fishing as they have additional benefits. Polarized and mirrored lenses usually help block out extreme glares from the water and allows you to see the water surface clearly.

15. Fish Stringer


A fish stringer is a worthwhile investment even though its relatively expensive. It will come in handy when fishing on the boat. You can always string the fish together using the stringer then anchor them to the shore and throw them back into the water. This way, you are sure to keep them alive during the entire fishing trip.

There are different fish stringers on the market including metal chain and rope stringers. Each variation works perfectly well when it comes to keeping the catch alive. Rope stringers are relatively cheap and are also easy to use as compared to their metal counterparts.

16. Fishing License

You need to have a fishing license before you set out for the adventure. The cost of the license caters for waterways and land upkeep and conservation efforts. Your trip can come to an abrupt end if you are caught fishing without a license or you might receive a ticket as much as it won’t land you in major trouble. You don’t want to risk it all, just carry the license anytime you go fishing.

17. Tape Measure

Tape Measure


You need a measuring tape or tape measure to take accurate measurements of you catch if the need arises. You also need to adhere to the size regulations put in place to govern what people are allowed to take home.

18. Fish Scale


A fish scale will help you know the exact weight of the fish, this way, you’ll know how big it is. You can weigh the fish effortlessly and accurately with a small, relatively cheap fish scale. Save for any bragging rights implications, you need to know the accurate weight of the fish just in case you reeled in the record holder.

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