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What to Put in a Fishing Tackle Box

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Before you head out to the ol' fishing hole, make sure you've checked your fishing tackle box.  Believe us, you want to be prepared with the right stuff once you're out on the water.

Of course, the contents of your tackle box will vary, depending on the type of fish you plan to catch, but this is a typical tackle box for you (or a loved one) to get started.

Tackle-Box Checklist

  • Extra fishing line
  • Bobbers (or, floaters) 
  • Swivels, to keep fishing line from twisting
  • Leaders
  • Sinkers (or, weights)
  • Different sizes of hooks (for different types of fish)
  • Needle nose pliers, to help remove hooks out of fish (and maybe you!)
  • Stringer, to hold all the fish you catch
  • Sharp knife (such as a Swiss Aermy knife)
  • Ruler/scale
  • A small flashlight
  • First-aid kit (with basics just in case a hook gets stuck in your thumb)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

Reader Suggestions

  • Unscented soap to wash your hands before handling bait. –suggested by Jerry Buerge
  • Plastic worm and a couple of lures to attract fish. –suggested by Andy Fox

Are we missing anything? What else would you put in a tackle box? Please post below!

Read more on our Best Fishing Days page.

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Comments

Charge cranking and trolling

By ty on October 19

Charge cranking and trolling batteries, very important. Also, jumper cable just in case.

It's always smart to expect

By Mitch L

It's always smart to expect the unexpected. My wife and I put Excedrine, Advil, Tylenol or any other drug in tic tac containers and mark the contents on each separate drug. Stays waterproof and fits easily inside a tackle box.

Hah, trust a yank to take a

By Craig S. on September 29

Hah, trust a yank to take a mobile pharmacy for a simple fishing trip.

Also don't forget to tell

By ryan steinka

Also don't forget to tell someone where you are going in case u get lost or hurt walking down that new river bank.

Wd-40 to lubricate reels and

By Bass killer

Wd-40 to lubricate reels and spray on lures. Main ingredient is fish oil so works well as a fish attractant!

Via WD-40's website's myths

By Ssheldon1

Via WD-40's website's myths and facts page:

WHAT A FISH STORY!

Myth: WD-40 contains fish oil.

Fact: Consumers have told us over the years that they have caught some of the biggest fish ever after protecting their fish hooks and lures with WD-40. We believe this legend came from folks assuming that the product must contain fish oil since it appears to attract fish. Sorry Charlie®, it just ain’t so.

WD-40 Company has taken steps to respect and conserve the environment, and encourages its users to do the same. While WD-40 can be used to help protect fishing equipment from rust and corrosion, WD-40 Company does not recommend using WD-40 to attract fish.

Must use Polarized Sunglasses

By Fortyfiver

Must use Polarized Sunglasses which allows you to see into the depths of the water.

hotgun glue stick and spare

By mike v u

hotgun glue stick and spare rod tip... heat broken rod tip up and pull off with pliers heat up glue stick and apply to rod... slide new rod tip on i mountain bike in to many fishing holes and i have damaged my rod tip a few times this has saved my bacon b4

Yup. Tips break and more

By Ssheldon1

Yup. Tips break and more often liners wear out or disappear. After losing a tip liner on my favorite go-to rod....I tried to use it. Casted terribly, retrieved terribly and if you hook something your line will most likely shear. So I keep replacements for all my rods. I pre-packed them with glue so all you really need is a cigarette lighter. You can use it to heat old tip and then use spare hook to pull it off. Then all to do is heat new tip and pop it on. Just make sure everything lines up

instead of calling it a

By Capt. Dave on September 30

instead of calling it a
(CIGARETTE LIGHTER), may it be known as a (portable butane fire starting device), as we would not want to promote any of the Government approved BAD HABITS.

dude your such a drag who

By hookedonfishin on October 12

dude your such a drag who gives a crap

Must have a lighter

By Tanner Reid

Must have a lighter

Yup....many uses...easiest

By Ssheldon1

Yup....many uses...easiest way to cut braid too.

Since I fish every weekend

By Tanner Reid

Since I fish every weekend literally befor I head out to fish I always grab a box of worms so I can fish with live bait and a whistle incase I need help. Also I check forod holders and usually bring along a fish bucket and a stake to prevent the holder from floating out in the water.

Elastic string....the kind

By Jeannine Mason

Elastic string....the kind girls use to make bracelets. You can get it at the Walmart in the craft section. It is awesome for holding on bait like liver or anything else slippery like squid or shrimp. Works like a charm. Also, found that wrapping liver in a piece of pantyhose and securing it with the elastic string is a great way to fish with liver. I soak the little bags in the liver blood and some garlic salt. Catfish can't resist it!!

sunscreen is an item that I

By Shaun smith

sunscreen is an item that I don't leave on a boat without especially if you have kids. Nothing worse than a short lived fishing trip due to sun burn

A scale to see how big your

By Captin Crunch

A scale to see how big your catch is. Also if your new to fishing i'd go ahead and put a couple of spinnerbaits, rubber worms, and jig heads in there. All three of those items do wonders for me

I always keep a ziplock

By TAMMY BARNETT

I always keep a ziplock baggie with a partial roll of TP, wet wipes and a clean wash cloth. I use Amway LOC wipes to clean smelly bait off my hands and I always get bites and out fish everyone. THey can be used for anything. Cleaning off bait from your fingers and/or cleaning up after the TP. The washcloth is good for wetting to keep you cool oe anything else that may happen. I always take a gal jug of clean water with me also for rincing fish after cleaned.

Must have a bic lighter or

By Shaun smith

Must have a bic lighter or any other form of lighter. Never know when you might need fire.

chum. It works wonders for

By Sabian

chum. It works wonders for me. caught so many fish because i chummed the water.

One of the most important

By Gwen Powell

One of the most important things in my tackle box is a small crochet hook. It works wonders getting birds nests untangled. Also, make sure to take your ID and current fishing license!

I have read through a few

By fishinandstuff

I have read through a few posts and didn't see SUN GLASSES, although I don't usually put them in my box. They are a must not forget item. Go a day looking at the sun reflecting off the water. Kind of a no brainer but you forget them and you will probably be hurting.

A golf towel is great for

By Joey JoJo

A golf towel is great for keeping the hands clean and will clip on your belt or belt loop so it is always handy but out of the way. And I can't believe no one mentioned duck tape. How can you go anywhere and do anything without duck tape! ha!
Zip lock bags.
A small container to dump out packs of hooks, sinkers, etc if you need to "search" for things.
A hat with lights built into the bill makes a great tool at night without using the hands.
Small file to sharpen those dull hooks.
Stainless Steel pliers with extra long nose is a great tool for most any task around the water.
And many use circle hooks to make it less likely the fish will swallow the hook.

Can of WD-40. Spray on bait.

By Gus D

Can of WD-40. Spray on bait. I'm told WD-40 is fish oil based.........On your take along list. Fold up chair in the bag comes in handy.

WD-40 Is a piece of equipment

By oakie bones

WD-40 Is a piece of equipment that can be left out of your fishing box. Specially if your using it as an attractent. Don't get caught doin that. They'll bust your ass. Id just leave the WD-40 in the truck and use it where it belongs. NOT IN THE WATER!

I believe the department of

By Travis payne

I believe the department of fish and wildlife says WD-40 is illegal to use as a scent. Don't get caught.

That depends on where in the

By Mirrim Blackfox

That depends on where in the country you are. That said, I think WD-40 is petrolatum based so is probably not something you want in your fishing water.

WD-40 is fish oil based and

By George Minor

WD-40 is fish oil based and it could be a very great attractant...most all of your commercially sold attractants are compounded in the same manner of WD-40. Have I used it? yes...does it work? yes, but just as good as the other commercially sold fish baits. There is nothing better in my opinion than fresh caught bait.

that's a myth it's not oil

By hookedonfishin on October 12

that's a myth it's not oil based

WD-40 is not fish oil based.

By Allen Woolard

WD-40 is not fish oil based. If you read the ingredients, it says petroleum based, which makes it toxic to the waters you are fishing. And it is extremely flammable.

A handheld GPS is great for

By SeanMRousseau83

A handheld GPS is great for saving your location on the lake for future fishing trips, Than u can go back to were u found that school of fish.

Dont forget your toilet

By Finis

Dont forget your toilet paper! And a trash bag! Mother nature dont always pick the best time.

Smartest one yet. Mountain

By oakie bones

Smartest one yet. Mountain money

i keep a record pf how many

By Aly

i keep a record pf how many fish i catch per day

I always have a bottle of

By nancy silva

I always have a bottle of vitem E in my tackel box. Becouse if I get stuck with a fish hook or stuck by a cat fish or even cut. I just open the vitem E pill and put the oil on the sore place . And this will take away the pain and sorness .

Ora-Jel does the same thing

By JAMES09

Ora-Jel does the same thing as well & it's available at just about any grocery store and/or pharmacy.
Its numbing effect takes but seconds to kick in & usually lasts for several hours.

There is also an herbal remedy that will do the same thing...it's called Arnica. It's available at most, if not all, health food stores.

As a new fisher man

By Richard deluge boomboom asbury jr

As a new fisher man myself i think back alot to that day my mother help me bag my first bluegil it wasn't that 1 lb er that amm looking for now a days to be a master ok tips size 8 hook 1 oz sinker 10 - 20 line ok baits corn hot dogs use some fish or beef about the size of your finger nail for some fun bass is still new to me but i had luck on a black sliver and white with red eyes crank bait i lost this one this weekend it was good for 3 13 in s m bass that all i no for now keep a line out for me , deluge

Once tackle packed and

By Shane Collins

Once tackle packed and checklist ticked dont forget the tackle box.Also a good idea to check weather wind tides and almanac first.

Also check the battery's in

By The Saint

Also check the battery's in the flash light , I heard anchovies are great bait

I fish in salt water for striped bass and blue fish , flounders. Any tricks on which bait is best . Besides bunker, clams

I keep hemostats in my box.

By zoo bear

I keep hemostats in my box. They are great for removing the hook from the fish and for sqeezing those small sinkers onto your line.

I will tell you one better

By Jamie Gray

I will tell you one better than pliers. Buy a flat tip screwdriver and cut a groove in the middle of it . It works good for getting them hooks out.

For saltwater fishing... The

By RaNeR

For saltwater fishing...
The best way to limit out is using a sail line. 36 hooks at a time bets 1 or 2 hooks
any day of the week...Ha...Ha...Ha...

36 HOOKS?!? Isn't that just a

By JAMES09

36 HOOKS?!?

Isn't that just a wee bit illegal?
And how in the world do you keep all that from getting tangled into a bird's nest?

I think I'll stick to my 1 or 2 hooks per pole...some days I have trouble managing that let alone 36 hooks.

Bring a towel to wipe you

By dont forget towels

Bring a towel to wipe you hands after you handle a fish, your hands get greasy and smelly.
Also an extra shirt so when you get in yiur car u dont smell up the whole car, and water to was your hand because you dont want to rub yoj r hands in your car.

Baby wipes. bringing a towel,

By JAMES09

Baby wipes.
bringing a towel, unscented soap, clean water, a container to clean yourself up in, is too much to carry for me. I keep a box of unscented baby wipes to clean up with, and a golf towel to dry off with. These 2 items have served me well through the years & are very compactable & easy to carry from point "A" to point "B".

Buy the generic brand & they're low cost too! 8 - )

I would also make sure that

By Eagle Scout

I would also make sure that you don't forget your string or bucket and if you bow fish don't forget your arrows.

My husband keeps fingernail

By Lore-Ann

My husband keeps fingernail clippers in his box for cutting line, and pinching weights closed.

I am taking my daughter on

By jennifer&izzy

I am taking my daughter on her very first fishing trip in california. we used to live in southeast texas and could fish out of our back yard. but this is going to be a new thing for both of us considering now we have to make sure you pack up everything. the posts on here have been greatly helpful! thank you!

This may sound kind of crazy,

By JAMES09

This may sound kind of crazy, childish or immature, but until you & your daughter get into the swing of fishing on a regular basis, make a list of everything you NEED to bring, and another list of what you WANT to bring.

Do this 3 or 4 days in advance of the trip so you can fine tune it accordingly.

It is always better safe than sorry...this way you won't forget as much important stuff(IF, if you forget anything at all).

1/2 pint of brandy to put on

By G. Mott

1/2 pint of brandy to put on insect bites also a little sip now and then is good for your health.

It would be more advisable to

By JAMES09

It would be more advisable to use a natural bug repellent as opposed to brandy...
Natural bug repellent will not get you arrested for public intoxication or driving drunk(which is even more dangerous); brandy just might do that.
*************************
The recipe for natural bug repellent & more can be found here:

http://wellnessmama.com/2565/homemade-natural-bug-spray-recipes-that-work/

Bug Spray Ingredients:
Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
Natural Witch Hazel
Distilled or boiled Water
Vegetable glycerin (optional)

I have made this bug repellent & other stuff from this Lady's website & I have yet to find anything of hers that does not do as she says it will do.

Take an extra reel--if the

By Brink

Take an extra reel--if the fish are biting and you get your line snarled, it is quicker and easier to switch reels than the headache of trying to untangle your line.

TY for posting

By JAMES09

TY for posting this...
Unfortunately, it's too late for me, I learned this tip the hard way.

Now I carry a total of 3 reels(one on my pole & 2 extras), a 300 foot spool of braided fishing line, and lots of extras for that 'just in case' moment.

Don't forget your small

By Gwen Powell

Don't forget your small crochet hook for deranged your line.

Yeah, that should be

By Gwen Powell

Yeah, that should be "detangle" NOT "deranged"!

Also dont forget a glove if

By Dave12345

Also dont forget a glove if you are one of the more squeemish or scared of touching a big greasy scaly fish!

There is a tool that is

By JAMES09

There is a tool that is better than any glove(in my humble opinion anyway) on the market for holding onto fish after they are caught...
It's called the Boga Grip, and it can be found at Bass Pro Shops as well as Cabela's.

I'm sure that other fishing gear type stores have the same or similar items to this but this is what I thought of for those who have a squeamish nature to handling fish.

http://www.basspro.com/Boga-Grip-Fishing-Tool/product/20679/#desc-tab

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Original-Boga-Grip-174/734456.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3DBOGA%2BGRIP%26x%3D21%26y%3D1%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=BOGA+GRIP&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

Dont forget 20 dollars, if

By John Crow

Dont forget 20 dollars, if you get skunked you go to the local fish store, buy a lunker. When you get home note how well you cleaned that fish

It never hurts to have a few

By Homer35805

It never hurts to have a few night-crawlers along, just go outside after dark when the dew hits the grass. Take a flashlight and you can catch enough for a good day of fishing, 'cause everything eats night-crawlers....kind of like crack for fish...

Sardines in soy oil work

By brooktroutbob

Sardines in soy oil work wonders either in summer or ice fishing. Marinate your shrimp bait in the sardines over night. Brookies love it, as do Rainbows, and no self respecting catfish can swim away from a sardine smalling bait. Try it, they'll like it, and if they don't, you can eat the sardines

Don't forget the crappie jigs

By cb5255

Don't forget the crappie jigs black and chartreuse red chartreuse, white chartreuse. These colors will catch
salb crappie

Definitely need a net. There

By bassfisherwoman-jackie

Definitely need a net. There have been a few times when I finish wrestlin a monster fish (largemouth bass usually) just to have it fall off the hook when I grab the line.

speaking ONLY for myself,

By JAMES09

speaking ONLY for myself, going fishing without a net is like trying to walk in cement shoes.

I have always been a prime candidate for Murphy's law...if you think you remembered everything, you still forgot the most important thing.

That happened to me twice.

By G Stout

That happened to me twice. Last week, a big Bass. And once last year, an even larger bass. Oh the hurt from that, lol. Two days ago I got one at 5 1/2 lbs. I decided not to pull her out by the line. I reached down in the water and grabbed her by the gills. So if you don't have a net and you got a big one. Try to reach down in the water and grab them by the gills (not the mouth - unless it's hooked else where).

And dont forget a net to help

By wayne lacroix

And dont forget a net to help land that prize fish.

don't forget your fishing

By jim dipper

don't forget your fishing pole like i did i drove 20 miles almost to the lake with my boat and rememberd my fishing pole

I have found that the same

By Lancas

I have found that the same clear aloe vera gel I put in my hair, is good for a bug repellant on the skin when fishing. Clear, unscented kind.

A cut skip jack makes amazing

By Maxey

A cut skip jack makes amazing cat fish bait.

i take a can opener with me

By fish on

i take a can opener with me and one of those multy-tool things

Easiest way to grab a big cat

By Crazy4Catfish

Easiest way to grab a big cat is right thru the gill. Hook your index finger thru the fish's gill and hold on tight. My grandfather tought me this at a young age and I've never been stuck by the spiny fins using this method,...just don't reach in nervous ;-)

I would recommend a 16penny

By bdouglas5345

I would recommend a 16penny nail for skinnin' cats, if you do it while you're camping. Also, a couple of cut t-shirt rags for handling them. They bring the bottom of the pond/lake with them when you pull them out and this makes handling them by the tail end a lot easier.

And no fishing trip is

By Davis Mann

And no fishing trip is complete without paying homage to age old tradition of fishin' cats... Two Girls...One Cup

Electrical tape to secure

By SamanthaN

Electrical tape to secure your piece fishing rod and duct tape for minor fixes.

I meant two piece. Sorry.

By SamanthaN

I meant two piece. Sorry.

dont forget tolit paper for

By josh crum

dont forget tolit paper for those long fishing trips an some beef jerky

I always have a fish glove to

By Jamie Alcorn

I always have a fish glove to handle fish with as well.

Having JUST caught my first

By bdouglas5345

Having JUST caught my first catfish, I would highly recommend this. A nice deerskin hide glove, or any leather driver's glove would be good...at least your thumb will be thanking you!

An old folks tale is; if

By Crazy4Catfish

An old folks tale is; if you're stuck by a cat fish (but not a serious sting) you can rub the injury on the white portion of the catfish's belly to reduce the pain.

I also keep a small container

By Timothy Harper

I also keep a small container of sanitizer in case of cuts... and smoking a cigar will help keep the bugs away...

If you chew scrap tobacco

By Captain Fred

If you chew scrap tobacco spit some on the worm and let it dry a little it will send the fish on a biting frenzy...

This is a good list,

By Catherine Boeckmann

This is a good list, especially for your first tackle box. Might add: electrical tape for rod repair. Beyond the tackle box, bring some small trash bags, a towel, and wipes to clean hands later. Don't forget a hat. And your drink of choice and vittels!

sun glasses for glare of the

By randall

sun glasses for glare of the water

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