What to Put in a Fishing Tackle Box

Preparing for Your Next Fishing Trip

June 9, 2016
Fishing tackle box-Fisherman-Thinkstock

A fully equipped tackle box comes in handy when out in the wilds.

Photo by Thinkstock

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
  • Lures or flies
  • 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 Army 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.


This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated.


Reader Comments

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Tackle Box

Most of these are a no brainer if you have ever fished in your life. For people new to fishing this is a good list. My Dad, God rest his soul, made sure I had everything I needed in mine. I've been fishing most of my life and enjoy it. I don't use unscented soap because the river/creek water cleans it just fine.

Tackle Box Contents

I take two boxes. To keep hooks close to hand, I use a small sheet of foam that comes in shipping boxes. Cut to size needed and put hooks by size on it. Slides into the soft side tackle box without problem. A small wire cutter for removing things, placed on a lanyard tied to the handle of a box. light weight needle nose pliers extra long to get into the deepest small mouths like turtles. I got mine in the crafts area. Minnow bucket with bubbler/aerator for small silvers and always a box of worms. Clamp on sinkers. A lot of items you can in the boxes sold at walmart's. I buy the boxes on sale and use them to hold my tackle like large swivels, bobbers, sinkers,clampers, tools so I can take it out and see at a glance what I need. What bait is up to the fisherman. I like live, my g'son likes plastic. We try to get plastic that is like the bait around where we fish. Of course after every trip I clean everything up and replace things used, especially after having the grandkids along..lol

Small bottle of SPF 50. To

Small bottle of SPF 50. To many times getting home and burnt to a crisp!


I always take a pair or two of rubber gloves so your hands don’t smell like bait and the fish won’t smell your perfume/lotion etc

what to put in fishing tackle box

I keep a multitool in my tackle box. It helps when I need to cut line and remove hooks from fish.

what to put in fishing tackle box

I keep a multitool in my tackle box. It helps when I need to cut line and remove hooks from fish.

Items for fishing

I can not emphasize enough the importance of hydration when fishing. You will be near water or on the water but you need water as you will experience thirst.

Tackle box must have.

Small nail clippers to cut fishing line. Put clippers on a bright keychain so when you set them down you dont loose them.


Superglue and alcohol pads. Never know when you might get a cut or stabbed by a fish's fin.

Tackle Box Necessity

Band Aids just in case you do hook yourself! Also, A good tick repellent.


I always have a fingernail clipper in my tackle box. It cuts fishing line like butter and is great for trimming excess line from knots. I got this tip from my grandfather.

Anise extract ,Water bobbers and bait sauce monster catcher

I really only fish for trout. I go lake fishing with powerbait type bait. I take a bottle of fish attractant. You can use #18 or #16 treble hooks for powerbait, 2-3 LB test. Take the spray cap off the attractant bottle and throw the suction straw attached to it away. Add some Anise extract to the sauce for super Hondo sauce. Dunk the hook and bait in bottle. It must fit thru the small bottle opening or it's too much bait. You can make up 4ft+ long extra leaders, w/ bait on hook and have them soaking in bottle as you utilize a small swivel to exchange leaders. Above swivel 6 lb test is OK with a large completely filled water bobber, no air bubbles- so it sinks! (only heavy out of water). Cast 100 yards and catch a monster, Have drag off or bail open after cast / before bite. After fishing oil your needle nose plier!

what else to put in tackle box

I always leave the house with a few small packaged snacks and a water bottle in my back pocket. Don't forget your cell phone in case of emergency!

A cooler full of MILLER just

A cooler full of MILLER just in case I forgot to put something
in my tackle box and/or the fish aren't biting.

Tackle Bag

Always take a compass....

What To Put In A Tackle Box

We always keep seeing thread &/or old cut up pieces of pants hose in our tackle box. We use it for to keep liver & other loose baits like that in the hook better.

Tackle Box Necessity

I suggest a camera and scale. I was once forced to release a fish that was a personal record of mine and did not have my own scale nor a camera so would of had no proof or verification had someone volunteered to take 1 photo before it was released. Only picture I have but am thankful to have it. Will always wonder what that big fella weighed.

tackle box necessity

Zip lock bag with toilet paper, just saying and for those of us who don't want a $600 pair of prescription glasses ruined or lost -take z cheap pair of cheater reading glasses o you can see to tie a knot, thus I have taken care of both ends.

What to put in a tackle box

I like to bottom fish and those jingle bells you put on the line really come in handy.

Must have in Tackle box !

Also include a multi tools , Paper Towels and always have a plastic bag or two to make sure and trash, discarded live baits and or any other trash you will ALWAYS, find on the trail , Take only photos and Leave only memories. Unless there of good legals size ...of course.!! Happy Fishing

DR. Bass

Necessity for fishing

Always carry fig Newtons in your tackle box.

Necessity for fishing

A friend named Tom and I were bass fishing one morning. No luck at all. I said I know what's wrong. I haven't had any fig Newtons yet. Tom said that has nothing at all to do with catching fish. After eating two fig Newtons on my very next cast I pulled in a 4 pound bass. Tom said gimme those fig Newtons.

You should also buy some

You should also buy some worms for the day, to me they works better than plastic worms.

Tackle box stuff.

I would put a lighter or water proof matches. Just in case.

What to include in a field tackle box

Depending on where you fish, bear spray would be a good idea. Waterproof matches might be a good idea too.

What to Carry Inside the Field Tackle Box

Know the rules before you play to ensure a successful trip.

A current pamphlet edition of the local fishing regulations is always a great idea to ensure the trip is both pleasant and enjoyable as ignorance of the law is no excuse and the regulations actually do change from year to year .




I make up a number of leaders with the swivel attached so I don`t lose
a lot of time having to do it when my line breaks for any reason.

Fishing knot

I prefer the Trilene knot but whatever floats your boat...

Tacklebox necessity

I never go fishing without a cheap rain suit on my person and a Mylar blanket in the tacklebox.