What to Put in a Fishing Tackle Box

Preparing for Your Next Fishing Trip

By The Old Farmer's Almanac
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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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 .



Tacklebox necessity

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

Tackle box content

The location and style of fishing makes all the difference in what tackle might be needed but a package of basic survival gear should be kept securely on the person at all times. Water can be an unforgiving companion.

Tackle Box

I carry a sap(blackjack), to quickly kill a fish I intend to keep. Better a sharp blow to the cranium than letting the fish gasp its life away trying to breathe.

Tacklebox necessity

Use a stringer if you want the fish to live and stay fresh.

Tackle Box Necessity

I keep an old cloth or cotton glove for holding the fish while I take it off the hook.

Not a tacklebox necessity

A cloth or cotton glove is not good for the fish because they the slime coating on the fish which is essential to fish to protect them from diseases should you choose to release them. It is better to lip the fish unless they are toothy like Pike of which it is better to hold them by the gill covers.

Tackle Box Essential

Just learned this the other day. So far so good Sunglasses are a must on tackle list.

Tackle Box Thought

I keep an unsharpened pencil in mine in case someone else has my pliers and the fish swallowed the hook. We wrap the line around the pencil or a small stick and spin the fish quickly to snatch it out of the throat.

Tackle box

I suggest a small nail clipper for trimming line, a needle threader to ease threading a fish line through small snap-swivels, and a pointed toothpick or something similar in metal to open tight knots.

Tackle box must have

No matter what you are fishing for, if the fish are biting, you have to have a Rooster Tail with some type of red color on it. Sun fish and bass CAN NOT resist!!!!!

I keep a bee sting kit and

I keep a bee sting kit and clean wet cloth (in sandwich bag) and hand sanitizer. Travel size bar soap.

What else for tackle box..?

As for line/knot cutting.... I prefer to use new ones, but, in a pinch, used ones are ok...large / toenail clippers. Tie string to clippers and and attach somewhere to keep them handy.

Tackle box

My shotgun to shoot the fish if all else fails.

tackle box check list

I know it seems obvious, but do not forget your fishing license if the place you are going is not privately owned. Also always bring some kind of crackers if it is an all day or half day trip. Crackers seem to keep your stomach settled.

What to put in a tackle box

I like to make sure I have most things on the the list but I all ways find my self checking to make sure my scissors are in my box . I love to bank fish in fast moving water so I have found that a sharp pair of scissors cuts my retie time tremendously. So I spend more of my time actually fishing.

Hat & glasses

If the sun`s out, I always take a floppy hat and some polarized sunglasses. It`s so calming to relax in the heat and watch the damn fish swimming lazily past me just under the rod tip !


Start a fishing Journal. I have had one in my tackle box since my kids were very little. When we go we record date, time ,weather , who caught what ,when , any wild life we see ect ect.
Mines over 30 years old and it Is fun to go back over the years .....The youngest of my kids (5 total) is 22 now. The Wife always skunks me now with the most fish caught. Great times.

fishing journal

thats a great idea - especially if you start early in life - fishing or catching, its the journey right?

tackle box

bread and corn. Catfish like bread and corn, and some other fish do.

Tackle Box

One of the corn holders. Stick it in the tail of the fish to hold it down while you are scaling/cleaning.

Tackle box contents

Hand towel, iodine, ziploc bag.