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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Tacklebox necessity

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


Using a stringer is a habit for me that I still use to this day since I was a child, and was taught to me by my cousin Johnny Johnson,(who served in World War 2). I never go fishing without it.

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.


Gloves are not necessarily an item to pack, but good to have for certain occasions. I use the ones with the rubber on the inside of the glove. I take mine with me on every trip.

Keeping fish alive

Its good to have a stringer with hooks you can pass in fish lipps instead of gills this helps them to live without getting infection in the gills and dying later

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.

The Pencil

Real old school but very effective.

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.


Then it`s obvious that you won`t be eating fish for dinner my friend.

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.

Tackle Box

Don't forget your fishing license and an extra tin of Skoal.


And Z man Shroom jig heads mainly with the Z man finesse TRD it also works with lake fork trophy lures baby ring frys just bite the tip off and Ned rig it and largemouth bass love it

Forgot extra hooks

Forgot extra hooks

Take box contents

Fingernail clippers to cut fishing line. Never liked putting that nasty line in my mouth to cut it with my teeth.

I have a pair of scissors but

I have a pair of scissors but an good knife to put in is a leatherman micra

Tackle content

Always take a rule book and a kid, any kid, especially one without both parents, the more you do that, the more beginners luck you will have. I usually leave a long cane pole rigged n ready on bank or pier with a note, enjoy....

Tackle box contents

Always have In Case of emergency info name, adrs, tel #'s, who to call & contact info, Dr name & tel, medications list and Always leave behind your trip plan where going time expected back and a fillet knife and a cell phone/camera