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 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

Tackle Box Checklist

This a really informative article on what to put in your tackle box. Alot of this stuff was missing from mine, but will definitely update mine this summer. Thanks again.

Fishing box

I take rubber gloves for puttin on my chicken liver and sewing thread helps hold in the liver

tackle box necessity

Back scratcher (retractable) is second only to my zero gravity chair. Also can help reach items past arm's length.

Striped Bass

If fishing for striped bass on a running river a sliver spoon dose amazing, buyt always check your fishing calendar before heading out because for stripper its pretty accurate.

Add to tackle box

The only thing not on the list is YOUR FISHING LICENSE!

Native Americans feed the

Native Americans feed the lake tobacco or food. I think it is to show gratitude for what the waters give us. My wife and I feed the lake and most always catch fish.

You need a net to bring in

You need a net to bring in the big one.

antiseptic spray and

antiseptic spray and bandaids!

Fishing License Double check

Fishing License

Double check gear before you leave to insure works/operates as its intended to.
When in doubt bring extras( if you have items and thee space) whether it be different baits, lures, line, batteries etc.

Kind of specific game fishing

Kind of specific game fishing and underwater clicks and much more yet relevant would decide upon the right fishing tackle. Sort of fishing stuffs needed to be carried should always be recognized and handy; accompanying an underwater game with ever an efficiency!

Not sure if anyone listed

Not sure if anyone listed this or not, but a good idea to keep with you are the current fishing regulations (bag limits, size limits and such)

I also keep fingernail clippers in mine and some way to start a fire in case of emergency

Not so much something that

Not so much something that would go in the tackle box as much as on the boat; we keep a large umbrella invade we are lucky enough to get the kids down for a nap, it keeps them shaded. Myself as well one trip I neglected to put on my sunblock before going out on the boat

In case we are lucky, not

In case we are lucky, not invade

Fishing stuff : Fishing

Fishing stuff :
Fishing vest
Fishing pole
Fishing net
Face mesh ( get a new one )
Bug spray *
Chest waders
Rubber boots
Fishing tackle boxes
Lighter *
Pliers *
Scissors *
Flint stick
First aid kit *
Nail clippers *
shopping bags
Cooler & ice
Extra fishing line
Headlamp *
Extra reel
Extra pole
Toilet paper
Cell phone
Wallet & fishing license
Pair of socks
Measuring tape
Gloves *
Fishing rod holder *
Tim Horton trays
Water proof case

If you fish saltwater and get

If you fish saltwater and get stuck by a hard head or gaff top, rub the slime from the fish onto where you got stuck. It relieves the pain and stops the bleeding pretty quick.

I'm glad there's another

I'm glad there's another smart saltwater fisher like me out there somewhere. I'm from Mississippi and I fish out of bay saint Louis around ship island. I get stuck by em all the time! Most people wanna act a fool and act like they're gonna die when they get finned by saltwater fish.
Ps- the speckled trout are bitin like crazy around ship island

That about covers it...

That about covers it...

A pair of pantyhose.

A pair of pantyhose.

pantyhose for fishing

what are the panty hose used for while fishing?

I also keep plyers set up for

I also keep plyers set up for putting sinkers on my line. And a sealed box of tie straps various sizes . I use small sizes for my grapple hook anchor. And i tie straped a knife to my cane to cut off some fishing line . To cut off a line that wapped my prop that someone left in the water . It locked my prop so i had to drop my anchor . Tie strap my knife and cut the line off so i could go again . Caught nice croakers and a nice weakfish ,
yellow mouth trout. Turned out to be a good day .

Charge cranking and trolling

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

It's always smart to expect

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

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

Take it from this Carolina

Take it from this Carolina Girl. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I would hate to be on the water and have a migraine hit and not have Tylenol at the very least to tide me over until I got back to shore.

Also don't forget to tell

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

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

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


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

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