Tackle Box Basics For Beginners
For all fishermen, old or new, there is one undeniable trait we all share; a love for fishing gear! There are thousands upon thousands of fishing-related products out there for a wide range of uses. Most of us carry our fishing gear in a tackle box or bag for easy access and overall convenience. A tackle box is a great grab-and-go option with everything you need already inside for a fishing adventure. In this article, we are going to cover the basic essentials every tackle box should have along with their uses in the field. We are going to assume you already have a fishing rod and reel to focus solely on what should go into your new tackle box!
Every tackle box, no matter your fishing style or preferences, needs a solid array of hooks and weights! Hooks come in many different sizes and shapes specially designed for their many uses. If you are a first-timer, buying a set of mid-sized baitholder hooks are a great way to go when fishing with live bait such as worms or minnows. Once you get accustomed to the sport of fishing, trying your hand at soft plastic baits can draw more strikes while adding to the fun! Anglers should always keep an array of hook sizes and shapes with them to be ready for any fishing conditions.
Weights, or sinkers as some people call them, help you cast further while getting your bait down deeper in the water column to reach those suspended fish. Much like hooks, weights come in all sizes and shapes for various fishing styles. The most common weights fishermen use are “split shot” weights that are pinched onto the line with a set of pliers. Other types of weights, typically larger weights, feature a wire loop to tie your line to or attached to a snap swivel. Contrary to what you may think, weights are not just used for live bait fishing! There are many setups out there that require various styles of weights for soft plastic and even lure fishing, so make sure to do your research on what appeals to you most and what weights you need to make it happen!
Bobbers are a great tool to use for beginner fishermen. Attach a bobber a few feet above your hook and once a fish bites on, that bobber will plummet below the surface. Many people refer to bobbers as strike indicators as that is exactly what they are! Bobbers are great when you have multiple lines in the water letting you keep track of exactly where and when the fish are biting.
Snap swivels are a great way for beginner and experienced angels alike to use many different baits in a short period of time without having to keep cutting the line and retying knots. Snap swivels tie directly to your mainline and have a clasp that, once opened, allows for hooks or lures to slide right on. Using a snap swivel not only saves you time but also saves fishing line! Cutting and retying knots use more fishing line than you think, especially if you switch up your bait multiple times!
Having a good set of pliers in your tackle box is a must for any fisherman. Removing hooks from a fish can be a tricky process, especially ones with teeth such as pike! Pliers help you get down deeper in the fish’s mouth to get a better grip on the hook itself without having to tug or rip it out. This greatly reduces the risk of causing further harm to the fish or your fingers. Pliers are also great for making adjustments to your tackle such as straightening out hooks on a lure, pinching down barbs, or opening and closing split shot sinkers.
Nail clippers make a great addition to any tackle box. They are small, lightweight, and perfect for cutting lines and leaders. Nail clippers are also perfect for trimming baits down to size such as rooster tails, jigs, or topwater frogs. Various companies have designed nail clippers fixed on a bungee system for easy access without worrying about dropping your precious tool into the water or forest floor.
Now you may not catch the biggest fish of your life every time you head out for a day of fishing, but having a scale on hand for when those monsters do come around can prove extremely useful! You can choose between an electric or analog scale based on preferences and price range, although an electric scale proves to be more accurate. Many anglers prefer to weigh their catch to compare the latest catch from previous monsters.
Tape Measurer / Ruler
Going off the same theme as the scale, having a tape measurer or ruler in your tackle box is a great way of comparing fish throughout the season! In many cases, if you decide to keep your catch you will need a tape measurer to ensure the fish is of legal size for keeping. Guessing or just assuming your fish is big enough can land you a hefty fine and possible license suspension if caught by a Fish & Game warden.
Every angler has their own version of what a tackle box should include, so we decided to cover the essentials! Once you get more comfortable with knowing what you do and don’t like to use, you can fill your own tackle box with your preferred soft baits or lures. Fishing is a broad sport that encompasses many different aspects of the outdoor lifestyle, captivating people of all ages for centuries.
What are some of YOUR tackle box essentials? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear them!