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Thread: How are you storing your tackle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    30

    Default How are you storing your tackle?

    Every winter I sit down and try to reorganize my tackle in a way that makes sense and I've yet to come across a method I LIKE. I've got shelves out the yin yang that hold everything from minnow buckets to kayak accessories and everything in between, but I can't come up with a good tackle storage system. Basically, 99% of my fishing is in the kayak, I do NOT like to take a lot of tackle in the kayak, and I like to be able to grab and go quickly. By "not a lot of tackle" I mean I want it to fit inside a crate.

    I do, generally, have stuff sorted at a macro level like this:

    Saltwater
    Freshwater
    Kayak Accessories

    Then I've got storage boxes. The storage boxes are, generally, "stuff that gets used regularly" and "stuff that doesn't get used regularly." Inside those are plano boxes and ziploc bags by "general" type---deep crank/large crank/spoon/topwater/frogs/catfish/jigheads/weights/flukes/craws/senkos/tubes/neds/grubs/creatures/panfish. I've got hooks in prescription bottles and that seems to work very well for me.

    I still run into issues. I forget about stuff that's tucked into a box. I constantly put my rod holders/scuppers/whatever into a random box and have to dig for them. Then there's dry bags and phone boxes and such too. Last year I bought a small shoulder bag that works for about 90% of my kayak trips, it holds a ton of plastics and a small plano box or two of whatever. Still, storage is a nightmare because I feel like if I can't SEE the stuff I don't wanna dig to it. Last year I bought a TON of new cranks and I used almost zero of them because I can't figure out how to sort/store them. Then the logical questions. Ima Roumba is a topwater frog wakebait. Does it go in topwater? Does it go in frogs? Should I forget that stuff and just keep a box of "most used"? But then when will I cycle in other stuff...

    I thought about just getting back to basics and eliminating all the stuff I'm not good with or don't know how to use well---the cranks and such, and then I caught three PB's last year on gear I'd had for a while but never tried, so now I'm infected.

    Show me your setups!
    2016 NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5
    2015 F&S Shadowcaster 12
    2008 Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT 12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,953

    Default

    WVKayakFisher,

    This is a good topic. Thank you for starting it. I know your dilemma precisely. I go through the same thing.

    When I started kayak fishing I purchased a number of Plano Waterproof Storage Boxes. Mostly, I purchased the 3600 series...they are about 10 by 7 inches. I also bought smaller ones, 3500 series perhaps, that are 9 by 5 inches.

    As my collection of lures grew, so did my number of boxes. I sorted my lures by type in these boxes and stored them in my garage in old kitchen cabinets fastened to my garage's walls:

    P1000657.jpg

    Here's a look at the contents of a box of jigs and one of soft plastics as they are presently stored:

    IMG_0619.jpg

    I also have boxes with crankbaits and poppers. And I have them with flies sorted by type.

    I used to take each box I may potentially use on the water with me in my Revo. I have a BlackPak and I can carry up to 6 boxes but I rarely brought more than 3 with me.

    I soon learned that carrying that many boxes was overkill. I rarely change lures on the water because I carry 2 to 4 rods, each with a different lure, and I certainly didn't need to carry hundreds of lures with me on a 3 or 4 hour outing.

    Now I combine what I want into one Plano box:

    IMG_0623 (2).jpg

    Above I have jigs, bucktails, soft plastics, spinners, crankbaits and poppers in one box. I can go after stripers for hours with just that one box. If I want to target perch or pickerel, I can carry another box, usually the smaller Plano box, with downsized lures.

    I like to fly fish and I have a two boat boxes for my flies. I have them organized by Fresh and Tidal waters and yes, there is overlap. That's inevitable. In my Revo, which I reserve for bigger water, I usually carry a box that looks like this in my BlackPak when I fly fish:

    IMG_0624.jpg IMG_0625.jpg

    That's more flies than I could ever use on a single outing. But they take up little space, and of course they are very light to carry.

    Here's a peek inside my BlackPak loaded for a typical outing:

    IMG_0627 (2).jpg

    Note the larger Utility Box on the right. I carry my license, tools, rope, leader spool, etc. in that.

    In my Ultimate 12, which I reserve for small water, I travel very light. I have a small government issue tool bag (available on-line and at surplus stores) that I use for a boat bag. I tuck it under my left leg on trips.

    IMG_0621.jpg

    I can place 3 or 4 of the small Plano boxes in the tool bag, plus a double sided fly box:

    IMG_0622 (2).jpg

    I can customize the contents of the boxes depending on whether I am fishing for stripers or perch in tidal creeks or pickerel and bass in ponds.

    I keep other kayak accessories, like my rod holders, shoes, etc. in a milk crate on my garage floor near my kayaks.

    If I was starting over, I would have purchased fewer Plano Waterproof boxes in favor of standard Plano (or other brand) tackle boxes. The non-waterproof boxes are cheaper and my inventory of waterproof boxes are mainly for garage storage now, not on-the-water use. But it's good to have extras to customize for specific trips.

    I look forward to seeing what others do.
    Last edited by Mark; 12-15-2017 at 10:28 AM.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Mark, thanks for the reply. You do, basically, EXACTLY what I do except that I don't keep soft plastics in plano boxes, preferring the bags they come in. I also can't deal with having tons of stuff on the water, even though I've got a relatively big kayak. I've got no blackpak but I do have a normal crate, and it looks basically exactly how yours looks, lol. I've got way more boxes than that at home though, and not everything sorted into boxes---but I like the idea of the smaller boxes (I too prefer the waterproof 3500's to the larger, although I've found that most of those sizes fit under my seat just fine but I also don't tend to change gear too much.
    2016 NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5
    2015 F&S Shadowcaster 12
    2008 Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT 12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    644

    Default

    I keep two sets of Plano waterproof boxes ready to go, one set for freshwater, one set for bay/saltwater. Within each set are four waterproof boxes, two 3700s, one 3600, and one 3500. The two larger (3700) boxes are designated for soft plastics and lures/spoons. The medium sized 3600s are for jigs and spinners, and the smallest 3500s are for live bait. Each set is stocked with regional items, and all my other tackle is stored in larger tackleboxes that always stay home. If I'm going somewhere with different target species than we have here locally, I swap out items accordingly from my stay-at-home collection. On my boat, the two smaller boxes fit in the square hatch under my legs with room to spare, and the two larger boxes either go in a crate or under my seat if my livewell is in the rear cargo area. I would eliminate my crate entirely and just store them under my seat always, but I use 4 standup rod holders on either the crate or livewell. Also, I could probably eliminate one box from each set if I wanted to, but those 4 fit nicely no matter what else I decide to bring along, so no need to downsize.
    2015 Hobie Outback
    2001 Dagger Cayman

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    420

    Default

    I will post my shame;

    It gets cleaned up about every other month, then slides back to filthy in an endless cycle. I pack tackle "kits" into 3600 boxes, sometimes based on a specific presentation/lure or for a specific combo. This lets me just grab a few boxes and head out the door. I usually only carry a single 3600 when on foot and one per combo when in my yak.
    Drew

    Yellow Pompano 12
    Lime Slayer 10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Churchton, MD
    Posts
    125

    Default

    Honestly, 2 Plano boxes for me. I’m a minimalist when it comes to fishing. There’s so much complexity in life, I prefer to keep it as simple as possible with this particular obsession. I do pour my own jigs and I hang them on a shelf in the shed so there is some overflow there, and there are a few bags of plastics floating around on my shelf near where I store my kayaks. Other than that, I have a box for jig heads and plastics and a box for plugs/spoons/etc. My jig box has jigs that range from 1/2 oz to 1 1/2 oz as I fish primarily for striped bass. My other Plano has plugs for the most part. 1/3 of them dive deep, 1/3 are medium deep and 1/3 are shallow divers. Lastly, I have a few mini-umbrella rigs that I made and a few Chesapeake Rigs made by Alan Battista hanging up on the near the kayaks. One of my poles is usually dragging one of those at all times during Spring and Fall.
    Trident Ultra 4.3
    Pompano 120
    Garmin Striker 4dv

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Burke, VA
    Posts
    296

    Default

    In my constant struggle to downsize tackle storage, I have found it best (i.e. what works for me) to have tackle boxes laid out according to the medium in which I plan to apply my craft: “Kayak Fishing”, “Boat Fishing”, “Surf Fishing”, “Freshwater/Shad/Perch Fishing”.

    For example, the small handful of Plano waterproof boxes I have labeled “Kayak Fishing” contain an assortment of jig heads, metal spoons, or hard plastic lures. The soft plastic trailers I would use with these jig heads are kept permanently on the kayak (out of direct sunlight) in their original plastic bags. I usually carry no more than one ‘yellow’ Plano box for my jig heads and two small ‘red’ Plano boxes for my metal spoons and hard plastic lures during a kayak trip.

    I will add that my rod quiver has a similar caste system. I have: “kayak rods”, “boat rods”, “surf rods”, and “freshwater rods”. I keep them rigged and ready to be used on a moment’s notice.

    Like Mark mentioned, there is bound to be overlap when using this method. Specifically, since I fish for striper from both the kayak and from a boat, I tend to have similar stuff in each of the boxes. My rationale is this: I prefer to have overlap than be searching frantically the night before a trip for a particular lure, or license, or jig head, or soft plastic trailer etc… (I’ve been there, done that, don’t like it).

    Where I struggle now is how to thin the herd of all the “extra” stuff I’ve acquired over the years. I have storage tubs lining my garage walls full of this extra stuff, but everytime I feel like I’m emotionally ready to part with it, I find myself going back to a tub and recycling an old item. Frustrating and satisfying all at the same time.

    BL: Find the handful of lures that work for you in your chosen medium, and stick with those. If you ignore the hype and the constant marketing barrage, you will be able to significantly reduce your tackle inventory.
    Last edited by baitball; 12-24-2017 at 04:10 AM. Reason: typo
    -manny

    Hobie Outback
    Wilderness Systems 130T

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,953

    Default

    There has been excellent input here. We each seek our own ways to minimize what we carry on the water drawing from a large inventory we keep at home. The next step in my kayak evolution is to reduce the rods I carry without feeling unprepared. Since I carry few tackle boxes, I really do not need my BlackPak or the milk crate I use in my Ultimate to hold lures and flies. But I do need them to carry my rods. I can put 5 rods on my BlackPak and 4 on my crate. However, on my trips I may not touch one or two of them. Right now it's a psychological thing. I know they're there and that's comforting. But I could easily retie...after all, I have the necessary lures and flies with me.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    420

    Default

    I am trying to hold the line at no more than four rods with me in the yak. Most of my fishing is for freshwater bass and I feel like I can (with enough research and preplanning) fish any presentation needed with four rods. Most all of my rods are "all around" so I have a lot of flexibility in what presentations I can have tied on at one time. When I bank fish I carry a single rod, but I can still be pretty flexible in what lures I have on hand without carrying 15lbs of tackle with me.

    This is an example of one of my kits, I assembled this one over the fall to use with a M/F casting combo. It's mainly shallow cranks, small jigs, and some topwaters and a spinnerbait. The bottom compartment is a jumble of used plastics I threw in on a whim.

    I have a dozen or so of these boxes that I am forever packing and repacking as the seasons and my obsessions change. It's beyond fussy, but now that I don't have a huge rolling toolbox at work to fuss over, it serves to sooth that particular itch. It does make keeping organized a little hard as I have terminal tackle scattered around all over, but I keep a small assortment of weights and hooks in my tackle sling/PFD, so I have never been really caught short.
    Drew

    Yellow Pompano 12
    Lime Slayer 10

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in! If you don't mind a long post, I'll tell you a funny story:

    I've been using Walmart Pay this year because they match local prices and I don't have a single quality grocery store in my area, and then all the "savings" get added to a walmart gift card that i use mostly for tackle. Anyway, I have the app on my phone for this reason. This past weekend I went to the new local superstore "Sportsman's Warehouse" to buy a stack of the 3600 waterproof boxes. I got there and they were almost $10 apiece. I pulled out the walmart app and they were available for pickup today at the walmart across the road for $4.90. So...to walmart I went.

    Only I get to the walmart and they're $8 apiece. So I show the guy the app screen and he tells me he has to call a manager. She comes back and isn't very nice---and believe me, I'm being NICE, that she can't match the price in the app unless "I can order it online." I'm like..."This is online, this is your app, saying these are available today at this store for $4.90" She finally gets me to understand that I have to be able to order it on walmart.com and have it SHIPPED TO ME AT THAT PRICE in order to match the price in the store, that the price doesn't reflect the actual price on the shelf. So I point out that instead, I can just buy it with the app, select pickup, and let her employees pick them, label them, sort them, and package them for me...for $4.90. She agrees that yes, this is my other option. (My mind boggles.) I'm like "ok, I'll just do that then. Thanks." So then she says "Well I can match this since it's like $2, I'm not even sure why that's worth your time, but I can match this." I was like "I planned to buy several". So anyway she says I can buy however many I like and she'll match the $4.90 but I shouldn't ever expect to be able to do it on something more expensive. Whatever lady. So...I got a big stack of boxes for $4.90. Anyway--this led me on a search and APPARENTLY, just FYI, Walmart's app/website will give you significantly lower prices for local free pickup than the store offers. I wound up buying a bunch of sporting goods this way. I actually bought my son a BB gun for christmas and a tube of bb's, I paid like $21 total for both, in-store price like $34. NO IDEA why they're doing that, but keep it in mind. LOTS of sporting goods are cheaper in the app. Anyway...


    So I took home my new boxes and got out all my crates, boxes, bags, etc. Unloaded everything. I managed to downsize dramatically by more efficient sorting and packaging, way more than I expected to. I wound up with something of a mish-mash of the ideas here, most boxes are lure specific (deep cranks, for example) some are super specific (swimbait hooks with weighted heads), and some are multis (catfish). All my non-weighted, non-specialty hooks are in their own empty, labeled prescription bottles now, terminal tackle split between some boxes and some bottles depending on what it is. I repurposed a 5-shelf plastic storage shelf into my tackle holder, and have all the boxes/bottles arranged so they're visible. My plan now is to create "custom" dry boxes for specific trips and restock them as necessary, some will persist and some will be dismantled. (For example, I don't need a year-round 'steelhead' box, but I do need a year-round 'smallie' box). All in all it takes up way less space than I thought it would. I threw away anything rusty, any old bits of terminal tackle with line still attached, etc. It's kinda awesome.

    There's one downside though...
    spring cannot POSSIBLY get here soon enough.
    2016 NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5
    2015 F&S Shadowcaster 12
    2008 Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT 12

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