How to Organize a Tackle Box

Last night I was going through my tackle box trying to get it a little better organized. The problem was that I had hooks and weights spread out over different section of the tackle box. The top of the box is mostly lures and a few weights and hooks. With the bottom of the box being an assortment of different hooks, weights and other supplies.

Some of the lures in the top of the tackle box include rattle traps, crank baits, beetle spins, and a couple of tiny torpedoes.

After looking through my tackle for a little while, I realized that I fish for about 3 different types of fish – perch, bass and catfish.

How to organize a tackle box survival fishing supplies

For perch I use split weight and small hooks.  To organize my tackle box for perch fishing gear, I bought a small double sided container.  On one side of the container goes hooks, on the other side goes split weights.

Since perch stay in shallow water, I try to keep a small stock of bobbers (corks).

For bass fishing I use artificial bait, like worms and lizards.  A bottom section of the tackle box is dedicated to artificial worms, on top of the worms is a small double sided container like what I keep the perch fishing stuff in.  In this container hooks go on one side and weights go on the other side.

Unlike the round split weights for perch fishing, the weights used for bass fishing are oblong split weights used for making a Texas rig so the bait does not get hung up in the weeds.

For catfish I use a little bit larger hooks then perch fishing and some teardrop weights.  A loop is tied in the fishing line, the end of the loop is inserted through the wire on the weight, then wrapper around the end of the weight.  This makes the weight easy to take on and off the line.

The bottom of the tackle box is where most of the supplies are stored. The lid is mostly for lures, and items that are used a lot, such as finger nail clippers for cutting monofilament line fishing line. When I am using a weedless Texas rig for bass, and its cut off the line, the hook, weight and worm are usually thrown in the lid until the individual parts can be put into their storage compartments.

Extra monofilament line, I like to keep a couple extra spools of monofilament line in the bottom of the tackle box. The spools include:

1 spool 12# test
1 spool 20# test
1 spool 30# test

The 12# is for perch and bass fishing.
The 20# is for drop lines / jug lines / noodles.
The 30# is for one of my heavy fishing poles that I use for catfish or light saltwater use.

Fillet glove – one of the items that I like to keep in a tackle box is a fillet glove. Its not really for filleting fish, but for handling fish that have teeth – like saltwater fish. And, the glove can come in handy when its time to fillet the fish.

Leader material – one of the things that I like to do is to make homemade leaders.

To make homemade leaders you will need:

Cable or monofilament line (think 20# or 30# monofilament line).
Crimp tool

All of those supplies are stored in the bottom of that tackle box.

survival fishing gear homemade leader

How to make a homemade leader:

Cut a section of cable about 16 – 18 inches long.
Slip a barrel over each end of the cable.
Insert one end of the cable through the eye of a hook.
Loop the cable back and insert the cable into the barrel.
Thread the cable through the barrel until about 1/8 in is sticking out the other end.
Use the crimping tool to crimp the barrel.
Repeat to the other end of the cable, but use a swivel.

Use a hook and swivel matching the size of fish you want to catch.

To add a weight to the leader, repeat the process, but attach a teardrop weight to the end of the cable.

Homemade fishing leader with teardrop weight

If you want to be able to change the weight or hook out, attach a snap at the end of the cable. Make sure you use the type of snap that has a curved end so that the snap can not pull up easily. I made the mistake of buying some snaps where the retaining wire does not have a curl on it. If enough pressure is applied to the snap, it will pull open. For those types of snaps, I will only be attaching weights and not hooks.

Do you have a suggestion on how to make homemade leaders?   If so, post your comments in this forum thread about homemade leaders.

Lets get back on the topic of organizing a tackle box.

A couple of things that I would like to add to the tackle box are a small multi-tool and knife.  A local auto-parts store sells a small multi-tool for about $10.  Its not going to be the same quality as say a Gerber, but at least its something.  And something is better then nothing.