THE BEST WAYS TO STORE AND ORGANISE YOUR FISHING GEAR
Organisation has never been my strong suit. My tackle box looked like a bomb had hit it. After every fishing trip, my rods were unceremoniously dumped in my closet. When I was on the water and needed to find something in my tackle box, it became a running joke among my mates that I would be scrambling around, and rummaging around my tackle box like a dog burying a bone.
Beyond becoming a figure of ridicule among your mates, failing to organise your tackle box effectively can cause you to lose fish, and in extreme cases, particularly when kayak fishing, can be outright dangerous. Also failing to appropriately store your gear will lead to an increased rate of wear and damage and will cost you money in the long run.
GET THE RIGHT CONTAINER
Effective tackle management starts with the right container. If you want to be organised, you need something fit for purpose. No carrier bags and plastic boxes, fork out for an actual specifically-designed tackle box or tackle bag. I personally prefer a durable, hard-shell box. I like to fish from the rocks and like the robustness that a harder box gives me. But a bag does the same job and works just as well.
When I made the transition from chaotic, dishevelled fisho, to organised and effective angler, I started with my lures. The first step was to organise different boxes for crankbaits, spinners, topwater lures, soft plastics, minnows, metals, etc.
I also like to separate my soft plastics by colour. I keep greens together, pinks together, yellows together, and so on. This might just be relevant to me because I have heaps of soft plastics, but do make sure you are keeping them separate from your hardbodies. Some soft plastic lures contain chemicals that can affect the colouring of hardbodies and can cause the colours to run.
Make sure you have clear plastic lids so you can clearly see what is inside each box. Failing that, mark on the outside what is inside so you don’t have to open each top to assess the contents. These days, lure boxes generally come with transparent lids for each compartment. If you don’t have some, get your hands on them right away.
HOOKS, WEIGHTS AND SINKERS
I try to keep my hooks, weights, sinkers, floats, and other small but useful titbits somewhere where they are close to hand. Some bags have outside pockets. These are perfect for these small pieces. In my box, they fit nicely in the lid. The reason being, that you want them in easy reach.
STORAGE AT HOME
Your rods and tackle should stay in a dry, cool area. Heat weakens the graphite and fibreglass, so keep them out of the sunlight and somewhere that doesn’t go above room temperature. You also want to make sure your rods are stored vertically, to prevent a set or bend. Investing in a decent rod rack is an easy way to guarantee your rods are always stored in the right position.
Keep everything labelled. I cannot stress how much this helps when packing for upcoming fishing trips. I have a shelf with all my extra tackle on it. When I am getting ready for a big trip, I make a list of what tackle I need before I start packing. Then all I need to do is find the containers and put them in the bag. Messing around opening boxes and rummaging for different bags and packages makes it all take way longer than is necessary.
Remove your fly lines from your rod and reel and store them separately, loosely coiled. If you use a filet knife, clean it and dry it after every trip. I also like to coat it in a layer of oil if I know I won’t be using it for a while.
Coming up with an effective tackle management system will save you a lot of preparation time. I find I spend less time packing my bag, less time looking for my tackle when rigging up, and more time fishing when out on the water. I am still a laughing stock among my friends. I don’t think that will ever change, but not it is for my glaring fishing outfits (but that is another story) rather than my appalling tackle management.
Do you have any tips for storing and organising your fishing tackle? Let us know in the comments section below.