Six things every angler needs in his tackle box

A tackle box is a tool box, and just like a tool box it says a lot about the man. A man can be organized, messy, simple, or a pack rat. As long as he can find what he’s looking for when he needs it, he’s good to go. But, what if you’re just starting out? What if you don’t know where to begin? Well, here’s a jumping off point to get you down to the lake and casting without too much research.


Every angler needs fishing line. This is obvious. There are a lot of different varieties, but don’t get bogged down in the details. Here’s the real tip: Bring EXTRA line. You never know if one batch will get tangled or if you’ll just plain use it all. You also don’t know if your brother-in-law will forget his on the next trip and have to mooch off you. So be prepared. Which brings us to the next thing.


You should be prepared with an assortment of hooks in a variety of sizes and shapes, but here’s what you really need: a J-Hook in a medium size. It’s traditional. There may be better options for you that you might adopt later and there have certainly been a lot of innovations in this area, but that’s where you should begin.


A hook and a lure often times don’t sink without one. They don’t need to be huge. They don’t need to weigh a ton. In fact, it’s better to just keep some light ones around. Lead used to be the best option, hell it used to be the only option, but now you can find them in brass, steel, and even tungsten.


Needle nose pliers. Don’t go fishing without them. If you do, you will find that you need them almost immediately. They help take the fish off the hook. They can cut line. They can straighten wire as needed. Sometimes, they can even help take the hooks out of you.


It’s a complete waste of time to add this to the list because you should already have a knife. I mean, every guy should have a pocket knife. If you’re going to be outdoors, if you’re going to be fishing, if you’re going to be in the woods, you need a knife. Pliers can do a lot, pliers are what you should keep in your tackle box but that’s only because you should already have a knife in your pocket. Don’t bring one along and that will be the next time you need one.

Stinky Fake Worms

Your collection will grow quickly. Pretty soon you’ll have lures, spoons, spinners, worms, and whatever else they sell at the fishing shop. That’s just going to happen. It’s addictive and it’s fun. If your wife complains about the dozen or so $2 lures that you’ve picked up over the course of years, just point out that one purse costs more than everything in your tackle box and ask her why she needs more than one anyway. That should get your point across.

In the meantime, you can start with a small pouch of stinky fake worms (or stinky fake minnows or stinky fake shrimp). We’re not paid by or sponsored by any fishing company, so we don’t need to tell you a specific brand (Berkley Gulp!) because there’s one that will stand out when you’re looking at the wall of options. They’re fairly inexpensive and a handful come in each pack so you don’t have to worry about losing them. One key aspect is that they’re scented. Fish can smell them in the water and they get hungry when they do.

That smell also goes a long way when you spill them in your tackle box. You’re not going to be able to get it out. Just let it sit and join the rest of us stinky fishermen. Now you know why our tackle boxes smell like they do: Years of fishing and at least a couple packages of stinky fake worms leaking into the bottom.

(images source; Amazon)

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