Choosing your next fishing tackle bag is a big deal, it can make the difference between a great next trip or one you would rather forget. Serious anglers put as much thought and care into selecting a tackle bag as the seasoned traveler does a piece of carryon luggage. But what makes the difference between a tackle bag and a good tackle bag?
Why a tackle bag?
It was not too long ago when tackle was carried in a box, not a bag. Only the elitist, top of the tier anglers carried the soft sided bags. Everyone else used the traditional boxes that they grew up with, essentially unchanged (with the exception of construction materials) since their fathers and grandfathers hit the lake. But for most anglers there was a turning point. Once they used a great tackle bag the box was a thing of the past, it was about more than fashion. The tackle bag offers many advantages.
- Takes up less room – a soft size bag takes up far less space than a tackle box offering the same amount of storage space.
- Easier to customize – while the traditional box offered separated trails of various sizes and two, maybe three, compartments you were pretty much stuck with what the maker envisioned. The bag allows the user to change the size of compartments, offers a wide number of compartments and most attractive of all the ability to install removable trays. You can have multiple trays for each scenario and take only those you need on a given trip.
- Light weight – even a large tackle bag, one big enough to carry days’ worth of offshore equipment, will be light enough to be easily carried and more comfortable as well.
What to look for in a tackle bag
Not every tackle bag is created equal, in fact, some are hardly worth the time and effort you will put into shopping for it. However, if you find the right bag you will soon discover that it is worth all the time and money invested. Plus, a quality tackle bag will provide years of dependable service in a wide range of applications. But picking the right bag means learning what features are important.
- Quality construction – if your bag is going to last, it needs to be made with top of the line materials and the use of quality construction methods. Look for durable materials that will withstand being wet, exposure to the sun and the possibility of being tossed into the truck, boat or along the shoreline. Poly zippers and water-resistant liners are a must to avoid corrosion and mildew when fighting the harsh elements.
- Ability to personalize – as stated before, one of the big advantages of a tackle bag is the ability to customize it. For this reason, you will want to select a model that offers the ability to change compartment sizes, or at least compartments that will accommodate multiple uses, and a large compartment that will accept boxes packed for specific species or uses.
- Lots of compartments – having multiple compartments, both inside and out, allows you to put each piece of gear where you want it and where it can be easily accessed. Small pockets for tiny items, large pockets for oversized gear and specialized compartments for items such as sunglasses or water bottles.
- Easy to transport – you will want to make sure that the bag you select has strong, durable handles that are going to withstand the heavy loads you endure. Most anglers prefer to also have a shoulder strap, although the current trend is to have the backpack style strap allowing your hands to be free for carrying other gear such as rods.
Great Tackle Bag Examples
The final decision concerning what makes the best tackle bag for you is a personal one, what meets your individual needs is different than what I or even your best fishing partner deems important. But, if you want an example of a modern tackle bag that incorporates everything I look for check out the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack.
This bag is constructed of high quality 1200D nylon fabrics, durable KAM buckles and SBS zippers. There are 11 different compartments that can be divided into up to 18 specialized pockets, including a large compartment capable of holding up to 4 trays, wide mouth side pockets, a hardened sunglass case and collapsible bottle pocket. Rubber feet keep the bag from sliding around the boat and an additional folding rain cover protects the contents should the weather turn for the worse. When it is time to hike a bit, or transfer gear from the truck to the boat, you will appreciate the comfortable heavy-duty shoulder straps.
Good luck and good fishing!
Article by Joshua Taylor
Owner of Salty Scales