When it comes to storing your fishing gear, choosing the right tackle box can be a shopping trip in itself. With hundreds of choices from a myriad of companies, how can you pick just one to fit all your needs? Not to worry; I have helped hundreds of anglers search through aisles of tackle boxes to find one that fits their fishing lifestyle perfectly, and I can do the same for you.
There are two basic styles of tackle box: the hard plastic boxes that most are familiar with, and soft tackle bags. Both offer useful characteristics and are geared towards certain tackle, styles, and levels of experience. The real challenge here is not deciding what tackle box to get, but rather what features, based on your own fishing experiences, you'll need.
Hard tackle boxes come in many sizes and styles, suited for all levels of fishing experience. Several companies make varying types and each brand possesses its own unique designs and features. The smaller one, two, and even three tray hard boxes are ideal for casual anglers and beginners, as well as children. The trays unfold as you open the box and clearly display all your lures so you don't have to search long to locate the one you need. Casual anglers will find simple, hard tackle boxes to be perfect and those who plan to fish more often in the future can even plan ahead and purchase a box that's a size or two larger. This will allow you some room for your expanding tackle collection without having to purchase a new box when you start buying more lures.
The larger boxes are equipped with a higher capacity for storage, as well as specialized compartments for specific lures and equipment, which makes organization finding the right tool quite easy. One other feature that appeals to anglers is the hard, durable frame that allows the boxes to withstand a reasonable amount of wear and tear, and also lets them sit easily on many surfaces without tipping and spilling their contents.
Their hard frames do not appeal to everyone, however, as some find the larger boxes to be uncomfortable and cumbersome. Their single, small handles make it hard to carry the boxes long distances to your favorite spot, especially when they're filled with tackle. Also, as anglers amass a collection of tackle, they quickly outgrow the limited storage of hard tackle boxes and find themselves forced to purchase a new one. If you fish a few times a year or are just starting out and want to get yourself a nice tackle box to store some basic lures and equipment, then I highly recommend picking up a hard box. If, after a few seasons, you find yourself hooked on fishing and begin to outgrow your first tackle box, then it might be time to upgrade to a more serious storage option.
Make sure to read part two of this article, where I'll describe all the features, as well as some commonly-held disadvantages of soft tackle bags.