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3 Keys for Finding the Best Tackle Storage Trays

Tackle trays make it easy to separate and categorize your fishing tackle and tools.
Tackle trays make it easy to separate and categorize your fishing tackle and tools. (RUNCL/)

Most fishermen don’t limit their angling pursuits to a single species. We like to fish for whatever we can catch, and that usually means a lot of terminal tackle and rigging. The easiest way to keep it all straight is to use individual tackle storage trays for specific species and techniques, from freshwater to saltwater, natural baits to lures. If you need to add a few trays to your collection, here are a few things to consider.

Convenience

Keeping tackle organized makes it easy to just grab and go fishing.
Keeping tackle organized makes it easy to just grab and go fishing. (KastKing/)

Keeping your tackle compartmentalized is the best way to have the right tackle in the right place when you need it. With configurable dividers and see-through tops, you can stack them all in a master bag or box, quickly identify the right tray for the job, and then just grab it and go!

Configuration

Figure out the size of the tools or baits you’re organizing first so you buy a tray with compartments large enough to accommodate everything.
Figure out the size of the tools or baits you’re organizing first so you buy a tray with compartments large enough to accommodate everything. (RUNCL/)

Plastic tackle trays are nothing more than hardware utility boxes by another name, and they come in as many different configurations as there are bits and bobs to store in them. But the removeable dividers aren't always the most reliable. They come loose and get lost. Or they go unused and take up space because we are loath to throw them away. Since soft plastics, swim baits, hooks, and weights all have unique shapes, the best practice is to know exactly what category of tackle you want to keep in each box and select a tray with as many fixed compartments as possible, keeping those you need to divide to a minimum.

Construction

Inspect the hinges of your tray to make sure they’ll hold up over time.
Inspect the hinges of your tray to make sure they’ll hold up over time. (Plano/)

The best thing about plastic storage trays is they are cheap. The worst thing is that they can be, well, cheap. Look for a tray with mechanical hinges, which will last longer than those that are just a flap of plastic connecting the top and bottom. Similarly, hinged mechanical latches will outlast flimsy injection-molded snap closures, which tend to degrade and lose holding power over a few seasons.

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