Tackle boxes have changed
significantly over the years while every material imaginable has
used to create newer and better designs. Tackle boxes have been made
from such materials as wicker, wood, tin, aluminum, and brass. In today's world of space aged materials there seems to be
two main players left, molded plastic and soft nylon. But which is better? That
we're here to discuss!
Molded plastic tackle boxes have been extremely popular for many
years. And there is good reason for this. These boxes are extremely
strong, can be brought into the woods and take a good beating, and
they will rarely break. They are also relatively cheap to produce. I
have owned several of these in my lifetime and have found only two
flaws in the actual durability of these specific boxes.
The two most common parts to break are the handle, or the hinges on the back. Now I am not saying that these are going to
break on you but in my circumstances they seem to be the most
vulnerable. When buying a plastic tackle box look at all the hinges
and decide which ones seem weak, and which ones seem strong. Look at
such characteristics as the size of the hinges and how many there
are. The more area being distributed throughout the back of the box
the stronger they will be.
It is common for the handles on these boxes to be of poor design.
Look at how the handle is attached to the box. It is quite easy to
tell the difference between a quality handle and a cheap one.
There are many different types of plastic boxes available to
fishermen, but they can generically be broken into three groups:
||Racked boxes are great for storing lots of
lures in an organized matter. They come with sto-away/tray
style miniature tackle boxes to keep your lures organized.
These are great for people who have a lot of different
lures. You can keep one small box for plastics, one for
crankbaits, one for terminal tackle etc. This way when you
need something you can just pull out the tray. Racked boxes
are good to keep in the boat when you don't have to carry
them far. If you do plan on fishing a lot of the backwoods
these are very cumbersome to move around.
||Satchel style tackle boxes are briefcase
style boxes. They are small and lightweight to carry around.
They are strong to withstand impacts. And they are the
cheapest of all tackle boxes to buy. These are good for
beginner anglers but quickly become inadequate if your
tackle selection exceeds what you can carry in the box.
||Tray boxes are simply plastic tackle boxes
with integrated tiered trays that expand out the top of the
tackle box. These carry minimal amounts of actual lures but
usually have a nice deep bottom for miscellaneous tools and
such. These tackle boxes are a nice compromise between a
Satchel style box and a Racked box.
Soft Sided Bag:
||Nylon tackle bags are becoming more and
more popular. They are extremely lightweight, durable, and
are versatile. You can easily sling these over your shoulder
and hike into that often forgotten bass hole in the woods. I
personally bring my tackle bag with me every time I go
fishing. They usually are a simple design allowing for a
couple pouches for odds and ends and a large interior where
you can arrange your sto-aways/trays of lures. A big plus to
these is that the trays they come with should be easily
bought separate at a baitshop. I have several extra trays of
lures that I just replace depending on what I am fishing
for. If I go out for trout I just fill it up with four
related trays of fishing tackle. And If I feel like bass I
can replace them with four bass related trays. Now I just
need to strap it over my shoulder and hike to the spot no
one else goes.
Soft sided bags are surprisingly durable but only when you
buy quality. Keep to brand names like Plano or Shimano. I
have had one Plano tackle bag for nearly five years and it
shows no signs of any tears or seams coming undone. And this
is in spite of the tremendous abuse I've given it.
The cost of tackle boxes varies but here are the approximate costs
for good quality tackle boxes:
plastic "satchel" box will cost you about 10-20 dollars
plastic "tray box" will cost 20-40 dollars
plastic "racked box" will cost 25-50 dollars
nylon bag will cost you 35-50 dollars
As you can see, each box has its own niche in which it is best. Most
serious fishermen have several boxes to meet the situation they are
fishing. However, a soft sided bag with extra sto-away compartments
should be able to suit almost any fisherman.