Of course, we all know you need lures in your tackle box to catch fish. But making sure you have the core essentials handy will ensure that you can enjoy success on the water, day-in and day-out.
Here are five things you absolutely must have in your tackle box to keep your fishing at its highest level.
Needle Nose Pliers
Perhaps the most versatile tool around for your fishing needs, a good set of needle-nose pliers is a true essential for any angler’s tackle box.
Their tapered design makes them optimal for hook removal. Even if it’s lodged way back in the fish’s mouth, a pair of needle-nose pliers can reach back there and get the job done.
These pliers are also great for lure repair and maintenance. Twist a bent hook back into shape. Open a split ring to replace a hook. Crimp a split shot weight into place. There are many ways to use these pliers effectively to keep your fishing setup working properly.
Some models even have a sharp edge near their base, providing you with a convenient way to cut line. Save yourself an unexpected trip to the dentist and use these instead.
If you’re hooking into some big fish, you’ll want to know just how big they are. With a measuring tape, like this version from Rapala, you can get length and girth measurements of your fish with a compact design.
In case you don’t want to carry a fishing scale, there are online calculators out there (like this one) to help you determine the weight of your specific species based on its length and girth.
You never know what’s going on beneath the surface. You could be dragging your line through abrasive weeds, timber, or rocks. This can damage a significant length of your line, making it weak and likely to break during your next fish fight.
Always have an extra spool of line at the ready to replace your line if you notice it’s becoming damaged. There’s nothing worse than having a lunker break you off before you can even get a look at it.
With repeated catches or contacts with structure, you can easily dull or bend your hooks. This reduces their effectiveness to hook into a fish’s mouth.
Don’t chance it. Replace those messed up hooks. Keep a wide variety of different sized treble and single shanked hooks to get your favorite rig or lure back up to peak performance.
First Aid Kit
As it turns out, YOU are the most essential part of your fishing experience and there are many ways to get injured while you’re out on the water. From poking yourself with a hook, to getting bit by a toothy fish, a bloodied and battered hand can mean your lures stay in your tackle box.
Make sure you carry a compact first aid kit in your tackle box so you can take care of any minor injuries and get right back to casting. Do your research, however, so you know when an injury may require you seek professional medical attention.
What are your tackle box essentials? Please share in the comments section below.