9 Special Items for Your Tackle Box

By Tom Keer

Jun 15, 2016

Adding a few specialty items to your tackle box solves common headaches so you can focus on the catching.

Odds are pretty good your tackle box is pretty well stocked with fishing gear. Most are chock-a-block with pliers, hook sharpeners, bobbers, and the like. But here are nine items that solve problems and can save the day.

Scissor/forceps. You'll find stainless steel versions at most fishing shows for about five bucks.  Clip the tip to your shirt pocket to keep this commonly used item handy. Use it to remove a hook that is deep in a fish's throat, for cutting line to tie on new lures, and for bending down barbs.

Shrink wrap and spare guides. Boat shrink wrap can be used to quickly add a new guide to a rod. Tear off a piece, wrap it around the guide, and hit it with a hair dryer. Yeah, I'm sure you don't have a hair drier in your pocket, but stop by a gas station rest room and use the hand drier. Forget about the odd looks....

Tape. Electrical tape is great for quick patches as it's stretchy, so if windings are coming off your guide wraps or if your butt cap keeps falling off, take a turn or two and keep fishing. Cotton athletic tape in your tackle box is good for index fingers for fly rodders, as it prohibits line cuts on wet hands. For a quick measurement to determine a legal fish, add some tape to your rod blank. You'll know in an instance if the fish goes in the box or back into the water.  

Pin-on reel. Retractable reels are excellent for keeping certain items handy: nail cutters, hook sharpeners, leader straighteners and the like. They're the kind waitresses use in diners.

Spare polarized glasses. They break, they fall off overboard, they scratch, and sometimes they get sat on. Heck, sometimes I even lose mine! A back up pair in your tackle box makes good sense.

Landing gear for toothy fish. You might be bass fishing but if a pike or a pickerel grabs your lure you'll want something to tame him. A Bogagrip or long-nosed pliers is a must.

Reel lube. Nothing is more irritating than a squeaky reel. Nothing is easier to fix. A drop of lube makes everyone happy...including your fishing buddy.

Wax. If the section of your rod tip comes loose from the butt section, add a bit of wax to the female ferrule. The tips will stay put with a bit of wax.  

With these few items in your tackle box you'll reduce both your cussin' and your fussin'. On to the fishing. Read more on fishing gear and tackle to get ready for the summer!
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.