How to Keep Your Fishing Tackle Super Organized

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 17, 2016

Want to catch more fish and spend less time looking for lures? Use these tips to create an organized fishing tackle system. Find what you need when you need it!

By keeping your fishing tackle tidy, you will spend more time actually catching fish and less time rummaging through your tackle box searching for the right lure or having to untangle a mess. There are a few simple tips to organize soft plastics and other tackle that can prevent a whole lot of frustration, and help you get your line back in the water faster when switching set-ups.

To Organize Your Fishing Tackle

Group any fishing tackle that you would use for the same species together in the same tray or container if possible.

Weights or Sinkers

•    Keep sinkers or weights of the same sizes grouped together in labeled compartments or containers. In other words, group your 1/4 oz bullet weights together, your 1/8 oz weights together, and so on. When conditions change (wind, current, vegetation), you will be able to find the right size quickly. You can also recycle old 35 mm film containers or small mint tins by using them to organize your weights.

Soft Plastic Baits

•    Organize soft plastics by grouping according to type and color; then place in plastic storage bags that are clearly labeled. Avoid mixing colors since soft plastic baits tend to bleed.

Lures and Rigs

•    Avoid tangled treble hooks by using plastic twist ties to secure front and back treble hooks together.

•    Organize lures based on what they do or where you would fish with them. For example, group crankbaits on the right side of your tray, minnow-imitating lures in the middle, and topwater lures on the left.

•    Store spinnerbaits in lure wallets or specialized clear plastic spinnerbait containers so that the skirts and arms don't get entangled. This will also help prevent your spinnerbait skirts from melting together or from melting to your other lures.

•    Keep trolling rigs organized in soft lure bags that have been sorted and labeled according to species.

Fishing Hooks

•    Safety pins are a great way to keep your hooks from getting tangled. Use safety pins of different sizes to organize and store your fishing hooks. Use larger safety pins for larger sized hooks, and smaller safety pins for smaller hooks.

•    Use the individual compartments in your tackle trays to organize your collection of safety pins according to hook size and type.

After Using Fishing Tackle

•    If you are saltwater fishing, bring a small jug or bucket of freshwater along and rinse your fishing tackle before placing it back into your tackle box. The freshwater rinse will help prevent your hooks and lures from rusting or corroding together.

•    After using soft plastic baits as trailers on a spinnerbaits, jigs, or spoons, always remove the soft baits after use so that they don't melt to your fishing hooks.

Now that you know how you can keep your fishing tackle better organized, it might be a good time to learn how you can improve your cast and retrieve technique when fishing with different types of lures.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.