Changing tackle boxes is traumatic

This article will be geared toward old timers with old school tackle boxes or newbies moving to Idaho that want to get into fishing.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying: “Don’t be the first to embrace the new nor the last to discard the old.” The latter would be me. I’d still be using a flip phone if my dead battery hadn't been discontinued. And then my daughter gave me an iPhone. Now of course I love iPhones due to their awesome filming abilities. So it goes without saying, it’s hard for me to upgrade gear unless it flat out breaks/wears out.

I remember decades ago, Cotton Ward, who I think was the first Idaho Press outdoors writer, wrote an article on replacing his old fly-fishing vest. I forget all of the gory details but the gist of it was that it was tough to get rid of his old worn-out vest and replace it with a new one. He knew where everything was in it plus, it held a lot of memories.

So with the above said, I understand how us fishermen can get emotionally tied to our traditional gear. But come on, even Huckleberry Finn and Jim would have ditched their cane poles and evolved to using a modern rod and reel by now if they were still alive! Today we’re going to talk about upgrading your tackle box. When I was a kid the old flip top boxes were the only option. Then the flat ones with little compartments that had a see through top emerged. They were nice because you could see where your lures were.

Then a few years ago canvas tackle boxes that held plastic treys became popular, and for good reason. You can compartmentalize your lures. Carry your jigs in one trey, plastics in another. Plugs in one and weights in another. This allows you to be more organized which provides for faster access. Another big advantage is that instead of needing 10 tackle boxes you have treys designated for crappie fishing, bass, yellow perch, Northern, bass, walleye, catfishing and whatever else you want to fish for. Let’s say you’re going crappie fishing this afternoon. All you have to do is to throw your crappie trays into your canvas tackle box and off you go. That’s a lot better than years ago when you had to carry three to four on every trip to be covered.

My old tackle box is getting threadbare after many years of fishing so I’ve been in the market for a new box. I’ve been looking around for the last two years but hadn’t found what I wanted.

A couple of weeks ago I found what would fit my needs. It is the Largemouth Tackle Bag made by Evolution Outdoor. I got the 3600 which is what I’d classify as a smaller/medium sized bag. If you have a big boat, you may want a bigger bag but there’s not a lot of extra room in the Black Pearl so the 3600 is the perfect size for me.

Also, I’ve been doing a deal over in South Dakota. I’m doing mainly bank fishing and wading there so I thought a backpack tackle box would work better there so I ordered an Evolution Outdoor Largemouth Double Decker Backpack. It uses the same size treys as the Largemouth Tackle Bag so I can interchange treys between both boxes.

As stated above, I got both bags but I also ordered nine extra trays. I can throw my specialty fishing gear in those treys and grab them if going on a walleye, catfishing, bass or gar fishing trip. Or if I’m going crappie fishing and there’s a chance I might want to catch a few bass, I can take along one to two of the bass plug trays, which won’t take up much room.

So if you’re one of the last to embrace the new, make the switch and grab a new style of tackle box like the Largemouth Tackle Box and get rid of your old grandpa style flip top tackle boxes and be a pace setter.

When I started writing this article, I thought I’d have it done in one to two hours but then I spread all of my tackle boxes out in the front yard. Wow, I had way more than I thought. I had to set-up a card table to work on so I could consolidate my lures into the trays. Gee, I had enough lures and jigs ratholed to last me until I’m 99 years old!

Suddenly a one to two hour article turned into a six- to eight-hour project and I’m still not totally organized. I left my salmon gear in my old green tackle box but I am a lot more organized now. I have all crappie gear in trays in the new Largemouth Tackle Box, my striper jigs/plugs in plastic trays which I can grab next time I fly to Texas for a striper fishing trip.

I may start a new career and become a Tackle Box Organizing consultant! You can pay me for my services in cash or lures.

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. He can be reached via email at

Post Author: By Tom Claycomb

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