Let’s get one thing straight: you’re almost certainly organizing your tackle box wrong.
That isn’t to say you’re a bad fisherman, or to suggest you’re unable to catch a fish. But if you get your act together and efficiently pack away each piece of fishing gear with a purpose, it can easily become the smartest angling decision you’ve ever made. And you were the one who went fishing on your wedding day…
We’ll spare you the obvious, and assume you’re smart enough to know that all this organization begins with a good quality tackle box. Plenty of soft sided bags options, as well as compartmentalized cases that provide easy access, are available on a wide ranging scale.
Find something you’re comfortable with, and go from there.
Designate some categories
Choose some meaningful spots for each type of lure, terminal tackle, and other item category you have more than a few of. There’s no reason to go searching and opening several lids or drawars when all you want is a different color swim jig.
Combine the similar pieces in the same compartments, and if you’ve got a hefty load, divide them up by profile and depth to make it even easier.
Label like you mean it
Lots of tackle boxes will have scrawled out numerals and letters, but rarely are they entirely decipherable or strictly followed. Don’t let this be your tackle box.
Clearly label (with stickers instead of writing on the plastic with a Sharpie,) the compartments that hold things that need labeling, and you won’t ever waste time tying on something that you think is one thing, but really is another.
That is, if you stick to it. Follow your imposed guidelines and don’t get lazy tossing things in.
You might want to consider using scissors to clip the description of certain items off the cardboard packaging, just in case you get to where you’ll be fishing and space on their directions. Cut them small enough to fit inside the compartment that houses the item it describes, and you’ll always have that info should you need it.
Everything in its place
Beyond those steps, you’ll want to keep accessories and other items handy, but should live in their own designated place. Things like snips, forceps, and multi tools should ideally be stored in an exterior pocket or loop, so they’re readily available. Line, scales, and and knives can be kept a bit more tucked away.
Above all else, you’re looking for a system that makes sense to you and provides the chance to cut down on a little stress and worry during an activity that by nature shouldn’t involve any. No two tackle boxes will ever be organized the same way, so you’ve got to find what works and stick with it, only making adjustments when you can justify the advantage.
Because really, who wants to be the guy who misses on that giant school because he was fumbling with his mess of a tackle box?