How you can pack a better tacklebox

Pack a better tackle box for your next fishing trip. Our fishing expert, Clint Nail, provides a list of must-haves every angler should have on hand.

  • A quality flashlight with batteries. It’s useful in early morning or if you stay until night. I keep a couple of flashlights in the boat.
  • A couple of towels. Useful for drying the boat seats, your hands, your face, etc., especially on rainy or hot days.
  • Bug spray. This frequently overlooked item can be a lifesaver for obvious reasons. I keep some in my boat and my truck.
  • Sunscreen. This is a must. A bad sunburn can ruin the best day on the lake.
  • Radio and headphones. If the fishing action slows down, you can at least listen to some music, or maybe even a football game.
  • Needle-nose pliers. Very useful in removing hooks and lures from fish, pliers can also be used to tighten nuts and bolts.
  • Scissors. You’ll want scissors, clippers or some type of fishing line cutters. Cutting specialty fishing line, like braided line, requires special scissors that usually will not work very well on monofilament or fluorocarbon lines.
  • Wire cutters. Keep a quality pair of wire cutters in the boat. They can be very helpful if someone gets a fish hook in a finger.
  • Rope. Always keep a couple of 5-foot-long pieces of rope for tying the boat to a dock. Also, keep a longer piece of strong rope, 20 feet or so, in case you have to tow a boat or be towed.
  • Fishing line. Always keep extra fishing line with you in case you get a bad “backlash” or knot that can’t be untangled. I keep an extra fishing reel with me for extreme situations.
  • Tools. I like to keep a small, simplified toolkit in the boat that contains pliers, screwdrivers, a crescent wrench, electrical tape and a small socket wrench set. It always pays to be prepared.
  • Propellers. I keep an extra boat propeller and trolling motor propeller in the boat with tools for changing. Extra props have saved the day more than once.
  • Boat safety items. I recommend looking at the following websites for all safety requirements while boating and fishing: Outdoor Alabama, U.S. Coast Guard

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