The Ultimate Complete Tackle Box Kit Guide

Experienced fisherman will always tell you how important it is to build a complete tackle box kit that you can bring anywhere. Not only will this give you the tools to use on a wide range of fishing trips, it will also allow you to have more fun by putting more fish on your hook at the end of the day. 

the ultimate complete tackle box kit guide

The following 19 items should be included in every fishing tackle box:

Fishing Line

fishing line

Whether you are fishing for fun or for a living, you should always make sure you have enough fresh line in your fishing kit. Your fishing line is the connection you have between yourself and the fish fighting to break free. Nobody wants to be the person whose line breaks only to tell the tale of “the keeper got away”. 

It is important to keep different types of fresh line stocked in your tackle box. Not only is this beneficial for catching different types of fish, it will also come in handy when you experience erosion that might occur from the water you are fishing in, sunlight exposure, and fish continuously biting your line. If you are using a colored line, then you should check to see if the colorfastness is faded. When the color is faded, the time has come for it to be changed. 

Common Types of Fishing line

  • Mono-filamint Line
  • Braided Fishing Line
  • Fluorcarbon Fishing Line
  • Wire Fishing Line
  • Fly Fishing Line

If you are using a colored line, then you should check to see if the colorfastness is faded. When the color is faded, the time has come for it to be changed.


The primary function of a swivel is to prevent your line from tangling when you are reeling back from the water. They are generally attached to a lure, hook, or sinker and are extremely important when using mono-filament fishing line. 

Depending on your setup, they come in different sizes ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.  Typically, a swivel is black or brass in color, but more modern ones come in red and blue. In low light conditions, the color of the swivel could help in attracting fish.


fishing hooks

Hooks are attached to a line or lure that bridges the fish to the line and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs. They are made to hold various types of bait such as artificial, processed, live, and dead baits. The hook you use depends on the type and size of fish you are trying to catch. 

When constructing different fishing tackle boxes, there are three types of hooks you should have readily available in your kit:
  • Single Hooks
  • Double Hooks
  • Treble Hooks

Although each hook has its own use case, it’s never a bad idea to always be prepared.


A leader is a separate length of line that rigs, or lures are tied to. It is connected by tying the two pieces together with a knot at each end of the swivel. This acts as a joint between the two and connects them at each end.  

There are two reasons you want to use leader lines. The first is it can be used to provide a layer of protection against sharp teeth, rocks in the water, and reef. The second reason is it will make it more difficult for fish to see the line connected to your bait or lure. This will come in handy if you are using a type of line that is highly visible underwater.



A bobber (also commonly referred to as a float or a cork) visually shows you when a fish has taken your bait by dipping under the water and back up to the surface. The top half is usually white in color to allow you to track it in the water. 

They come in different sizes and shapes, and most of them are spring loaded which makes it extremely easy to fasten to your line.  You want to choose a bobber that is right for different conditions.

Common Types of Bobbers

  • Button Bobbers
  • Pencil Bobbers
  • Slip Bobbers

Common Reasons Bobbers Are Used

  • They Keep The Bait Where The Fish Are Biting
  • They Prevent The Bait From Sinking Too Low
  • They Tell You When There Is Fish Activity By Bobbing Up And Down

Small bobbers tend to move more in the wind and larger ones can sometimes scare the fish away. It is always helpful to carry a variety of bobbers while on a fishing trip.

Needle Nose Pliers

needle nose pliers

This is a must have in your complete tackle box kit. Needle nose pliers are a versatile tool that allows you to unhook a caught fish and helps you thread your fishing line through gear you must attach to your setup. They also serve as a tool to easily position and cut your line. 

The Most Common Variations are:

  • Bent Nose Pliers
  • Bent Needle-Nose Pliers
  • Curved Nose Pliers
  • Curved Needle-Nose Pliers

You can find the above for purchase at any home improvement store in your area.


fishing sinkers

Sinkers (also referred to as weights) are arguably some of the most important pieces of equipment in your tackle box. They are used for increasing the rate of sink, anchoring ability, and casting distance depending on the weight.

Different Types of Sinkers Include:

  • Split Shot Sinkers
  • Rubber Core Fishing Sinkers
  • Bell Fishing Sinkers
  • Pyramid Sinkers
  • Bank or Reef Sinkers
  • Egg Shaped Fishing Sinkers
  • Core Sinkers and Bullet Shots
  • List Bank Sinkers
  • Claw Sinkers

Smaller sinkers are used for shallow water and fly fishing. Heavier sinkers are reserved for deep sea or bay fishing. Both types can but used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Ruler or Tape Measure

ruler tape measure

To determine if you have a fish of legal size, it is important to always carry a ruler or a tape measure. Even the smallest distance can determine if you can keep the fish to bring home or if you are required to throw it back. 

If you get caught with a fish that is below the legal limit, you can face serious fines and get into trouble. Plus, it is always good to know how big your fish is, so you can tell people about your catch.

Small Scale

Having a small scale comes in handy if you are in a fishing competition or competing for bragging rights amongst friends. 

Nearly all fishing scales are hanging scales and can come in digital or analog models. They range from low to high pricing. If you are a recreational angler, the lower priced scales should be just fine, so you can focus on spending more on other necessities while building your complete tackle box kit.

Plastic Worms

These are great to have when you don’t have live bait readily available for use. Most plastic worms are made with soft plastic and come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. 

Due to the different colors, it is possible for this type of bait to attract fish to increase the number of bites and catches. 

Plastic worms also double as money savers if you don’t feel like continuously spending money on live bait.

Small Flashlight

small flashlight

Carrying a small flashlight is always a good idea while fishing. When dusk turns to dark and the fish start to bite more, you can easily navigate around your boat or land if you are surf fishing. This can also help point you in the right direction to where to fish are gathering to feed at night. 

If you carry one of these, you will never be left in the dark. Just make sure you have a fresh set of batteries to power your light.

Variety of Lures

fishing lures

Fishing lures are designed differently for the type of fish you are going out to catch. They are used to imitate live bait by attracting fish with their color, movement, and reflective features.

Different Types of Fishing Lures

  • Spinnerbait
  • Crankbait
  • Spoons
  • Jigs
  • Buzzbait
  • Trolling Lures

The lures you choose to equip will depend on the weather conditions. If there is a lot of wind and a stronger current, then you should be using a heavier lure. If the conditions are calmer, then you will most likely be using a lighter lure.


If you are lucky and the fish are biting, you are going to need a place to keep them so that they remain fresh. A stringer lets you keep your fish in the water so that they don’t begin to spoil. 

There are two different types of stringers. The first is a single line stringer that has a metal ring on one side and a piece of metal on the other, which are connected by a piece of nylon rope. These typically have a slimmer profile. The second is a chain that has individual clasps at the end for each fish you catch. 

You might want to take into consideration the size of your tackle box before choosing which one to include in your complete tackle box kit.

First-Aid Kit

first aid kit

Accidents are bound to happen when you are on a fishing trip. The most common injury that occurs is getting a hook through the finger. When that happens, you are going to need to take care of it before it gets infected. 

Essential Items

  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Bandages
  • Hand Sanitizer

There are plenty of options to choose from that are small enough to fit perfectly in your kit. There’s no need to go overboard, just the basics will suffice here.

Insect Repellent

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Even when the conditions are perfect for a day of fishing, it can quickly be ruined by the arrival of unwanted insects like mosquitoes. It would be a safe bet to keep a small bottle on hand when situations like this come up, so you don’t have to cut your day short.

Polarized Sunglasses

polarized sunglasses

When the sun is shining, and you are out on the water, it can be difficult to see without a quality pair of shades. The reflection from the sun can be hard on your eyes, and you can lose sight of where the fish are swarming. 

Polarized sunglasses will not only help you to see without squinting, but they also provide an added layer of UV protection for your eyes.



You should always consider a small bottle of sunscreen to include in your complete tackle box kit. Generally, an SPF of 30 or higher will do the trick if you continue to apply it throughout the day. 

Even if there is overcast, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen to avoid a sunburn. To save some space and some money, you can usually find these products at your local pharmacy where their travel products are located.

Line Cutter

line cutter

Now and then your fishing line gets caught in a snag and needs to be cut. You can choose to use either a knife to do this or use a set of nail clippers. Both are more than capable of snipping the line with ease.

If you choose to go with a knife, be sure that the blade is sharpened and not dull, that way you don’t have to force the line to break and run the risk of cutting yourself.

Fishing License

This is probably the single more important item to include when building your complete tackle box kit. There can be serious ramifications if you get caught fishing without a license. Not only will you have to pay a fine but could also face legal action depending on the number of fish you decided to keep.

Enjoy Your New Fishing Kit!

A successful day out on the water in the great outdoors will not only provide a lot of fish but a lot of great memories. It is essential to take the time to build out a proper tackle box to make the most of your time fishing.  

With the proper care, you can put together a setup for any type of fishing expedition you may take and anticipate any snags you might hit while doing so. 

Do you have any other suggestions on what else to include when building your complete tackle box kit? Let us know in the comments below!

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