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An Introduction and guide to the top 16 items for your Fishing Tackle Box.

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

two fishermen with a fishing tackle box
Fishing tackle box

Every good fisherman will have an assortment of essential items with them at all times. Arranging your tackle box correctly is necessary. Ensuring it has the correct equipment will allow you to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. A fisherman’s tackle box will be prioritised to their needs. Within today’s list, we will go over the basic requirements needed for any intermediate angler.

Saltwater & Freshwater Tackle Boxes

Your equipment will be selected based on the type of water you fish in and the style of fishing you do. Understanding the difference between saltwater and freshwater gear is the first step to starting a tackle box. An example of why this is important is that some metals are more prone to rusting when in saltwater. Therefore, selecting a pair of pliers or a filleting knife specifically designed for saltwater can be more durable than a freshwater alternative.


The first item you should always include when packing your tackle box is your fishing license. Depending on your location many forms of angling will require a license. To avoid complications such as rod removal or hefty fines from bailiffs, carrying a license is necessary.

Info from GOV.UK 2021

Licence type Trout and coarse up to 2-rod Trout and coarse 3-rod Salmon and sea trout

1-day £6 Not available £12

8-day £12 Not available £27

12-month £30 £45 £82

12-month £20 £30 £54

over 65 or disabled

12-month Free Free Free

junior (13 to 16)

There are no discounted prices for a 1-day or an 8-day licence.

Buy a UK rod fishing licence

Fishing in Scotland and Northern Ireland info

First Aid Kit

Another highly important item to include within your tackle box is a first aid kit. Safety is of utmost importance when angling. Ensure your first aid kit has basic medication such as Ibuprofen, paracetamol, Imodium and piriteze. All of which are extremely useful when fishing. Other recommended items are gauze pads, plasters, tape and bandages.


It is highly recommended to include spare hooks within your tackle box. Hooks come in many shapes and sizes. Each has its own purpose. Taking a selection of various hooks can be a fabulous idea. Preparing you for any situation. Having circle hooks for float fishing, treble hooks for spinning, barbless for easy release and barbed for prevention of removal is a good combination.


Line comes in many forms. Fly fishing requires various lines for various methos of fishing. Examples of these are a floating line and a sinking line. Taking extra rolls of line with you can prevent leaving early due to a line malfunction.


For almost all forms of angling pre-rigging at home can be extremely efficient. Your angling time may be limited. Therefore, you do not want to be tying rigs when you should be fishing. Pre-rigging is tying rigs from the comfort of your home. Placing backup rigs into your tackle box can save you a large amount of your valuable fishing time.

Spinners & Floats

If you are an afloat or spinner fisherman including backup gear is a requirement. Both of these forms of fishing come with a large amount of tackle loss.

Rod Rests

A compact rod rest is a great addition to any tackle box. Many older rod rests are not suitable for tackle boxes due to being large and bulky. Although, newer rod rests are designed to be small and lightweight. These can be easily folded down and placed in any medium-sized tackle box.


If you are fly fishing you should include small cases of flies in your tackle box. As any fly

fisherman knows a selection of flies is needed to target specific fish as many variables can

affect the eating patterns of fish.


Floatant is a type of liquid used to keep surface lures present on top of the water. The purpose of floatant is to allow the imitation object to float until struck by a fish.

Swivels & Beads

Swivels and beads are required to tie advanced rigs. Many float fishermen will also use swivels and beads to control the movement of the float in their line. Sometimes a rig can become damaged and a swivel or bead will need to be replaced.


Pliers help to remove hooks from the mouths of fish. Some fish such as pike or sharks have large sets of teeth. Purchasing heavy duty pliers to include these in your tackle box is crucial when fishing for these species.

Filleting Knife & MultiTool

If you plan on eating your catch a sharp, flexible filleting knife will ensure a clean cut. These come in various sizes and are suitable for any size of tackle box. Purchasing a decent pocket tool such as Gerber or leatherman will prove very handy. These multi-tools include items such as scissors, files, pliers, blades, screwdrivers etc


Nippers are used for cutting lines. Many anglers snip line with their teeth. This will slowly break down and chip your teeth causing long-term dental problems. Purchasing a sharp nipper that can be hung from a tackle box will help prevent this. Nail clippers can be used instead of nippers for a budget option.

Scale & Ruler

A scale and ruler is a great non-essential accessory to attach or put into your tackle box. They can be used to view the weight and length of your catch. This will help your set goals for catching larger species in future.


A flashlight is an item not normally seen within tackle boxes. Although, flashlights are extremely important for night fishing. They help to make you more visual and can help prevent visual issues.

Notebook and Pen

Placing a notebook and pen within your tackle box will allow you to record your catches within a fish log. Purchasing a pen that includes a light can be useful for nighttime fishing.

Finishing Notes

Overall, there is a vast amount of items that can be added to any tackle box. Understanding the type of angling you are doing is needed before filling a tackle box. Within today’s list, we discussed generic options. There are numerous items that could be included for niche fishing groups that were not mentioned above. Although, if your tackle box included all the items mentioned today you would be more than prepared for any angling challenge.

by Daniel ONeill

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