Traveling with your tackle

About the author

Aaron Martens

Aaron Martens

Aaron Martens is the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and a four-time runner-up in the Bassmaster Classic. He's widely regarded as the best natural angler in the Elite Series.

Anglers like to travel. They go places to fish and have fun or to compete in tournaments. That means our tackle travels, too. Taking care of it on the road or in a place far from home is important. Here’s how I handle mine when I’m on the road.

Weather is the first thing I think about. Extreme temperatures are hard on stuff, but heat is the worst. It’ll damage things before you know it. I remember one time I was out West fishing. When I checked the temperature in the back of my vehicle it was 159 degrees!

The most important thing is to avoid direct sunlight. If possible, park your truck or SUV in the shade. That isn’t always possible, but it’s good to do if you can. The next thing is to put everything in containers. I don’t have anything lose in my boat or truck except my boat cover and, really, it should be in a container, too.

The way I do it is buy plastic, stackable containers at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I like the ones that snap shut and are tight but not the ones that are sealed. I don’t want anything to get inside them, but if they do get real hot I want a way for the air to get out. The only exception to that is my liquids and contaminants box. I want them watertight so they can’t leak and mess everything else up.

I try to wrap all my stuff in packing foam inside the box to keep it from being knocked around during my trip. I list the contents of every box on the outside. You can use labels if you want, but I like permanent markers. You can make big letters with them that are easy to read. And I pack everything tight. You might be able to get an orange inside one of my boxes but that’s about all. If you leave room in them, you’ll have damage sooner or later.

As soon as I get all that done, I put the smaller boxes inside bigger ones and stack them inside whatever vehicle I’m traveling in. Make sure you think about that when you’re buying everything. Don’t get them too big or they won’t fit.

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