Master Series on Tackle with Aaron Martens (Lesson 3)

How to carry a wide selection of spinnerbaits.

Aaron Martens
Aaron Martens

About the author

Aaron Martens as told to Ed Harp

Aaron Martens as told to Ed Harp

Aaron Martens is the 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and a 4-time runner-up in the Bassmaster Classic.

Spinnerbaits are some of the most widely used fishing lures, and for good reason. They'll catch bass day in and day out under a wide variety of conditions. In this lesson, we'll talk about how to carry a wide selection of them without sinking your boat.

Most of my heads and wire frames are carried in Plano spinnerbait utility boxes. They have several styles. Pick the one that works best for you. I build one or two boxes with what I think I'll be using on my next fishing trip or in my next tournament. It goes in my boat.

I have at least 50 others, however, that I use for storage. My baits are sorted by weight, wire length, head design, blade configuration, color and anything else that seems appropriate at the time.

That's more lures than you probably have, but you get the idea just the same. Keep your lures organized so that you know what you have and where to find what you need when you need it.

Those boxes stay in my room or my truck. There are two reasons for that. First, I don't want to carry more lures in my boat than I'll need. Extra weight slows my boat and makes my fishing complicated.

Second, I don't want them to get wet. Water is a killer on fishing tackle. It causes rust, stains and dulls hooks. It's absolutely essential to keep everything dry if you want it to last.

I sort my blades the same way. I use a Plano 3700 box for that. Again, I make one for my boat and several others for storage. In my boat box, I put individual designs, sizes and colors in separate compartments.

In my storage boxes I'll use one box for each design, size or color. When I go to restock my boat box, I can do it efficiently without wasting valuable time digging around in bags and cartons looking for something I know I have but can't find.

About blades: If they get tarnished you can restore some of the shine by rubbing them with metal polish or toothpaste. But, they'll never be the same. Keep them dry, and away from your plastics and they'll stay like new for years. You won't have to shine them.

My skirts are handled exactly the same way — sorted by length and color, in a boat box for immediate use as well as several other boxes for long-term storage. Plano 3700 boxes are perfect for them, too.

About skirts: They are very susceptible to damage from sunlight and plastics, especially those that are salt impregnated. Keep them out of direct sunlight, and never store them with plastic trailers. That'll mess up the rubber or plastic legs on them.

I know some guys say you should put a little baby powder or cornstarch on them to keep the legs separated. I suppose that might work. I've never done it, though, and I haven't had any trouble with mine, some of which are 20 years old.

Finally, I carry a bunch of swivels and split rings with me. As you might suspect I use Plano containers. Pick one that works for you. Just be sure you sort everything by size and function so you know where to look when you need it.

Buying these boxes and properly sorting your tackle will save you a lot of money in the long-run. It'll also help you catch more bass. You'll know what you have and what you need. You won't buy stuff you already own or buy stuff you'll never use.

I mentioned this in the last lesson, but it's so important I wanted to say it again. Every dollar you save by not buying stuff you don't need, is a dollar you can spend on what you do need. Likewise, every minute you save looking for something in your boat is another cast and maybe the fish of a lifetime.