TLC for your tackle

Tackle organization is something I take very seriously and so should you.

I put a great deal of emphasis on being efficient when I’m on the water, and keeping my lures and terminal gear well organized is a huge part of that. I want to know where everything is and systematically positioned so I spend very little time looking for a lure or item and getting my bait back into the water.

But there’s more to it than that. Proper tackle organization includes protecting your lures and terminal gear from the elements. I do that by using Plano’s waterproof/spill-proof storage boxes that keep items in designated compartments so they don’t get mixed up.

Plano offers many options in soft- and hard-sided boxes and have something for every need.

The waterproof boxes are my favorite because they protect my hooks from rusting and are offered in several different styles and sizes.

They cost a little more than basic utility boxes, but think about the investment you have in your tackle and how important it is to protect that investment. If you added up the amount of money invested in lures and terminal tackle, you’d be amazed at what’s there.

For example, I store my hardbaits and jigs in 3740’s because they fit perfectly in my Nitro Boat compartments and accommodate those baits well. I can adjust the compartments to handle long jerkbaits or small, 1.0 KVD crankbaits.

The waterproof boxes have three large latches that not only keep the boxes sealed but also eliminate any warping that can occur with some plastic boxes. That means there’s less chance of spillage or items slipping out of their divided compartments.

Now, that’s not to say you won’t get some moisture in these waterproof boxes. Putting a wet lure you’ve used back into a box, or opening it when it’s raining traps small droplets of water in there that can rust and weaken hooks.

To offset that, I put rust inhibitor strips in each box to help prevent rusting issues.

The durability factor is important. I’ve had sinker boxes break or the lids pop open because of all the weight I put in them. I use the 3540 series for my sinkers because they handle the weight and the triple latches keep boxes locked tight.

I use other sizes for storing paperwork, cell phone, wallet and other valuables that I can’t afford to get wet. And they also float in case one gets dropped overboard.

I keep soft plastics in soft-sided speed bags in which I can place numerous bags of baits. I have a speed bag designated for each type of lure which makes it easier to find what I want.

Doing so also helps baits maintain their shape. Many of Strike Kings’ soft plastics are packaged with clam dividers inside the packages which prevent tails from getting bent or bodies crooked. Storing baits in the speed bags within their original packaging really helps with this.

Plano’s website ( lists sizes and dimensions of all its waterproof utility boxes and speed bags which will help you determine which ones work best for you.

In other news, Sherry and I have been putting on the finishing touches of our Bass Pro Shops KVD Charity Classic with the Detroit Lions at Kensington Metropark June 10.

In addition to several Lions players participating, a handful of Bassmaster Elite pros and Michigan anglers will be serving as boat captains. Bass is bringing its professional staff to handle the weigh-in and festivities, so it should be a great time for everyone and a chance for the public to meet some of the participants.

Tickets to the weigh-in, dinner and auctions are being sold through the Lions website,

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.


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