Tackle boxes vs. soft-sided bags?

zuren

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I have a large Plano Guide Elite tackle box that I've never loved. It is an older version of this:

https://www.planomolding.com/shop/fishing/tackle-boxes/drawer-rack-boxes/guide-series-original-stowaway-rack-system
httpwww.planomolding.commediacatalogproduct75759201.png


I bought it at a time when I was fishing out of larger boats (not mine). It's huge. Now that I have my own 14' fishing boat (basic utility style with a floor and 4 bench seats), I find it to be clunky for use in a small boat. Besides having a large footprint, you need even more space to be able to slide the drawers out.

I fish for various species, different lakes, etc. throughout the year. I also take regional trips to fish out of other peoples' boats. When I travel, that big tackle box gets left at home after I sort and transfer tackle to a smaller box. I could see me just having to swap out the interior boxes for what I'm fishing for. I'm wondering if a soft-sided tackle bag is a better choice for me and was hoping to hear opinions.

I'm looking at the model below. I like the molded bottom to get the bag off the floor of the boat, and all the access is vertical:

https://www.planomolding.com/fishing/fish-series/guide-series/guide-series-tackle-bag-3700-1
plabg370_1.png


Thanks for any feedback!
 

jethro

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I'm following this... I have bought dozens of tackle bags and boxes and I'm still waiting to find the right one! The problem is all the different disciplines of fishing. I'm thinking I need 4 tackle boxes/bags. One for coldwater trolling, one for saltwater, one for bass and one for the gear that actually translates to all my disciplines. The struggle is real!
 

zuren

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jethro said:
I'm following this... I have bought dozens of tackle bags and boxes and I'm still waiting to find the right one! The problem is all the different disciplines of fishing. I'm thinking I need 4 tackle boxes/bags. One for coldwater trolling, one for saltwater, one for bass and one for the gear that actually translates to all my disciplines. The struggle is real!

Maybe that is my problem...finding "one box or bag to rule them all" may not be achievable.

I was never sold on tackle bags early on, mostly because the fabric of the bag wrapped all the way around to the bottom. If I had water, blood, fish slime, dirt, etc. in the bottom of the boat, that bag was going to become filthy. The molded bottom on the Plano bag I posted above seems to solve for that.

I dug a bit more and Plano has many more box layouts in the "3700" size. So there is the opportunity to mix-n-match depending on the situation.

I think I may move ahead with the tackle bag I posted, plus some extra boxes.
 

maintenanceguy

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I have one that's very much like that soft sided bag except the plano boxes are all vertical. Having the boxes stacked on top of each other means that the one you want will always be on the bottom.

Mine is a gander mountain box (out of business now) with the hard plastic bottom and holds 6 boxes. I have a 7th plano box in a big side pocket. I keep the big tackle box in my truck and load the 7th plano box with the lures I want to use today. Occasionally I go back to the truck to swap out lures but I can fish a couple of hours without having to carry a big heavy bag.

If I'm in my boat, the whole box goes with me.

Having a separate plano box for each kind of lure is nicer than a hard side box.
 

zuren

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maintenanceguy said:
I have one that's very much like that soft sided bag except the plano boxes are all vertical. Having the boxes stacked on top of each other means that the one you want will always be on the bottom.

Agreed! I called Plano this morning and they told me that the boxes can be turned 90 degrees (on back edge) and fit in this bag. So I committed and ordered one from Cabela's. I will play with it and if it doesn't work as I was told, I'll return it.

If it does work, I may even get some of their Edge model boxes to go inside. They are pricey, but seem to solve a few issues I've had with these smaller stow boxes...namely, hooks slipping under dividers and small jigs and terminal tackle not staying in their assigned compartments.
 

LDUBS

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I have some Gamakatsu brand boxes that I got on sale. I put those along with some other brand boxes in cheap backpacks that I also got on sale. Four boxes fit in one backpack pretty easily. They aren't too bulky and I toss the backpacks wherever they will be out of the way. I still have the hard sided 3-tray tackle box full of various stuff. I can't remember the last time I opened it.
 

-CN-

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Multiple smaller soft bags containing 2-8 plano boxes each is what I've finally settled on for my gear recently.

For now...

- I have one small bag containing two boxes - which is a very abbreviated 'everything' box. This is nice to grab to go shore fishing, and just stays in my truck 90% of the time.
- One medium sized bag that contains 3 regular boxes, 3 skinny boxes, and two small boxes, and this whole bag just organizes my panfishing gear and spinner baits.
- One more medium sized bag that contains 3 regular boxes, 3 skinny boxes, and pockets for plastic bags and loose items such as packages of hooks, sinkers, swivels, line, Gulp, worms, etc. This is my game fishing bag.

Then I have my old tackle boxes and bags that have all the things in them that I've discovered I hardly ever use, and those boxes stay home unless I really want to use something from it, in which case I'll just add it to a pocket on one of the medium bags.

Usually all three bags end up in the boat. But it is easy to just take the one bag that contains the stuff for the type of fishing I'm going to do, if I have limited room.
 

zuren

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So I received the Plano tackle bag that I pictured in my original post. It comes with five 3750 boxes - 4 standing vertical, and 1 laying flat on top. I wish Plano would have showed that better in their product images. There is also a 3600 series box for the front pouch (I won't be using that box). There is a thin slash pocket on the back of the bag that I have never seen pictured, with drain holes.

The fabric with the MOLLE slots cut is definitely on the thin side. I would not be hanging anything very heavy from it...and I have plenty of experience with packs and vests with MOLLE attachments.

Compared to my 15-20 year old Stowaway boxes, I cannot say that I'm impressed with the boxes that came with the bag. All made in China and much flimsier plastic. I need to get some specs from Plano, but I may swap out those boxes with Plano Edge boxes. Pricey, but look to be very stout. If I use some of the "thin" boxes, I may be able to get an additional box or 2 in the bag.

I think this will work better, but needs some tweaking.
 

LDUBS

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jethro said:
I'm following this... I have bought dozens of tackle bags and boxes and I'm still waiting to find the right one! The problem is all the different disciplines of fishing. I'm thinking I need 4 tackle boxes/bags. One for coldwater trolling, one for saltwater, one for bass and one for the gear that actually translates to all my disciplines. The struggle is real!


Good point. When I troll for trout, which is 100% of my fishing time, I could get by with one box and one bottle of Pro-cure. But of course, I bring all that other stuff "just in case". haha.
 

handyandy

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I bought a tackle bag off amazon. I debated that plano bag you bought, but I couldn't stomach the price seems like after 2-3 years no matter the bag the zippers fail especially if they see any salt use. Which I do occasionally make a salt trip. I like bags that fit the 3700 sized planos or similar tackle trays. I have a tray that is crank baits. Another that is jerk baits, spoons, and terminal tackle. One that is big glide baits/jointed swimbaits. A crappie box, top water box, a catfish box, and a suager jigging box. One side pocket I keep some bait dyes and attractant in, with some soft plastic bags. The other side pocket is just soft plastics, the back mesh pocket is leader spools and hemostat pliers. The front pocket fits a 3600 size box which I keep spinners/chatterbaits in. The top flap has a pocket which I keep some split ring pliers in, slip in snip scissors, some power angler clips, some various bags of specialty jigs/hooks.

Now all my various 3700 boxes don't fit at once but I seldom and going fishing and need all of them at once. Often times I'm bass fishing and may try for crappie for a bit so I load the appropriate boxes. Other times I know I'm heading to go jig for sauger and may catfish too. Or I may bass fish then catfish at night while on a camping outing. So I just have the one bag which usually holds all the trays I may need for any given trip, and I just load throw in the appropriate tackle trays/boxes. So far it's holding up good I've been using it since last summer. I liked that it has no zippers, hard bottom, it doesn't have a huge foot print, holds lot of stuff. I will mention that I also have a separate soft bait binder that typically comes along on almost every trip that I will load with different bags of soft plastics to suite what I'm going to fish for. At home I have tote that is loaded with pencil pouches, each pouch is loaded with similar types of soft plastics. For instance one pouch is craws, creatures, and jig trailers. Another pouch is paddle swim baits and flukes. Another is senkos and other worms. Another is tube baits. This works for me as I can easily load the trays I want in the bag, change out a few packs of soft plastics or restock the bait binder if I feel the need to throw those in the boat or car.

This is the bag I'm using.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084VKJ1SM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

LDUBS

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One of my sons gave me a Plano tackle backpack that I really like for fishing when I'm not on the boat. Besides all kinds of pockets it will hold four plano 3600 boxes, which while not large, provide enough storage for stuff I would carry along with me. If going surf fishing load up those boxes. Bank fishing, load up those boxes.

When it comes to the boat, all of the rods & tackle options I would ever use stay on the boat. I keep one hard sided three tray tackle box along with several large plastic utility boxes stuffed into backpacks. Tackle box & packs are ether under the dash or under the front seat boxes.

BTW, a side benefit of having infant aged grandchildren is having good access to wide mouth plastic baby food jars. Those make excellent containers for scented soft plastics like the GULP baits. So much better than fumbling with those leaky zip lock bags the baits come in. Like this:


IMG_2672 copy.jpg
 

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