It's In the Box

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Published on: May. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

So, what kind of box do you choose and what do you put in it?

Every good angler has his or her opinion. Boyd Pfeiffer is the former outdoor editor of the Washington Post and author of several books on fishing. He has nearly 20 customized tackle boxes.

But if he could only have one tackle box . . .

"Okay," Pfeiffer says, "I prefer a satchel-type box with adjustable dividers so I can customize it for my lures. My philosophy is that a tackle box is for tackle. I carry reels, stringers, fillet knives, extra line or spools, color selectors and all that stuff in a separate satchel.

"I experiment to see how I can get the maximum number of lures in the minimum space by moving the dividers around. I arrange the box so the heavy lures - spoons and jigs for example - are toward the bottom. On one side, the topwater lures come first, then shallow runners like the minnow lures, then medium runners, then the deep running ones and finally plastic worms and spoons.

"On the other side, the top compartment holds spinners and spinnerbaits and trailer hooks, along with rubber tubing to stabilize trailer hooks, maybe some skirts or rubber filament for jigs and spinners.

"Then maybe a long compartment for plastic worms, and if I have different colors, I bag them so they don't color-bleed. Along with the worms, I have worm hooks and jigs. Jars of pork rind go toward the bottom in case they leak. Never put soft plastic near hard plastic.

"Any scents or liquids go in the bottom, in case they leak.

"Now, for extras, I like compound action jaw pliers, about four-inch size. I wear one on my belt, but keep a spare handy. I have a scale for weighing fish. I carry a tube of grease for level-wind reels and a tube of oil for the rollers on a spinning reel. A little nail clipper is good for clipping line. Snap a fishing towel to the handle of the tackle box to dry your hands.

"Hook sharpeners are important. Plastic film cans hold split shot, bullet heads, split rings or extra spinner blades. Label them so you know what's in what. They also hold aspirin for a headache if you lose a big fish.

"And don't forget to put your name, address and phone number on the box. You actually may run into a disciple of Diogenes and

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