Ultimate Guide To Organizing Bass Fishing Gear & Tackle

No matter how much gear you have or how experienced you are, organization is key to a successful fishing trip. Follow these tips to get your bass fishing gear in order before heading out on the water.

Sort & Take Inventory Of Your Gear

Start by finding a wide open area to work in, and gathering all of your gear.

Grab all of your rods & reels, spools of fishing line, pliers, the hidden soft plastic senko stick baits you forgot you bought that are still in the store bag with the receipt in the back of your truck. Snag those flipping jigs and hollow body frogs you tossed in your tackle bag that you thought you lost. That bullet sinker you pocketed after switching from a weighted to weightless texas rig? Grab that too.

Begin sorting and organizing your gear into categories. Don't bother putting anything away just yet, just put the crankbaits with the crankbaits, frogs with frogs, hooks with hooks and so on. While you're at it, go ahead and get rid of those rusty fishing hooks, loose strands of fishing line, and any other trash you got in your tacklebox.

As you go about organizing your fishing gear, make sure to take inventory of all the tackle you own. This is also a great time to start your shopping list. I like to split mine into wants and needs.

Taking inventory of your fishing tackle & gear not only will let you know what gear you already have, it will also let you know what you're missing and prevent you from buying more split shot weights only to get home and go to put them in your bag and realize you already have a lifetime supply of them.

Inspect & Perform Maintenance

As you're going about sorting your fishing equipment, take a moment to inspect your gear. Check your rods for bent guides and make sure your reels are functioning properly. Clean off the scum build up on your frog rod combo and perform any needed maintenance to keep your gear functioning properly.

Planning: Organizing Fishing Gear By Use Case

Now that you have all your gear sorted into their proper categories, it's almost time to start sorting them into their proper storage locations. But before you just start shoving everything back into tackle boxes and storage totes, take a moment to consider how you plan on using the gear. Maybe it's time to upgrade your fishing bag, or add a few more Plano boxes to your shopping list.

When I organize my gear, I like to consider how and when I plan to use it before I put it away. I fish a lot of ponds from the bank, but also occasionally have access to a boat, so I like to make sure I have duplicates of certain items in both my pond fishing go-bag and my larger boat tackle bag.

When it's time to go pond hopping I don't like to sort through my gear. I want to be able to grab a bag, throw it in the truck, and go so that I'm not cutting into the limited time I have available to fish.

Because I'm both a bank fisherman as well as a boat angler, I organize my fishing tackle into utility boxes so I can easily swap them out of my fishing bags depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and where I plan to fish.

I also keep a small sandwich sized bag with some one off soft plastics, a few EWG and straight shank hooks, and sinkers for when I'm pressed for time and want to get a quick fishing session in. It fits perfectly in my pocket and I just keep it in the truck for when I'm driving past an irresistible pond that I have to stop and fish (I know, it's an addiction).

So while organizing your fishing gear, keep in mind how and where you plan to fish and organize accordingly. If going fishing means searching for your gear, then it's likely you don't fish as much as you want to. Get organized, plan ahead, and go fish more.

Storage & Organization Systems For Your Fishing Gear

Tackle Bags & Backpacks

Tackle bags and tackle backpacks seem to be the preferred choice for many bass anglers.

Slinging a tackle bag over your shoulder keeps your hands free and allows you to move frequently while hunting down bass.

Fishing backpacks feature storage for compact tackle bags, with plenty of room for soft plastics, pliers, scissors, water bottles, and more.

Traditional Hard Shell Tackle Boxes

Prefer a traditional tackle box like the one your grandpa used?

Hard body tackle boxes featuring cantilevered tackle trays and a solid carrying handle.

These are the time tested tackle boxes our grandfathers used.


Storage totes are a great way to protect and store excess fishing gear.

Utility Tackle Boxes

Utility tackle boxes help keep your crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and buzzbaits mess free and they easily fit in a fishing bag or backpack.

Their small compact design allows you to easily organize your fishing tackle.

Use multiple boxes for different seasons or specific lakes and ponds.

Fishing Rod Racks

Properly storing your fishing poles in a fishing rod rack will help keep your bass rods in excellent condition and mess free.

Gear Protection

Rod Sleeves

Want to protect your investments? Bass fishing rods aren't cheap. Fishing rod sleeves keep your rod from scratching, protect the rod eyes, and prevent tangling up your fishing line when carrying multiple combos.

Lure Wraps

Tired of your treble hooks snagging everything? Lure wraps keep your lure protected and line from tangling up when storing fishing poles.