Tackle Box Essentials - That you may not have thought of
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Every tackle box has its essential items...hemostats, extra line, your favorite lures...but what about the "essential non-essentials"? Over several years of going on an annual Canadian fishing trip, our group of fishing buddies have added a few items that we now consider must haves for any Canadian fishing trip. Below are a few items that you may not have thought of yet but can make your next trip on the water more efficient and comfortable.
Items Featured Below Include...
Fingerless GlovesThese are truly indispensable items when the temperature drops during early morning and late night fishing...or sometimes during the middle of the day! While some variations have no tips on any of the fingers, we prefer what is referred to as a "slit finger" style. In this style three of the fingers are always covered while the tips of the thumb and index fingers flip back so that your hand will stay warm (or relatively warm) while allowing more feel with the exposed fingers to tie knots, feel the line, and hopefully remove hooks.
We recommend the basic pair from Glacier Glove. They are thick enough to keep the hands warm, have Velcro to hold the finger tips back, and have wrist straps so they can fit under or over coats, sweaters, etc. and be as tight as you need them. Perhaps the only negative we have realized is that, while made of Neoprene, they aren't waterproof so it's best to keep from getting your paws too wet.
This one seems obvious but we actually used handheld flashlights for our first few fishing trips. All too often we would be fumbling around during early morning or evening outings, wasting time and getting frustrated. Then, we realized there was a better way when one of us tossed a headlamp into their tackle box.
There are a number of headlamps on the market, ranging from $20 to over $100. Like most items, it is worth spending a little more money for the long-term investment but a headlamp in the $30 range should be good. Two parameters to consider are the potential battery life (I've had lamps in the past that ran out of power earlier than I thought they would and I didn't have replacement batteries with me) and the lumens, or light power. After doing my research, I have been happy with the Black Diamond Spot model - it has LED lights and max lumens vary between 130 and 200 within this model, which is a strong enough range to find your lure while not blinding your boat partner.
Don't like tying knots while on the boat? Making a rig holder an essential in your tackle box can help avoid any frustration in tying knots but its true benefit is increased efficiency. Our guys have used it most for their gumdrop rigs when targeting walleye but it can really work for any small lure or rig. When you're feeling down because nothings hitting or something popped your line, having a rig holder set-up with your next weapon of choice lets you get back into the water quickly. We will frequently all present gumdrops in the same trolling pattern and this lets guys switch colors quickly in case they land on a color that walleyes are most interested in that day. We use the Lindy Rigger help make sure our rigs don't take over our tackle box.
Bonus Essential: Travel Pack of Toilet Paper
I hope you read this before you or one of your fellow anglers has a reason to make you think of it. This has been a staple in our tackle boxes for several years, after we were on a portage day and a friend had to lose a sock (or two). The travel packs don't take up much room and don't cost much...hopefully it's never needed, but if it is, this item will give you the best return on the investment from any of your tackle box items.
Any tips to pass on to other anglers? Drop us a line and we'll add it to this list!