Look beyond the bobbers, hooks, and lures in any avid fisherman’s tackle box, and you’ll find a wide and wacky world of ‘tools’ that might have you somewhat confused – maybe even a little worried.
Now, before your mind starts to wonder about why your friend has a syringe hidden in their tackle box, we promise you that there is probably a good reason (unless your friend’s name is Hannibal…then you should probably be afraid). For this list of strange-but-useful things to keep in your tackle box or boat, we talked to several avid anglers to see what other sorts of things they never leave the dock without.
18 Strange-But-Useful Items For Your Tackle Box
1.) Nail Clippers
Believe it or not, a nail clipper can cut line safer and easier than most knives. It’s also small and compact, so it won’t take up too much space in your tackle box. Some people even attach it to their Keep Safe Key Chain Float.
2.) Needle Nose Pliers
Ever try freeing a swallowed hook from a fish with just your fingers? Good luck! Pliers provide something long and narrow to free the hook, especially if the fish has teeth.
3.) Wire Cutters
If you can’t free a hook without potentially injuring or killing the fish, be sure to have a set of wire cutters on board to cut the barbs/hook off altogether.
You want to weigh that lunker, don’t you?
5.) Tape Measure
Make sure you’re keeping legal fish only. Most lakes, rivers, and waters have regulations and size limits for fish attached to them, keeping a tape measure on board is a must. Heck, keep multiple measuring devices on board just in case one goes missing. They’re also helpful if you need to get measurements for a replica mount, or are just looking to provide proof to your buddies.
6.) Syringe/Vet Needle
It sounds weird, but keeping a syringe in your tackle box has multiple uses. You can give your nightcrawler a shot of air to make it float, as well as vent or fizz any fish you catch in deep water.
7.) Mojo Fishing Towel
When it comes to soaking up spray or wiping away blood and sweat, you’ll appreciate having a mojo fishing towel.
8.) Knife Sharpener
Don’t get caught struggling with a dull fillet knife as you try to prepare a surprise shore lunch for your family. Get yourself this slimly designed knife sharpener, which even includes a stow-away hook sharpener!
9.) Hook Sharpener
You won’t be having any shore lunches if your hooks aren’t sharp. Need one? Check out that link above.
10.) Reel Grease
Keeping your reels in perfect condition requires more than an occasional cleaning and squirt of oil. Keep your reels greased to ensure the drag and gears remain smooth.
11.) Polarized Sunglasses
While you probably shouldn’t keep them in your tackle box, a good pair of polarized sunglasses should be on your face at all times when you are out fishing. Keep an extra pair in the glove box of your boat, because we all know how easy it can be to forget them on pre-dawn starts.
Did the line slice your finger? Use superglue. Did you set a hook into your thumb? Use superglue. Did that northern pike get the best of you? Use superglue. The uses are endless, but it’s quite handy for sealing small cuts due to its waterproof nature.
13.) First Aid Kit
Almost everything you use for fishing is pointy or extremely sharp. It’s a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand in your boat and in your tackle box.
14.) Electrical Tape
Between the wiring for trolling motors, lights, and pumps, you never know when you’ll need to splice a few wires together on the fly. It can also double as a DIY Band-Aid, or hold a reel to a rod in a pinch.
15.) Baby Wipes/Alcohol Wipes
Sanitization is never a bad thing.
16.) Jig Eye Punch Tool
A jig eye punch makes plucking the paint off new jigs much easier and safer than using the tip of your knife or another hook. Keeping one on board is a good way to avoid having to use that first aid kit.
17.) Windproof Torch Lighter + Butter knife
Here’s an interesting combo for you musky fishermen out there! When your rubber baits get hammered and sliced to shreds, you can use a torch lighter to heat up the butter knife and weld the rubber back together on the fly. Heat the butter knife, then slide the knife into the cut seam in the rubber to melt it. Once melted, slide the knife out and hold rubber for several minutes to dry.
18.) Jumper Cables
Because most other boaters aren’t smart enough to stow a pack in their boat.
And there you have it. A complete list of whacky, but oh-so-useful items to keep in your tackle box or boat during your next fishing trip. Looks like someone needs to buy a bigger box!
I’m sure we missed a few, so what things do you never leave the landing without?