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Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:44

Gear Organization Saves Money

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How many times have you wandered into a tackle store (or place that has a selection) and thought you were getting something you needed for an upcoming trip only to get home and find out you didn’t. Now you have duplicates. And sometimes duplicates of duplicates. I am on a fishing budget and need to quit spending my precious spending money on unneeded items. 

Lots of programs exist to help businesses get lean and not spend wastefully but we as anglers don’t often think about it. So let’s think about it now: Organization can save you money.

In the business world and specifically the Toyota Way, the organization process puts everything in its place and only the amount you need. That’s also hard for us fishermen. I am guilty of not putting things back where they go when I am done and especially guilty while on the water. I’ve changed my organization methods in the last few months and it has resulted in a significant savings. So much in fact I was able to purchase a St. Croix rod for an upcoming trip!

organize tackle bag

So how did I do it?

First, you need an organization system that is transferrable to multiple applications. This method I used for my saltwater gear but it can be used in fresh as well. I like to wade fish a little bit and of course kayak fish when down at the coast so I need a box or bag that can hold multiple boxes. I found a soft sided bag that took the same size boxes as my wading belt did at Cabela’s. I mapped out how I wanted to organize them (hardbaits, softbaits, shrimp, leaders, etc) and then got to work.

organize inside of Flambeau AZ6 tacklebag

The sort is the hardest part. When you haven’t been organized and you are moving that direction, it can be slow. This project, for just six small boxes, took about two and a half hours. I was able to give each box a purpose. Only things of that style go in. Each thing in that category has a special spot. If it’s empty, I need it. If it’s low, I need to look for a good deal. If it’s full, I need to quit buying it. Before the project I was under the impression I needed white jig heads. So much so I bought them on three different occasions. After the sort, I know I have way too many.  I have been into fishing stores a lot since the sort and have spent no money. The cash I had set aside for terminal tackle and hard baits I didn’t need. I found a good deal on a St. Croix rod yesterday and was able to buy it with funds saved this way over the last few months. Without the sort, it wouldn’t have been possible!

organize tackle boxes

Another important thing to think about past the boxes in the bag is additional storage places. When in the salt I carry Boomerang Snips, a pair of bait shears, two pairs of pliers and a bunch of pre-rigged popping corks in addition to everything else. So what am I saying? I need pockets! And lots of them! I had it in the back of my mind as a secondary concern and luckily it panned out.

organize floats

The final thing, and possibly the hardest, is staying organized after the fact. My plan is that when I cut something off the line, it goes back in its spot. My reward if I do this is saving cash by not buying multiple or unneeded items. My second reward is buying cool gear I do need with the saved money. I am determined to stick to the budget but still want cool gear. This is a new way to do that (at least for me).

How do you get organized? Let me know in the comments!

Read 13160 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 08:31
Chris Payne

I've been fishing over 30 years and the majority of my time on the water has been spent in Texas with the occasional trips out of state. In 2003 I bought my first kayak and a new era in my fishing life was born. I learned the ropes quickly about gear, paddling, fishing, packing, safety and got a degree from the school of hard knocks with a major in kayak fishing. I learned a lot of ways to not do something.

I love kayak fishing and I want to share it with as many people as possible. That's the bottom line. 


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# atocha 2014-05-06 10:06
I have recently started to organize a lot better. Got tired of searching in my tackle, like my wife in her purse.
Way too many duplicates, and not enough prep on my part.
Now, I will spend an hour or so after work on w weekday to just go through my stuff, it has made a difference, saves time when fishing.
# marsh_life 2014-05-06 12:40
I have recently started a similar organization method. I can now change the type of tackle (fresh, inshore, offshore) I carry by just changing out a few Plano boxes. The biggest difficulty is to fight the urge to keep things I don't actually use often or use only certain times of the year (this is especially seen with soft plastics). I have simplified and now force myself to only keep the things I am using. If after several trips I find there is something I am not using or is not producing, I replace it with something that I actually need. I have a larger tackle bag (which stays at home) of the things that didn't make the cut or are not being used during a particular season. Good and practical article, thanks Chris!
# Sary Chao 2014-06-17 12:18
Good article. I fished my first tournament in May and spent too much time trying to find certain baits since I brought too many and was just thrown in a freezer ziploc bag. Still in the process of finding a way to organize so I can be efficient on the water and spend more time fishing rather than searching for a particular bait.
# MichChef 2014-10-22 22:21
One of the nice things about my Jackson Big Rig kayak is it has molded in pockets just for the clear Plano tackle boxes.
# rfrisby 2014-11-04 01:44
I've organized my tackle recently in a similar way. It has been a great help. I also purchased a couple extra Plano boxes recently. Sometimes I head out on an area lake for just a couple hours and plan on using only a select type of bait. I use the travel boxes to load up a mix of things from the others to travel light without my whole kit. I've also kept the tabs on the ends of the boxes that we usually cut off. I use those to run some 550 cord through to leash them if needed.
# Kayak_angler 2015-01-29 12:38
I started organizing in the same manner as you mentioned in this article last year because I was guilty of buying too much of the same thing. I purchased a nice soft tackle bag last year with four plastic boxes which fit perfect inside the bag. I organized each box with specific type of tackle. When I fish from the banks I can carry the bag with me with ease and when in the yak I take the boxes out and strap them to the sidewall for easy access and put the bag in the milk crate behind me. When I'm done in the yak, I put the boxes back in the bag and I'm ready for my next trip.
# wildrover 2016-01-08 10:27
Great article.

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