Tackleboxes of Yore

Who started with something like this?

We’re going to change things up a bit today. Instead of covering a science bit like we usually do most Monday’s, Jay’s post about 1976 and Rick Clunn, along with the comment about weighing tackle boxes in the old Classic days got me thinking about how things have really changed in this area.

Chances are if you’ve been fishing for a good while, you probably started out with a box similar to the one on the left. Might have been metal if you’re REAL old 🙂 or perhaps plastic if you’re not THAT old. Had anywhere between 1 and 8 trays that folded up and out when you opened it. Probably had a fillet knife and a stringer stuck down in the open bottom compartment, too. Weren’t those the days.

Then professional bass fishing came along, B.A.S.S. set up the Classic tackle weigh-in rules, and if you were wanting to be like the pros, you probably bought and used one of these baby’s. Still got mine sitting in the garage with an original B.A.S.S. decal on one side and a Redman tournament trail decal on the other. Weighed a ton, didn’t hold much, though it seemed like a lot at the time, but was a sure sign of an advanced and serious bassin’ man in those days.

Then they got all fancy, started doing these colored plastic boxes and such – blues and greens. Double hinged doors with inside snap covers, spinnerbait racks, pull out drawers combined with accessory drawers, “Over and Under” and all that jazz. Got one of them sitting in the garage also. Lighter weight than ‘the suitcase’, held as much and more, looked cool. What’s not to like.

Now everything is either soft tackle packs if you’re a co-angler, comprised of individual 3600/3700 styled boxes for the most part, or a boat stuffed with the same trays if you’re the pro. Yeah the boat gets you to where you’re going, looks good behind the tow vehicle with all that glitter shining, but has really just become a giant tacklebox in itself. Still won’t hold more than I have in my garage, the ultimate big box, but a lot more mobile and nicer looking. My, how times have changed.



  1. Chad Keogh

    October 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I got the exact same 6-tray box in the first picture of the article for my 10th birthday. It was huge and took me a few years to fill it completely.

    In my twenties I actually upgraded to a smaller box (like the one with the blue side lid), since I realized that most of what was in the 6-tray box, went to the lake dry, and came back dry. I switched to the smaller box and only carried around what I was actually going to use.

    Then I got into tournament fishing in my thirties and needed a bigger box to hold all the baits/lures for the new techniques I was learning so I went to a big soft bag filled with Plano containers, and then in my 40s I bought my big, floating tacklebox (my Lowe Stinger 190). Can’t wait to see what I get in my 50s!

  2. Ken Cook

    October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I guess, I am among the “old” guys who still have the metal ones. I have “The biggest” one ever made. It has 14 aluminum trays that spread out way too wide for the little old boats we used back then. Had to put it in my lap to open it up all the way. lmao.

    • Darin

      October 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      My grandfather had one just like. He always had to set it on the bench of our little boat to open it. He’d always get ticked off whenever he’d knock it off the bench. We’d have to stop the boat and start picking lures up off the floor. Usually we’d miss one or two and end up stepping on them. Ahhh, the good ole days…..

  3. Blake Gowen

    October 19, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I used to hate it when it got real hot and my hula popper skirt would melt in the bottom of my old plastic box like above. Good memories though….I can almost see the Uncle Josh Pork Rind bottles in the trays. Showing my age here a little bit.

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Gitcha Bassin' Fix

The best, worst and funniest in bassin'! Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin™. Make sure you sign up for the BassBlaster email!

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