Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whatcha Got in That Fancy Case of Yours , Royyyyy?

The 80's were a strange and weirdly wonderful time , no? Coincidentally , that's also when I started hoarding , er , collecting my large assortment of fishing gear. Contrary to what many people believe , a little thought goes into what I buy to fish with , and I don't just take a five gallon bucket up to one of the john boats in Bass Pro and get a scoop of what's on clearance , though the idea is tempting.

First let me admit that I blatantly stole this idea from Troutrageous! His post about what he carries in his tenkara bag gave me some insight into what I would need , should I ever decide to go tenkara fishing again. Wouldn't it be great if some of the other experienced blogging fishermen did the same?

I won't claim to be experienced at blogging or fishing , but I would like to let everyone look into my light surf/pier tackle box. I can usually grab this on my way out the door , and have almost everything I need to get a few fish of several different species. It really is my go to box , and I only carry my bigger box on the boat or when I'm going to be targeting a gear heavy species like King Mackerel or Red Drum. Even better , I probably have enough stuff in this one to King or Drum fish in a pinch , though it would probably cost me a few larger fish and I might have to make a trip to the pier house for a couple of essentials that I only carry around when I have a definite need for them.

Let's look inside my fancy case. Yes , it is a pistol case. No I didn't buy it , but instead got it from somewhere for free. I have four or five in various sizes that survived the initial round of testing and ended up here. No , you can't have one....

Open it up already!

Just looks like a big mess to me...
That's better!
So what's in it? Here's a partial list :

Assorted fishing lines : I have two spools of 17 because it's a good all purpose size , but I would normally have some 12 or 14 lb. test in there as well. In the bigger box I keep 14 or 17 , plus 20 and 30 , occasionally an odd spool of 25 or 40. Why so much line? Big skates and rays think nothing of running off 200 yards of your favorite line then breaking it off at the spool. Especially if you don't have a backup plan...

Leader Material : pictured above is 20 , 30 , 40 , and 50 lb. test , though it's worth noting that the 30 is on a 50 lb. spool - long story... In my bigger box I usually keep all of the above plus 60 , 80 , and some single strand wire.

Lures : what you see is mainly Gotcha's , Kastmasters  , and the always reliable bucktail , all in several sizes and colors. Can you use other lures? Certainly , but these are old standbys that have always worked well for me. If something i don't have starts making me look bad , I'll go buy one. Until then , I start with these. It's a confidence thing.

Basic rigging stuff : Hooks , beads , swivels , straws? Yes , straws. They make a nifty Sabiki-type rig for small Spanish Mackerel , and even a Gotcha - like rig for bigger Spaniards. It's a weird setup. A note on the beads , I'm currently out of blue glass beads , but i do like them to put on a rig for smaller Red Drum (Pups or Redfish) if and when there are a lot of peeler crabs around and I'm trying to trick one with a piece of fish or shrimp.

A severely out of place fly box : It has some small bucktails and minnow patterns that I use for making Mackerel trees. I have another one that has bucktail teasers in it for puppy drum rigs , in the big box.

Knives : Because I will cut a fool... or just because I might have to filet a fish or cut bait. You'll notice the clam knife , very handy if you want to dig a few chowder clams and have free bait.

Needle nose pliers : Somehow they didn't make it into the picture , but i always have a pair for unhooking fish and crimping. Crimping ain't easy...

Anything else?

Nothing too important...
Lead : Lots of pyramid sinkers in various sizes , a few egg sinkers , a few teardrops , no Sputnik sinkers - I've never been a fan.

Whet Stone : Just in case I've cut someone and need to sharpen my knife , or you know , hooks and filet knives get dull with use.

Fishbites Imitation Blood Worms : I usually tell people to start with shrimp and work their way up from there. That's cheaper than Fishbites , but most times these will work great in warmer water and they keep forever. A little piece , say 1/4 of an inch long , will last through 2 or 3 fish , and that's all you need to get started catching bigger fish on cut bait. I think these are around 2-3 years old.

Is that all? Yes , I'm afraid it is. It's worth noting that I always take a cooler with cold drinks in it , and also for bait or the odd fish I decide to keep. I usually throw a rain jacket in my pier cart too , plus a few rods. The important thing is that you can take most of what's listed above plus a heavy bass rod and go to a pier or popular surf fishing spot and catch several different species. It all depends on what's in the surf where you are.

Have a great week! I have sheep that need tending to...


  1. You can never have enough gear with you. Today as I was talking to the campground host I mentioned that I had, in my truck, Tenkara rod,Fly rod,3 spinning rods, 3 tackle boxes, bag of fly boxes, wader bag, two rod holders, vest, long handle net, pier net, stringer, and last, but not least, a bucket for any fish I decided to take home. That enough? probably not. Oh yeh, a Troutrageous! t-shirt.


    1. Good to know that we are from the same fishing "school"...I don't know what those "one rod , one fly guys are thinking" :)

  2. Wow... I am impressed. You certainly get a lot of essentials into one box!

    1. You'd just have to see it in person RD! Are you sure I can't talk you into a saltwater trip in the fall?


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