Travel Tips

Universal Fishing Kit: What to Pack to Grab & Go

Universal Fishing Kit: What to Pack to Grab & Go

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If you’re an avid fisherman or woman, you understand the magnetic pull that seems to exist between your fishing rod and the closest body of water. A universal fishing kit would come in handy — a portable package that contains gear that you can use anywhere, at anytime, so that when you feel the tug of that magnetic pull, you can grab your kit and hit the water for several days. Here are a few suggestions for that grab-and-go fishing kit.

Tackle Box

Before you gather your gear, decide how you’ll carry your tackle and equipment as well as a few travel necessities. The long debate between hard and soft tackle boxes ends when considering the grab-and-go objective of a fish-anywhere kit. It’s soft tackle, all the way.

The main advantages of the soft tackle box are its flexibility and space. Lined with both interior and exterior pockets and compartments as well as ample core space, the soft tackle box allows you to organize and store all your tackle plus have room to squeeze in some toiletries and change of clothes, spare reels, extra tools and a water bottle or two. Because it’s malleable and lighter, the soft tackle box is more suitable for travel.


Everything included must have a purpose. Versatility is key, and your gear and your clothing must be adaptable for use in variable conditions. Be sure to pack durable and versatile clothing with useful features like cargo pockets and removable sleeves. Choose clothing that takes up little space in your tackle luggage, leaving more room for your fishing equipment.


Fishing is undeniably a species-specific sport, and normally what you bring depends entirely on the species you plan to catch. Each species of fish has its own behavior patterns and responds differently, depending on what kind of fishing gear you throw at them.

For most freshwater fishing scenarios, J-hooks that run from size 12-2 are best when using organic bait. Add a few 2/0 hooks for catching larger fish, some standard worm hooks and some 4/0 for rigging artificial lure, and you’re set for adapting to most freshwater settings. Saltwater fishing will require stainless steel or tin J-hooks sized between 2/0-6/0.

Given the nature of a pre-packed tackle box that’s ready when you are, artificial lures should be added to your kit since they don’t expire like organic bait does or require corks, sinkers or swivels, which would add to your list of items to track.

Reel & Rod

Normally the rod and reel combo depends entirely on your location and the species of fish you’re looking to hook, but versatility wins out over specified effectiveness when you have limited space for gear.

Considered a winning duo in versatility, the six-foot plus, disassemble-ready Ugly Stick rod and the 5,000 line capacity Penn Battle II reel win in the most-likely-to-succeed category. These two items combined mean that you can handle the majority of fish in sizes up to a moderately sized tuna. If you want anything bigger, you will run into pieces that are designed for different kinds of fish.