How many times have you been asked “how do you store your soft plastics?” I get this quite a bit when talking fishing as it seems to be one of the long-standing topics of debate. When asked this question I always answer it the same. “I can only tell you what I have experienced” and that is what I am going to do now. 
    Last year I knew I was going to be fishing as co-angler and would be limited to a single tackle bag. This meant one of two things either I had to be dialed in on fish and only carry what I knew I needed or bring the kitchen sink and be prepared for anything. I of course chose the latter and the bag method seemed to be the most efficient way to put a lot of soft plastics in a small space. So, I went to work sorting my plastics into groups by colors, sizes, form and function then bagged them up in quart size freezer bags and then placed those bags into gallon size freezer bags and labeled them accordingly. After a few hours of work I was ready for blast off. 
    Move the clock forward 8 Months:
By the end of the 2016 season I had realized that there were a few inherent problems with the bag method for me. The first was I could never find anything easily or quickly if I needed too. I seemed to be always digging around for what I needed. The second was I wasn’t sure when I was out of or running low of any one bait. Last some of the baits themselves would often end up misshapen and damaged from being compressed in the bags.
Move the clock forward 3 Months:
It is 2017 now and this year I have decided to give storing my baits in boxes a try. I have done this some in the past but this year I am really focusing on efficiency. The first thing I did was to purge all of those lures I never actually used. You know the ones I’m talking about. They looked great on the shelf at the store but you never really felt confident enough to use them. Second thing is I moved to using smaller boxes that fit the baits better. No more one size fits all for me. This change eliminates any possible dead or wasted space as well as keeps the baits from moving around in the trays and becoming bent or damaged. 
    Third I labeled all the boxes clearly so I can easily find what I need. I am certain that saving time finding my baits quicker will add a few more casts into the day.
    And Last I will only be carrying enough of any one color for a day or two of fishing and keep the extra bulk items either at home or in my truck. 
Well that’s the simple short of how keeping my baits in bags worked for me and my initial assumptions on how the box system may up my game. Make sure you check back to see how it all pans out in part 2 of “Bag it or Box it”.
-Jeremy Kimberling, Pro Staff