This really is completely up to you and your personal preference, but it’s not something you have to overthink.
Dodgers are commonly stored in a tackle box, but some fishermen use a case lined with mesh to allow ventilation due to a concern about trapped moisture. Plastic sleeves assist in organization and sorting of dodgers.
Here are some common systems for storing dodgers.
Tackle boxes present the most obvious choice for storing any kind of tackle, with so many ways to personalize your storage, and many kinds of tackle boxes to choose from! From your basic box with a handle, to your bigger, fancier models with tiered shelves that fold out when the box is opened, there is an option and a system here for every fisherman.
Tackle “boxes” actually come in several different shapes and materials. There are the hard boxes that were mentioned before (of which there are many varieties), and then there are tackle boxes that are actually bags.
The perks of owning a tackle box are many. They are made of hard plastic, which stands up well to sun and water, and can be made to be waterproof, freeing your mind from any concerns you have of keeping your box away from water. Which would be hard to do as a fisherman. When they do get wet, or dirty, they are very easy to clean, and will dry quickly. They are very structured, and the contents are easy to access.
Tackle boxes are generally heavier than other options, simply as a consequence of the material they are made of. They also require a hand to carry them, limiting your mobility. As most of the compartments don’t have lids, if your tackle box tips over, the likelihood that the contents of your box just spilled and are all mixed together now is very high. You’ll need to make sure your tackle box is help on a flat surface to prevent tipping.
Waterproofing was mentioned before as a pro, but it can also serve as a con. If you get moisture trapped inside a waterproof box, your gear will start to smell, and it may damage or rot some of your gear, depending on what is stored in the box and how long you go before opening it again.
Tackle bags are a lesser utilized option for storing fishing gear, but are much more versatile, while sacrificing some of the “personality traits” that come with a tackle box.
Tackle bags come in a very large variety of sizes, from fanny pack style, cuts resembling backpacks, and measurements approaching a duffel bag, ensuring that you have the bag that is right for you and your fishing storage needs.
They generally come with straps and handles, enabling you to either carry it like a tackle box, or to throw it over your shoulder, freeing up one of your hands. Typically made of polyester and mesh, they are water resistant, and will dry quickly when wet. They also offer more versatility when it comes to storage, featuring pockets that can hold items like cell phones, cameras, knives, and water bottles, which may fit in an average tackle box, but are the kind of thing that generally just gets shoved in where you can fit it.
Tackle bags don’t have to be kept on a flat surface to keep them from falling over, as they’ll mold a bit to the ground you set them on. They can be set on a shelf for storage, or hung on a wall. If you’re wanting a little more flexibility than a tackle box has to offer, a tackle “bag” is the way to go.
Like I mentioned before, they aren’t waterproof, merely water resistant. Don’t go dropping this in the water, because if you do, eventually you’re going to have to take some time to dry and air it out.
While flexibility can be a blessing, it can also be a bit of a curse. There does tend to be more overall space in a tackle bag, but a lot of the time the contents aren’t QUITE as accessible as they are in a tackle box.
Many fishermen will store their dodgers in a mesh case, specifically for their dodgers, keeping them sorted and separate from their other gear. Don’t look at this as a replacement of your tackle box, but something additional that you’ll have.
The most obvious pro for this mode of storage is knowing exactly where your dodgers are, and if your memory is average to decent, you can use it to maintain a system, sorting your dodgers by color, effectiveness, and any number of other sorting methods.
With the pockets being made of mesh, the dodgers will have more ventilation than many other options, keeping them fresh and preventing any damage that could occur from prolonged exposure to trapped moisture.
While mesh comes with its own set of pros, it also has cons. Mesh won’t last as long as other materials, and if you’re constantly putting dodgers in and taking dodgers out, you’ll be providing a number of opportunities to wear down the material. As this will also be in its own case, it is also something additional you’ll have to keep track of.
Plastic sleeves are the ultimate way to keep your dodgers sorted in whatever way you see fit. Typically kept in a binder (similar to a trading card collection), this mode of storage provides you with the ultimate form of visibility. If you’ve ever wanted to look like a Pokemon card collector who fishes, this option is for you.
This is one of the most, if not the most effective way to store your dodgers if visibility is the most important to you. With countless ways to sort them, the easy addition of an index page if you’re worried you’ll forget your method, and other customization options, this is a fun, inexpensive way to store your dodgers. Not to mention, since everything will be made of plastic, there is nothing that would really be damaged by exposure to water.
This method would really only be worth it if you owned a lot of dodgers. Possibly an obscene number of dodgers. You may also run into problems with keeping the dodgers in their plastic sleeves. Unless you could somehow seal each individual plastic slot, the dodgers may fall out on their own, and unless the binder itself zipped or had the option to be sealed, you could run the risk of losing dodgers when you weren’t paying attention.
I have tackle box to store the majority of my gear, and a small tackle bag to store the more important or expensive lures, dodgers, or other important fishing items I own.
Having both enables me to transfer the things I need from my tackle box to my bag if I’m going to be walking around and need my hands free, while I can also have the security of a hard, locked tackle box to store things in when I’m not fishing.
As was mentioned in the beginning, it really is all up to the fisherman and your personal preference.