Vintage tackle boxes are an angler’s best friend, the key to keeping their favorite spinners, plugs, minnows, and other lures from getting tangled with spare spools of fishing line, extra reels, floats, and invaluable hand tools. About the only thing a good tackle box can’t do is hold your catch—for that, you need a creel.

Like the best lures, the most sought-after tackle boxes are ones made by hand, often of leather-clad wood and reinforced at the edges and corners with aluminum or brass. Often these custom-made tackle boxes had handles on their tops as well as their sides, with hardware designed to accommodate optional shoulder straps. Inside, tackle boxes featured all sorts of drawers and compartments, and while most opened from the top to reveal their treasures inside, others could be unlatched at the sides to access frequently used pieces of tackle.

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