Words & Images: Kosta Linardos
I love tackle. Lures, hooks, leader, braid – I even love swivels and a good-quality sinker. I have just as much fun organising my tackle and preparing for a trip as I do the actual fishing on the trip. It would be hard to do my job if I didn’t love it. All my tackle is impeccably organised, labelled, categorised and systemised. My wife thinks it’s a sickness and all I do is switch lures from one tray to the next, which is somewhat true, and my friends will hang it on me, only to copy my methods of tackle storage at the first opportunity they get. I have it down to a fine art and my knowledge of what’s on the market and the privilege of my job gives me the opportunity to know what works best.
I’m enthusiastic about my tackle storage as it saves time on the water and means I’m casting more and have a lure or bait in the water more often than not. Also, when I was a young land-based snapper fisherman, the bite would come on hot for about 45 minutes and I would always have a fish swallow the hooks and I’d need to retie immediately so I became proficient at having all my gear organised (and back then it was pretty poor gear). It also came about from the fact I get seasick. Not as bad as I used to when I was young, but I could never risk looking down for too long so I always made sure I was super-organised, then I could quickly get what I needed without having to rummage through everything.
All this has led me to appreciate the various tackle storage solutions on the market. I have trays, bags, folders and boxes from almost every brand out there, but 80% of it would be Plano. My dad had their gear, and I inherited his old stuff and I bought it myself. I remember being very surprised when I learned it was American – I just assumed as a kid it was Australian as it was what everyone had.
I was therefore very excited when the ICAST videos started rolling out earlier this year and I saw that Plano had come out with a whole new storage system – Plano Edge. I finally got my hands on the Master Series Stowaways with the Small Crankbait tray and the XL crankbait box to review.
The Edge system differs greatly from Plano’s standard stowaway trays. First off is the base material – it’s made from a stronger yet softer and more flexible material to prevent cracking. This new base material features Plano’s new Rustrictor rust prevention moulded into the base, which inhibits corrosion at a chemical level. This is a great feature for any angler whether you fish salt or freshwater. Dipping some sacrificial lures into the salt and leaving them in the Edge for a week did show minor corrosion to those particular lures but importantly there was zero spread of corrosion to any other lures in the tray.
The lids now feature Dura-View, which is ultra-clear like glass and allows you to see everything in the tray. They won’t scratch as easily or discolour and are big step up from the cloudy white plastics you may be used to. The lid is fully sealed with a robust O-ring seal and the hinges are now steel pinned for better durability. On top of this, if water does get in via you putting wet lures in the tray or leaving it open, it features an inbuilt Water Wick absorber, like the kind of thing you get in a shoebox that will absorb water to keep the box dry. Once the Water Wick has fully absorbed water over a few trips, you take it out of its case and throw it in the oven at 95 degrees for 20 minutes and it’s ready to go again.
In the past, Plano’s premium sealed trays required three latches to keep them sealed, which was a hassle when quickly trying to get lures out and then closing it again, but The Edge features a new one-latch design that can be opened with one hand. On top of all this the new materials on the base and lid are far more impervious to cracking or breaking. Another nice touch is a blank label on the front of the latch where you can write what’s in the box with a marker. It’s all very cool.
The Crankbait series has another ingenious design in that its inner base is a series of silicone fingers that you just simply push your lure into. The small size has been designed for small crankbaits. The style of crankbaits it was designed for are similar to that of a Size 1 or 2 StumpJumper, which is around 10-15cm. I don’t have many lures this size so I opted to use it for lipless crankbaits. It easily fit 32 lipless crankbaits and getting them in and out is a breeze – you just gently push them down, the hooks won’t tangle and they’re protected, and just as easy to get out. You could use it for various styles of lure depending on how many you wanted to fit in.
The XL Crankbait is the perfect solution to house those larger crankbaits you’d use for Murray cod. I have always struggled storing these and this is an outstanding solution many will appreciate. It’s deep enough to house your larger lures and keeps them tangle-free, rust-free, in great condition and easily accessible. I managed to easily fit 20 large crankbaits such as StumpJumpers, Warlocks, Oargees and Ponytails and I could squeeze in four more.
The new Edge series is a highly innovative tackle storage solution and I look forward to testing some of the other new models.