In 2014 I first visited Japan for the Osaka tackle show. It was three days of viewing amazing tackle without being able to buy any of it, so the tackle bug hit me hard. After the show I jumped on the bullet train to Tokyo and went on a tackle store tour. There, I found products I had never seen before and one product I went pretty crazy about was Versus Meiho. Versus had a huge range of amazing storage solutions that we just didn’t have in Australia, and as a stickler for tackle storage (and being a bit OCD when it comes to storing and organising tackle), their products were like Xanax to the anxiety I felt at disorganised tackle in my boat and garage. I went back in 2017, when Australia still didn’t have good distribution, and Versus was again on the shopping list. Thankfully in 2019 Bluefish Imports, the same company that manufactures Samaki, Boom Baits and Fish Craft and distributes X-Braid by YGK, had taken over distribution. They haven’t messed around when it comes to bringing Versus into the country and now the products I used to eagerly wait to buy on my visits to Japan are readily available in Australian stores.
You can still catch fish with poorly organised and stored tackle, and I know quite a few great fishermen whose tackle storage makes me want to pull my hair out as I watch them try and unravel trebles from each other, but it isn’t fun and I guarantee you this: you’ll catch more fish and your gear and hooks will last longer with well-organised tackle. You’ll find it on the boat quicker, lure and terminal changes will be faster and when that hot bite is on you’ll be thankful you spent the downtime getting your gear organised.
Now let’s get into what makes Versus Meiho so good, which is design and durability. I think their designs are world-class and they have products no other storage company has. I’ll take you through from small storage to large as to why I think they’re so good.
One of my favourite products of theirs is the folding cases. The small size looks like an old-school flip phone and the larger one like a mini-laptop, and inside there are small compartments for all your terminal tackle. I use the larger sizes for swivels, beads, split rings, solid rings and all your small terminal. I use the smaller sizes for small terminal tackle for species such as whiting and for lure clips. I have one for heavy tackle clips and another for light tackle lure clips. These are items that I’ve never been able to store efficiently. The best part is that if you’re looking for a small swivel, you don’t need to open a big tray where they have most likely moved around a lot to get one out and risk spilling the whole tray, you just flip it open, easily open a small compartment and grab your swivel or whatever other small items you store. It also reduces the volume.
The next style of product I love of theirs is the reversible cases. These are great for land-based anglers walking rivers chasing trout, bass and jungle perch. They come in different sizes and different depths so you can fit all manner of lures. There is a single compartment for each lure so there’s no tangles, and the slim and small design means they don’t take up space in a pack, vest or sling bag. They’re also fitted with excellent latches and clips that don’t break and are easy to open and close.
When it comes to trays, there is every size and depth imaginable. Whether you want to store a few jerkbaits or a heap of big stickbaits, there is a size and depth that will get the job done. Their trays come in clear and dark green. The best part about all Versus products is that you get a lot of dividers and they’re pre-cut from the factory and twith [IG1] in each compartment perfectly, so no more using scissors to cut the dividers and shaving the sides down to fit – they slot in perfectly every time. The dividers are also thicker than other brands and made from a more premium plastic, so they don’t buckle or bend.
For all you egi heads out there, Versus offer their Wave series of clear egi cases with pre cut slots and also their big egi stockers. I’m a huge fan of the egi stocker as it holds forty jigs in separate columns, so you can see them easily and they’re easy to get in and out.
Whatever style of lure you’re trying to store they have a design to house it: spinnerbait boxes, trays specifically for Koga jigs, slit foam for jig heads. The list of products is endless.
You then move into their big cases and two of my favourites are the 3080 series and the Bucket Mouth. The 3080 series is a briefcase-style storage solution with a top compartment that acts much like a large tackle tray, and then a deeper bottom section that comes with smaller trays to slot into compartments. This is the perfect case for storing all your terminal tackle or a heap of different-sized lures. I use it for all my river trout gear, from lures through to terminal tackle, plastics, dough baits and wader repair kits and extra tools. It comes with me on every trip and holds everything I might need and stays in the car – then I can adjust my smaller trays from it depending on conditions.
The Bucket Mouth is a cooler-style storage solution that offers a huge amount of flexibility for adding different styles of smaller or larger trays. You can sit and stand on it and you can add attachments to the sides such as rod holders, drink holders and tool holders. I use it for my terminal tackle, where it houses all the terminal tackle I’ll ever need to catch everything from yakkas through to kings and sharks. I am big believer in always having all the terminal tackle you’ll ever need in the boat, as you never know what you may come across or decide to fish for. In the Bucket Mouth everything stays dry, organised and easy to reach.
Whether you’re looking for a few good trays or you want to completely overhaul your tackle storage and have it organised to geek level like me, Versus Meiho have the designs to get it done right, no matter what style of fishing you’re into.