Most of today’s bass boats come from the factory with some kind of tackle organization system in one or more of their lockers — generally the center forward locker. But that hasn’t always been the case; in the past, it was largely up to owners to figure out how to convert several cubic feet of empty box into usable storage to keep tackle organized and easy to access.

Factory tackle organizers usually consist of a grid of vertical dividers laid out in such a way that the widely used Plano 3700-series tackle trays can be stored on edge. It’s a huge improvement over an empty fiberglass box. Keeping tackle trays on edge — as opposed to stacked — allows anglers to see all their trays at a glance and easily grab the one they need.


Room For Improvement

There’s always room for improvement, though, and Boat Outfitters engineers believed they could build a better tackle organizer. So the anglers & engineers at Boat Outfitters set out to build a better tackle organizer for the center compartment found on most bass boats.

The effort was led by Sales Engineer Donnie Ewers, an avid amateur tournament angler who wanted not only more space for Plano trays but also quicker access to frequently used lures and tools in the center locker of his Nitro Z20. The team removed the existing dividers from Ewers’ locker, carefully measured the space, and started designing.

The end result, after several iterations, ticked all the boxes: room for more tackle trays, instant access to frequently used gear, and a tight enough fit to eliminate the need for fasteners.

Innovative Sliding Tray Feature

The most notable feature of the final design is an innovative sliding tray that rides on top of the lower structure and locks into one of two positions. This has several benefits:

  • Open storage compartments make key lures and gear easier to locate and grab than if they were stored inside tackle trays.
  • The higher position of the sliding tray also improves access.
  • No need to reach to the bottom of the compartment for lures or tools not stored in Plano trays.
  • The sliding design means the area beneath can be fully utilized. Just slide the tray aft to access the forward Plano trays, or vice-versa.
  • The sliding tray can also be easily lifted out.

Product Review

Major League Fishing tournament pro Christian Greico, who also runs a Nitro Z20, has been fishing with the new tackle organizer for several months and says it has made him more organized and more efficient on the water. “Right when I open my compartment,” he says, “that sliding tray is just right there so I can grab whatever I need real quick. I use it for soft plastics or whatever I’m doing for the day.”

The most notable feature of the Boat Outfitters tackle organizer is a sliding tray for quick access to frequently used items like soft plastics. The tray has two locking positions and lifts off easily.

The most notable feature is a sliding tray for quick access to frequently used items like soft plastics.

The tackle organizer fits tightly into the compartment without the use of screws or bolts. Handles make it easy to lift the whole unit out of the compartment for indoor tackle prep or extra space on non-fishing days.

Additional Features of the Tackle Organizer 

  • Drop-in design — The tackle organizer is designed to fit snugly without the use of fasteners. That means it can be lifted out of the compartment and brought inside for tackle prep; to protect tackle from heat, cold and theft; or to make room for other gear on non-fishing days. Comfortable handles make it easy to manage.

  • All King Starboard construction — Instead of molded plastic, the Boat Outfitters tackle organizer is assembled by hand in the U.S. from CNC-cut King Starboard — which will never rot, delaminate, crack or fade — and all stainless steel fasteners.

  • Multiple storage options — More than just tackle tray slots, the tackle organizer also offers a large, deep bulk storage compartment aft, shallower bulk storage compartments in the sliding top tray, and room for six 3700-size Plano-style trays, plus two of the deeper 3730 trays for larger items.

Available For All Bass Boat Owners

Currently, the tackle organizer is available for the Nitro Z20, but it can be readily adapted to compartments of different sizes and shapes.

Boat Outfitters has a skilled staff of project managers and engineers who regularly work with boat owners on custom Starboard parts. As tackle organizers are designed for additional boat models, they will be added to the Boat Outfitters website.

In the meantime, bass boat owners are encouraged to call the company at (866) 663-7961 with the dimensions of their tackle compartments for details and pricing.

Optional CTA for end of social post:  Don’t own a Nitro? Just give us a call with the dimensions of your tackle compartment and let us design and build your custom organizer!

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