I was strolling the aisles of ICAST 2013 and I caught up with Roland Martin and Bill Dance, who last year formed Th3 Legends brand (, along with fellow fishing rock star Jimmy Houston. The guys debuted a well-designed and affordably priced tackle bag at the show, so I was psyched to find Martin and Dance chatting near a sponsor booth without the usual mob of fans. A great opportunity for some deep insight on the features and benefits of a good tackle bag, I thought.

Well, Martin and Dance are never short on words but they didn’t actually cover any of that.

Notably, both stressed the wisdom of simplicity. Other words, regardless of which tackle bag you use, don’t test the seams by stuffing it with every piece of tackle you own. Martin and Dance advised stocking plastic trays with baits and tackle for specific types of fishing and then packing the trays appropriate for the day’s pursuit.

Not every topwater you own, not every jig, not every crankbait. Both agree it’s nice to cover all bases, but it’s just not necessary.

“We used to carry these great big boxes with everything we had,” Martin said. “It was just overwhelming. We all have shelves full of tackle, but you can’t take everything that you have at home. You might want to catfish one day, bass fish the next day and crappie fish the next day, so just pack what you need for that type of fishing.”

Dance adds this: “You don’t need as much tackle as you think you do. You can get by on a lot less. Packing to the seasons is best. Just take the (trays) you’ll need for that time of the year.”

So take it from two of the sport’s living legends – don’t overdo it on the tackle. Identify a set of go-to baits you’re comfortable fishing and rely more on diligence than abundance.