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Published May 20, 2022 3:00 PM

Fishing subscription boxes are a fun way to add new lures and techniques to your arsenal. Many of the boxes on the market are species-specific, with lures to cover a variety of techniques. They are helpful for anglers just starting out or those who want to try new styles of fishing. The best part is that subscription boxes are designed to give you more than what you pay for. Many $20 boxes have well over $30 of tackle and gear in them. To save you the trouble of trying multiple boxes, here are some of my top picks for the best fishing subscription boxes.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Jumping headfirst into a subscription service can be tricky if you’re not sure what to look for. You don’t want to lock in a multi-month subscription only to find out the box isn’t quite what you wanted. To avoid this, look for boxes that match the kind of fishing you plan on doing. With that in mind, you can narrow down boxes based on value, affordability, and how frequently you want to receive them. 

Target Species

There are plenty of boxes available on the market, so knowing what you want to fish for is important. While there are options for generic fishing boxes, the best bang for your buck is in species-specific boxes. If you plan on targeting bass religiously—get a bass-specific box. These will expose you to new lures and techniques. For other anglers, like trout fishermen, specialty fly fishing focused boxes offer new flies or even fly tying packages to get you more familiar with the sport. 

Affordability and Value

When choosing a subscription box, I always look for value. How much does the box cost, and how much am I getting out of it? A lot of boxes are available for around $20 per month, which is affordable for most anglers. In a $20 box, I expect there to be at least $25 to $30 in gear. Look carefully to make sure you get the most out of your money. 

Best Overall: Mystery Tackle Box

Best Fishing Subscription Box

Why It Made the Cut

The original tackle subscription service—Mystery Tackle Box supplies unique boxes with a variety of lures for different techniques and species. 

Key Features

  • Cost: $19.99
  • Retail Value: $25+
  • Target Species: Bass, inshore saltwater, walleye, panfish & trout

Pros

  • Different species available boxes
  • Affordable
  • Can change between species at any time

Cons

  • Value isn’t as high as other boxes 

Mystery Tackle Box (MTB) hit the scene in 2012 and has since offered some of the best subscription boxes out there. Known for its bass fishing boxes, each box is complete with multiple hard baits like jerkbaits and topwater baits, soft plastics, and matching hooks. For anglers wanting to try new techniques, this is a great way to test new baits before you go all-in yourself. Fishing drop shots in small ponds was not on my radar before I was an MTB subscriber. After trying a box with drop-shot baits, I made sure to have them in my tackle box for finicky fish. Recently, MTB has expanded its offerings into panfish, saltwater, and walleye, so all anglers have an option. The best part is if you’re planning to take a trip after a new species, you can switch the boxes on a monthly basis to stock up on some new lures. 

Best for Saltwater Fishing: Man-O-War Fishing Supply

Best Saltwater Fishing Subscription Box

Why It Made the Cut

The Man-O-War team offers premium boxes filled with high-quality items specific to inshore saltwater fishing.

Key Features

  • Cost: $45
  • Retail Value: $180
  • Target Species: Inshore species

Pros

  • Great value
  • Guide tested
  • Custom designed hard baits

Cons

  • One box per quarter

Based out of Tampa, Florida, the founder of Man-O-War Fishing Supply set out on a mission when designing these boxes—to offer a variety of proven tackle that holds up against inshore fishing. After receiving my first box, I can confirm this is the case. Each box comes with a wide range of lures for any technique in saltwater. Everything from popping corks and soft plastics to several hard baits to cover any scenario on the water. The hard baits are unique in that Man-O-War, in conjunction with local guides, designed and tested them specifically for inshore situations. In addition to tackle, the box came ready to go with braid and leader to properly rig a reel for inshore fishing. The only downside is they are now offered every quarter, but from my experience, they are worth the wait. 

Best for Fly Fishing: Postfly Box

Best Fly Fishing Subscription Box

Why It Made the Cut

Postfly offers fly tying and fly fishing boxes that change monthly depending on the time of year and conditions.

Key Features

  • Cost: $27.95
  • Retail Value: $35+
  • Target Species: Trout, Warmwater, Saltwater

Pros

  • Flies change seasonally based on conditions
  • Includes leaders
  • Partners with Trout Unlimited for a yearly membership

Cons

  • Only 10-12 flies in the regular box

Fly fishing has long been known as a secretive and elitist sport that is intimidating for new anglers. Thankfully, the Postfly Box offers a fly fishing subscription box that brings flies and useful tips right to your door. More so than any other type of fishing, there are an infinite number of fly patterns and techniques out there to choose from. Each box comes with 10-12 flies with two of each style, so if you lose one, you have a backup. A fly guide written by Postfly explaining how and when to use each fly is also included. This helps cut down the learning curve. In addition, subscribers receive a yearly Trout Unlimited membership for more information related to fly fishing and conservation. Along with this, each box includes a tapered leader selected specifically for the flies included. For anglers that prefer to tie their flies, a fly tying box is available with step-by-step instructions for new patterns each month. 

Best for Hunting and Fishing: Sportsman’s Box

Best Hunting and Fishing Subscription Box

Why It Made the Cut

The Sportsman’s Box is a truly customizable subscription box designed to give the customer the choice of what hunting or fishing gear they want.

Key Features

  • Cost: $109.99-299.99
  • Retail Value: $200-$550
  • Target Species: Based on Customer Wants

Pros

  • Fully customizable
  • Name brand hunting and fishing gear
  • Great value 

Cons

  • Ships quarterly

In the subscription box world, the Sportsman’s Box is one of the few that gives you access to hunting and fishing. It is also one of the only boxes we tested that is truly customizable. The first step is to answer a questionnaire with your preferences. From there, you can choose from Weekender, Pro, and Executive boxes with different amounts of gear in each package. Having a truly personalized box gives you the useful gear you may otherwise not have realized you needed or had the money for. The Executive package allows you to choose two pieces of gear that will work best for you. For an upcoming elk trip, I was able to choose an ALPS sleeping pad and Browning sleeping bag that I knew I would need in the high country. When the seasons change, you can switch your preferences to tailor the box for whatever you need, whether it’s hunting or fishing. Monthly boxes are also available to further your gear arsenal for those wanting more.

Best for Bass Fishing: Monsterbass Regional Pro Series

Best Bass Fishing Subscription Box

Why It Made the Cut

Monsterbass is designed purely for bass anglers with boxes specific to your local conditions to help match the hatch.

Key Features

  • Cost: $35.99
  • Value: $50
  • Target Species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass

Pros

  • Based on regional conditions
  • Baits from premium companies
  • Guidebook included for the baits

Cons

  • Strictly tackle

Just because a subscription box is marketed towards bass does not mean Great Lakes fish will react the same as Lake Okeechobee fish. Monsterbass set out to solve the biggest issue with other subscription boxes—regional differences. Their answer was to work with local guides and pro anglers to select lures for each state and time of year. The result is a box that works just as well for northern smallmouth as it does Florida largemouth. A Florida box I tested had colors specific to the conditions and baitfish we find down here. Each box includes a variety of hard baits and soft plastics and a guidebook on how to fish each one. This helps expose you to new tactics to become a more well-rounded angler. 

How I Made My Picks

Some of my first memories are fishing related, and since then, I have tried every technique I can, fishing for just about anything that swims. Putting in countless hours on the water to figure out a pattern, I wish subscription boxes were available when I started. For beginner anglers, the right box can help you dial in a specific species with proven tackle, all while saving some money. When picking out a box, the most important part is choosing one that works for you. They vary in price and species, so knowing what fish you want to target will get you started in the right direction. I evaluated boxes for a variety of species based on these criteria:

  • Cost: How much does the subscription cost?
  • Retail Value: How much do you save on retail gear through the subscription?
  • Time Frame: Is the box monthly or quarterly?
  • Contents: Is the gear reputable and name brand?
  • Extra Swag: Do you get extra gear like buffs, stickers, or other gear?
  • Gear Guides: Does the box come with a how-to guide to explain how to use the gear?

FAQs

Q: How much does a subscription box cost?

Subscription boxes can vary widely in price, but it depends on how often they ship and their contents. Most starter monthly boxes will range from $25 to $30. If you find yourself wanting more, companies typically offer premium boxes with more gear for an added price. Quarterly boxes will typically run you between $60 and $100 and tend to include higher-end gear for things like hunting or inshore fishing.

Q: Which fishing subscription box is best?

It’s tough to say which box is best because it depends on what you fish for. Each box is tailored to specific kinds of fishing or targeted species. Our top recommendations hit a variety of fishing styles and have something for everyone regardless of skill level.

Q: How many Mystery Tackle Boxes are there?

Mystery Tackle Box comes in a bunch of different options, including regular, pro, and elite series boxes. The regular boxes are great for beginner anglers looking to try new tackle. For more experienced anglers, the pro and elite series boxes offer a larger assortment of tackle that is great for trying new techniques.

Final Thoughts

Any angler can benefit from a subscription box. The hard part is choosing the right one for you. New lures and gear that you find in these boxes will push you to try new techniques that you otherwise wouldn’t. These tactics can be extremely effective and can dramatically improve your catch rates. Regardless of which box you choose to go with, making sure it reflects what you fish for and your investment is important.

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