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Tackle Storage Review


Bringing storage and discipline to the world of crankbaits, Falcon's FTO tackle organizers
 

Date: 1/02/05
Tackle type: Storage
Manufacturer: Falcon Rods
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.50

Introduction: Happy New Year! Have you declared your own angling new year resolution yet? Perhaps it is to make extra time to fish, practice more catch and release, or something as simple as to take better care of your tackle....and why not? Serious anglers spend
plenty of hard earned money on fancy lures, and up-market crankbaits are among the most expensive. Look in most any avid crank bait fisherman’s bag or tackle box and you’re likely to find a mess of baits stacked two to four deep with treble hooks fully engaged, twisted around, and tangled. If not this situation, then baits are likely stored inefficiently with one or two to a tray and trebles hooked over the edges of the utility box and between dividers in an effort to keep them from tangling. Crank baits are a favorite amongst artificial lure anglers, yet, up ‘til now, storage and transport of these wonderful lures has always been, at best, a complicated, inefficient chore. Falcon Graphite Rods, has developed a set of tackle organizers that help address the messy and cumbersome chore of storing these precious baits. We acquired a few of these boxes to test just how well they suited our purposes here at TT headquarters.
 

Falcon FTO 700 Specifications

Type

Small Cranks

Medium Cranks

Large Cranks

Lipless Cranks

Model

FT0704

FT0705

FT0706

FT0707

Width

8-7/8”

8-7/8”

8-7/8”

8-7/8”

Length

12-3/8”

12-3/8”

12-3/8”

12-3/8”

Height

1-1/4”

1-1/2”

1-1/2”

1-1/4”

Rated Capacity

28

20

12

30

MSRP

10.99

10.99

10.99

10.99


Impressions:
For those accustomed to the standard utility box configuration of either fixed or adjustable width, square bottom compartments, the Falcon FTO organizers are a bit of a departure. The crankbait storage boxes are split in half, and instead of individual adjustable compartments, the patented v-groove trays in these boxes can be removed and adjusted in either full width or half length sections. The 704 and 707 boxes are actually the exact same dimension but are differentiated by the configuration of the internal v-groove trays. The same is true of the 705 and 706 models. In the hand, all four boxes feel solid and sturdy and are very easy to grasp thanks to their shallow height.

 

Introducing the extremely versatile Falcon FTO organizer

 

The Real World Test: We gathered our miscellaneous crank bait collections and had at these boxes filling each to capacity with a variety of lures then headed out on several trips with our newly organized cranks to see what difference Falcon’s FTO crank bait boxes would make in our fishing routine.

 

Top Left: the patented v-groove trays are adjustable. Top Right and Bottom Left: Each FTO box comes with a wiry plastic handle that are intended to facilitate retail display of the boxes. It’s a natural to yank on these handles to pull the boxes out of your tackle bag, but they do not stand up well to this use. Bottom Right: A close-up of the plastic hinges.

Bait Accessibility: Falcon’s patented v-groove trays really work well to virtually eliminate the hassle of storing treble hook hard bodied baits. The lures sit securely in these v-groove trays with their hooks easily tucked at the bottom and out of the way from other lures and trebles. This design gives the angler clear view of each lure in the box enabling easy selection and access to their lure of choice. The only difficulties we ran into were in the very last trays where the v-groove does not exist because there isn’t another tray following to lock down the lures. In these trays, the treble hooks do have a tendency to sneak down under the tray requiring you to pull both the lure and the tray out of the box in order to free the bait you want to use. This was the only difficulty we found in this design.

The Falcon FTO boxes will fit nicely in a variety of existing tackle bags

Compatibility: The FTO boxes fall somewhere between the Plano 3600 and 3700 boxes in size and easily fit into any number of tackle bags. However, we recommend, cross referencing their dimensions for compatibility with enclosed tackle compartments on your boats before making a commitment to this system. It seems each manufacturer of these plastic utility boxes enjoys tweaking the dimensions ever so slightly in such a way that standardization of organizers to universally house them is virtually impossible. That having been said, we experienced no problems fitting these boxes in most of our non-rigid tackle bags.

Top Left: the FTO706 for large bodied cranks. Top Right: the FTO704 for small cranks. Bottom Left: the FTO707 for lipless cranks. Bottom Right: the FTO705 for medium sized cranks.

Latches: We found the latches of our FTO utility boxes very well made and easy to open and close. Each of the four latches on every box we had shared a positive, reassuring “click” to let you know you achieved your goal of opening or securely closing them. While we enjoyed the added security of having 4 latches instead of two, we did grow frustrated, at times, opening these boxes while on the boat fishing. The four latches make it difficult for quick changes and switching between boxes while on the hunt for a specific lure. Those frustrations are mitigated, to a point, by the added security of having something to hold the boxes shut on all four sides and keeping the lids from warping in the sun. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, this frustration manifested itself in baits that were thrown into open boxes without regard to where they belong because we were in too much of a hurry to tie up and continue fishing rather than diligently opening and closing the proper boxes to insert baits in their proper locations.

While the Falcon FTO’s are great for small and many medium sized cranks, the challenge of storing away many large bodied and large billed cranks is not as easily met. Bottom Right: note in the bottom tray how the lack of the v-groove security has the lure sitting at a funny angle – the back treble had actually slid beneath the tray.

Hinges: All hinges and pivot points for the latches on these boxes are plastic. This is good in a sense there is no metal to rust, but the eventual question of hinge durability comes into play. Each of our boxes had three sets of hinges along the back that seemed to distribute opening and closing stresses evenly. We experienced no warping or misalignment issues. A nice touch on these hinges is a snap to hold the lid out in full open position. This feature came in handy when at home organizing the boxes more so than when we were on the boat quickly opening and closing boxes to get at our baits but it’s a nice refinement nonetheless.

We used our eight FTO700 series boxes for everything from large to small bodied cranks, top water baits, jerk baits, and lipless cranks.

Capacity: There’s no doubt these FTO utility boxes are excellent at storing medium and small cranks. Where we ran into less than satisfying results was with large bodied or large billed cranks. To be fair, the literature for the FTO706 clearly states up to 12 large body cranks, and this box holds true to this rating, however, we found ourselves wishing these particular boxes were just a little wider or longer to enable double stacking or even just one more column of larger cranks because one box for 12 lures just isn’t very much. Regardless of this point, we found the patented v-groove system very effective at storing treble hooked baits in a fashion as to not have them tangle during transport.

Durability: The Falcon FTO boxes are fairly durable save for the wiry plastic handles on the left side of the boxes. These handles are most likely intended to facilitate retail display, but they are a natural point from which to grab hold of the boxes while trying to pull them out of your tackle bag. The angler is probably better served cutting these handles off with a wire cutter to avoid accidents while on the boat. Of the eight boxes we purchased for our tests, only one had any signs of visible cracking and chipping after two months of use.

The FTO707, intended for lipless cranks is perhaps, the most versatile box in this series.

Versatility: While there is a Falcon FTO 700 series box made for just about any hardbodied bait made, we found the four different boxes we tested to be quite versatile in the range of baits each as able to store. Aside from the FTO704 and FTO707 having a quarter inch height difference from the FTO705 and FTO706, the only distinguishing characteristic between these four boxes is the configuration of the internal trays. Of these four, the FTO707, intended for lipless cranks, is particularly versatile since it’s the only box to come with both vertical and horizontal trays. The other three boxes either come with all horizontal or all vertical trays. Overall, we were quite pleased with the versatility these four boxes afforded us.

Ratings:

Falcon FTO 700 Ratings (?/10)

Construction / Quality

A lot of thought and detailing went into the production of this offering and the result is a solid line of tackle storage boxes

9

Performance

Great for storing cranks, our only issues came with lures that were larger and longer than normal and with the last tray where the lures are not sitting in a true v-groove configuration.

8

Price

The FTO 700 series of boxes is on the upper end of similar products.

7.5

Features

Four latch lid security, patented v-groove tray design, three locking hinges on the back.

9.0

Design / Ergonomics

The four latch system, though great for ensuring the boxes do not accidentally fall open are a little cumbersome to operate when in a hurry to access baits on the water.

8

Application

There might not be a better system out there for storing cranks and other hard bodied lures.

9.5

Total Score

8.50


Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus

J Solidly crafted

L A little pricey

J Patented v-groove trays are very effective

L Boxes fill up quick!

J Four latches lock lids down securely and help mitigate against warping

L Four latches make it slightly cumbersome to access baits when out on the water

J A specific box for practically every type of hard bodied treble hook bait

 


Conclusions: Anglers needing assistance with the organization and storage of their cranks would do well to invest in the FTO700 series of tackle storage boxes from Falcon Graphite Rods. Cranks stored in these boxes are for the most part, easily accessible, tangle free, and securely stowed. The only oddity we found was that the boxes seemed to fill up a lot more quickly than anticipated expanding the number of actual crankbait dedicated boxes we had almost two to three fold. Given the ease of use and visibility of the lures, it was well worth this trouble, but for anglers with a lot of cranks to carry, this could cause you to second think the number of cranks actually brought out on each fishing adventure. Keep in mind, as your number of crankbait boxes grow, the number of boxes for other lures that will fit in your tackle bag for a particular trip decreases. If one of your new year's resolutions is to take better care of those expensive fish catching cranks then the Falcon FTO should fit the bill nicely, just make sure the FTO 700 boxes fit your current tackle bag, box, or boat, before committing entirely.



 

 

 

 

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