I'm much more into lures than lure storage, but when I saw the Daiwa Tackle Barn, I immediately contacted Marc Mills, Daiwa's Marketing Field Specialist, because I knew I had to review it.
There are a lot of tackle bags on the market and most of them look pretty similar. Just go onto Amazon and you'll find more than 2,000 products, including some with built-in wheels that cost nearly $400. A typical bag has space for 4-5 plastic lure boxes--not enough to carry all your gear but still bulky enough to be a pain to carry in my opinion. What intrigued me about the Tackle Barn is that it went all-in on capacity, with storage for 12 large plastic lure boxes in addition to other storage pockets.
I wanted a single bag that I could take on a boat or in the car on vacation that could hold everything I need in a compact space, and the Tackle Barn does just that. Daiwa says the bag will stow underneath a boat's steering console, although I haven't tried that yet.
My first impression of the bag was that Tackle BARN is an appropriate name. It measures 22 inches by 11 inches by 16 inches, and gets its name because from the end it has the shape of a barn--like a gambrel roof.
It is incredibly well-made and heavy-duty, with oversize non-corrosive zippers and pockets for sun glasses, tools and a fishing license.
The bag has a double-sided design with gullwing flaps on the top, so it’s easy to get boxes in and out. The gullwing flaps are secured by strong hook and loop fasteners, similar to the type made famous by the Velcro company.
The Tackle Barn holds up to eight 370-size tackle boxes and four 360-size boxes--a total of 12 boxes-- and it comes with four of each size, which is a $68 value by itself.
The storage slots are adjustable by removing the inserts, so you can store large or small lures and tackle. The clasps are strong, too. These are not cheaply constructed lure boxes. They are better than anything else I already owned.
I loaded seven boxes with a ton of gear, which gave me room to add 25 packages of Z-Man ElaZtech softbaits. It really is a Barn.
One of the great features of the bag is that not only is the bottom waterproof with non-slip rubber feet, but it also has a built-in rain cover that comes out of a bottom pocket and stretches over the entire bag. That's a clever feature.
In the early 1970s, there was a TV commercial for American Tourister in which one of their suitcases was put in a cage with gorilla to show how tough it was. I don't know if the Daiwa Tackle Barn would survive a gorilla attack but I suspect it will survive 30 years of fishing trips and be something your kids will fight over after you kick the bucket.
There were two things that I didn't like about the bag, although both were pretty minor. The first was that because the bag is so well constructed and heavy duty, it weighs about 13-1/2 pounds empty. But the heavy-duty handle and shoulder strap make it very easy to carry.
The second thing is that the bag comes with line winder, drink holder and two leader pouches that can be attached to the outside end of the bag with hook and loop fasteners. Those items seemed a bit gratuitous and I'd prefer just to have an empty pocket on the end and perhaps reduce the price by $10.
The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Daiwa Tackle Barn is $199, which I thought sounded pretty expensive before I saw the Barn in person. But considering it comes with $68 in plastic lure boxes and is so well-made, the price is very fair. Plus there's the advantage you get from having one large tackle bag instead of two smaller ones. You could spend $199 on two smaller tackle bags but the convenience of one larger bag is huge to me. The Tackle Barn would be particularly useful for salt-water fishing, when you're carrying a lot of larger lures to your boat or the beach.
The bottom line is the Daiwa Tackle Barn really is an innovative product. I'm excited to put it through its paces this season and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a larger, portable tackle storage solution.