If you’re like many anglers, you have scads of hooks for different types of fishing because our finny targets have variable-size mouths. They’re usually stored in different compartments in tackle boxes, and it’s likely that a good bump going down the road or down the lake will shake things up, leaving hooks in a big tangle the next time you need one particular size and style. That’s where guide Joel Richardson and a length of surgical tubing come into play.

Richardson, a former bass pro from Kernersville who guides on a handful of Piedmont reservoirs, has a neat solution.

“I learned this trick a long time ago while fishing with Roland Martin,” said Richardson (336-803-2195). “Go to a drug store and buy a piece of surgical tubing and cut the tubing into 1/8- or ΒΌ-inch long sections,” he said. “Then you put the shanks of your hooks inside the tubing. You can put eight to 10 hooks inside one piece of tubing.

“I also organize my hooks by size, putting the same size hooks inside a piece of tubing. That way they’re never tangled, and I know the size of all the hooks in a tube bundle. You can put them in the compartments in your tackle box and not worry about having a bunch of tangled hooks and wasting time or getting stuck while trying to get one out.”

If an angler doesn’t want to buy surgical tubing but has a good supply of rubber bands, he can loop a rubber band tightly over several hooks, sliding it down their shanks. More hooks can be bundled with a rubber band, but Richardson prefers tubing.

"I like the tubing because it's more stable than a rubber band and isn't likely to get cut," he said. "Rubber banks also tend to get weak and break, unlike surgical tubling."