The best way I have found to store my trotline hooks and stages is in an old cooler that has the rim cut off. Inside the cooler is styrofoam wich makes it really easy to stick the hooks in when pulling in your lines. The reason I take my hooks off my line is becasue I fish for flatheads using live bait and use trotline clips for easy takeoff, so I cant prebait my hooks until I get out on the water Also, the cooler, which is a large one is big enought to throw all my lines inside ,which are stored on 6" x8" pieces of 3/4" plywood, which have notches cut out of the end of them, the middle of the cooler and anything else that may be needed to be brought along. I will try to get a pic up of it soon.
While coolers & buckets work great for storing trotline hooks & droppers, they both have the disadvantage that they take up a lot of space. Here's what I used back when I ran a bunch of lines every spring & summer.
Cut a piece of scrap corrugated cardboard. The length along the corrugation should be 2 or 3 inches longer than your longest hook + dropper. The width across the corrugation will depend on how many hooks you want to store on that piece, but if I remember right, a 24" piece will easily store 50 hooks & droppers. Fold the cardboard in half along the corrugation. Pick one end to be the top. Stick the hook points into the spaces created by the 'S' part of the corrugation, letting the dropper hang down. Insert hooks into only one side of the folded cardboard, and when done, fold the unused half over the hooks to keep them, and the droppers, in place. Secure with a couple of large rubber bands. By removing your hooks & droppers and storing them like this, you can wind your mainline around a piece of scrap board and store all of your lines, hooks, and droppers in a storage box. (I used a Rubbermaid.) When you get ready to put out a line, you can remove all the hooks for a line and hang them on a bucket for easier access while putting out the line. Likewise, when pulling a line, hang them on a bucket while actually pulling the line, then transfer them to the cardboard holder.
I put mine on the side of a 18" SQ box made from 1x4 pine boards. Cut notches in the side of the box and pull the line down into that cut,s. I put them out with the motor at any speed I care to. Most times that is 25+ MPH. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...mperline02.jpg
That is the reason We call them Jumper lines as they jump out of the box.
WE also put ours out at dusk and take them back up in the am right after first light.
I use a small heavy duty small ice chest to put all my trotline hooks on. I also use the ice chest to carry extra string, pliers, bait knife, etc. I roll all my trotlines on electrical wire spools and carry them in a five gallon bucket. I also carry a piece of half inch conduit with me which, the spools will slide onto. Then all I have to do is tie one end of the trotline off hold the conduit up in the air and motor toward my next anchor point and the spool acts like a reel letting the trotoline spin right off. Tie off or anchor the other end and then put my hooks and weights on and I'm done. This makes it easier for me when I'm by myself and I don't have to fumble with no board like I used to.
I like to keep my trotlines in a styrofoam minnow bucket. Just put the end in and pile the line on top of itself. when you get to a hook, stick it into the rim with the dropper hanging inside the bucket and keep piling the line in. it never tangles and you don't have to take the hooks off the line. when you put it out, tie off the end that is on top and pull the hooks out as you go along so they dont tear up your bucket. You can keep more than one line in the same bucket too.
This is what I use. I make a box 1x4 or1x6 treated board about 16x20" with hardware cloth bottom put a divider in the middle 1x4 take two 1x4s 9" and mount them to the middle of the divider .Then take a piece of cold water,thin wall PVC pipe 1 1/8 split it on both ends both sides about 6" and mount it to the 1x4s 9" that you have in the center of your box .This will hold 4 trotlines and they will jump out without you having to get a hook in your hand. Hope this helps.
I keep my hooks hanging on the inside of a 30gal bucket,the ones pool chlorine comes in. It lets the drops hang down straight without tangeling. I wind my main lines up on the cheap cord reels you get at lowes or home depot. One reel will hold 3-4 50 hook lines.
I like all these methods and have used the styrofoam minnow bucket one a time or two.
Here is what I do now. I use one of those styrofoam boxes frozen food which is shipped from restaurants comes in. They are normally square and have a lid to keep the hooks down into the styrofoam.
I wrap the line up the same way you would if you were using a box or a minnow bucket.
I am also using the PVC pipe method with rubber bands and paper clips. I read about this on here and like that method too. I can't remember the name of the BOC member who suggested this, but I like and use it as well.
Whatever works and whatever is cheap.
I use a shorter drop with the quick clips and a heavy swivel. My drops are about 8" long with a circle hook attached. the way I store my drops is with a used large plastic jiffy peanut butter jar with a 2.5" hole in the bottom (i used a hole saw for installing a door handle in a door). I hold the jar upside down and hang my circle hooks on it usually about 24 drops slide the hooks around to one side. wrap my hand around the jar over top of the lines. then turn the jar over and fold the quick clips into the inside of the jar, and put the jar lid on over the lines and tighten the lid. the plastic gives enough and wont cut the line or scuff them. i use 100# dacron for my drop lines. It is so simple and very hard to get the drops tangled up.