Your fishing boat’s rod lockers and storage compartments are the perfect place to keep your rods, reels and gear, but what happens when you embark on a trip without our rig? Things get cumbersome, right?
If you haven’t looked into the various types of travel equipment built for anglers, you certainly should before your next road trip. If not to make it easier, then to protect your gear and keep it organized. Here are several types of travel bags that make sense for fishermen:
Big Bag On Wheels
Start with a workhorse bag—something that‘s large enough to hold all of your clothing, plus other important stuff, for a week in Canada or Mexico, or at a redfish camp or on a long-range boat. Make sure it’ll stand up to baggage handlers and dock boys who act as if they’re in training for the keg toss in a strong man competition. And wheels? Yes, because big bags get heavy, oullin’ is better than totin.’ Besides you need to save your strength for five 10-hour fishing sessions in a row. One warning: Big bags could cause “oversize-luggage” issues if your plans include commercial air travel, but the convenience may outweigh the added cost.
The Redhead Wheeled Duffle ($99.99) measures 36x16x16 inches, with drop-bottom storage, and offers lots of room for clothing and gear. Features metal hardware, reinforced corners and 22-ounce canvas.
Cabela’s Extreme Wheeled Duffle ($199.99 to $249.99) provides ultimate weather-proofing, too. The extra-large bag measures 36x15x18 inches and features heavy-duty, nylon-reinforced PVC with fully welded seams, which makes it completely impermeable to moisture. Three-inch-web top handles make for easy loading, while side ladder-lock straps secure rod tubes and extra gear.
These serve a variety of purposes. Use them to carry what you need on a weekend getaway, or as secondary luggage, even carry-on baggage, on longer trips. The key is to consider what you typically carry and choose a bag that’s logical. Are you better served by a bag with one large main compartment, or one that offers several smaller spaces? If it’s a toss-up, think—adjustable dividers!
Fishpond’s Westwater Boat Bag ($129) handles all your critical gear, keeping it dry and protected in all weather conditions. Its abrasion-resistant fabric is durable, and its waterproof molded bottom and PVC-lined interior compartment keeps gear dry. The 17x9.5x105-inch bag also features a padded interior divider system with Velcro attachments.
The G. Loomis Angling Backpack ($100) is another all-purpose bag that allows you to keep you hands free. The 23x12x9.5-inch pack features extra-heavy poly material, with polyurethane coating on the back side to help repel water, plus a drop-down tackle storage area for tools and accessories. There’s even a pocket on the shoulder strap for your handheld GPS or cell phone.
Manufacturers also offer a wide assortment of bags designed for a specific activity, or to carry particular items. This type of gear, while it may not lend itself well to other uses, is very good at its job.
Fishing reels always seem to get packed between layers of sweatshrirts and underwear, but with the Broadway Reel Storage Bag ($39.99) from Shimano, they’ll stay well protected in their own convenient carrier. Made of water-resistant tarpaulin material, it features fully adjustable padded dividers for up to eight compartments.
The Rush Creek Gear Bag ($149) from Clear Creek is designed for fly anglers and is great for all your gear on-the-go. Its rugged waterproof bottom lets you toss this bag anywhere, while its 10 interior and 13 exterior pockets hold everything you need for your time on the water fly fishing.
Whether you fishing rods travel by pickup bed or cargo hold, a busted tip is a constant worry. Rod tubes are the most indispensable of all the angler’s luggage. The only question—how big do you go?
For packing multiple rods of various lengths, Plano’s Jumbo Rod Tube ($69.99) fits the bill. You can carry everything from one-piece, 9-foot rods to broken-down two-piece ultra-lights. This high-impact polymer tube has three telescoping sections that extend from 67 to 112 inches for incredible traveling versatility.
Frabill’s 7000 Pack-A-Pole ($99.99) is unique in that its clam-shell case holds up to four assembled rod-and-reel combos, and features protective foam padding and interlocking ribs to keep them shifting. It also has two built-in accessory/tackle compartments. The Pack-A-Pole adjusts from 60 to 89.5 inches.