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Reviews: A few bits of tackle

May 17, 2013

One of my gripes with carp fishing is the huge amount of gear you need to lug to the lake just to fish… even for a day session.
Since I took to a more roving approach last year, I’ve tried to really cut back on what I take. When you look at it, we all carry stuff we never use “just in case”!!.
Well all the “just in case” stuff has been removed from my bags. Every item, no matter how small, has to earn its place.

I’ve tried to find small and lighter versions of the luggage I carry and have now refined things down to a small rucksack, a rod Quiver, a  chair and a bucket of bait. I can carry all this gear, without giving myself a hernia, in one trip from the car and can move as and when I like.

So let’s look at a few of these items and why I chose them.

Fox Specialist Compact Rucksack.sac-a-dos-fox-specialist-compact-rucksack-z-698-69810
My first choice when I was looking for a small bag for my gear was a nice little camo bag by Prologic. Now this was a well made, practical little bag that took all my gear.  It looked good and was not too dear. BUT it was a shoulder bag. Now there’s nothing wrong with this type of bag, let me say first off, but when you try to carry it with a rod bag and chair, it either slips off your shoulder all the time or strangles you, if you put it over your head.  As much as I liked the ergonomics of the bag, a rucksack was becoming an obvious choice.

I looked around at all sorts of packs.. military, and fishing gear; but none really got the ergonomics of the Prologic and the carry of a backpack.

Then I came across the Fox Specialist Compact Rucksack. In fact I saw an ad in a French carp mag. Now it has a similar square, lay out to the shoulder bag I’d been using, lots of side pockets for scales, tackle boxes etc. It is small so I can’t overload it. It is a reasonable backpack too. Not up there with a proper civvy hiking pack or military Bergen, but adequate. A chest strap & buckle to keep the harness together would have been a useful touch. I ‘ll have to add my own.

The quality is adequate. We’ve come to expect so-so luggage in fishing out of Asia. It does the job, but you feel the little touches are missing and corners have been cut. But for the price I’m completely satisfied.

Ok so what do you get?

A large main compartment, where I place my buzz bars, feeder pouch, brew kit, catty, towel and any water or food I taken.
On the left side you have a large zipped pocket. This is great for my digital scales.  The pocket has a few elastic loops, meant to take bank sticks with buzzers. Not sure I’d use that as I tend to use buzz bars.

clu195a
On the right you have two smaller pockets, one above the other. I keep spare line in the bottom and my stove in the top.
On the front you have a pocket big enough for a medium tackle box…. I can also get my rig box in it.
Finally on the top flap you have a pocket  for a second medium tackle box. Inside it has a zipped mesh pocket which is good for my swingers and rod licence.

The bag is made from a medium denier cordura type material. It is not very heavy duty, but adequate. Mine did get torn slightly on something, a thorn or sharp stone.
The base is thin but made of a water proof material so it should not soak your gear if you set it down on a wet ground.

A couple of nice touches.
There’s a good carry handles on the rear of the pack for lifting it in and out of the car and onto your back.
You get a waist belt, with good quality fastex type buckles. There are also a couple of straps supplied that snap onto the top so you can attach a rolled up unhooking mat. I like this feature, I must say.

So all in all I’m very happy with this pack. Small compact, as the name suggests, takes all the gear I need for a day and can be carried on your back out of the way.

Trakker 3 Rod Stalking Quiver.2526_14_trakker_3_rod_captive_quiver

Over the years I’ve had loads of rod holdalls. Some have lasted some haven’t. The main issue I have for mobile fishing is that they are all big, heavy, cumbersome and totally impractical. It’s ok if you are fishing out of your car, but while roving they are a liability.

To my mind a quiver is a far better solution. Made-up rods are easily accessed, add a brolly, and a few bank sticks ..et viola, you’re ready to go.
They are light compact and ideal for my style of fishing.  I’d been using a Chub quiver, which finally gave up the ghost. In France quivers are very rare, so I only managed to get a Starbaits 5 rod jobbie, that was far too big.

Then I saw a video on Youtube of the Trakker 3 rod Captive Stalking quiver. What I saw on the video looked just what I needed.

I can now get two or three made up rods on the outside. They are held in place by a Velcro strip,  elasticated tip protectors , that can be adjusted for 12 or 13 foot rods,  and a snap clipped strap. Even though the reels can still turn, the rods are held perfectly and can’t hit each other.

There is a large central pocket that fits my Korum 50’ brolly perfectly, a narrow pocket down the spine, for a landing net pole that also adds rigidity to the quiver.
There are two outside pockets for banksticks. I can just about get my river tripod in the larger of these. There is a generously padded shoulder strap and a neoprene carry handle.

Nice touches!!
The pockets for the rod butts & tips have plastic tubes to avoid rod damage… that’s great idea and the only quiver I’ve seen it on. The same goes for the elasticated tip protectors. I’ve broken rod tops in the past when loading the holdall into the car. With these tubes there’s no worries… the delicate parts of the rods are well protected.

2526_15_trakker_3_rod_captive_quiver_2

There is also a small pocket for leads… nice touch even if I use feeders 90% of the time thesedays.

Criticism!
Only minor points. The adjustable shoulder strap goes through a rectangular metal buckle. This can turn sideways, ruching the webbing.  An easy fix is to sew it more tightly into the webbing. I’ve had this on all the quivers I’ve owned, and usually end up sewing the webbing myself so the buckle can’t slip round.2526_16_trakker_3_rod_captive_quiver_3

I’d have liked the main accessory pocket to have been just a bit more generous, as more than a couple of banksticks or a storm poles & it’s a tight fit. It wouldn’t have added much more bulk or weight to the quiver.

Again a very nice item that I really like.

So there you go a couple of items of tackle that are perfectly adapted to my type of fishing.

cheers

Gareth

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