“Are you going fishing?” my neighbor leaned over the fence and asked. Standing in a pile of gear with my kayak half on the truck, I responded, “I’m always going fishing.”
The never-ending process of loading and unloading, rigging and unrigging, cleaning and more cleaning means I spend a lot of time “going fishing”.
One way to streamline the process is storing gear in rollovers, duffels and satchels.
Not only does the process keep me organized, but it makes clean up and tear down faster and easier so I can spend less time going fishing and more time fishing.
$59.99 | advancedelements.com
When I saw the Advanced Elements Funk Bag advertised on Facebook, I had to have one. Even before I saw the name, I knew what the mesh top and heavy vinyl bottom would do—get the funk out. Wet waders, drytop, shoes and clothes will quickly mold and stink. The ventilated Funk Bag allows gear to dry preventing must and mold.
I’m able to stuff waders, boots, dry pants, drytop, PFD and more into the bag with no worries; the welded seams in the tarpaulin bottom won’t rip out. I throw extra neck gaiters, gloves and dry socks in the water-resistant pocket and carry the whole wardrobe to the truck with oversized shoulder and hand straps. This is my favorite gear bag.
$24.99 | mustangsurvival.com
Regardless of the season, it’s essential to carry rain gear and dry clothes in the kayak. I trust Mustang Survival’s Bluewater Roll Top to keep my summer rainsuit or winter layers dry and compact. Ripstop nylon coated with waterproofing agent is pressure tested to guarantee dry gear.
When stuffed and compressed, the bag is cube-shaped to live in my bow hatch without rolling with the waves. A see-through label window is handy for organizing multiple bags of gear.
Plano Weekend Series Speedbag
$11.99 | planomolding.com
Plano’s new Weekend Series Speedbag allows me to organize my tackle and tools with separate bags for different species. I’ve loaded one bag with my scissors, pliers and other tools. Another bag holds leader material.
I’ve dedicated Speedbags for big soft plastics and small lures. I used a permanent marker to label each bag with a letter. When it’s time to load the fishing gear, I grab the appropriate bag and throw it in my tote.
Sealine Skylake Dry Daypack
$99.95 | sealinegear.com
We love the Skylake Dry Daypack for what it is not. The 18-liter roll-top drybag is not heavy, bulky or stiff, making it perfect for filling with gear for a day hike or paddle. Sometimes I pack the bag with camping gear for longer trips. Other times, I paddle to my location, transfer tackle and water bottles to the Skylake and hike to the fishing spot.
The lightly padded shoulder straps can be removed and a stretchy, mesh pocket in the front keeps my phone in reach and in sight. Rolltop closure means the bag can be compressed to take up the least space in the hold. The Skylake is simple to fit anywhere.
$179.99 | reliablefishing.com
“Where do you keep the fish?” is the first question newbies ask. Reliable Fishing Products has the answer. The Insulated Kayak Bag is shaped to fit on a kayak bow or stern. D-rings and handles make it easy to secure the bag. The outer material is UV and mildew resistant. Ice lasts all day in a half-inch of dense, closed-cell foam. I leave the fish bag in the truck cab while I’m on the water, then pack my fish in ice when I return to land.
Otterbox Yampa 35 Dry Duffel
$249 | otterbox.com
Whether you’re bouncing down a whitewater river or rushing through an airport terminal, Otterbox’s Yampa Dry Duffel has you covered. The large duffel bag holds a week’s worth of gear with options to carry like a duffel bag or backpack.
On the water, the sealed seams and waterproof zippers keep gear dry. Ultra-low-density closed-cell foam and fold-over flap protect against crushing gear. The bottom is further reinforced to sit in a puddle and still stay dry. Clips and straps double as tie-downs in a kayak or cinch down to carry on the plane.
Save time and energy by staying organized. | Photo: Ric Burnley