Last week I made a post about the best gear I’ve bought so far this year, so it’s only fair I have one where we can voice what hasn’t worked out for us fishing-wise so far. I don’t really like to bash products or companies, especially since many of them are made by fishermen (and women) themselves, but sometimes, that shit just ain’t no good. I don’t have a real list as I haven’t really had to replace too much yet this year, but I have a couple of gripes.
First, Ziploc bags. You could say this one is my fault because I assumed stuff in the bags would be kept dry if soaked briefly in water, but I was wrong. I didn’t think you could hold it under 10 feet of water and whatever was inside would stay dry, but I did think the bag would be sealed enough to not fill 1/4 of the way full of saltwater if it was floating on the surface for a little bit. You may remember what happened to my old phone and digital camera. I’ll take half the blame for this one. The lesson is, unless you’re guarding against occasional splashes of water, don’t cheap out and put your expensive electronic stuff in Ziploc bags.
Second, my Aquaskinz medium bag. You may remember last fall when that schoolie knocked my plug bag into the East River and I lost all my plugs/bucktails/metals/hooks etc., so this is the bag I bought to replace that one. I like the size of this bag a lot; it has four tubes for plugs and a pocket in the front for bucktails and tins, and a small inside pocket for other gear—leaders, hooks, some small lures—you can’t fit much else in there. The bag also has a side pocket for pliers and a couple of small, plastic D-rings to attach lanyards, or pork rind holders, which is what I have on one. It has drainage holes on the bottom for wading. The material of the bag is the problem though. Aside from feeling kind of cheap (I think I bought the bag for about $85), I’m constantly getting hooks stuck in the bag while swapping plugs, and, thus, constantly cutting or ripping them out with pliers. It’s really annoying when you’re fishing at night because then the light has to come on, the knife or pliers or both come out, and you have a limited view of the inside of the bag if you’re looking into it while it’s strapped to your shoulder—it’s not very ergonomic-ly designed in that sense. The bucktail/tin pocket is ok, but I get hooks stuck in that too. The bag could use an outside pocket on the side for Storm shads or other smaller lures that won’t fit in the inside pocket. The pliers pocket could use a Velcro strap to keep the pliers in place instead of relying on the lanyard attachment to avoid losing them in the water should they fall out of the pocket (which they will; they’re pretty loose in there). The seams are holding up alright for now, but as the bag gets more use I can see places where it’s starting to fall apart.
Granted, this bag is on the lower end of Aquaskinz gear. I use their Black Thunder gloves and I like them a lot and their jackets and dry tops are supposed to be pretty good, but usually have an absurdly large AS logo. And their Hunter Elite series of bags are supposed to be good and made of a better hook-resistant material. I will probably use mine until it blows up, then move on to something else. I don’t have the cash or desire right now to buy a custom or higher-end bag, but that may be an option later down the road. At the moment, I must say this bag pisses me off more than I find it useful.
That’s my rant for now. What about you?