Albackore II, a tackle solution designed by anglers for anglers
Total Score: 9.08 + EDITORS CHOICE
Enjay Functional Solutions delivers enhanced features, improved
construction, and increased flexibility with the redesign of their Albackore
tackle bag. We take a close look at the Albackore II tackle bag to see if this
is the tackle solution that we have all been waiting for.
Tackle Bag Specifications
12"W x 10"D|
PVC-backed 600D Nylon|
Enclosed, 3 mesh (2 covered), flexible shelf system|
Limited Lifetime Warranty|
About the Albackore brand and Enjay Functional Solutions:
Enjay Functional Solutions is successfully run by CEO Jeff Jost, Enjay
assists several small companies to bring their products to market. They have
now designed their own line of sport fishing gear, brand named Albackore. These
"Functional Solutions" provide a solution to a specific problem encountered in
the outdoors. Their first product, the Albackore Fishing Tackle Bag was
well received, and due to the great success of their launch
product they have redesigned an even more feature rich product...the Albackore
The Albackore II is compact
and solid yet thanks to great design is incredibly flexible and holds a
great deal of tackle
Impressions: Over the last year we have field tested a number of tackle
solutions ranging from PVC plastic boxes to soft bags with drawer systems.
Though every system had its own merits, none seemed well suited for a wide range
of applications. (No tackle solution has ever achieved an overall score above
7.58) That's where the Albackore comes in. Originally when I was first contacted
by Jeff Jost he showed me the original Albackore design but wanted to hold off
on sending TackleTour a bag for review because Enjay had just finalized the layout
for their new and improved Albackore II. From what Jeff described it looked like
this re-designed bag would address a lot of the issues we had seen with other tackle bags being
much too limiting in application.
When the Albackore II first arrived at the office
we were immediately impressed by the quality of material that went into the
construction of this bag. The 600D Nylon weave is much thicker then competitive
the Albackore II boasts extremely large toothed zippers. In addition the bag
was packed with numerous extra straps and shelving. Most eye catching of all was
the inclusion of a insulated lunchbox in this tackle solution...the first of
which we have ever seen.
The Real World Test: The Albackore II is
designed to be an extremely flexible bag that is equally well suited for both
fresh and saltwater applications. Bearing this in mind we took the Albackore II
out for some deep sea rock fishing, shore fishing for reservoir trout, and
largemouth fishing off a bass boat.
On fresh and saltwater boats
the bag is able to handle heavy spray with ease. Not only is the nylon water
resistant but covers and zippers shields contents from water
Materials: The Albackore II is extremely sturdy with the use of a PVC
skeleton frame underneath the black padded exterior. On the outside the bag is
constructed with 600D Nylon which is extremely strong and resists snags with
sharp objects. (Running a hook across the bag did not induce any loose threading
at all.) In addition the Nylon is water resistant and resists spray from even
saltwater well. If the bag is completely covered with water, a wave for example,
the Albackore II effectively holds out the moisture with its industrial grade
zippers, unlike other bags where water will seep into the drawer system .
The Albackore II is highly
customizable. Notice the lunchbox strapped on top of the bag [left] or fits
in the customized shelving system [right]
The Albackore II was able to hold steady on boat
tests even with the deck of the boat moderately wet. This is accomplished with
five very large rubber toothed feet. The bag's zippers are easy to open because
the Albackore II has weaved zipper pulls that make it easier to identify and
pull zippers quickly.
The lunchbox is designed to
fit perfectly in the top padded section of the
bag as well!
The Albackore II is able to fit multiple fishing situations thanks to the highly
customizable system. Every shelf and divider in this bag is able to be removed
and reconfigured to meet your storage requirements. For example, the top of the
bag features a padded interior that is able to hold reels and camera equipment,
and prevent it from moving around in the bag due to soft padded dividers that
attach via use of Velcro. The lunchbox can be put into the shelving, on top of
the bag, or even fit neatly inside the top compartment.
The top section is fully
padded and comes with 2 removable adjustable dividers
What we like best about the bag is the shelving is
not constraining. While the bag comes with 3 Plano 3600 series configurable
boxes you can basically use 3 boxes and the lunchbox, 5 boxes with standard
shelving, or 6 boxes stacked on each other! (If you really want to pack heavy
you also have 3 mesh pockets which we like to put plastics in, but you can use
to fit up to 3 more Plano boxes!) These pockets are expandable and the side
pockets have Nylon flaps that close with Velcro, preventing items from falling
out when the bag is being carried. All these storage areas allow you to highly
customize your lure assortment for any trip.
We noticed that pulling boxes in and out of the bag, when fully loaded, took a
bit of effort as pressure was being applied from the other boxes on the soft
shelving. On the other hand this tight fit makes it so that the boxes do not
rattle like other plastic shelved bags. This is important because when used as a
backpack over extended distances the bag is remarkably quiet as it holds all
contents firmly. We did notice that with more use the boxes did loosen in the
shelves and became easier to remove.
The Albackore II is the only
tackle bag on the market to come with a fully insulated removable lunchbox
that is designed to be part of the modular system
The Lunchbox: When was the last time you
saw a tackle solution with a built in lunchbox? This was our first. The
Albackore II provides excellent add-on value with this nifty feature. The
lunchbox is built with the same exterior components as the Albackore II and
features a fully insulated interior. We were able to fit a days supply of food
and drinks in the bag, and when secured in any of the three positions the
lunchbox didn't seem awkward at all. To get a better idea of how much this
lunchbox is able to hold we were able to put a six-pack and icepack easily
into the lunchbox. In addition the lunchbox can be used by itself for everyday
use and is quite comfortable to carry via a convenient handle strap.
The side mesh pockets are
enclosed with a heavy duty flap which seals with Velcro, this keeps items
from dropping out while the bag is being carried
Flexible Ergonomics: We have looked at a number of other tackle bags, all of which
were uncomfortable to carry over any extended distances, especially when fully
loaded. This is where the Albackore II really stands out from the competition.
There are 3 ways to carry this bag!
1) Hand carry: For short distanced
and heaving into a boat there is a small padded handle that provides an
easy and firm place to grip the top of the bag.
2) Over Shoulder Strap: When quick
access is required and for medium distances the shoulder strap is a good choice.
This is the best shoulder strap we have ever seen. First of all the shoulder
strap is removable and fully adjustable. Second, the shoulder pad is ergonomics
are outstanding! Buffered with extremely thick padding and soft rubber grip it
actually covers your entire shoulder, not just the one stress point. This pad is
adjustable and even removable for cleaning.
3) Backpack: The most innovative
method of carry is the integrated backpack. These two straps are well padded and
fully adjustable. This innovation allows anglers to carry all their traditional
tackle over extended distances, in comfort.
The Albackore II is extremely
flexible in terms of portability and can be carried with the hand strap,
over your shoulder with the enlarged padded strap,
or as a backpack
Surprisingly though there is relatively little
padding on the back of the bag and yet it is still comfortable to carry. One
thing we did do to further increase comfort was actually store a folded fleece
jacket in the mesh pocket on the back which effectively acts as a buffer for
your back. Once again the flexibility of the bag is outstanding with the
inclusion of so many pockets, straps, and panels.
The backpack straps are well
padded making the Albackore comfortable, even when fully loaded
Applications: Any tackle solution that
actually helps you broaden your fishing capability is a good one...and the
Albackore II does exactly that. Because of the incredibly flexible design it
allows you to carry more lures, more tools, over longer distances. For our boat
fishing the customization of the shelving allowed us to not only pack more lure
types but also to quickly identify where they were with the organized shelving.
On the side of each pocket is
a tool/rod holder that is a great place for shore anglers to place their
rods while awaiting bites
The Albackore II proved to be just as innovative
for shore fishing as well. With pockets that sport rod/tool holders and 2 more
d-rings and extra Velcro straps you can basically bring any additional items you
want to that perfect spot. For example, we were able to strap in an extra rod,
collapsible net, and folding chair! Once we got to our spot we found another
great use for the bag....a standing rod holder. Because the bag is weighed down
with your lures, gear, and lunch it is able to effectively hold two rods rigged
for bait fishing very securely.
tackle Bag Ratings (?/10)
quality that we simply haven't seen in any other tackle solution. We can
tell that no expense was spared in the materials or construction.
Excellent performance in all applications. Very sturdy and compact, able to
hold a lot of tackle with customized shelving.
Decent price for a tackle solution that is able to offer so much in terms of
features and construction
Features, features, features....the Albackore II is full of them! The
insulated lunchbox is a nice touch!
||Designed to be durable and carried over long distances the
Albackore II is the first bag we have tested that allows anglers to carry
their entire tackle arsenal in comfort over long distances.
tackle system is great for fishing saltwater and fresh, and for both boat
and shore applications
Pluses and Minuses:
Hard to buy in some areas|
Rigid PVC frame strong
Initially the boxes are a bit tight
Flexible drawer system
Backpack is great for distances
Insulated Lunch box
Extra Velcro straps a plus
Conclusion: The Albackore II tackle bag is designed by anglers
for anglers and offers an unprecedented balance of features, flexibility, and
construction. This bag addresses all of the issues and concerns we have had with
other tackle solutions being too limiting in design. The Albackore II will
delight anglers with incredible flexibility coupled with excellent materials and
construction that really can take a real beating. The ability to use one
flexible tackle solution for inshore and offshore fishing is a big plus. In
addition the Albackore II is packed with features like rod holders, flexible
drawers and compartment design, and even an insulated lunch box. There may be
other tackle solutions that are cheaper on the market, but we have yet to find
one that is able to deliver as much as the Albackore II. Enjay
Functional Solutions is just delivering these new bags to market, and while most
anglers may not be able to simply walk into your local stores and get one now,
we highly recommend this tackle solution. The combination of excellent construction,
thoughtful design, and abundance of features makes the Albackore II the only tackle
solution to ever win TackleTour's Editor's Choice award.
Until Next Time....Tight Lines!