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Storage Review

 

The Plano Z-Series Wrap is a Mixed Bag (continued)

 

The pockets are designed with a clear side facing you as the wrap is unrolled and a mesh side on the rear which enables baits to dry out quicker. I liked how large the pockets were with the openings extending the entire length of the pocket. These individual compartments are large enough for storing massive 10oz. plus swimbaits or stowing multiple bags of plastics, and even when the wrap is rolled up baits will still dry quickly.

 


Large Velcro openings make it easy to get large baits into the pockets and secure them in place

 

While the rear mesh is great for airing out baits it is also the biggest flaw in the Z-Raid Wrap. Within the first few trips I started to notice how easy it was for hooks to get hung up in the mesh. Single hooked baits were less problematic, but any bait that had a treble hook undoubtedly always found a way to work a sharp point through the mesh.

 


I was really impressed with the high capacity of the Z-Raid Wrap and the ability to house so many baits of varying sizes

 

It really didn't matter if it was a small treble hook or a giant one, the hook escape on this design was constant, and annoying. I even experienced hook escape with A-Rigs as well, but to a lesser extent. This phenomenon resulted in taking time out of fishing to remove and deploy baits, sometimes even requiring the use of pliers to work the hook out past the barbs. Even worse because the mesh is black, and most hooks are dark in color, it was hard to see the escaped points and I stabbed myself with the hooks at least half a dozen times over the last few months.

 


Trouble in paradise. During testing we started noticing that treble hooks could easily snag up in the rear mesh

 

One option I found to eliminate this issue for swimbait and hardbait users is to invest in safety caps which eliminate snagging or loose hooks. This is still a workaround and does require additional expense to anglers. The Z-Series Wrap would be made both better, and safer, if both sides of the wrap were predominately clear plastic, and only a strip of mesh on the corner or top of the pocket was implemented to improve airflow.

 


Even worse hookpoints became exposed and can stab you when rolling up and handling the wrap. Our solution was buying hook covers when stowing large baits

 

I don't feel like the mesh design is ideal for a wrap like this but if you are willing to make some adjustments to how you store your hard bodied swimbaits it is manageable. The wrap does a great job with many other bait types including bags of plastics, swimbaits with a single top hook, and any baits with hidden and weedless rigged hooks. 

 


When it comes to protecting your baits and making it easier to carry an arsenal of odd or large sized baits these wraps get the job done

 

Price and Applications: The Z-Raid Wrap retails for $13.49 from e-tailers, a pretty reasonable price for a wrap capable of holding such large baits. While I can't recommend the wrap by itself without hook safety caps for big bait anglers, if you are willing to make the investment for some caps and are willing to take the time to use them then the wrap can still function well. I also tried layering some duct tape on the back of the mesh and had some success containing hooks, though escape was still possible. This wrap is great for holding bagged items like plastics but there are so many different and faster ways to store and deploy plastics, including binders. Overall the Plano Z-Series Wrap offers anglers plenty of storage flexibility but comes with some design flaws. It does do a good job protecting your baits from damage during transport, and I was comfortable throwing them around fully loaded, just not to other anglers with fear stabbing someone with the exposed hooks.

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

Plano Z-Raid Wrap Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Plano Z-Raid wrap is constructed out of quality materials and the Velcro and stitched seams all are very robust. The addition of the Kryptek panel is a very nice touch 8
Performance Performance really varies depending on the type of baits that you plan on stowing. Many anglers turn to wraps for their ability to store and protect large swimbaits, and while the wrap does a good job securing them the mesh back is a real design flaw, allowing hooks to snag up or escape on a regular basis 6
Price An great price for a wrap with such a high capacity and quality construction 8.5
Features I have mixed feelings about the use of mesh in the back of the Z-Raid, and while I appreciate how fast baits dry in the wrap I'd easily give that up if hooks didn't snag or escape. Other features are more straightforward and work well including the Velcro design, handle which is good for carrying or hanging the entire wrap, and the transparent pockets make it easy to see just what you have stowed and draw it quickly 7
Design (Ergonomics) It is easy to stow baits in this wrap and it rolls up nice and compact, but can also can accommodate large and odd sized baits. Unfortunately the hook escape hurts ergonomics as well and after stabbing myself a few times I found myself having to slow down and be more careful when handling the wrap 6
Application Better for baits with flat hook design or holding lures that have hidden hooks, or bags of plastics. Baits that have exposed hooks like A-Rigs and especially swimbaits with treble hooks can hang up in the mesh without additional provisions 6

Total Score

6.91
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Arguably the best looking wrap available on the market - The mesh backing snags hooks, especially treble hooks limiting use with swimbaits (unless your willing to use hook protectors)
+ Clear pockets make it easy to identify baits - The mesh back can allow hooks to escape and can be a hazard when transporting or unrolling the wrap
+ Can hold a variety of baits/products  
+ Baits dry quickly  
+ Velcro design makes stowing baits, rolling and unrolling the wrap quick and easy  
+ Very reasonable price for a product that holds up well to abuse  

 

Conclusion: The Plano Z-Raid Wrap is a mixed bag, and comes loaded with some excellent features including the sheer ease of use, large capacity, transparent pockets, and quick drying mesh windows, but the rear mesh design allows sharp hooks to snag or escape, which is inconvenient and even potentially dangerous.

 


Overall the Plano Z-Raid Wrap offers anglers a lot of good features but also exhibits some serious performance issues with the rear mesh design which allows hooks to snag up or escape

 

With modifications to the wrap or additional hook provisions you can effectively use it for holding swimbaits, but all of these issues could easily be avoided with some design changes to the mesh backing. Even with these issues I still find myself liking a lot of what the Z-Raid Wrap has to offer, and at a price point of only $13.49 I certainly can afford to add some hook protectors and deal with the extra few seconds to attach and detach them. The Z-Raid's design lends itself to flexibility, and with such large pockets anglers have a lot of freedom of what to stow, and this isn't just limited to baits. I was able to wrap in spools of line, cables for camera gear, tools, basically anything that isn't too thick in diameter is fair game. How well this product performs really depends on what you plan to store in it. A lot to like, equally attractive cosmetics and ergonomics, and one major flaw, the Plano Z-Raid is truly a mixed bag.   

 

Looking for the Plano Kryptek Raid/Blue Tackle Wrap?

Try Tackle Warehouse

 

 

 

   

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