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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Tackle Storage Review

Get to fishing faster with the convenient PolePack rod and reel combo carrier (continued)

Protection: So far so good. The PolePack has proven to be an superb solution for organizing and carrying combos from point A to B. When it comes to protecting your outfits the PolePack falls right in the middle. Earlier I talked about the soft construction of the bag being a benefit for storage and ergonomics. While this is true the soft construction also has one downside, and it relates to rod security. While the PolePack will protect rods and reels more than a simple strap together rod carrier it cannot protect your rods from being crushed.


A close-up of the rubber shoulder pad. Notice the non-slip dimples


ABS plastic constructed carriers look like bazookas, and weigh a ton too, and most of these are not really designed to carry an entire rod and reel outfit, let alone three. But hard plastic carriers will protect your rod from being crushed. If you are shore or pier fishing you don't really have to worry about this as you simply can prop the carrier up or set it aside when not in use. It is when real estate is a premium that this can be an issue. One example of this came up during tests on our 17 foot Boston Whaler Montauk. We carried three combos to the boat but only had room to take out two of them and load them into the rack. the third rod and reel combo was left in the bag on the edge of the boat while we fished. While fishing we always had to be aware of exactly where the PolePack was below our feet so we wouldn't accidentally step on the bag and bust one of our guides. If you are fishing on a charter we recommend using the PolePack to carry your rods to the boat, then deploy them into one of the onboard rod racks rather than keep them in the bag.


A close up of the surface of the PolePack shows the weaved Cordura


Durability: The PolePack is well constructed and we found it to be quite durable. In our tests the only area that took on any wear and tear were the inside flaps which were stretched a bit by oversized reel handles. The flaps didn't puncture, and while they do show some signs of stretching around the reels the flaps and bag continue to perform just as good as new. The outer shell of the bag reminds me of a Cordura backpack, the kind you used to carry in High School. The Cordura is rubber lined on the inside to be water resistant, and we found it provided a excellent shield from the elements for our outfits. Though it pained me to do so I actually conducted a series of drop tests with two Shimano Calcutta TE combos. While we have already established that the bag cannot protect rods from being crushed it does do a fine job of keeping your reels scratch free. If I had dropped my outfits on pavement from any height without the PolePack they would have undoubtedly been scratched and permanently scarred.


The PolePack is well constructed and makes use of quality Cordura and oversized zippers. This heavy construction helps the bag hold up to use in saltwater environments


Price & Applications: The PolePack has many uses and many anglers can benefit from this simple, yet very functional solution. We found the PolePack very useful for saltwater boat fishing where anglers have to carry an assortment of rod and reels as well as tackle bags from their car to the boat. This is especially true if you are riding shotgun on your buddy's boat and are in charge of bringing snacks. Shore anglers can traverse longer distances with multiple combos. In fact its even possible to fish with a baitcaster while shouldering the PolePack. The side compartment can actually double as your tackle bag, and is the perfect size to hold a Plano 3600 box, or your lunch and a bottle of water.

The Side pocket is the perfect size for a Plano 3600 box or your lunch and a bottle of water


Pier and Surf anglers will find that the PolePack eliminates multiple trips back and forth from your vehicle. I was able to make one trip from the car to the end of the pier holding my combos in the PolePack, a cooler full of drinks, my tackle bag, and even a lawn chair to snooze in as I waited for the fish to take the bait. The PolePack is available at a number of local tackle shops in and around the surrounding Bay Area, and for those anglers not from the region the company also has online ordering on their own website. With prices ranging from $24.99 to $32.49 depending on size these handy storage slings are well worth the money for any angler that finds themselves constantly hauling multiple combos.



PolePack Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The PolePack is well constructed and the overall quality has improved since we first saw the original two years ago. The bag makes use of thick Cordura and the interior is rubber lined for weather resistance 9
Performance In terms of convenience the bag performs exceptionally. We were able to carry more from the car to the boat in one trip than ever before. While we like the fact that the bag can fold up and is very lightweight it would be great if the bag could offer more protection to rods from crushing. Make sure when the bag is laid down that you do not step on the rods 8
Price A reasonable price for a rod carrier, especially one that offers more protection than simple rod binding carriers. This is not what most anglers would consider a "necessity" product but once you experience the convenience that comes with using one you might rethink just that 8
Features The PolePack has more features n=than most rod carriers. The fact that this bag can hold up two three complete combos in a fully enclosed compartment makes it more feature rich than just about any traditional rod sling out there 9
Design (Ergonomics) The PolePack is well designed and easy to use. Carrying three combos has never been easier of more comfortable 9
Application This bag is good for many applications ranging from charters to pier and surf fishing. If you like carrying a lot of combos then the PolePack has your name all over it. We found this product especially good for saltwater applications 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Convenient, quick, and easy to load and use L Doesn't protect rods from being crushed
J Great ergonomics  
J Quality construction  
J Multiple sizes for multiple applications  
J Reasonable price  

Conclusion: It is good to see local innovation, and the PolePack is a regional story that is sure to gain national interest from anglers with each and every season. This bag is excellent for saltwater applications but there are also a number of freshwater shore anglers that can benefit from the convenience that the PolePack offers anglers. The bottom line is that the PolePack not only helps protect your combos, it also makes them easier to transport from your car to the boat, pier, or wherever your fishing requirements take you. By getting you from your car to the water's edge faster it allows you to spend less time worrying about carrying all your gear, and more time with your lines in the water. Now that's something we all can all appreciate.











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