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Tackle Storage Review

The hybrid Plano FlipSider effectively blends both soft and hard tackle storage systems together

Date: 6/25/06
Tackle type: Tackle Storage
Manufacturer: Plano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.33

Plano released their most revolutionary product in the last few seasons when they introduced the new FlipSider hybrid. The FlipSider successfully blends elements from the company’s soft and hard tackle storage systems to create a new and exciting way to organize and safeguard all your tackle.

Plano FlipSider Specifications

Size 20.5" x 12.5" x 10.25"
Materials EVA Foam exterior, Rubber Hardbottom
Storage Compartments 1 FlipSider Enclosed, 1 main compartment (three 37000 utility boxes), 3 side pockets
Water Resistant Yes
Utility Boxes 3 - 3700 ProLatch
Color Burnt Orange
Origin Made in China
Price as tested $65.99

Plano: Plano is no newcomer to the tackle storage game. The company has been producing storage solutions for both outdoor and indoor applications since 1952. While anglers know Plano best for tackle systems the company also turns out archery and firearm storage boxes, hardware storage, and even home storage solutions.


The bold new Plano FlipSider bag (or box.. depending on how you look at it)

If you’re like me when you think Plano you think of the very first tackle box you ever had. I have many memories of carrying my hip roof box out to the local lake loaded with powerbait and bobbers. Today my boat has pretty much become my oversized tacklebox and I fill it with a surfeit Plano utility boxes.


The FlipSider didn't roll around our truck bed like other tackle boxes

Today’s Plano tackle systems can be divided into two sub-systems, Hard or Soft. Plano’s “Hard Systems” range from the very entry level single tray solutions for kids to specialty boxes and oversized Guide Series solutions. Recently Plano also introduced hard rack systems which make use of their utility boxes making it possible to make multiple configurations for each and every trip.

The bottom features a rubber hardbottom and oversized feet for more grip in the car and on the boat

Plano’s soft systems are broken into two subcategories, “Softsiders” and the “Guide Series.” Softsiders are simple easy to use soft bags which hold a variety of utility boxes. These bags also have pockets to hold other items like plastics and tools. These bags tend to be inexpensive and easy to use, making them a good choice for anglers that like to quickly grab just the utility boxes they need for a day trip.

The bag is best carried with the shoulder strap

In stark comparison to the simple rather utilitarian softsider bags the guide series bags feature all the bells and whistles. While they house utility bags in the same fashion they come with much more reinforced bodies, and many more pockets and straps. These bags look more attractive, are built stronger, are more ergonomic, and are better suited for long trips and even travel.


Latches look familiar?

With the introduction of the Plano “FlipSider” the lines between hard and soft systems has been breached. While Plano technically categorizes the FlipSider as a soft system, it really has elements of both systems integrated into one unique new bag or box (depending how you look at it).


The "flipsider" system is integrated into the front of the bag

Design: I first saw the FlipSider in Plano’s booth last year at ICAST. The bag caught my attention right away due two the attractive “Burnt Orange” exterior and the tinted window in the front of the bag. The “Duraview” window features the same Prolatch system used on Plano utility boxes. Housed behind this clear window are 3 rows of “FlipSider” compartments which hinge outwards for easy access to lures.

Open the ProLatches and the Duraview window flips down


Besides the main flipsider compartment the bag has pockets on all sides. All pockets zip open and closed. On the top of the bag there is a large zip-top opening which provides access to the main compartment and configurable utility boxes. The more I looked at the bag the more I wondered just how well this design would translate into functionality in the field.


Another look at the latch in the open position


Real World Test: To test the FlipSider we decided to conduct a long term test that would test the bag’s functionality, ergonomics, and durability. What followed was a season of use, torture tests, and plenty of perplexed stares from local anglers as we had a competition to see just how far each of us could heave the bag into the back of the truck as we tested for durability!

One the window is opened the flipsider trays open up


Next Section: The field test results...









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