When the majority of your fishing is done wet wading, some interesting tackle storage challenges arise. This was the case when recently planning a week's flats fishing at Christmas Island. Fishing from a boat it's possible, within reason, to carry on board an arsenal of tackle, but when you have to lug everything on your person it's a different story, especially when you factor in cameras and other gear.
While the trip was fly fishing orientated and didn't require the lugging of tackle boxes full of lures, it still meant carrying numerous fly boxes, spare fly line, spools of leader/tippet material, sun block, snack foods, forceps for removing hooks, water bottles, sunglasses and more.
I'd thought about wearing a fly vest but ruled that out as I thought it would be too bulky and hot to wear. In hindsight it was a good decision. To that end the Fishpond Dragonfly lumbar pack seemed to be ideal. It also helped that Fisho's Scott Thomas had been to CI before and had ordered the Dragonfly prior to our trip, so I was on the right track.
When worn, the Fishpond Dragonfly pack is secured via an adjustable waist belt and over-shoulder padded braces. After wearing it everyday for a week I can only say it was very comfortable, albeit if not slightly bulky when fully packed ready to fish and worn for the first time. It features a main zipped compartment into which easily fitted three fly boxes (two small, one large), sun block, a spare fly line and food snacks. The front section features a mesh pocket that can be used for storing spools of leader material or in my case, sun gloves when not in use, lip balm and various small often used items. A couple of handy fabric loops came in handy for forceps and a sunglass cloth. The pack's front pouch features a zip-down fly compartment with replaceable foam and various pockets in which extra spools of tippet material were stored for easy access. Combined with my regular fishing belt and Gerber multi-tool and braid scissors, everything needed while bonefishing was close at hand.
The only tiny criticism I could find of this product concerned the mesh drink holders situated either side. While one came in handy for storing my sunglasses case they are a little small for securing a standard sized bottle of water. When mucking around taking underwater photos or releasing fish the bottle often fell out. I'm sure emptying water into a more suitable size container would fix this very minor issue.
Overall, I found the Fishpond Dragonfly lumbar pack to be an essential accessory on this trip. I would also rate it ideal for any fishos who spend a lot of time wet-wading flats, bush bashing for bass or trout fishing, as an alternative to a fly vest. I reckon it'll also be perfect for kayak fishing, a theory I plan to test out on my Hobie this summer. For around $80 or less I see it as great value for a high quality product.
For more on Fishpond products visit: www.fishpondusa.com; trade enquiries to Mayfly Tackle on (03) 9899 0034.
THIS handy video from Shimano Australia, gives a practical demonstration of how to correctly spool your reel...