A lot of my fishing is done from shore and every shore banger worth half a mile of the walk and cast will tell you…
“I gotta get a better @#$%^&* tackle bag!”
The reason they will never make a perfect tackle bag is a simple thing called quantum physics. Without proof of the Higgs boson theory or developing black holes that will magically conceal all the tackle in the world inside a featherweight pouch that floats right there beside you…guess what? 90% of the angling consumer community will complain. The real solution is obvious. You need to simplify.
Clearly this is a matter of “eyes bigger than stomach” mentality when it comes to fish planning. I am as guilty of this just as much as other anglers are at times. Anglers want to be prepared for every possible scenario yet there are so many scenarios and tackle choices that play on different circumstances. How do you bring every possible lure for every possible situation? Answer: You don’t. You develop and modify more patterns for the lures you already have. Anything from jig-combo creature baits to a Lindy spoon can be rigged and run in many different ways. A handful of basic examples…
1. “Flutter-drop” and rise and fall presentation: This works for spinnerbaits and spoons really well. The main concept of this retrieve is to cover as much of the vertical plane as possible by lifting and dropping the rod as you retrieve. This will make your lure move from the deeper water to the more shallow water with a frequency and range that you control. No matter where the fish are in regards to depth…you will find them with this tactic.
2. Swim the jig or plastic: Creature patterns are usually run very slow and at times when slow patterns are best. What if the fish don’t want slow? Speed up the retrieve and you will hit fish that like a more active presentation. I often swim a jig combo through heavy structure or walk the dog with a senko to get fish in very, very tough cover dubbed “snag city”.
3. Slow roll the fast bait: Giving the lure just enough pull to bounce the lure along the bottom and avoid getting snagged up is called “slow rolling”. This tactic can be dynamo for fast action lures like in-line spinners, spinnerbaits…pretty much anything with a blade that spins. A large number of anglers don’t even know this retrieve exists.
4. Combo trailers man! What are you waiting for? Running the plain ol skirted jig or spinnerbait just seems naked these days without the plastic trailer. Fantastic plastics add another dimension to the spinnerbait as a baitfish presentation and you can really dial in the exact baitfish pattern by adding the right combination of plastic trailer with your skirt and blade. And think about the added action!!!! The fish will tell you…Mattsabasser sent you.
5. Pack for the day, the season…not the entire year. There are anglers that have one box for everything (the majority by the way) and some of us that have extensive “inventories” of tackle. We couldn’t possibly take all of this stuff out in one day even if we wanted to yet we quite feasibly use almost every item at least once in any given year. What I suggest above all and anything else is: Pack only what you need and pack it well. I repack gear constantly. I am thinking about gear I should be packing right now.
Early in the season I picked up the new AZ4 tackle bag series from Flambeau Outdoors. The wider zipper and teeth is effortless compared to my Plano bag. More pouches and storage space compared to the Plano model in its class. It holds a bunch of my crap (I packed it to the rafters), has a few extra zipper pockets that come in handy and barely keeps me from wanting the bigger models that hold half a tackle store. But who wants to lug a two-ton beast-bag around?
The drawbacks to the new bag are the side wide side pockets. I see what they were trying to accomplish with a quick flip-grab-n-go design but the flap covers don’t match up and they just look awkward. Moderately functional. The Velcro attachments are not affective enough. The magnetic ones work super great. Replace the Velcro with the magnetic one but more rectangular style for more coverage. Then I wouldn’t lose tackle when I do the half-roll stumble/fall down the trail on my face move to impress the ladies.
Extra bonus features to the AZ4 are the cargo straps on top. Who the heck puts cargo straps on a tackle bag? I guess with a name like “Flambeau” You fukin’ go all out with the extra features. Even put in the bitchin’ padded shoulder strap. They could have named it “Slam-bo” or something a bit more…I dunno…less “Flamo”? Still a damn good tackle bag for 25 bucks.
(Above: The AZ4 tackle bag in action but with the new logo concept that I am thinking about pitching to the executives at Flambeau Outdoors folks. It may be hard to convince them as they have all the stationary, envelopes and letterheads with the acronym; F.O. on them.)
As soon as those guys with that Haldron Collider thingamajig produce a 4th dimensional tackle bag…Oh baby, I am getting one of those!!!