Like many anglers, I’m notorious for over-packing my bass fishing tackle. I wasn’t about to take the risk of forgetting a potentially integral bait or lure, so I packed this bag chock-full of a little bit of everything.
After abusing it for the entire trip, there are 4 things that really impressed me about this tackle bag.
- Hydro-flo base works excellently
- Smart design
- Molded depression on top
- Very portable
Hydro-flo base is an excellent idea
When I first saw the Plano Guide Series Hydro-Flo Bag 4674, I was a little confused as to why it would have a hard plastic bottom section. It seemed like it just added bulk. After using it for a few hours, however, I realized that it has a very specific application.
Whether you’re a bank angler or a boater, you’ve probably had water get inside of your tackle. Talk about a major inconvenience—you have to take every single thing out of the boxes and dry it all out to prevent rust. It stinks.
The hydro-flo base allows you to set the bag down anywhere such as mud, wet grass and soggy carpet without any water making its way into the tackle storage areas. During my trip, we had several rainstorms and dewy mornings and every bit of my tackle stayed entirely dry. If you happen to leave this bag out in the rain, the water won’t collect in the compartments. Instead, it will drain out of the base and leave all of your tackle untouched.
Rust can be an angler’s worst nightmare and I have to tip my hat to Plano for thinking of such a simple, yet useful design feature.
It all makes sense
You can always tell when fishing products aren’t designed by anglers. There will often be all sorts of meaningless bells and whistles that seem to serve absolutely no purpose—all they do is increase the retail price.
It’s obvious that anglers designed the Hydro-Flo bag. There isn’t any unused space in this bag and every storage compartment is incredibly useful. Throughout the first few days of my trip, I kept discovering little hidden storage areas and found myself continuously saying, “Dang, that’s a really good idea.”
These are some of the most useful storage compartments in my opinion:
- Sunglasses compartment—I always carry an extra pair of sunglasses on the water. I have a bad habit of donating mine to the lake and I refuse to fish without ‘em. This bag has a side pouch that will safely store and protect an extra pair of shades. Regardless of your frame or lens size, they’ll fit perfectly without jostling around.
- Cell phone holder—I always like to have my cell phone on the boat just in case of an emergency, but I don’t like having it in my pocket because I like to be left alone. You’ll notice a side pouch that’s designed specifically for your cell phone. It’s also padded, so it’s not a big deal if you bang it around in your boat or the bed of your truck.
- PVC mesh pocket—The back of this bag has an adjustable PVC mesh pocket that I’ve found two really uses for. It’s perfect for holding extra spools of line and it’s also very useful for soft plastics storage. You can cram all of your favorite baits in there and you’ll have easy access to them throughout the day.
- Huge front pouch—This is another place you can store soft plastics, but I’ve used it for all sorts of gear. It works excellently for holding sunscreen bottles, soft plastic dye and pliers. It also has a small clip on the inside that you can clip your truck keys to. There’s no excuse for me to lose them anymore.
Molded depression on top makes rigging easy
The lid of the Hydro-Flo bag has a molded depression that allows you to put your most heavily used Plano Stowaway in an easy-to-reach spot. It’s held securely in-place by a hook-and-bungee mechanism that’s easy to use in every condition.
I tend to strap my terminal tackle box to the top of the bag. If I decide to change weight sizes or hook styles, I can easily access everything I need without unzipping and rifling through the entire bag. When I bank fish, I usually just bring my pocket knife to cut line with and having a stowaway strapped to the top of the bag acts as somewhat of a “work bench”. I can trim skirts, cut line and change spinnerbait blades without scattering small components all over the place.
After carrying this bag through three different airports this past week, I’m certainly impressed by its portability. I honestly couldn’t believe I was carrying so much bass fishing tackle so easily.
I think this would be an outstanding bag for folks who fish tournaments as co-anglers. I was a co-angler many years ago and my biggest issue was finding a way to bring the tackle I needed without totally ticking off my boater. I was just talking to Jason of Wired2Fish and I told him that I really believe I could fit everything I needed in this bag to win a tournament. The bag isn’t too bulky, either, so it will fit very comfortably at your feet when riding in someone else’s boat.
I believe this bag would also be good for bank anglers. As I’ve continuously discussed in my bank fishing articles, mobility is extremely important when fishing from shore. You can throw this thing over your shoulder, walk to another area of the lake, set it down, make a few casts and do it all over again. You won’t break your back trying to stuff all of your gear into a 1980 Jansport backpack.
If you’re looking for a way to transport a lot of tackle without the hassle, I strongly suggest checking out the Plano Guide Series Hydro-Flo Bag 4674. It’s priced at $96.99, so it’s not as affordable as others, but when you consider the storage space and the fact that it comes with six Plano 3750 Stowaways, I think it’s worth the money.
The Plano Guide Series Hydro-Flo Bag 4674 is available at TackleWarehouse.com.