Jack-in-the-Bob: The Traveling Angler

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To begin my jaunt in the Montana Wilderness, I first had to get there. When spending two months guiding at Spotted Bear Ranch in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, one has to lug a bunch of gear. The Filson Compact Rod Case and the Patagonia 120L Black Hole Rolling Duffel were two pieces of luggage that helped me start my journey.

Filson Compact Rod Case

What I liked:

This small, collapsible rod tube carrier is a good way to carry your rod tubes on to a plane. The best feature of this carrier is the fly box pockets on the outside of the bag. While they are ideal for boxes, I easily carried accompanying reels for all four of my rods as well as an extra spool, all with protective covers on them, in those pockets. While still being comfortable, the classic canvas and leather materials allows one to travel with a bit of style, even if you are spending two months in a place where generators run the water and the can bear spray on my hip is more important than the debit card that has been in my pocket for a year.

What I would like to see next time:

While advertised as being able to hold four rod tubes, it was a bit of a puzzle to fit all four tubes into this bag. Having just a little bit more space would solve this issue while the carrier would still be compact.

Who is it for?

This rod carrier is extremely versatile and is a great bag to keep your favorite rods in. Whether it’s to grab for a impromptu fishing trip to your favorite hole, or a cross country trip to fish new waters, this bag can be thrown into the back of pickups or the overhead compartment of planes. Then, once you get where you’re going, it can be tossed under beds or, how I use it, hung on a nail in a dusty guide shack to hold extra rods and reels.

 

Patagonia Black Hole 120L Rolling Duffel

What I liked:

This duffel absolutely swallows gear. I packed 2 months worth of clothes and outerwear into this duffel and still had room for a pillow on top. The wide set wheels kept this bag stable while popping down curbs and rolling across uneven rocks. In situations where rolling was not an option, the handles were placed in way that it was easy for two people to carry, while also being comfortable for a single person to lug around.

 

What I would like to see next time:

While the duffel is extremely spacious, multiple times I found myself looking for exterior pockets and compartments. The bag only has one large main compartment and a small zipper pocket on the front. With a bag this size, it would be very easy to lose gear into the “Black Hole.”

Who is it for?

After hopping off the plane, I threw the duffel into the back of a pickup while it was raining and headed for the Ranch. When I arrived and opened the zipper, all of my clothing was bone dry. This bag is great for the backcountry traveler that can’t always get away from the elements and needs a bag that can stand up to precipitation. The durable fabric also allows you to throw in a hatchet or machete and feel confident that your Black Hole will have no holes.

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