Most of you like me don’t always have 24 hours + you can dedicate to a session. If I’m honest most of my time on the bank varies between 2-8 hours at a time. Life, family, work commitments etc mean that I frequently don’t plan sessions out but rather go when a few hours present themselves. 4 years ago I decided to invest in a setup that I could grab together quickly that was compact, light and enabled me to stay mobile. In this review I’m going to talk through and show you a few items that have enabled me to maximize my short sessions without having to carry too much.
First off we’ll start with the rods, the last few years my retractable rods of choice have been the Nash scope 9ft 3lb. There are now a lot of other brands that have stepped in to the retractable rod market so there are a lot more options at different price points. These other rods can also be found at Big Carp Tackle such as the popular Sonik Xtractors. My reels of choice to pair with are the Daiwa GS 4000’s which I wrote a review on a few months ago.
To carry the rods I use a Nash scope two rod skin, you need to be careful here when selecting a rod bag as they’re not all universal as the reel seat sits at different points on the rod handle depending on the brand. This bag also allows you to carry a weigh sling and a net within it. The net itself will have to be a two-piece handle no longer than 6 feet and it’ll sit nicely in the side attachment, I personally for the last few years have used the Sonik SKS two-piece 42inch. Nash also offer a two-piece net that fits nicely too. Again, preference and budget play a factor. I am also able to fit a Forge tackle weigh sling in this section. There is also a zip area which can house a couple of bank sticks with alarms on them to be ready at any time.
To carry my other equipment, I use a Nash scope backpack, this is a neat little backpack that allows me to carry my scale, all end tackle and anything else I feel I would need for short sessions. The backpack itself also has elastic on both sides for bank sticks so that you can fish directly from your bag!
For my end tackle itself I use a few items, the Korda tackle safe, the korda mini rig safe both fit in the Korda compac 140 and in turn nicely into the backpack. Typically to maximize my time I pre tie a few rigs ready to be used at any time, stored safely in the backpack. It also allows me to carry some components should I feel the need to tie up a rig for the situation presented.
For fish care I use the Sonik beanie mat, the reason I chose this was because it has a clip that I can just clip around my backpack to free up the use of my hands, there are a few others out there similar, this was just personal preference.
For bait and small items, I use the Ridgemonkey Modular XL bucket, within the bucket I also carry the Ridgemonkey collapsible bucket for water. The RM modular bucket is a nifty bit of kit, it also comes with two trays that fit within it where I carry some hook baits, baiting needle, scissors, forceps, bait stops.
A lot of these items are interchangeable to fit your own budget and need, over the years I’ve changed out a few items but what I have listed above have all stayed with me now for some time. I hope you found this review useful if you’re in the market for a small setup, feel free to shoot any questions should you have any!