How do you pack fishing gear for a trip spanning 15 months and 14 countries? According to Jessica, you don't. According to me, you cram as much stuff into the biggest bag you can convince Jessica to let you bring.
I may have overdone it, but it fits (mostly) and it should provide Kobus and I with plenty of fishing stories to tell once we get home. Most of the fly fishing gear we bought for this trip was ordered from Orvis. The travel spinning rods, terminal tackle and lures were purchased from FishUSA.com.
The Orvis Safe Passage Carry-it-all Rod and Gear Case It's 36.5" long, 9.5" high and 5" wide. It holds four piece rods up to ten feet in length, the minimum size Kobus and I need for our surf casting rigs.
After hours of searching, this case was the only one I could find that I knew would fit the variety of rods and reels we would need. And it has adjustable interior dividers and plenty of extra zippers and pouches to hold tackle. It is pricey considering what it does, but if you need to pack fishing gear for all environments and situations, you need a case like this.
Flies, Lures, Weights and Hooks
- Crankbaits, large flies, large spoons and a few bobbers - Mostly small to large Rapalas and Yo-Zuri lures for trout and saltwater fish. This box contains everything (except Kobus' freshwater rod) that doesn't fit in the case.
- A fly box - Half full with swivels and small weights, the rest filled with small flies.
- Another fly box - Crammed full with flies I've tied or bought over the years. Lots of nymphs and small dry flies.
- More flies - Medium-sized stuff like hoppers, caddis and small streamers.
- Spinners - Mepps, Rooster Tails and Blue Fox.
- Spoons - Small and medium-sized spoons by Dick Nite, Kastmaster, Cleo and Krocodile.
- Weights - Made of lead and tungsten for split shot, slip, swivel and bottom-rigged setups.
Line, Leaders and Tools
- Fishing line - An assortment of braided and mono line from 6 to 60 pound test.
- Fly fishing leaders - Short, long, light and heavy leaders for all situations. Mostly Orvis brand, tapered.
- Fly fishing tippet - 0x to 8x
- Fly line heads - 5wt sinking/intermediate heads and 8wt shooting heads of varying sink weights. Orvis brand.
- Wire leaders - For toothy fish.
- Panfish rigs - Light weight rigs for perch and crappie. Good for bottom fishing for small fish.
- Reel oil and grease - To keep our reels in good shape after hours of abuse.
- Ferule wax - Keeps our 4 piece rods stuck together.
- Sharpener - For sharpening and deburring hooks and kitchen knives.
- Forceps - For safely removing hooks from fish...and ourselves.
- Fly tying scissors - For trimming flies and cutting line.
- Filet knife - We won't be releasing every fish we catch!
Rods, Reels and Waders
- Waders - Orvis Pack/Travel waders. We've tested these a couple times and they're great lightweight, hot-weather waders. Most importantly, they pack small.
- My saltwater reel - Penn Fierce 6000 loaded with 30lb braided line.
- Kobus' saltwater reel - Okuma Avenger AV50 also loaded with 30lb braided line.
- My freshwater reel - Shimano Sedona 4000FD with 17lb braided line.
- Kobus' freshwater reel - Cabelas Prodigy 3500B with 12lb mono.
- Saltwater fly reel - Cabelas XSS with 8wt fly line.
- Kobus' fly reel - Pflueger Trio with 6wt fly line.
- My fly reel - Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor III with 5wt fly line.
- Our surf rods - Two St. Croix 10' Triump surf travel spinning rods. These are the only 10' non-telescoping rods I could find that would fit in the case.
- My freshwater rod - St Croix 6.5' medium-light travel spinning rod.
- Kobus' freshwater rod - Shakespeare 6 piece travel rod.
- Saltwater fly rod - Cabelas XST 8wt.
- Kobus' fly rod - Temple Fork Outfitters Signature TiCr X 6wt.
- My fly rod - Orviz Helios 905-5 5wt.
And here's proof that it fits (mostly)!