Here at Yellow Dog, we are big fans of this newer technology and wanted to educate anglers on the advantages of using these types of bags out on the water.
Sometimes getting to that distant trout honey hole requires some questionable, deeper-water wading. Perhaps the surf you are fishing is splashing and rolling over the top of you. Maybe, like some of us, you have a tendency to lose your balance when walking over rocks. At some point in your fishing experience, you will encounter situations where you or your equipment are going to get submerged when playing around water. These days, anglers are bringing a lot more than fly tackle out on their fishing trips. Often rain gear, a dry change of clothes, phones, or cameras are now common articles of gear in possession of the prepared angler. Fishing companies have heard the call from proactive anglers about the growing need to create bags that are not only useful and durable, but also highly water resistant or completely 100% waterproof. With a grand applause, the age of welded waterproof bags has finally arrived.
A historical minor nuisance with older waterproof bags was their lack of organization. That is changing. Anglers have demanded more pocket storage both inside and out. Many waterproof bags now offer exterior pockets designed as stash pockets for items like sunscreen, chapstick, or your passport when traveling. It’s important to remember that the majority of these pockets are water resistant and are not an area where you want to put anything that could potentially get wet. On the interior, organizational pockets have been included and help keep down the clutter within your bag.
Having a waterproof backpack or waist pack system that will protect your important dry goods from water is invaluable. We fish all over the world in lakes, rivers and active oceans and having the use of these bags have saved our valuable gear assets more than once. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time on the water, investing in a waterproof bag is the smart move.
For the 2018 season, numerous fishing companies are releasing improved versions of their waterproof gear and we wanted to highlight some of our favorites that we're excited to use. Some of these bags can also serve as a great carry-on when traveling to your next angling adventure!
Simms Dry Bags
Dry Creek Z Backpack
Simms has been helping to lead the charge with waterproof pack development over the years. From a durability standpoint, they incorporate all-welded seams using a lightweight 840 denier fabric that is supple and super rugged compared to previous versions that used a more crunchy and rigged material. This makes the bag easier to get in and out of. It uses a fully waterproof and corrosion-resistant TIZIP for easier accessibility and added more internal organization. On the comfort side, they included a back panel with breathable, water-resistant foam.
They also added more contours on the shoulder straps that disperse the weight better on your back and prevent it from sliding off you. Both the adjustable chest strap and waist belt were created to have a line catch free design. Excess straps are secured and maintained by using Velcro roll-up strap retainers, a simple solution that works. For added storage, you can purchase a padded insert (compatible with all of their Dry Creek Z products) for added organization. While the insert was specifically designed to accommodate camera gear, it can just as easily be used for fly boxes too.
Updated from: Dry Creek Z Backpack
Dry Creek Z Hip Pack
Featuring the same durability and rip stop nylon material used in their backpack, the new for Spring 2018 Simms Dry Creek Z Hip Pack offers the same protection in a smaller package. The waterproof and air tight TIZIP zipper protects from the elements and opens with ease to reach the added built-in easy-access tool storage. Air mesh padding was added on the waist section to sit more comfortably during all day use. External molly webbing allows an angler to strap a jacket onto the bag.
Their new shoulder strap is removable depending upon the preferences of the casting angler. Like its larger backpack companion, the hip pack offers a roll-up strap retainer to reduce line catchers on all excess adjustment straps. Anglers can better customize their fishing experience with their padded gear insert for extra protection and organization internally. Throw in the addition of their water bottle holder and you have a great all-day waterproof bag system.
Updated from: Dry Creek Z Hip Pack
Patagonia Dry Bags
The Stormfront series bags from Patagonia were developed as fully submersible pack systems. Their totally waterproof, all-welded construction uses a fully waterproof and corrosion-resistant TIZIP main zipper that opens up into the main compartment. The bag itself is large enough to carry rain gear, a large collection of fly boxes along with your SLR camera and a lens or two.
Made from 100% nylon with single-sided TPU coating and DWR finish, this pack offers added comfort with padded back panel, a removable waist belt and shoulder harness. With their simple design, they have greatly reduced any chance of your fly line being caught up on the exterior. They have also included removable exterior web loops can hold an extra rod tube. With the option to attach their sold separately Sweet Pack vest, you end up with a totally versatile fishing system that’s great for the traveling angler.
Built from the same design features and 800-denier nylon core as their backpack, this hip pack offers complete waterproof protection in a minimalist set up. Patagonia designed it in a way where you can use their fully adjustable hip belt and neck strap for customized comfort especially when wading with heavier loads. On the exterior of the hip pack, they added a zippered stash water-resistant pocket. Adjustable lash straps on the rear can be used for carrying a rod tube or lightweight jacket. The main compartment can house all of your fly boxes, knickknacks and a small camera.
Fishpond Dry Bags
Fishpond has developed a bag to keep your most important items completely protected from the elements. Their fully submersible Thunderhead backpack was constructed with heavy duty 1680-denier TPU coated recycled Cyclepond nylon. They opted for a top loading waterproof TIZIP closure system and made a sturdy harness system for a more comfortable carry with plenty of room for your cameras, lunch, dry layers and tackle. The convenience is in the design compatibility. Many of the Fishpond chest packs that have modular buckles on the shoulder straps and hip belt will be compatible with the Thunderhead backpack.
Offering a lighter waterproof hip pack option, the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack will keep your gear 100% dry and protected, even if you accidently take a downstream swim. It features added exterior reinforced cord loops for tool and accessory attachment and a YKK Aquaguard external zippered pocket for loose gear storage. Their simple designed hip pack allows you to organize everything from your fly boxes, cameras and an extra layer or two. Made from their Cyclepond recycled TPU welded fabric construction with TIZIP submersible main zipper system, this bag gives peace of mind to the angler concerned about protecting their gear.
NRS Dry Bags
Known for their burly river rafts, NRS has also been turning heads with their own waterproof bags for a while now. Their 65L Bill’s Bag is a midsize dry bag that can compact enough to fit in overhead compartments of most airlines while also being the perfect size for weekend and overnight trips on the water.
They’ve constructed it with a heavy-duty 21 oz PVC/polyester body and reinforced the bottom of 34 oz PVC. The bag is expandable to over 3900 cubic inches of storage capacity but it can easily be cinched down with four compression straps to compact and stabilize gear. Plenty of room for the necessities of a day trip and room for more during multi-day excursions. The adjustable backpack harness with padded shoulder straps makes carrying your gear around the flats or up a river canyon easy and comfortable.
Watershed Dry Bags
Designed and made by whitewater boaters, the Watershed Animas offers one of the best water proof systems available on the market. While their bag has a familiar roll top design similar to others, the difference in their design is the development of their ZipDry seal. Resembling a super duty snap shut system like a freezer bag, once closed then rolled down and held tight with side buckles, their closure system completely ensures that anything inside the bag will be protected, even underwater.
Made from chemically stable polyurethane coated fabrics, their bag features 4 times the abrasion resistance of PVC and flexibility at all temperatures. It offers plenty of room for your gear, tackle boxes along with any extra clothing you will need on a fishing trip. They have also added the convenience of removable backpack straps and designed lash points with compression straps to secure your goods.