Is this the best combined camera/lure bag there is ?
First off, I accept 100% that there are a lot of anglers out there who are never in a million years going to consider spending around £200 on a rucksack - and I quite understand why. It's very different for me though when I am needing to work with systems that are both comfortable to carry for long periods and distances, and very importantly, that protect my camera gear (large investments and all that). I will always consider anything that betters my chances of improving the quality of my work. Spending that kind of dosh on proper camera bags is a complete no-brainer for me....
If you are in any way looking for or even thinking about a rucksack that will carry lures and also keep things like cameras (compacts, SLRs etc.), mobile phones, wallets and keys completely dry and secure, then you seriously need to take a look at the Lowepro DryZone Rover you can see above. It is not even close to being cheap, but I reckon I have used and seriously abused mine now for about four years and I just can not rave about this product any more positively. As I said, it is not cheap, but it is the best bag out there that I am aware of, and personally I have always believed that this Lowepro DryZone Rover has so many applications for the mobile bass angler (check here, a good place to buy camera gear). But at a price........
If you know anything about camera bags, then you will know all about the company Lowepro - if there is a more comprehensive range of camera bags anywhere on this earth then I am not aware of it. I own a fair few Lowepro bags that I use for different photo jobs and I think they are all very good for various reasons. But the DryZone Rover is the one that I have always thought has the most applications for the bass/lure fisherman (if they are prepared to spend the money) - and it's that watertight compartment that sits at the bottom of the rucksack (see above) that is just so useful. Zip that chunky waterproof zip up and everything within that sealed compartment stays completely dry, and I can prove it does because I have fallen in with mine on my back (don't ask) and I have also swum/waded across deep gullies when on the tropical saltwater flats, all without any worry at all for my gear. Mere rain is laughed off. If you want to keep some stuff completely dry and safe then it's worth thinking about this specialist bag. While I would never say that you should trust this bag to keep you afloat, it certainly helps matters when you need a bit of extra buoyancy.
This is the top compartment where I put a lure box or two, plus say a bottle of water and perhaps a lightweight waterproof jacket (this top compartment is not sealed like the bottom one, but even in a downpour it stays surprisingly dry). The DryZone Rover does actually come with a complete hydration system (bladder and tube) that I always use when I am doing a photo job on the tropical saltwater flats, but for bass fishing I tend to just take a small bottle of water - it's very easy to take the water bladder out or put it back in. I continue to put my one through a living hell and it just seems to keep on going. I also have the much larger DryZone 200, but this is for when I am taking a lot of camera gear out on a job. The "Rover" to me is my UK bass bag if that makes sense.
It's a very comfortable bag to carry over any kind of distances, indeed I would love to know the number of miles I have tramped with mine on my back - both home and abroad. You can see the back of the DryZone Rover above, with the hydration tube in place. If this kind of bag might work for you then I can wholeheartedly recommend it, but it's no good if you want to have very quick access to your lures - there is no option with a rucksack than to take it off, get your lure box out and then change lures. Personally this does not bother me at all, but then I am coming at all this from a slightly different angle to most people in that I always have camera gear with me. Rucksacks work for me, but it's a very personal thing........this specialist rucksack is very expensive, and I would be surprised to come across a lot of bass anglers using one, but I am also aware that there are many products outside of the traditional fishing markets that can work well for us. This Lowepro DryZone Rover is one of those kinds of products. All I can say is how I use this bag and how good I think it is.
I was somewhat bowled over by the response to my last blog post about my day at the BASS AGM on Sunday - I would like to say a huge thanks to the guys who left the comments, it means a hell of a lot to me. But as I said, really it's those tireless and usually unheralded people within our awesome sport that deserve very serious credit for the work they do to try and improve our own fishing. I am lucky enough to be getting to know more and more of them over time and it completely humbles me to learn what goes on behind the scenes within such a friendly and informal club or society such as B.A.S.S. The least we can do is to join up and give these guys a better chance of securing more and bigger fish for us to catch in the future.