Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Making life easier on the road.......

The more I think about it, the more I am seeing lure anglers especially "borrowing" more and more products from different markets. Whether it be breathable chest waders from the fly fishing world or these lure vests that had to have had their origins again in fly fishing, I love the fact that this style of fishing and often moving around so much is almost forcing us to look at other kinds of fishing and indeed outdoor activities to source the most useful products. It was my mate Nick Hart who said to me almost immediately last year when he came over bass fishing with me to the Copper Coast of Ireland : "why on earth don't you guys use rod racks on your cars ?" A day of doing what we usually do over there - pushing it hard, moving around to take advantage of tides and conditions, but all the time getting back to the car and having to break down the rods before we could move off again. And then arrive at the new spot and have to put the rods back together again.........

Why in the hell did I not think of it ages ago ? I have seen these rod racks being used in the fly fishing world on photo trips abroad, but for some daft reason I didn't pick up on it for my own fishing. I got hold of a pair of these Vac-Rac rod racks off Nick and took them over to Ireland the other day and then used them all day every day for both the trips I did almost back to back. Talk about making life easier !! The first day over there and I clamped them to my car (easy, they clamp on via vacuum). Put them on right and you just can't move them. Remove the locking "key" and you can then just leave the racks on the car all the time. The guys I was fishing with were somewhat sceptical as I strapped my rod and reel to the rack and we moved location. "Not for us, rods might come off etc." Yes, there's me praying that I had put them on right and that my rod did not suddenly fly off the racks and end up splattered all over the road. But about another three location moves later and all the rods are now strapped down to the rod rack as we drive around !! Talk about seeing the light. And yes, I felt a little "pressure" as I drove around with who knows how much value of rods and reels strapped to my car !!

All you do is get back to the car from fishing, strap the rod or rods to these racks, climb in the car and drive away. Get to the next mark and just unclip the rods and head off fishing again. The joy at not having to break down rods and then strap them together with velcro wraps to stop them bouncing around in the back of the car. No more threading lure clips back and forth or even cutting leaders time and time again because some lure clips don't fit through the rings on some rods. I had the rod racks clamped to my car for about twenty days on the two trips and not once did they move. Nor did any rods fly off and smash to pieces on the road. I did nearly 3000 miles to put it into context, and that includes all kinds of driving on all kinds of roads. Plus I love the fact that my rod and reel get a good wash when it's lamping down with rain.

The Vac-Rac in these photos that I was using on those recent trips was the "Professional Locking Rack" here, but I am most likely also going to get the smaller "Locking Vacuum Rack" (see here) or the new "Quad Rack" (see here) for those times when there's only one or two rods to strap on there. These rod racks are one of those products that for these Irish trips especially I just can't see how I lived without now, and with the smaller version I know I am going to end up using them all the time around me as well. If you move around for your own fishing then I reckon they really worth a go. Yes, they don't really come from the saltwater fishing world as such, but they are one of those products that I can't for the life of me work out why I have not been using for ages. So simple, but so effective. How much other stuff do lure anglers use from outside of the more traditional saltwater markets, and does this mean that various tackle companies are perhaps missing a few tricks in not supplying some slightly more off the wall products to lure anglers especially ?