Saturday, September 09, 2023

What's in My Bikefishing Bag?

The bike is a Cogburn CB4 fat-bike. I've covered that in the last week's post and many times before that. What else do I carry on my #bikefishing expeditions? As you can see from the photo above, a lot. So, some explanations:

First, I do not carry all of the above every time I go out. There's no reason I couldn't. The bike and my pack system are certainly capable. But the simple truth is why? You can only fish one rod at a time (for trout, anyway) and two are usually in my pack anyways. (plus, the "Tiny Tenkara" rod lives in my frame pack, even though it's probably the one I use least.) It is just always there if I need it unexpectedly.

Second: I always, ALWAYS, A-L-W-A-Y-S carry the "10 Essentials." They live in the frame pack with the Tiny Ten, or the Jandd Rack Pack on the Blackington Outpost rear rack. Waterproof paper map and analog magnetic compass, Sharp MORA sheath knife, Adventure Medical Kits first aid kit, augmented with several pairs of nitrile gloves, a malleable padded aluminum SAM Splint, and NOLS Wilderness Medicine Field Guide, spare rain jacket, high energy food. (Clif Bars and maple syrup packets), combination headlight/flashlight, Tacoma Mountain Rescue Storm (Survival) Kit with shelter, matches, fire starter, signal mirror, whistle, etc., SPOT-X satellite communications unit, cell phone (which also connects by Bluetooth to the SPOT-X and contains the TroutRoutes app. It's not in the photo because I was using it to take the picture.), helmet (The orange one is old. A new, tan one arrives on Wednesday.), tire pump, spare tire inner tube, bike repair multi-tools (Gerber Cool Tool and Planet Bike hex set), sunblock, bug repellent, polarized eye protection biking gloves, and floppy hat. I also carry a pair of wading slippers if I'm not using waders.

Third: Fishing stuff. Minnesota and Wisconsin fishing license, Redington Trailblazer Rod, reel, and a selection of flies in separate wet and dry fly boxes, Loon fly prep, Tenkara Adventure Outfitters/Badger Tenkara U.N.C. (Un-Named Creek) rod, Reyr Gear Tenkara rod (plus the previously mentioned Tiny Tenkara), Yonah Tenkara belt pack with Kebari and reliable dry flies, and spare level line and furled leaders, forceps, and clipper tool, and a Reyr Gear folding net. (Never have been able to get the thing back in the holster the way it came.)

I specifically sought out the Redington Trailblazer after a bad experience with a Cabela's/Bass Pro pack rod that broke its tip the very second time I cast it. The 9-foot Trailblazer breaks down into six sections and they fit into a two-foot-long rod tube that can either be carried on the side of my backpack or on the Outpost "Anything Cage" on the front fork, and it casts like a dream! I usually keep the Tenkara rods, and the Yonah Pack in the car all through trout season, and into panfish and smallmouth season.

I go back and forth between the Simms Flyweight pack and a Gander Mountain Realtree camo hunting pack. I sort of prefer the Gander pack because of the three zipper pockets accessible from the outside, although Simms pack has higher capacity. Both feature side pockets to carry rod tubes and/or water bottles and a sleeve and port for a hydration bladder and drinking tube. (The Cogburn also has a bottle cage under the downtube, two more available on the frame if the framepack is removed.)

I can also add Jandd Expedition panniers to carry my waders and boots, or a tent, sleeping bag and pad, and camping stuff if I want to go into the backcountry overnight, and am looking at an Old Man Mountain front rack to make that even more possible. Some other things you don't see in the photo; my Eagle Claw telescoping rod with a Daiwa Silvercast reel and Mepps trout spinners for if I want to "catch and eat" instead of  "catch and release," and my larger, wood handle/frame and soft rubber landing net, that I carry between the pack and my back.

So, there you have it; what I use and a bit about why I use it. It's a great combination that works really well for me.