Saturday, May 04, 2013

Snowbee sling bag review

This is probably one of the best bits of gear I've bought in years. It's not the biggest of bags, but it  swallows up all the lures, end tackle and tools you need for a bass session and stays on your back while you're fishing.

Instead of impeding your arms like a rucksack, or continually slipping like a shoulder bag, the hybrid sling design means you can swing it out of the way until you need to get something out of it; when you just pop a clip and swing it round for easy access.

The main compartment has room for one of those double-sided lure boxes, plus a couple of mesh pockets which will accommodate a few bits and pieces. You could probably squeeze two lure boxes in at a pinch, but one's enough to carry several Rapalas, Thundersticks, Dexters and a few rubber sandeels.

When you open it with the bag slung around to your waist, you can get at the lure box and the interior compartments, meaning you can change lures without needing to take the bag off and put it down.

There's a zipped front compartment, with room for spare traces, scissors, spare hooks, clips etc; and a smaller mesh pocket for your sharpening stone.

It also has a pocket for a drinks bottle and a top compartment with room for a camera and a pastie or a couple of sausage rolls. There's also a slightly awkward flap with a velcro retaining tab you can keep your pliers to hand in.

I wondered if it might be big enough for pike fishing, but you'd struggle to get more unhooking tools, weigh sling, scales etc in. If Snowbee made a slightly larger version it would be a boon to freshwater lure anglers who walk and fish. Then again, I guess you could fit the extras in a bum bag.

Not cheap for £49.99, but I'd expect it to last a few summers. Hat tip Bass Lure Basics, whose review convinced me to buy one.

I'm also getting into the double-sided boxes Snowbee, Leeda and one or other firms now offer, where lures nestle in boat-shaped sections with a keel slot for the hooks.

They make much better use of the space available and also stop the lures tangling, like they do in other boxes when you cram two or three into a square compartment.

There are drying holes, but I'll still get the box out to open it out and let the air get to it after a sea fishing trip, along with rinsing any lures I've used under the tap before drying them out.

I was going to say they're (again...) not quite big enough for pike fishing, but I plan to use smaller lures and lighter gear this season after Ash showed us all the way home last winter, so it's bound to get pressed into service come the autumn.

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