Thursday, 19 January 2012

Savage Gear lure hang bag modified.

As many lure anglers have found before, I had the problem of lure storage. I was using a bucket to hang the lures in, but I was forever knocking it over and then spending the time untangling the mass of hooks. Often my sessions are short so this was even more an annoyance. I'd also acquired a few larger lures and my B&Q tackle boxes weren't big enough. Time to ditch them and the rucksack and get a bag that was built for the job. I'd read and seen on the net how people had modified camo-cool bags and put in a few short sections of pipe in, which is a great idea in my opinion. After some thought I decided I needed a little space also for a couple of lure boxes and a few bits and bobs so ruled out the cool bag idea. I saw a Savage Gear lure hang bag which was often priced around £60 but spotted it on Glasgow Anglings, (top site!) for £45 so took the plunge. Incidentally, I've since spotted it at for £35 all though I've never bought from that site so can't comment on their service.

As you can see the bag has a few side pockets so that's what tipped me in it's favour. The front pocket even comes complete with a Savage Gear lure tackle box which was a bonus. The bag arrived and I chucked all my lures in. Something wasn't quite right. As every lure angler knows, you end up with loads of lures and what ever you leave at home you find you want when you're out on the bank. I couldn't quite fit in all my lures, well at least not all the smaller ones. The front pocket I already filled with small lures but I also had another small box I could do with fitting inside. The two side pockets were full with tools, trace wire, crimps, scales, trebles, split rings, camera and more and are too small anyway for the standard sized lure boxes so I had to think of something different. When you first get the bag, the centre compartment is empty and you have to fix the lure hang storage bit together. It's not too tricky if you have three hands, the plastic sections basically slot over each other to make a square grid. Each grid as deep as the bag, that's 11inches for the old guys and 28cm for us young ones, and each grid can hold two savage gear 19cm lures comfortably, you could probably squeeze another in but they'd be prone to tangling. There are 25 compartments for the lures, you don't need me to do the maths. When this bag is full it's a nice weight to carry around, so beware. A decent fit bloke shouldn't have too much of a problem though to be honest. As I said though, it still wasn't quite right for me.

So I grabbed some tools and started modifying the bag. Yes, my brand new bag was being operated on. The missus was calling me an idiot but I was a man on a mission. I worked out that I could lose one row of my five by five lure compartments, still have a good forty large lures in, and in that empty row I could squeeze another tackle box for spinners and small lures. I pulled apart all the compartments and cut the end off a few, which then when I slotted them all back together gave me compartments 5x4 and one long end row equivalent to 5x1, if that makes sense. In this row I slotted another lure box and had space to stand up my extra long pliers, forceps and cutters for easy access.

 The quick knock up in Microsoft paint on the right shows first an idea of the gridded lure storage area as it comes and then one cross piece (there are 12 in total) which you simply slot over another. The red line shows where I cut off on four of the cross pieces, which now when you slot them together leaves the last row one long row, as the photo of my modified bag below should show. You could of course use your own initiative and cut other sections to what I did so that your extra large compartment is in a different place, not as big or bigger. Whatever you decide you need to sort your needs. I would suggest though not to remove too many as you will at some point make it too weak, plus of course what's the point of buying this particular bag if you have to change it too much in the end?

After all that I had one final problem. The problem was that the depth of each compartment was longer than plenty of my lures. There's a good deep groove on every compartment and there's also plenty of grooves for each of the hooks to hang on, but should you clumsily miss then the lure would fall to the bottom. To get the lure out then you needed to use your forceps but that was fiddly and if you can stop the lure falling down in the first place it would save all that hassle. That's where that large white cube comes in. It's simply packing foam. My mate Fisky had already given me some to make a trace rig or whatever but instead I used it and cut it in to cubes which nicely fit in to each lure compartment. Packing the compartments out to various depths, now my lures can only ever fall a few centimetres and so even if they're not dangling from their hook I can easily grab them. The foam also doesn't even weigh anything and is easily removable and adjustable unlike my hacksaw job on the plastic compartments! Another benefit of this is I've found that some lures don't quite fit in the bag, they stick out. Because of their tail or diving vane length, on some lures such as the SG Low riders they protrude up above the top of the bag but now I can just drop them into the compartment instead of hanging them and save them being broken in transit. My bag is now perfect for me and currently has thirty two large lures in and still space for me to put in another ten at least. Everywhere I go now I only need one bag, my rod, net and unhooking mat. Easily manageable and saves me having to make sure I have everything each trip, now I know I'm sorted before I set off.

Hopefully this may be of use to someone out there in the fishing world. It may help you decide if this bag is right for you or even help you decide to go for the DIY camo-cooler bag and pipe lure bag. You may even already have this bag and be inspired to modify it or just put in the bits of foam to cure your own problems. Unfortunately it will not help you in any way catch more fish, sorry about that. If anyone can cure that particular problem then make sure you leave me the solution!

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