I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

• A Look at the Plano 3364 Tackle Bag

In my younger years, I spent a lot of time on the banks of my grandparent's farm pond. Several lessons were learned fishing that small body of water. Many nice bass were caught out of that pond, including my personal best. Throughout those experiences, my companion at the bank was always a trusty green hard plastic Plano tackle box.

That box is still with me and often serves as my primary tackle storage option when either fishing off the pier or from the small boat. My Plano 7771 box weighs about 30lbs when fully loaded. That monstrosity isn't all that fun to lug around between home and the lake. Works great in the 18 footer, but not for casual fishing. It's much better to use a more mobile form of storage.
In a recent outing, I noticed that my trusty friend was running out of room. No more could I get away with cramming packs of plastics underneath the tray. No longer could I get away with tossing lures haphazardly across that tray. It was becoming a mess. More trouble than it was worth, actually. I decided it was time for an upgrade. For about $22, I found a slightly larger storage option from Plano, the 3364 Softsider tackle bag.

This little tackle bag packs a lot of punch for such a low price. So far, I love mine. How about I give you a tour?

Here are the dimensions: 14.25" x 9.25" x 8"

(I should note that Plano has a slightly larger bag with a similar design for about $10 more. I almost pulled the trigger on it, but realized I could make due with the 3364. If you need more room, Plano certainly offers variety within the Softsider lineup.)

The bag features a large main compartment with multiple additional smaller pockets. Under the lid flap, there is a pocket with a clear plastic see-through side. On either end of the bag, there are two zipper pouches. At the front, it has two more zipper pouches. At either end and the back, there are mesh pockets for quick access. Of course, being a soft tackle bag, a shoulder strap is attached at the top.






Included inside the tackle bag are four, yes four Plano 3650 stowaways. Each container comes with dividers, so with the five roomy spaces inside each one, you can divy up your lures any way you please. The bag has enough room that I am able to organize all four stowaways horizontally on top of each other as well as on end from front to back. Inside each stowaway, I have the option of separating five sections into a total of 19 smaller blocks. The larger section is wide enough that when divided up into two parts, I can store spinnerbaits on top of each other in one and comfortably place my Strike King buzzbaits end to end in the other. I don't even need to use all four stowaways. Three is enough. With the extra space, I have room to cram bags of soft plastics, my XTools scale, and a bottle of line conditioner, among other things.



There are also three rings on the outside of the bag, meant for holding anything with a clip or lanyard, I suppose. Two are diagonally positioned across from each other at the top of the bag. One sits at the front on the left hand side. I doubt I will ever use these for anything, but I might invest in a couple of carabiners just in case.

The top pocket on the underside of the lid flap with the see through plastic layer seemed too thin, so the only thing I could imagine keeping in there would be paperwork and a pack or two of plastics, if that. I reconciled to only keep my fishing license in there for the sake of accessibility. This way, I will always know I have it with me before I leave. It’s faster than having to dig around in the bag.

The side pockets weren’t too impressive at first, but after tossing in a few bags of plastics, I realized Plano was thinking ahead. Those pockets are about the same width as your average retail pack of 5”-7" soft plastics (see above photo). Standard spools of line also fit well in either of these two pockets, something I might consider throwing into the bag later.

The two front pockets I mentioned earlier are much like what we might find in a carry-on bag. One is much larger, lined with elastic bands meant for holding jars for pork trailers or scents, along with a few other handy pockets and attachments. I use this pocket for holding tools like my hemostats, pliers, scissors, a knife, and my portable temperature gauge. The other front pocket is much smaller and while it is an ideal spot to keep my fishing license secure, I prefer to use this space for minor first aid items and anything extremely small and hard to find. I tuck my pair of small scissors away in this pocket so I don’t have to rummage around in my other tools to find them.

I do have some issues with the bag, although I don’t think any of my complaints will result in any significant problems.

For instance, I would have liked a detachable shoulder strap. Maybe I’m simply too accustomed to carry-on luggage. The strap on this bag is sewn into the main body of the bag. The good thing is, two of the rings I mentioned are positioned diagonally across from each other at the top of the bag. If the strap should ever break, I could find a replacement and attach it to them, although the bag might hang awkwardly off my shoulder given their off-kilter alignment.

The 3650 Stowaways are nice, but I can’t store any baits with treble hooks without getting them in a tangle. The trade off is that I can bring a lot more lures with me now. I may still have to deal with a mess, but it's a much more controlled chaos. As with many Plano Stowaways, the dividers were molded together by small pieces of plastic. To use them, we have to cut as close as possible to the divider on either side with scissors so they will fit in between the molded slots. I’ve never liked this about tackle boxes in general, but mass production carries with it these annoying little quirks.

While I understand its purpose, the flap around the edges of the lid meant to cover the zipper only gets in my way when opening the bag, so I could honestly do without it. I had a breif moment of psychotic inspiration where I wanted to take a pair of scissors to it, but I soon realized it would be like Randy Quaid's hair part in Christmas Vacation. If I mess with that, it just isn't going to look right. So I'll just have to make do with what Plano gave me.

Aside from those few quirks, I love this tackle bag. The 3364 Softsider allows me the room to take the essentials and then some for a short trip, but also keeps my enthusiasm in check so that transferring everything back into my 7771 isn’t a chore. This was a long overdue upgrade for me. If you're thinking about making the same kind of move, I say go for it.

Other Plano Products:
Plano Spool Box
Plano 7771 Tackle Box

1 comments:

Shawn Cartwright said...

Nice blog. Glad I stumbled onto it.