Weymouth based young gun lure angler Luke Gregory has specific requirements when it comes to carrying his gear around south coast shore marks. Here he has a long term, in depth look at the Savage Gear Roadrunner Gear Bag to find out if it meets his specifications.
I love my fishing, and my fishing bag needs to be equipped with a wide range of lures, be spacious enough to be able to carry a camera to capture my catches, provide a comfortable fit for long shoreline sessions and be laid out so I can find exactly what I want in a hurry. When I was asked to review the Savage Gear Roadrunner Gear Bag it looked like I had found just what I was looking for. The lightweight bag is not too bulky and within its various compartments it is able to hold all the tackle that I require to carry while also providing secure storage for my camera.
When it comes down to comfort, this bag ticks all the boxes and it has been designed as a sling bag with a difference. That difference is the bag is strapped to your body and will not fall of when rock hopping. This is excellent for the lure angler as they are frequently on the move searching high and low for the next hook up. The way in which the bag is designed with a compartment at the front and two at the back allows the bag to equally distribute the weight, relieving the strain on the back and shoulders.
Suits all Styles
I have used this bag when fishing different styles of fishing, firstly, LRF in my local harbour at Weymouth where I would usually spend either a whole day or evening fishing and since I was fishing light the bag and its contents weighed next to nothing. Secondly, I fished with this bag while walking the coasts at places such as Portland Bill, the east side and west sides of Portland, Swanage, and Kimmeridge. When fishing these rocky areas I would be fishing HRF style and carrying more and heavier gear than when using the lighter LRF tackle. While walking to and from the fishing grounds and then scavenging the coast all day for fish I would be covering anything between five and ten miles each day.
To cover all aspects of this area of our sport I would have to carry a wide variation of tackle to be able to keep changing my set-up and lures until I found what the fish are feeding on. This bag provided a great solution to this problem as it has two roomy compartments at the back of the bag. In the mesh compartment I was able to fit one Savage Gear big lure box, two small Imax boxes, leader line and still leave room for more. Also this mesh compartment is where I like to house all my spare tackle; lures, weights, jig heads and hooks and it admirably covered with all my needs.
I used the non-mesh compartment to store my reel and camera gear and I managed to house a Shimano Exage and my GoPro camera with its mounts.
Plenty of Storage
There was also a pouch at the back of this compartment that you could store more fishing tackle and I chose this for packets of ISOME and packets of soft plastic lures in this pouch. Also if I decided to carry my camera gear in my pockets then in this location I could fit in a spare reel to accompany my spare rod. In rainy conditions both the material and mesh compartments are pretty waterproof. I went out in the rain to test this and found that my tackle remained fairly dry but to be 100% sure use plastic boxes or bags for your equipment.
Now another interesting thing that I found in this little pouch was a splash-proof cover for a phone. This can come in very handy when for example you are on exposed rocks and stray wave swamps you drenching all your tackle.
I have to admit that when trying to put his bag on initially it was a bit of a straggle as I could not find the strap to tighten the bag around my right shoulder. After searching for a while I found a strap inside the main compartment. This is one of the most important straps because it secures the bag to your body and the manufacturers should ensure that this is more visible instead of being hidden away inside the bag. Each side of the bag has a strap which is used to secure the bag at the waist. The main waist strap connects to the shoulder strap to allow for adjustment while the second acts like a safety strap to lock the bag so it does not fall off.
One of my favourite things about this bag is that it has a rod holder at the back. When I go fishing at places like Portland Bill I mostly use a plugging rod to target wrasse but, when this method is proving ineffective I like to have my LRF rod with me to be able to save the blank by dropping some LRF gear down the side of the rocks. The material compartment that I mentioned before has enough room to house two reels so I can also take my LRF version. The other great thing about the way that this rod holder is set up is that unlike a number of lure bags the spare rod holder is positioned to hold the rod vertically on your back. This is a far more effective way of carrying the rod and helps when manoeuvring on rocky terrain where alternative storage angles lead to accidents and broken rods. The rod holder has the capacity to carry two rods, either for hands free climbing and scrambling or to allow the angler to comfortably carry a diverse selection of rods.
Up Front Storage
Shifting to the flip side of the bag there is one compartment located at the front which sits on your chest. I think that this compartment is brilliant because it allows the angler to house the lures and tackle that they frequently use in one, easily accessible place. This compartment has a sleeve on the back inside for storing items like soft plastics. Then it has a main compartment, which opens to contain items you use most. I found when I went fishing this compartment was slightly restricting in that I could only fit my ISOME box in there and a split shot mix pack. I was rather disappointed with this as I wanted to be able have jig heads and hooks into this space to easily replace loses. A larger front compartment, possibly curving round the chest would have scored this bag higher and provided additional, effective, easy access storage space.
There is one huge positive side to this front compartment and this is the foam material, secured with Velcro, which allows the angler to affix regularly used lures and hooks. This is handy as you do not have to reach around to extract lures from the back of the bag. The piece of material is capable of holding up to nine lures depending on size. The only down side to this is that when fitting lures to this material the space inside the compartment is reduced. Outside of the front pack is a pouch to hold pliers or scissors and a security lanyard and smaller pouches for tools and disgorgers. The lanyard clip showed signs of rusting after a few sessions of saltwater use.
A small pouch on the chest strap provides a dedicated phone compartment with earphone inlets. This is a good idea but this compartment is not very waterproof, nether is the main front compartment that I talked about before. On a scale of one to ten on how waterproof these two compartments are I would rank them a four.
Just to round off I have to say it again that this bag is outstanding and provides an effective way for the mobile angler to carry the tackle required for a day with the lures. Other than the couple of points mentioned above, the major change I would like to see is swapping the metal zips for plastic to help prevent corrosion and extend its working life. Other than that this is an all round quality bag which is good value for money.
The bag can be found at Glasgow Angling Centre or on their Fishing Megastore website for £34.99.