Smart and Efficient Long Range Packing

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by Rodless_Jim, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Jim
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    As I posted a couple of days ago, I once again pulled the trigger on a cow hunt. If I am counting correctly, this will be my 7th trip between 15-17 days. I have a couple of 10-day trips on my resume too, and I guess that this subject...packing efficiently for a multi-day trip can apply to any trip of three days or longer. In my case, though, I am thinking about the trips that target giant tuna and wahoo down at the Hurricane Bank and near Clarion.

    Those who fished with me on my very first 15-day on Intrepid will remember that I had literally no cow fishing gear of my own. I went with three borrowed outfits, a couple of jigs, some fluoro, some hooks, etc. Basically, I was prepared to flyline. It was probably the only long trip I have ever taken where I didn't over pack on tackle. Every trip since then, I have added to my arsenal. Another combo each time, reel and rod, more jigs, more lures, more hooks, more leader, more sinkers, more accessories. And each year I remembered what I discovered that I needed and didn't have the previous year. Of course conditions were different each time, and a new tactic worked best...almost always one that I hadn't learned before, and for which I was unprepared. So each new trip I at least made certain I had all of my bases covered for the tactics I had learned on previous trips.

    My collection of tackle increased exponentially, of course, in both weight and volume. Over the course of six trips (if I am counting correctly, my upcoming trip will be my seventh to cow town), I went from being one of the lightest packers to one of the heaviest. Although each time I have tried to be very judicious in my packing, when trip time arrived, I always threw another 10 packs of hooks in one box, big spools of heavy mono (that I knew at the time I wouldn't need) in my duffle bag. Dykes? Three pairs. Backup wahoo reels? Never had one of my Daiwas fail, but I bring four backups anyway. Etc. And it really got out of hand. As a pretty big guy who likes to wear clean clothes every day, that too became an issue. Medicine. Cigars and lighters. Even snacks I really didn't need and shouldn't have eaten. A diabetic 53-year old man with a fatal weakness for lemon drops? Give me a break.

    ASIDE: I've got the clothes packing thing under control as best I can. I still need to have clean clothes, but using packing cubes I can get all of my clothing into quite a small space.

    So ever since my last long trip in February of this year (I took my nephew on a 3-day in August, but that doesn't count), I have been looking at my packing list from a different perspective. It seems like I have seen and applied most all of the different methods and tactics I might want to use. Obviously there will be something new again this time, but I am confident that with what I will bring with me, I will be able to adapt to whatever conditions we find when we get there. And if not, the boat will be able to help me rig.

    My new approach is not precisely to go "minimalist." I am going to bring just what I think I need to fish in all the ways I expect to fish...but I am going to make a sharp analysis of what that requires, and try my best to limit myself to only what I need. Even with this, I am quite sure I will end up using much less than what I bring with me, but that is not so much the point. What I can say for sure is that I am going to bring much, much less than what I brought last time...not necessarily in variety, but definitely in volume.

    The beginning of my new approach starts with knowing and understanding tactics. I won't go into detail here. I may describe my thought process about that in a different thread if anyone seems interested. What matters is not rods and reels though...others will certainly bring more than I do. There have always been a couple of anglers who had more outfits than I did on every trip I've ever taken. No, what matters here is the auxiliary tackle that I need to rig each rod the way I want to. It is all the "other stuff" that has made my packing on recent trips such an overdone disaster.

    This applies to fluoro and spectra, hooks and swivels, wire, sinkers, jigs and bombs, materials for making top shots and kite leaders, tools, everything along that line. I'll have exactly the backup and emergency materials I think I really may need...and no more. Again, I am convinced that I won't come close to using all of what I bring, but I will bring far less than I have in years. Most of all, I will not bring anything that is not on my inventory list. No sudden "maybe I should bring that too" moments.

    The good news for me is that I have already made up that inventory list. I have considered, reviewed, and revised it multiple times. Yes, it is still quite a list! Many people would say (with some justification) that I am still overpacking, and could easily get by with much less. Yes Harddrive, this is you. Ken Bush too. But I repeat, as much as I plan to bring, it will still be so much less than before, and I am satisfied with that.

    But I find I have problem. I know, pretty much down to the last swivel and sandal, exactly what I want to bring on the trip. What I don't know is exactly how to pack/store/transport it. For many things, I am already prepared. Yes, I have a nice tackle bag (getting worn now, but still very serviceable), and a lot of things will go there. I have a portable file case that turns out to be absolutely perfect for pre-made leaders of all kinds, from wahoo bait to heavy kite. I have an awesome jig bag, too. But for the other stuff, I need better boxes. Very strong, sturdy, preferably reasonably water repellent (more or less...they won't be on deck but in my stateroom), clear plastic boxes that are the correct size (give or take) for the items I want to carry in them. I need a box for hooks. I need a box for my crimping supplies. I need a box for my top shot-building materials. I need a box for the (very small) collection of tools I plan to bring. On my last trip, I discovered that the cheap-ass plastic boxes I've collected over the years in which to store my tackle in my storage closet are just not good enough for boat use. Two of them cracked apart when they fell just a short distance, and the lids wouldn't stay locked into place on most of them.

    So here it is, and I need guidance. I am not a great "hobbyist." I don't know where to look or what to buy, but I very definitely need to get a few very sturdy storage boxes of various sizes in which to store the items I plan to bring. Compartmented would be excellent in a couple of cases. If smaller boxes could "nest" into a bigger box, that would be extremely useful too. I've bought hardware store stuff, from Ace to Home Depot, I've gotten some from Target, too. A couple have been really good, and I will keep using them. The rest needs to be replaced. Can anyone suggest a place to find what I'm looking for? Brick and mortar in and around San Diego? Internet source? There is an awful lot on my list that is small but important. Clever storage is going to reduce the size of my load, hopefully the weight too. It will make it more accessible, which is important.

    Help me out here, folks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  2. carloscafe

    carloscafe Member

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    Darrin
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    I don't have a answer to your question, but the way you explained what you need and want is great!! I can only imagine what the post trip write-up will be like.
     
  3. dh515

    dh515 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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  4. Atuna

    Atuna Salt

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  5. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Thanks David! Depending on the size, that would be a really good box to hold everything as I move it on and off the boat and to my stateroom. I'm sure it would hold all of the other boxes, and I do need to get something like that.

    I'm really looking, though, for the smaller individual boxes, hooks in that one, top shot materials in this one...
     
  6. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Now this could be a start. I never saw these at Home Depot in SD. I'll take a look.

    A box that is just wide enough and deep enough to hold spools of spectra is also on the list.
     
  7. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    David Tang
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    AS I am a minimalist I don't have a issue with too much stuff :D
    ...but I suggest you go to the Container Store in San Diego they will have what you need.
     
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  8. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I was in there before a couple of years ago, and was disappointed. I admit, I was looking for different things then, though. I'll take a look when I get a chance.
     
  9. spinner

    spinner Well-Known "Member"

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    i like the roller tackle boxes with extendable handles for ease of tranportation. i take 1 box and load all of my wahoo gear and tools. i take one for all my mono and flouro and connections tools and hooks and leader materials for the kite and balloon/ i take one for all my miscellaneouls tools and deck needs/gloves/belts/tape // and they all fit into small spots on the boat
     
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  10. albacore11

    albacore11 Member Intrepid 200# Club

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    Jim, not exactly certain if these will fit your bill, but Plano has several different sizes of nesting waterproof boxes. They can be purchased individually or a three pack of differing sizes. They also have one that is deeper. Home Depot normally puts the three pack on sale this time of year. However, living where I do, I do not get any ads from any of the stores; Lowes and Home Depot included. Certainly do a search on both Amazon and e-bay for Plano boxes.
     
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  11. albacore11

    albacore11 Member Intrepid 200# Club

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    Jim, I used the Home Depot link provided and there are 3 different polycarbonate Husky boxes shown, one is 11" with 5 compartments, the other two are 11" and 7" but do not know if they have any dividers. Currently on sale, but in store only. I like the one with dividers, makes it more versatile.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  12. alan760

    alan760 Well-Known "Member"

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    Have you thought about going the other way and use ziplock type storage bags to organize your smaller stuff? Companies make bags in various sizes and thickness so you can find bags that are thicker than what they sell in the stores. Only downside is you may need to buy in large quantities but otherwise fits your needs, waterproof, see through, easy to store, and won't crack. About 5 years ago I started using 1-2 gal ziplocks to organize my clothes and it saves me lots of time rooting around by huge duffle. Also might want to check scientific supply or container stores for storage ideas. I use to work in environmental consulting and get these cool catalogs.

    Home Depot and Lowes sells screw on lids for 5 gal buckets. Another idea for a cheap water proof container. I use mine as a jig bucket and glued on a piece of old plastic cutting board to make a seat.
     
  13. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    May I suggest bringing an extra empty plano tray. One big one that can hold whatever's on your line at the end of the trip. No figuring out which lure goes in which box, at least until you either get home or get to calm seas. Makes packing up a lot quicker. As for the paring down the tackle, meh, just bring another tackle box. That's why they have the carts :). If you have a lot of rods, maybe put some colored tape (something unique) on each one. I do that to my tools and bags as well. If you just bait fish, then you can really reduce your tackle to a minimum. Hooks, weights, fluoro, and wire. Maybe a few swivels and crimps. Then you just need a couple of tools, pliers, dykes, crimpers, etc. That's the easiest way to pare down. It's the lures that are the space hogs. I used to bring everything that might work, but after plenty of testing, I have reduced the lures to the ones that have worked in the past (eg. I only bring 4-5 trolling lures) and the ones that I still want to test. Somehow, I still bring a lot of lures...
     
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  14. Brad I

    Brad I Common Sense Isn't Common Enough

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    Jim, are these the kind of boxes that you are talking about? I use them for putting in spools of line, but they can also hold smaller boxes. I also like them because they stack well and are easy to carry. The smaller one is 11 x 13.5 x 4.75 and the larger one is 17.25 x 15.5 x 5.25 (the smaller one is tall enough to stack three spools of floro or one 1/4# spool of mono). I got them at Office Depot.

    IMG_1396.JPG IMG_1397.JPG
     
  15. Steve K

    Steve K Hey, I'm gettin' bit...

    Location:
    Bishop
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    Steve
    Boat:
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
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    Whew! I guess there are two ways to go, more or less. I'm about to pack a tackle bag for a 14 day and can't quite decide on my old 4 tray Mark Pack Hippo Ranger or my new 3 tray Shimano Borona. Both have an ample top section easy to access and side pockets where I keep fluoro spools on one side, bombs on the other. My bag goes on the shelves/racks on the back of the house and it's easy to get into the top compartment of either bag.

    Top tray is for topshot making supplies and crimps including a small box of Sato crimps, small box of rings and AFW crimps for wire as well as crimps for 150 lb and up mono and fluoro and small spools of 80 and 100 lb Hollow to build topshots and 30 and 65 lb for nail knots. Needles, scissors, nail buffers, loop protectors, all in one tray. There's even some room for a couple of 250 gram Flat Fall jigs.

    Second tray is hooks and weights, a few swivels, you can get a lot of hooks in a 3700 size tray!

    Bottom tray is full of Wahoo iron. That's all I take, no surface iron or YoYo iron for Yellowtail. I'm about over fishing for Yellows. :)

    I'm not sure I need the fourth tray, not sure what I would put in it...

    I carry a small duffel style bag on big tuna trips. It's pretty full with two or three spools of hollow spectra, large coils of mono and fluoro, crimping pliers, and a strap wrench for reel seats, couple of Marauders, couple of PL68's, extra hooks, swivels, and sinkers, a few more bombs, a spool or two of mono, some topshots, an over the shoulder belt with a single hook for supporting the outfit while fishing the kite, small rod belt and really that's about it.

    So for me, that's the less part of the more or less. I'm leaning towards the Borona bag, 3 trays.
     
  16. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Yes, they both look like boxes that would work for my purposes, but it's the smaller one pictured that is really close to the box I imagined when I wrote the post. You can see the way it's reinforced that it is a very sturdy container. That's what I want.

    The question then becomes "can I find similar boxes in the size and shape I need?" I'll definitely hit Office Depot and see what they have available. The Container Store as Fishy mentioned, too. And it's worth the time to find a particularly well-stocked Target. I have found surprisingly good stuff there on occasion, appearing magically among the run of the mill items. A great example is the plastic file case I bought there that is as solid as a rock, and has become my go-to for carrying all of my pre-made and/or pre-cut top shots and leaders. It is, in fact, very similar in construction to the smaller box you posted. The irony is that I found it in office supplies, and not in home storage.

    Come to think of it, I guess it makes sense that you are referring me to Office Depot.

    As for box size and shape, I had what I think is the novel (or crazy) idea of just bringing my stuff to the store in bags, separated by the inventory of each container I want to buy, and then finding the right container by actually putting the stuff in it in the store. If it doesn't fit the way I want, that's not the right box.
     
  17. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
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    I have to say right off the bat that I am not where you are in packing efficiency. I am moving inexorably in that direction...and making a big move this year...but I am under no illusions. The collection of tackle I am bringing is not "minimalist." I will bring quite a few setups so I can rig for different conditions and be ready to try something else when whatever it is that I'm doing isn't working (par for the course for me).

    I am, however, going to follow a lot of the pattern that you describe. For one thing, I am getting a few extra 3600 size Plano trays (the size that fit in my Open Water Tackle Bag), and I am going to stock the tackle bag with only what I* have listed to be there. It's a five tray bag, and it holds a lot. Every trip before this one, I have put in the bag whatever I felt I needed for that trip (long or short), but I almost never take anything out. That's going to change this trip.

    Even though I do still like to catch yellowtail, I am cutting my jig collection way down.Just because my jig bag will hold 26 wahoo and yellowtail heavy jigs doesn't mean I will use them. Or even want to have them with me. Leaving slots open in the jig bag nwon't save me much space, but it will save me a ton of weight.

    As for tuna jigs, the first trip on which I jigged for tuna I lost two: one to a shark, and one to a cut off. Ever since then, I have brought at least 8 or 10 of those big, heavy jigs with me, just to be sure I "had enough." This time, I'm sticking with four.

    Anyway, that's the gist of it for me. You (and Fishy, to name another) may have it all down to a science, I admit. Fewer outfits, less tackle, much less weight. I'm not there yet. Like I said, I am heading in that direction. That's the point of this thread.
     
  18. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Jim
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    I appreciate the comment, but I repeat: don't start counting on a write-up. Somewhere over the past few years, I seem to have lost my ability to follow through on the reports I start writing. A very little bit of it is failing motivation which can be attributed to health and life issues. But mostly it is that my memory, which was once pretty damned sharp, has really begun to let me down the past few years.

    Don't count on a trip report. If I can manage to write one, it will appear magically, with no warning. It will go up in installments, but I won't even post the first installment until the last one is complete. Don't wager any money either way.
     
  19. Steve K

    Steve K Hey, I'm gettin' bit...

    Location:
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    Steve
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    Later, we'll talk about setups. ;) I've got it pared down to 9 or 10, but I have no popping outfits, that helps. It was self intervention that powered this.
     
  20. jer dog

    jer dog Fishing is life

    Location:
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    Gerry
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    Jim I learned to Keep my Hooks in their Original Packs
    and Use A Small Velcro strap too Keep them together
    back in the Day I used put them in a Tray and they Got all Rusty
    now I Keep the ones after I Use them in a tray after I Rinse them off
    and keep them Separate.
     
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