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Home / Reviews / Gear Review / AS SMOOTH AS A SNIPER – FISHPOND’S DAKOTA CARRY-ON ROD & REEL CASE By Pieter Taljaard
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AS SMOOTH AS A SNIPER – FISHPOND’S DAKOTA CARRY-ON ROD & REEL CASE By Pieter Taljaard

Dakota Score Card

Not unlike when I first saw Pamela Anderson run across that fabled screen to the beat of bad 90’s music for the Bay Watch series intro, I instantaneously sat upright and puffed my chest as if to say, “Is this for me?” when the Fishpond Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case was carried onto the set of our Christmas Stocking Fillers 2014 shoot.

Not long after that I convinced my budget that this was a worthy, long-term investment opportunity that could not be missed. I strolled into local shop, Frontier Fly Fishing, in early December but this time left with more than the usual Brown Paper Bag (yip, capital letters). Case in point, yes this is a review, but on a gear item I purchased myself and have incorporated into my personal fly fishing kit.

CONFESSION TIME; I DRIVE A PICK-UP (‘BAKKIE’) BECAUSE…

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Even a casual day on a local stream usually results in me being ready to face the apocalypse.

Those that fish with me on a regular basis will know that I always pack to cover every possible situation; even a casual day on a local stream usually results in me being ready to face the apocalypse. Some would argue I do CrossFit to remain fit; I protest and state that I merely put myself through that torture so that I can actually carry all my gear. In the past I would always carry my rods in a separate hard-case rod holder, reels in another compartment bag and all the accompanying paraphernalia in a range of impractical smaller bags and tucked into the cup holders of my car doors. This habit of always arriving over prepared will go to the grave with me, but what pains me is the inefficiency of it all and having to run through a checklist every time I go fishing.

ONLY A FLY FISHERMAN WILL UNDERSTAND

Fishpond’s Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case has solved this conundrum in a sexy, easy to carry, envy-of-all-fly-fishers package. What seems like a very simple design, it is packed with features only a die-hard fly fisherman could have thought of – a clear indication of Fishpond’s design team’s commitment to getting you, and keeping you, out there.

Dakota Case BannerInstead of waxing lyrically about each and every feature, here are the ones that make this a ‘must-own’ item in my books:

  • If being serious eye-candy was a sin then this bag is going to cook for eternity.
  • With rods on the one side and reels on the other, I comfortably fit in 6 rods and six reels with 4 spare spools along with my Omnispool System rigged with spare lines into the bag. Should you need, simply remove the reel compartment dividers and you are able to stack in rods on both sides.
  • The reinforced and protective framework and base provides peace of mind; no need to worry about excessive damage to the outer or crushing of the content inside the bag.
  • Padded shoulder and hand straps – carry it like a handbag or like you are a sniper moving in for the kill (remember your sunglasses for dramatic effect).
  • Front pockets are surprisingly spacious and is the perfect place to hold sungloves, Buffs, wading socks etc.
  • Mesh pockets on the inside of the bag provides ample room to stack those smaller items and tools. Mine are filled with line cleaning solutions, spare leaders & essential tools to service my reels when on a trip.
  • After months of overloading this bag, the seams show no signs whatsoever of fraying or parting – hard wearing and ready to give you years of unhindered service.
  • With airline carry-on restrictions escalating on a daily basis, the lockable zips and traveler’s details pocket are a godsend.

Though not a problem in my world, the Fishpond Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case unfortunately does not accommodate 10ft rods – something I hope they will address in future with the current surge in this trend.

ESSENTIAL IN MY WORLD BECAUSE…

For those with kids or limited space it also makes for a great storage solution to keep your gear in one place and out of harm’s way.

The Fishpond Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case has me ready to go on any local trip on a whim. I keep it packed and ready in my Man Cave with the only items I have to make sure I put back being my sungloves and Buffs. For those with kids or limited space it also makes for a great storage solution to keep your gear in one place and out of harm’s way. Stacked into my bag, simply driven by the changing of the seasons and extensive local traveling, are the following rod/reel outfits:

  • 8’6” 3wt
  • 9’0” 3wt
  • 9’0” 4wt
  • Two 9’0” 5wts
  • 9’0” 7wt & 8wt

Sure, it is a bit tight, but I am ready for anything, anytime. If you do not believe me, invite me for a trip to your local secret fishing spot – I am packed and waiting.

This is not me recommending the Fishpond Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case. Not at all. I leave it up to you to discover for yourself why this is the ultimate Rod and Reel transportation bag.

Locally, Fishpond’s Dakota Carry-On Rod & Reel Case is available from Frontier Fly Fishing and currently retails for R2,895.00.

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