Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag Review

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

Skinny water, wet conditions, and big fish is what spring float fishing is all about. Harsh conditions do take a toll on gear. No longer does the rain, snow, and occasional dunking have to drench the fly boxes and fishing gear. The Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag is a combination gear bag and dry bag rolled into one.  Leave it to people at Fish Pond to come up with product like the Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag to meet the needs of every float fly fisherman.  Inspired from outings in Colorado Fish Pond’s products have been designed to carry and protect fishing gear.  Over this spring I have had the chance to carry the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag on my early season float trips in the Colorado Rockies.

The Exterior of Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

The Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag comes from the marriage of a dry bag with a gear bag.  The design tries to incorporate the best features of each in order to meet the needs of fly fishermen.

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag Front Image

The overall size of the bag is fairly large 13.5” x 10” x 9” with a volume of 12 liters.  This bag is plenty big enough to hold multiple fly boxes, extra spools, hemostats, and all the main fishing essentials.  This size is made to fit in a storage hatch on a boat. The bag is constructed with recycled nylon that has been seam welded to create a completely waterproof exterior.

The top of the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag resembles a dry bag with its roll top opening.  The opening can be closed by rolling down approximately five times and snapping the plastic clips together.

The exterior of the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag has a removable shoulder strap that attaches with locking clips.  There also is a handle on top for an alternate carrying method.  Along the sides of the bag there are loops and strap attachment points for lashing this bag to the boat, rod tube, or adding tools.  The bottom of the bag is flat with an imprinted logo that will lift the bag up about an inch.

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag Exterior

Inside the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

Within the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag are compartments to store all of your fishing essentials. On the top there are two clear zippered pockets that could hold small items.  Below this, there is a soft removable dividers system that can be used to help keep gear organized.  The dividers are soft enough to keep a fancy camera safe from taking a beating.  When the dividers are taken out the bag can be compressed flat and fit easily into a suitcase for far off adventures.

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag Inside Zippered Pouch

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag Inside Storage Compartments

Field Testing the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

Where has this bag been my whole life! The Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag checks off so many needs that I have as a float fisherman.  What I love about the bag are the attributes of dry bag combined with that of the gear bag.  There are just too many times when neither a dry bag nor a gear bag was perfect.  The Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag is the best of both these worlds.

The construction of the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag is outstanding.  Like all of the Fish Pond Products that I have reviewed in the past or have used I would expect Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag to last a long time.  The seams, handles, and loops are all stitched down and feel heavy duty.

On the Water

On the water is where the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag really shines.  I am a hoarder of fishing gear. I admit I have a problem.  What is worse is that I never want to be without all my fly boxes in case that one magical fly could be of use.  The Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag allows me to carry all of my gear without the fear of worrying about it getting wet.  When a box of flies gets wet and does not get dried quickly all the flies can get ruined in a hurry.  I loved being able to bring my five fly boxes without worry of them getting wet.  Also I’m always concerned about my camera getting wet.  Having it in a dry bag allows that extra protection from water but also the soft dividers hold the camera secure and protect it from rattling around in the bottom of a boat.

Digging gear out of the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

When floating on my small raft space is limited. Items often need to latched down in order to make sure they are still on the boat by the end of the float.  There are quite a few attachment points that make the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag easy to strap down.   The flat bottom is great for making sure the bag stays in a upright position.  One feature that was really cool was that the bottom of the bag is raised up about an inch.  This makes it so if a bit of water does get into the boat that the bag is not just sitting in water.  I really like all of the thought that went into the design.

 

Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag on Boat

Keeping Gear Safe and Dry

The clear pockets above the bottom also came in handy.  This is the perfect place to keep a cell phone, small camera, car keys, or wallet.  All of these items can easily fit within both of these pockets.

A couple of my floats had quite a bit of precipitation and just having a waterproof gear bag was awesome.  My gear would not have been soaked from the river those days but it would have been wet from the snow.  I could see where I would use this bag on days where rain and snow were in the forecast even if I was fishing from shore.

A Couple Questions

The only concerns I had was that Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag like all dry bags takes a bit of time to get into.  Undoing the snaps, unrolling the bag, and lifting up the clear pockets made me think twice about switching up my flies.  The other feature is that it is pushing $200 which is pretty steep.  The quality is fantastic and if it saves one camera it will pay for itself.

Specs of the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag taken from Fish Pond Website

  • MSRP $189.00
  • Recycled Nylon Fabric Construction
  • Welded Seams
  • Roll top Opening
  • Removable padded interior
  • Interior top pouch with two-sided zipper access
  • Dual removable interior clear pockets
  • Top handle
  • Exterior attachment points for rod tube straps or other tools
  • Signature molded bottom

Final Thoughts on the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

This is the do it all bag for the float fisherman. Combining a dry bag and gear bag, the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag is the perfect boat bag for anglers on the water. With a recycled waterproof nylon exterior housing soft compartments this bag can hold anything from fishing equipment to expensive electronics.  Additional features such as a shoulder strap, handle, loops for strapping down make the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag perfect for any adventure on the water.  If you are in the market for a dry bag or gear bag give the Fish Pond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag a hard look.

Bennett Colvin: Bennett Colvin lives in Steamboat, Colorado and is an avid fisherman, hiker, skier, and outdoorsman. Bennett instructs fly fishing and runs youth fly fishing programs. He also is a professional fly tier and ties publicly at fly shops and expos.
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