Angler: Tom Holloway
With a new Lockdown in force for the foreseeable future in England, many of us – myself included – find ourselves in an unenviable position where the nearest shore fishing lies outside what can be deemed ‘reasonable' from a travel perspective. However, all is not lost! There is always plenty to do when you cannot get out to fish as our sport provides us with a never-ending amount of admin and prep that we can busy ourselves when the fishing is no good or in this case when we can't get out!
People are often shocked when I tell them as an angler I spend around 75% of my time not fishing. The bulk of my time is spent doing a range of other tasks such as collecting and preparing baits, building and repairing rods, tying flys, making lures, making leads, reading books/forums/social media, editing photographs, writing reviews, keeping up to date with the latest tackle and equipment and for the point of this post tying rigs!
I'm sure when many of us started fishing rigs, their storage wasn't given a great deal of thought. I wouldn't even carry a rig with me to my intended fishing spot in my early ventures into fishing. Instead, I would lug around the materials – swivels, line, clips etc. – needed to make them and knock them up on the spot. As you learn and develop you realise a great deal of time and frustration can be saved by tying them up yourself at home and then bringing them with you to fish, allowing you to focus your attention on the reason you are there – fishing! What's more, it allows you to continue your hobby at home and fill your time in whilst also adding to your angling experience overall!
I have used many different rig holding items over the years – and to some extent, still do. I first started with an old ice cream tub stuffed with poly zip lock bags with rigs in. Finding this adequate but hard to find the rigs I wanted on dark stormy nights on rock ends in Northumberland, I progressed to purposefully designed wallets where rigs are stored individually in clear inserts. I have used a large variety over the years and still have many of them in various states of disrepair in my workshop! I use rig winders on occasion – usually when match fishing – as if find them quicker and easier to locate and unwind the rig when time matters. Other than this application, the vast majority of my pleasure fishing and specimen hunting is done using rig wallets. This is largely due to the inherent benefit a wallet has, rigs are individually sealed, and you do not have to expose all your rigs to the elements or salt spray in the air. So they don't rust and corrode when left in their compartments over a period of time before they are used.
The main issues I have had with the majority of rig wallets I have used over the years have been numerous. Firstly, the frustration of the cheap plastic zip locks breaking – usually spurred on by the cold. The wallet bags themselves are often flimsy and hook points tear them, or they start to come away at the edges where they have been heat sealed. Some wallet bags suffer from the cold the same as the zip locks and become brittle and crack or perish. Then there are the poor quality materials used in the wallet's construction. Poor stitching comes away – especially around Velcro closures – leaving them flopping open. Low-quality Velcro itself which wears very quickly and finally weak material for the wallet quickly picks up grime and looks unsightly.
The new Tronixpro Double Rig Wallet has gone some way to addressing many the gripes and struggles I have had with rig wallets over the years. Upon receiving it, I was impressed with the outer material used in its construction – strong re-enforced nylon with a bit of sheen to it. It is black, so it doesn't pick up grime and muck as some others do. On use I found it to be remarkably weatherproof and easy to wipe down without leaving marks – after taking a photo of it with the codling on it, a wipe of my hand towel left it looking good as new! Upon opening it, I got the satisfying loud tear of strong Velcro – something many rig wallets fail to utilise with the associated issues mentioned above. The Velcro runs around the wallet's entire edge, so no parts are left exposed to the elements keeping everything inside dry! This also gives you added peace of mind that anything you put inside has even less chance of falling out.
Looking inside the Tronixpro Double Rig Wallet, everything is apportioned logically. It comes with 16 individual sleeves subdivided, so you have 32 individually sealable compartments. There is ample room inside the wallet for expansion, and I have had no trouble filling each sub-compartment with up to three rigs. This gives it the potential to carry 96 rigs. If that's not enough for you, the sleeves are held in place to the wallet with a Velcro spine, and you can buy a pack of additional wallets to increase this further to a staggering 144! Equally – and what I love about this – if you do get any breakages through wear and tear, you can buy additional wallets and take the old ones out and Velcro the new ones in. No more need to have to buy a new wallet! The plastic sleeves feel nice and supple, and to date, since I have had this out on multiple session, I have had no issues with the cold making them brittle or the plastic becoming tacky.
Inside either leaf of the Tronixpro Double Rig Wallet is a small mesh pocket ideal for carrying extra packs of hooks or attractors or tools such as baiting scissors and disgorgers. These again are made of a sturdy mesh and secured with strong Velcro that is well stitched. On the back of the Tronixpro Double Rig Wallet are two bellows pockets with full Velcro closures and – something I have never seen before – a storm flap. This means the top of the pouch folds over with the closure to help stop water getting in. I am sure many of us have found ourselves in the soul-destroying position of opening up something to find at some point water has got in and sat there and ruined whatever has been kept inside. This attention to detail prevents this, and as can be seen, you can easily store your Baitex elastic and other bulky items such as snood line in them without this worry!
I am looking forward to using this wallet as my main one and have been impressed with its ruggedness to date.
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