So far I have written about my ultralight fishing kits; my Ultralight Spinning Kit and my Ultralight Fly Fishing Kit. Both kits are very minimalistic and are designed to be carried at minimal weight in cases where you are not sure if you will end up fishing, and if you do, it will be in a small body of water you may encounter on your trip. As such, the components are miniaturized, are designed for light work, and are primarily intended to be unnoticeable when carried so that you don’t mind bringing the kit along in situations when you are not sure if you will get any fishing done at all.
When I wrote about my fly fishing kit however, I also wrote what I do to expand the kit if I am actually going out with the purpose of fishing. In that case the tackle, rod and reel remained the same, but I added waders and wading shoes. The kit is still designed to be carried when backpacking, but it allows for a full range of fishing options.
Well, I do the same for my spinning kit. You have already seen my Ultralight Spinning Kit, which came in at 13.6 oz total. Of course, the kit is very basic, using small lures and 4lb test line. However, when I am going out with the main purpose of fishing, I bring a more complete fishing kit. That’s the kit you saw me use on my last trip report here. I didn’t show you a good look at the kit there, so I decided to make this post in case anyone is interested.
The rod is the same St Croix Triumph TRS60LF4 Travel Spinning Rod from the Ultralight Spinning Kit along with the same DIY case and come in at a combined weight of 4.7 oz (3.2 oz for the rod and 1.5 oz for the case). That is the only overlap between the two kits.
The first change is the reel. Instead of using the Okuma Ultralight UL-10 spinning reel, which I typically use with 4lb test line, for the larger kit I use a Shimano Sedona SE2500FD reel. I use it with 8lb test line. This allows me to more easily go after larger fish. The Sedona 2500FD weighs 9.8 oz.
I’ve also made an addition to this kit, a 3ft measuring tape, which comes in at 1.1 oz. If I am going out with the purpose of fishing, I am most likely targeting fish beyond perch and sun fish. There are typically regulations when it comes to length of fish you can keep. Having a little measuring tape makes for an easier and safer time when it comes to identifying the keepers.
Lastly, the tackle is completely different. I still have an assortment of small lures like you saw in the Ultralight Spinning Kit, but here it is significantly expanded to include larger lures. This allows me to go after bass, pickerel, etc.
The tackle box has two sides. On one side I keep the small lures along with split shot, hooks, a bobber, etc. I have an assortment of spinners and surface and diving lures. On the other side I have the larger lures. I have a frog, a popper, a diving lure, and an assortment of gummy lures. The gummies are the ones I use the most. Ever since a friend of mine showed them to me, I’ve been very happy with them. They seem to attract a large range of fish, and work well with a weedless set up. When not on a trip, I keep them in the bag I purchased them in. It seems to contain some type of oil which keeps them from drying out. I’ve never had an issue with keeping them out for a number of days, but to be safe I return them to the bag when I get home. The stocked tackle box weighs 8.9 oz.
So, the combined weights of this medium size backpacking kit comes in at 1lb 8.5oz (24.5 oz). It is almost twice the weight of the ultralight kit, and also quite a bit larger, but offers much more capability. Now, I wouldn’t carry this kit if I just thought I might get to do half an hour of fishing along the way on a backpacking trip. However, if my backpacking trip is specifically designed with the end goal of getting to fish, this is the kit that comes with me.
Lastly, as you saw from my last trip report, I can pair this kit with the waders and wading shoes from my fly fishing set up for situations when I need to get into tough to reach water. With my Patagonia Rio Azul waders weighing 2lb 3.2oz (35.2 oz) and my DIY wading shoes weighing 2lb 5.3oz (37.3 oz) the total weight of fishing gear I might end up carrying on a backpacking trip, as I did on my last one, can be 6lb 1.0oz (97.0 oz).
Now, I know that this is still a relatively small kit. Guys who seriously fish for specific species have much, much larger tackle kits. This however is a compromise between portability and functionality. I can fit the kit in a my 40L pack along with all my three season gear. It’s not light, but it allows me to backpack to any location I want and fish there without a problem.