Words by Tim Homa
As anglers, the fear of leaving a potentially magic lure at home often results in overstuffed tackle boxes and bags. Wade fishing presents an opportunity for a gear detox. It is a simple, convenient, and stealthy way to chase our favorite inshore species like speckled trout, red drum, and striped bass.
Wade fishing packs must be durable, comfortable, accessible, and capable of storing enough lures to leave you confident in pursuing trophy fish. I’ve tried everything, from fancy wade belts and backpacks to tackling a flat with only what fit in my waders' pouch. Each option worked, but the disadvantages were obvious.
Queue the Flats Satchel Wade Fishing Chest Rig by Feral Concepts (@feralconcepts). The Flats Satchel is thelatest piece of wading gear from Feral Concepts, a company known for making high-quality American-made products for serious wade anglers. Focused on simplicity and materials that can withstand saltwater abuse, the Flats Satchel is a comfortable wade fishing pack that sits on your chest. Its upper torso positioning makes for easy access and dry gear.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Feral Concepts owner, Darren Jones, is an avid wade fisherman. He understands the need for convenient, long-lasting gear. The idea behind the Flats Satchel spawned from Darren’s affinity for the equipment kits he wore as a Marine, and a friend of his who used a chest pack to keep his turkey ammo dry. With wade fishing on his mind, the two ideas were married, and the Flats Satchel was born.
We constantly search for products that enhance our time pursuing avocations off the clock. Quality and convenience reign supreme, and we especially love products that flat-out make things easier for us. The Flats Satchel fits the bill to a tee.
The Flats Satchel is stitched together from 1000D Cordura®. Cordura® is a company that blends fabrics and fibers together, creating material engineered for withstanding the elements. Cordura® has changed the game regarding workwear and outdoor equipment.
Attached to the satchel is a comfortable, fully adjustable harness that goes over your head and clips to the pack under your armpits. It is easy to adjust depending on where you want it to sit in front of you.
The higher I could adjust the satchel, the better. Relatively new to wade fishing, I have yet to break the habit of twitching my rod tip downward as I would on a boat or standing in a kayak. Finding the sweet spot took me a few outings, but if you work your lures vertically like the trout fiends in Texas, you will have no problem.
Inside, the satchel can fit a 7 x 11 tackle box (I used a Plano Box, Model 3640-1) and has a dedicated pocket inside to store soft plastics or anything you want to keep dry. A similar-sized pocket on the backside can store a cell phone, pliers, or a leader roll.
Feral Concepts makes products that solve problems and the Flats Satchel is no exception. It possesses a few notably useful features that simplify your outing.
Instead of using a zipper or buttons, which corrode easily, the flap of the satchel seals tight with a heavy-duty velcro fastener. It provides enough security to keep everything in the pack dry while remaining easy to open and close.
Molle webbing is attached to the front of the satchel, which provides attachment points for any gear you favor like pliers, tools, and nippers. Additionally, the Flats Satchel comes with D-Ring clips fastened to the bottom, presenting a perfect attachment point for your BOGA Grips, stringers, or nets.
My Favorite Feature of The Flats Satchel
There is a lot to love about this product, but my absolute favorite feature of the Flats Satchel is the accordion-style hinges expertly installed on the sides.
When it's time to change lures, simply open the top flap of the satchel, and the pouch lays open tray style, presenting your tackle box directly in front of you. All you have to do is chicken wing your rod or stow it in your belt rod holder, and you are hands-free to make any changes.
In the past I’ve flooded waist packs, or dropped things in the water from having to twist my backpack around when I needed to change a lure. The Flats Satchel offers a workbench-like surface made to minimize downtime so that you can maximize your time fishing.
I spent several weeks fishing with the Flats Satchel, and it is a game changer. The material is crazy durable; the pack is comfortable to wear and has enough space to be confident about the gear you can bring.
From the viewpoint of someone always on the go, The Flats Satchel was super convenient to pack up and leave in the truck in case time permitted a quick wade session. It takes up minimal space and, as stated earlier, stores everything you need to get that bite you’re looking for.
In addition to wade trips, I wore it on a few kayak fishing trips, which worked great. In the kayak, it was nice to have everything I needed right in front of me, limiting the number of times I’d have to turn around and risk knocking something into the water, as I am one to do. The satchel did not interfere with paddling at all.
The Flats Satchel is a must-have for every saltwater wade angler. If your ego is getting in the way of letting you proudly say the word "satchel," then check out The Wader Box. Regardless, make sure to check out Feral Concepts' complete line of gear and apparel at feralconcepts.com.
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