If you've followed Demystifly for any length of time, then you'll know that I love to pack on the light side. I always bring enough gear to be prepared for both the expected and unexpected, but seldom overdo it. Clutter kind of drives me crazy, and keeping things to a relative minimum allows me greater mobility, organization and efficiency. I also think it's a common courtesy when on someone else's boat to keep my gear tidy and out of the way. I know one fishing buddy in particular REALLY appreciates that!
When on a boat, one of my absolute favorite items to bring is my Simms Dry Creek Dry Bag. It is such a simple item but is so incredibly handy for keeping my items together and shielded from moisture. The only downside is that it's just a bag which means everything inside of it is just piled together. I still love the bag immensely and will continue using it for many days to come, but it's nice to have another option that allows me to organize things a bit better...that's where the Simms Open Water Tactical Box comes in.
The Open Water Tactical Box is constructed using hook and water–resistant 1680D ballistic polyester shell fabric with DWR coating and backside PU coating along with a 200D polyester liner. At the floor of the bag, you'll find a woven non-marking TPU-coated base which allows for easy and reliable water drainage. Of course, this also means if you set the bag down on top of standing water it can find its way into the bag, too.
All in all, the construction is what you'd expect from Simms. The bag has a very high-quality look and feel and all stitching is neatly done. Simms always does a fine job of churning out premium items that have a lot of eye appeal.
Starting on the exterior, there's a single side storage pocket, external webbing loops (for integration of items like the Open Water Tactical Waist Pack), front loops to hold tools or attach things to, and a removable padded shoulder strap for easy portability.
I really like how well-structured the bag is. It stands up perfectly with a nice square shape, and the top of it is both flat and firm enough so that you can put down a beverage or possibly even use it as a base for a travel vise. Come to think of it, I can see the bag maybe doubling as a fully-mobile fly tying station!
The bag's lid is secured by a large Velcro flap that when opened, reveals a vast area of interior storage space. When open, on the underside of the lid you'll find a water-resistant clear pocket with zippered enclosure.
In the main section, removable internal Velcro dividers allow for a bit of spacial customization, including plenty of room for Plano 3600 and 3700 boxes. As you can see in the picture above, I was able to easily fit three 3750 boxes with the stock divider configuration.
Simms also throws in four independent 12 x 3 clear tubes which are perfect for storing everything from small odds and ends to swimbaits or big muskie flies. Across the center divider there's a number of hook slots for drying off flies/baits or simply keeping them more at-the-ready when the bite is hot. Finally, additional webbing loops are built into the front interior wall.
The Simms Open Water Tactical Box is offered as an "on boat" storage system, but there's only one problem with that for me—I don't own a boat...yet! Until I finally get back into the boat game, most of my fishing is done from shore. With that said, it would be silly to think this box is only for use on a boat. It undoubtedly makes a great tackle storage solution from the home, to the shoreline, to the back of an SUV or pickup truck. Though not super portable to tote along while working shorelines on foot, it can be used as a kind of vehicle "base camp" of sorts for holding extra/backup gear that you might need throughout the day.
Dimensions: 17.5" x 13.5" x 12"
Capacity: 34 Liters
Weight: 7.25 lbs
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