Fishpond Bighorn Kit Bag. The AWOL Bag for Fly Fishermen.
The Fishpond Bighorn Kit Bag, a perfect AWOL bag for fly fishermen, waiting for you at the door packed and ready for the weekend. Rugged enough to throw in the back of your truck or take abuse from an angry baggage handler. Room for rods, reels, fly boxes, your sling pack and a change of clothes. There's even a spot for a toothbrush, if you feel like bringing one.
As with just about everything Fishpond designs it's made to hold a ton, last forever and look really cool. I've had one for years and it's held up like a champ. In this article I'll go over every aspect of the bag from pockets, to buckles to the bottom.
The main compartment is enormous for a bag this size and measures 16" x 10". It comes with a padded insert for the bottom so it keeps it's shape and maximizes your packing space.
Leave the main compartment wide open, or use the modular velcro divider system to create pockets for specific gear, from small stuff like reels and accessories to larger gear like a sling or lumbar pack. You can configure it to fit your needs and it has plenty of room.
The Fishpond Bighorn also comes with a second, full divider which fits on top of the smaller, modular dividers so you can pack a second layer of gear.
Pack your fishing gear in the bottom and a weekend worth of clothes on top. It's ready to hit the road.
The classic anvil top opening is reminiscent of an old physicians bag, which opens wide making it easier to pack every inch of the space and still zip it up without any issues. All of the Fishpond bags have heavy duty hardware that doesn't fail.
The Fishpond Bighorn has 5 outside pockets, one on each end and three on the sides. Anything that didn't fit in the main compartment will find a place in one of them.
The two zippered end pockets measure 10x5x4 and are extremely stuffable. Easily pack a 12 weight reel, medium fly box, extra gloves or a ham sandwich.
Three side pockets each measure around 12x6. The outer flap pocket is flat and easy to access making it perfect for plane tickets, maps or an emergency Clif bar.. Whatever you need to get to quickly.
Undo the quick release clips to access the pocket underneath. It has the same dimensions as the flap but is slightly wider allowing for storage of bulkier items like fly tying material, fly boxes, etc.
On the opposite side of the Fishpond Bighorn is the third pocket which is even wider than the other two. I usually pack clothes in it as it's the inside pocket when I'm carrying the bag so it's a little more comfortable.
Two adjustable rod straps tighten down and keep it from shifting around. I've attempted to tie down two rod tubes but it's really made for one.
The Fishpond Bighorn has an impressive amount of storage space from the configurable main compartment to the 5 versatile outer pockets. Fully packed it measures 18x12x12, which sounds small but I can tell you I have fit alot of gear in this bag and used it on day trips, weekenders and loaded it down with fishing gear for extended trips.
Zippers, Buckles and Stitching
Fishpond has a strong reputation for making highly durable gear with the best components. They function better and last forever. Heavy Duty canvas, durable stitching, high grade zippers and buckles all make this a tough piece of gear that also has that cool Fishpond style.
Classic Fishpond style along with high quality quick release clips on the front flap pocket.
Almost every seam is double stitched especially at the stress points on pockets.
Pocket zippers are over-sized and super durable, perfect if you like to stuff a bag and test their strength.
The main zipper on the anvil closure is extra wide and also double stitched. This is a major stress point on the bag so they overbuilt it which is nice.
Handles and Straps
If you hate bags that slide off your shoulder as much as I do you can rest easy. The Fishpond bighorn has a large padded shoulder strap with a grippy side that stays put even if you have to run to catch a plane or chase a monkey who just stole your sunglasses.
Of course the flip side has that classic Fishpond look. The strap is fully adjustable and attaches with two plastic carabiners so it never twists.
The handle is fully padded and ventilated. It velcros closed and is fairly comfortable to hold.
Heavy duty canvas covers the bottom as well. It's thick and durable but not waterproof which is one of the few drawbacks of the Bighorn.
Four rubber traction pad keep the bag from sliding around too much and will keep some of the canvas off the ground.
What We Didn't Like About the Fishpond Bighorn
The Fishpond Bighorn has a couple shortcomings that are worth mentioning. First, the shoulder strap is attached at a diagonal across the top. It's designed this way because of the anvil style closure which is one of the best features of the bag. But, it makes it hang at a slightly odd angle that I find a little annoying. It's not a huge deal but something that I think they could improve on.
Second, the bottom material is not waterproof, or even water resistant making this a bag you probably don't want to sit in the bottom of a boat. It would have been nice if they had incorporated something that could be exposed to the elements.
I bought my Fishpond Bighorn because of the way it looked. It has a classic, rugged style with that old school anvil top. Once I started using it, almost every weekend, I came to realize how well it's made and how much gear you can stuff into it. It's become my 'Go To' bag when I need to bug out for a weekend and if you're looking for a bag like that, this is worth the price.
The price tag is $159.99. It's not exactly cheap, but nothing that's made like this is and I've found it worth every penny. You can find good deals on Ebay from time to time, I have seen some for around $100.
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