Travel Essentials; the 5 Items we Never Leave Home Without

Fishing adventures are a crapshoot but most deep piles of doo can be circumvented with a grab bag of handy-dandy items

Experience and advice from experts has learned us a thing or two relative to travel essentials. Whether hiking into the backcountry or embarking on a saltwater ramble, we rely upon a mix of household items and fishing-specific gear to deal with the elements and inherent unpredictability of fishing adventure.

A prepared angler is a happy angler

“There’s more than one use for Vicks vapor rub”-Ray Wylie Hubbard

The angler limped along, bowlegged. The zopilotes circled overhead. Would he become just another unclaimed piece of meat in Baja? Salt chafing can shut down an operation and a particularly bad case in Baja nearly sidelined me. My coach, Mr. Hartman, reached into his back of tricks and handed me a travel essential in a jar of baby blue relief. Vicks vapor rub, applied to whatever neither region ails you, provides the sensual healing to fish another day. Chafing is nothing relative to an infection and staph could be lurking out there with the bones and barracuda. Every nick, cut, and scrape receives a dose of liquid bandage. Together at last, super glue and antibiotics creates a fine preventative first-aid soup.

Take it from Ray Wylie-these are travel essentials

Zip it and Rip it

The boys in the boat eased into the ramp with an oar lock fabricated from vinyl noodles…suffice to say, the zip tie can get you out of a lot of jams. Don’t get handcuffed without a bag in every console, compartment, cupboard and drawer. A travel essential, the venerable zip tie is the “Pippen” to the undisputed “Jordan” of outdoor handiness-duct tape. Why monkey around with the cheap stuff?

Zip Ties and Duct Tape team up as a sunglass leash

Nail Knot Tool and Hook File

Sure, sure, you’ll see my nail knot and raise me an Allbright, but this simple little tool can make short work out of a loop to loop connection in the fly line. I recall one day in Belize when a double nail knot saved our bacon during a tarpon event. A proper Allbright can be hard to perform with shaky hands pursuant to rolling silvers. Only the Twinkie rivals a saltwater hook for shelf life. While awaiting the arrival of sickle tails, show your Deceivers from the Reagan Administration a little love with a quick hone courtesy of a hook file.

A hook file and a nail knot tool qualify as essential fishing travel tools

I’ll have a Short Stack of Seaguar

There are few fishing scenarios that can’t be handled with fluorocarbon ranging from 20-40lb. Girthy bluewater beasts can be subdued on 40lb fluorocarbon, and 20lb. is just inconspicuous enough to deceive most bonefish and permit on the flats Tie your own simple leaders by tapering these three sizes using the “Arms Length Formula”. Measure one arm’s length of each size and taper the leader using a surgeons or blood knot modified for heavier line-rather than three wraps, use two. Leave the high-dollar leaders at home and go light and tight with a short stack of travel essentials.

A short stack of Seagur

The Run Between the Fishing Fun

Its fairly common knowledge among anglers that yellow or amber lenses will provide optimum blockage of UV rays from blue light on overcast days. Gray lenses, a good choice on bright days, provide anti-fatigue benefits and overall protection from water glare. Depending on the conditions, wear the appropriate pair for the “run between the fun” and keep the other pair clean and protected for the critical business on the fishing grounds. A baggie full of lens wipes is the mark of a savvy fishing traveler and just smart might earn you a free Rum Runner from your cronies when back at the base.

Keep one dry and clean for the run between the fun

Thoughts on Luggage

I still carry my rods on the plane. Not that I don’t trust the airlines commitment to deliver myself and personal effects to my fishing destination on time, but I don’t even think that’s part of the business plan anymore. In the modern age of commercial airline travel, every itinerary is a mystery tour. Wherever and whenever I end up, I best have my rods/reels with me. The ‘ol “duct tape 4 rod tubes together” does the job but some nations and airlines are getting picky in lieu of safety regulations. Rightfully so-a steel tube within reach of a despondent permit fisherman is a risky proposition. To assure compliance, consider softer luggage for all of your travel essentials

Jesus…Buster wants to fish