I spent this weekend fishing the White River in Arkansas. It was the maiden voyage of my drift boat, so it was a very pleasurable experience. But there were some important lessons to be learned after the completion of this trip. The biggest was that one should never take gear marketed as waterproof as gospel.
It rained a pretty good clip this weekend as we floated the 7 mile trip from the Dam to White Hole access on the White River. Before the rain, we had pulled over to the bank and McClane and I secured the gear as best we could to keep it as dry as possible.
One of the tools we thought we would use was our William Joseph Gear Bags, as they are supposed to be waterproof and float with 45lbs of gear. So we zipped everything up and took off down the river. After about 4 hours of additional fishing and off and on thunderstorms we reached our take-out. Upon loading the boat on the trailer and securing everything to be towed, I was surprised to see standing water in the bottom of my WJ Gear Bag.
The bag had sat on the rear deck of the drift boat , behind me and to my left, for the entire trip. It is an elevated rear deck, so the bag itself wasn’t sitting in any water (just the wet deck). Everything inside the bag was soaking wet — flyboxes, GPS Unit, FRS Radio, Headlamp, extra reel, fishing license, my wallet, EVERYTHING.
You can see a video of just how wet everything was in my bag by viewing this video I uploaded to YouTube .
Even though I didn’t pay for this product (both McClane and I were given these to use during our 2004 Trout Bum trip), I still feel that this product didn’t produce as marketed and wanted to let everyone know about it.
The bag is a sharp looking bag, and I really like the looks and storage capacity and layout. However it just didn’t keep my gear dry as written about in several reviews (Here is an example review), and I wanted to warn everyone before they just assume that something that is marketed as “waterproof” sometimes might not always be.