In many ways, a gear bag is a personal item. Of course it needs to contain all of your go-to gear, but it needs to do so in a way that suits your style of angling. Some anglers like certain tools to be on a lanyard around their neck. Other anglers are obsessive about how their boat is organized. For all of us who are fast and methodical on the water (which is common among serious fly anglers), how we organize our gear cannot be taken lightly. That said, when the opportunity arose to review the Challenger Ultra Tackle Bag from Simms, some apprehension also surfaced, as a gear bag that isn’t just right ends up being completely wrong.
Perhaps the first thing most anglers will notice about the Simms Challenger Ultra Tackle Bag is how light it is. Though this is not one of the features most touted by Simms, it is an important factor, especially if trekking with the bag over the shoulder through the woods or on the water.
What stands out next is the numerous storage options. Zippers stand out all over the pack (in part because they are orange and feature a U-shaped design). The multitude of compartments on the bag make for more opportunities for better organization and easy access for more frequently used items. And as mentioned when we reviewed the Waypoints pack, we can’t get enough of these U-shape zippers that really do make using the bag easier. And the orange color is also smart — just makes things move faster on the water.
Inside the main compartment, adjustable dividers keep from gear falling into a disorganized mess. For many items of gear, this makes things incredible easy. Ever take out a fly box then everything shifts and gets out of whack? The dividers largely keep things in place. Huge.
As is always the case with Simms, a number of “bonus features” are added, including a rod tube holder, padded handle and shoulder straps, and a water-resistant bottom and removable rain cover for the bag.
The Simms Challenger Ultra Tackle Bag is new for 2018 and available now for $179.95.
Disclosure: Simms is in a professional relationship with The Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.