Like any SKB product, the Tak-Pak Backpack Tackle System means business. This is a serious, well thought out tackle bag with backpack straps, basically a soft-sided version of the company’s popular tackle systems. Nicely sized, it’s big enough to hold all the gear you need on any given outing, and stands smartly upright where its 12 by 17 by 9-inch footprint fits easily in most sportboat tackle racks.
Anglers can stash a tremendous amount of tackle in the Tak-Pak’s 4 included hard-sided tackle trays and 5 exterior pockets. There’s a soft-sided insulated cooler for lunch or beverages that fits in either the top pocket or inside the tackle bay — clever. Other features include an elastic rod holder loop, key loops, dedicated mobile phone storage and a fold-out work flap.
The Tak-Pak is made of 600 Denier cross-dyed fabric with a water resistant coating, which is to say it is made of durable material that shrugs off water and, so far in our extensive testing, hook points.
Use: After a few trips with our Tak-Pak, we dialed it in to suit our needs. We don’t usually bring the insulated cooler pack, preferring to use the space it takes for an extra tackle flat in the main bay. One of the best tune-ups was dropping a length of PVC tubing into the rod holder loop, which adds stability to the stick you want to keep close at hand, either for rigging or to grab quickly during a hot bite. Various pockets are dedicated to hook packs and tools. Leader spools are best stashed in the large, top pocket along with a few other items we want to be able to grab quickly.
Bottom line: We’ve used an SKB Tak-Pak for a full year and dozens of party boat and private boat trips. It has proved tough enough to stand up to beating sun, saltwater spray, raw water washdown spillover and droplets of tuna blood — and our habit of stuffing it absolutely full of tackle including heavy lead sinkers. It’s still going strong. It’s a great alternative to a hard-sided tackle box or pack, lighter and more portable. SKB has a winner on its hands.