Storing bass fishing soft plastics is a never-ending headache for most anglers. I feel like I've tried every method in the book but I still find myself frustrated and, of course, disorganized. I fished a tournament from a buddy's boat a while back and I had all of my plastics stuffed in a plastic grocery bag. I guess it goes without saying that it ripped midway through the morning and my baits were all over the place in his boat.
That ain't the way you want to fish. It wastes time and takes your mind completely out of the game.
I've seen these Berkley Max Capacity Bait Notebooks several times and I kept telling myself that I was going to order some. A few of its design aspects really interested me and I figured maybe they could help me become more organized as both a boater and a co-angler.
After finally getting around to ordering a few, I honestly think I'm going to order about 10 more. Hang with me and I'll tell you exactly why this ordinary looking bait binder is going to become a staple in my boat.
No zippers means more storage
The large majority of bait binders I've tried have had zippers and to be quite honest, I'm not a zipper guy if I can help it. They're hard to operate when your hands are cold on the water and eventually, they're going to break. It has happened to me more times than I can count.
The Berkley Max Capacity Bait Notebook, however, has a velcro strap instead of zippers. I wasn't quite sure how I'd like this design at first, but it turns out that it's incredibly convenient. Because it doesn't have zippers, the Max Capacity Notebook can hold a lot more soft-plastic bags than you'd think. If you can fit 'em in the included bait bags, you can get it to shut securely. I can easily fit over 20 bags of plastics in each notebook.
The bait bags are legit
My wife bought some bargain-bin sandwich bags a few months ago and I never thought I could get so irritated at a dumb plastic bag. The zipper thing would never close no matter what we tried. Short of standing on the dern thing, I tried everything I could to make those cheap things work.
They ended up in the trash. If she would have let me, I'd have shot them with Tannerite.
Thank the Lord, these bait bags are not like that. They're tough and they zip closed each and every time you try. You're not going to have to fiddle around with them in a time-sensitive tournament situation and they're easy to manipulate with cold, numb fingers in the winter months.
Solid carrying handle
I love to pitch and flip soft plastics. The problem is, however, that I normally have way too many plastics in my boat. I'd bet a house payment that I'd gain 10 mph in my boat if I actually cleaned all the old soft plastic bags out of it.
With that being said, I'm always throwing baits in and out of my boat. A large part of my job is testing new products, so the Max Capacity Bait Notebook has had a good workout with me. So far, I've really liked the carrying handle. It's not some thin piece of cheap fabric that's going to break after a year. It's a solid design and I can snatch it out of a boat compartment and toss it onto my shop floor without worrying about it fraying or coming apart.
Each one comes with a label
This has been a huge convenience for me. I'm always trying to simplify my soft plastics and this really does help. I've taken Sharpies to other bait binders in the past and while it works, you can't change things around much once you've written on it with permanent marker.
This is just a plain paper label covered with plastic. I haven't had any issues with the paper getting wet or the ink getting smudged while fishing. This notebook has been in the rain a few times and I still haven't had any issues with the label.
I plan to get more of the Berkley Max Capacity Bait Notebooks and label them for things like shaky head worms, floating worms, soft jerkbaits, jig trailers and ChatterBait trailers.
Meat and potatoes... the way I like a product
I'm a simple dude; I live in a little house in the woods and keep to myself. I don't get easily impressed by bells and whistles and I'm very wary of marketing lingo. I make a concerted effort not to get caught up in it because my job is to bring you the truth about products.
This product is all meat and potatoes. It's not going to jump off the shelf at you and you're not going to win a fashion contest with it. Its packaging isn't adorned with catchphrases and loud colors. But it does exactly what it's designed to do and it does it well. It's going to last a long time and it'll help you keep all of your soft plastics organized with a small physical footprint in your boat. I can't ask for anything more.