Review – Fishpond Westwater Roll Top Bag

Fishpond is a maker of all things fishing and fabric related. They have been in the market for almost two decades and plan to be around for awhile longer making products for the every day angler. Their current line-up consists of packs, bags, tools, and lifestyle products such as shirts, hats, and luggage- all tailored to the fisherman. Well, I guess you could say ‘fly fisherman’.

The majority of Fishpond products are really for fly fishermen looking for top-notch bags and packs to hold their top-notch gear. This bag is no exception. The Westerwater series is an excellent boat bag for the money. But why?

What would someone want in a boat bag? Reasonable size that fits in a standard hatch, water proof, able to hold heavy items possibly, the ability to hold lots of small items for sure, maybe some dividers, and a shoulder strap. I just typed that list off the top-of-my-head but it gets the point across. In essence a boat bag needs to hold your stuff and keep it dry.

Specs and Features from Fishpond:

  • TPU welded fabric construction
  • Roll Top Design for added security
  • Signature Fishpond molded top and bottom for quick access
  • Fully adjustable strap for shoulder or top carry
  • Three clear interior zippered pouches
  • Adjustable Velcro® divider system
  • Four heavy duty boat lash tie down points
  • Dual hemostat/knife/tippet accessory attachments
  • 3.7 lbs
  • 1.405 cu. in.
  • 17.5″ x 10″ x 12.5″

I’ve used many bags on my boat in recent years, and thus far the Fishpond has come out on top as hands down my favorite boat bag. The Offshore Angler boat bag I once had can’t even compare to this one. Previously- I would use a semi-dry boat bag along with a roll top dry bag for things that needed to be absolutely waterproof. Two bags was a pain especially when taking overnight trips in the Keys where I needed to take gear from my skiff in the parking lot to the hotel room in as few trips as possible.

The Westwater bag itself is made very well. The stitching is clean and tight, and all of the attachment points are secure. I wasn’t able to tie this bag down onto the tip of the bow while skirting 6-foot chop, but you can tell when something is made well. The inside storage is also nicely done. Looking down inside the bag, the first thing you’ll see is a clear plastic zippered top compartment. I use this to hold all my small immediate access items. Underneath that the bag includes velcro dividers which you can use to separate medium to large items in the main compartment of the bag. I included a closeup of the interior compartments, material, and velcro below.

 

What can you fit in a Fishpond Westwater roll top bag?

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All of that. Spare prop, spotlight, toolkit, GPS, med kit, binoculars, chargers, and a ton of small items. I like to plan for the worst out there and this bag holds all my small emergency items PLUS more. Pretty nifty.

This is what a wet and abused dry bag looks like.

This is what a wet and abused dry bag looks like.

So how waterproof is it? Take this scenario: you are camping on an island only accessible by boat with two 80lb labrador retrievers that love to jump in the water and have the collective IQ of a banana. Water (and hair) gets EVERYWHERE (bolded for emphasis). This Fishpond Westwater roll top bag passed that scenario test with flying colors. All of my emergency gear was dry to the touch after two days of that camping trip.

All in all I only have good this to say about this boat/gear bag. It keeps everything dry and has ample space to hold everything you need. You can carry it to and from the boat with ease, and it fits anywhere you need it to.

The only issue I could find is due partly to the dry-bag-esque roll top lid on this bag. It’s slow to open and somewhat of a pain to close as all dry bag roll top lids are (you need to compress the bag and quickly hold the lid closed so excess air stays out). If I have something in my Fishpond bag I’m reluctant to go and fish it out for a single use. This might also be because the Fishpond bag is usually covered by fly boxes, phones, wallets, and towels in my front hatch.

Get more information about this bag on the Fishpond website here.

 

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