A solid construction, the Plano 3341 Guide Bag
Total Score: 7.58
We take a
close look at the Plano 3341 Guide Bag to see just how suitable this tackle
storage system is for multiple fishing applications.
Plano Guide Bag
8"W x 14.5"H|
Heavy Nylon + Plastic Frame|
Enclosed, 3 mesh|
About Plano: Plano has been in the plastics molding business
since 1952 and continues to be a dominating force in the storage systems for
outdoor activities. Plano manufacturers a huge variety of products ranging from
outdoor and tackle boxes to cosmetic storage and custom solutions for OEM
Impressions: Plano makes solid products and the Guide Bag is no exception.
When we first received the bag our initial opinion was that the bag was built
tough. The bag incorporates a solid construction using a rigid plastic frame
that acts a shelf for standard Plano 3000 series boxes, and the Guide bag comes
with four configurable 3600 stowaways. In addition these stowaways actually fit
on the sides of the bag so you can hold up to three more on the outside or store
them here for quick access while fishing. For storage of vital items like reels
the Guide bag features a padded enclosed top compartment.
The Real World Test: We loaded the bag with
all the basics and put it to a 4 week test....here's what we found.
The Plano Guide Bag comes with 4 configurable plastic 3600 StowAways. These are
in fact plastic boxes with plastic
that fit in various slots. The nice thing about this system is the ability to
customize the boxes to fit small items like terminal tackle and also accommodate
odd sized items like a full range of crank-baits. These boxes are built with
thick plastic and they really can take a lot of abuse. Dropping them on uneven
rock surfaces didn't even make a dent, and over all the tests not a single hinge
ever broke. Overall we were quite impressed with these boxes. They are a good
size, and best of they are in standard system. So rather then switch out lures
for various fishing you can simply buy more boxes (even with different
configurations) from Plano's 3000 line and they can be interchanged in the Guide
bag's drawer system with ease.
Total Storage Capability:
The Guide Bag's greatest feature is the use of a rigid frame. This allows any
box to be pulled and put back with ease without displacing the other boxes or
causing a heavily top weighted bag from sagging over. (If you look back at our
review of the Flambeau Tackle Station, this was one of our biggest gripes)
Another big plus is the use of a draw cord that snaps quickly over the shelf so
even at a slant the boxes will not slide out.
The sides of this bag all have extra mesh pockets
which can hold 3000 series boxes or anything you want. We chose to use these to
organize plastic lure bags. We also tried using the back pocket to hold a net.
The use of mesh is a big plus when this bag is on the water. Sometimes on rough
water when you get splashed getting your bag wet is inevitable. With Plano's
mesh design the pockets bag will not take on water, and the enclosed zipped top
does a very good job of keeping vital contents dry.
On the front pocket there is a flat space well
suited for papers (boat registration, fishing license, etc.) On the side are two
small thing loops that can be used to hold retractable clippers or other small
tools. We definitely would liked to have seen additional Velcro straps to help
securely lock in accessories like a net or rod holder.
A quick access flap provides
access to the rigid drawer system
Durability: The Plano Guide Bag employs 600Denier Nylon which is
water resistant and thick enough to resist a barrage of attacks from stray hooks
and rocks. We deliberately snagged hooks in the surface and pulled them out and
surprisingly the material thread did not easily pull loose. The material is of a
very good quality and can take a real beating.
When used on shore in often wet and muddy conditions the bag would get
wet and dirty. The bag's frame is effectively held in with a Velcro strap and
the front flap. When both of these are undone the entire frame can be removed
and this bag can easily be hand washed in a sink. The material held up well when
scrubbed vigorously to remove any traces of dirt.
The rigid system allows boxes
to be removed quickly and easily without disturbing other boxes or causing
the bag to sag
Applications: The Guide Bag does a good job
of holding a lot of tackle and organizing it in a quick access format. However,
this bag is still best suited for watercraft or shore fishing with limited
movement. The reason is that the Guide Bag can become quite heavy when loaded to
maximum and there is only one way to carry it...via a shoulder strap. This
generates a lot of pressure on the single strap which is thin and only buffered
with a slim rubber pad, which unfortunately doesn't offer a great deal of
shoulder padding. The addition of more straps, or an additional handle for
single handed portability (rather then adjusting the shoulder strap) would have
made the Guide Bag more usable for walking along the shore of lakes and rivers
On a boat when the bag is not being moved
the flexibility of customizing stowaways for your trip and the rigid frame make
the Guide bag an excellent choice for this application. In fact it is one of the
fastest and most organized solutions we have seen to date.
Plano Guide Bag
3341-05 Ratings (?/10)
quality, tough and durable material is waterproof
Does a good job of holding a variety of tackle and can be customized for the
trip. The rigid frame makes removing and replacing boxes quick and easy
Decent price for a tackle solution of this size
Good features easy to remove and clean cloth skin and rigid drawer system.
Needs more straps for accessories though.
||Designed to be tough and durable, not carried over long distances.
Would be better if their were additional methods in which to carry this bag.
Over extended distances the Guide Bag can put a real strain on your
shoulder, and the shoulder pad could be bigger
tackle system is good when used for certain types of fishing like light
shore and watercraft use.
Pluses and Minuses:
Not very flexible|
Rigid frame is convenient
Can't carry and fish |
Flexible drawer system
Needs more accessory straps|
Shoulder pad simply too small|
Conclusion: Plano's Guide 3341 is a solid bag that will serve
you well thanks to a strong construction and flexible storage options. While not
the best choice for hiking along rivers and lakes the bag does hold a lot of
tackle and excels on watercrafts or in situations when you don't need to move
far or much. The rigid frame construction makes pulling the "StowAways" quick
and easy, and the configurable boxes make organizing tackle a snap. If the
application fits your fishing style this is a good bag, if you want more
mobility you will want to keep shopping.
Until Next Time....Tight Lines!