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REVIEW: Plano 4674 Hydro-Flo – Ultimate Gear Bag

I like many others am a tackle junkie and when going fishing, whether it be for a day or a week, am generally in the mindset of “ill take that just in-case”. With an array of boxes, scissors, pliers, leader, sunnies etc, it all adds up to be quite a bit of gear, and that calls for a big bag that can hold it all.

Here we take a look at the Plano 4674-00 – also known as the ‘3700 Hydro-Flo’.

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THE BRIEF- What i was looking for

I have all of my lure sorted by type (jerk baits, minnows, blades etc) into Plano’s 3601 Slim line boxes. These boxes are great as they are just over half the height of a standard 3600 box, much of which is wasted when filled with small bream/trout style lures anyways. I was looking for a bag that would hold at least 10 of these trays with the addition of pockets for leader and tools.

Many bags these days are designed around either the 3600 or 3700 series stowaways, and most tend to run the boxes from left to right, and have a capacity of around 5-6 trays. While this is suitable for 90% of the population. I wanted more! After a while searching I came across the Plano 4674-00.

FEATURES

  • Includes five 3700 Series and two 3600 Series ProLatch StowAway boxes
  • Hydro-Flo impact and skid-resistant base
  • Two padded side pockets
  • Favorite baits top access utility storage compartment
  • Cavernous easy-access, dual-compartment side pockets with lift handles
  • Clear zippered pocket under top cover
  • Expandable elastic corded pocket on back
  • Elastic tie-down straps on top
  • 610mm x 336mm x 343mm

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Upon seeing this bag for the first time you realise just how big the thing really is. Having owned many other Plano bags and boxes in the past I was well accustom to the quality and finish that their products offer, and this bag is no exception.

STORAGE

The main compartment of the 4674 was originally designed to hold 6 3700 StowAways. Well I quickly scrapped that idea, when I discovered that a 3601 box would fit across the bag, front to back….. this allows me to carry a massive 12 boxes. Also in the the main compartment, you will find a clear zippered pocket on the underside of the top cover, this is great for storing flat and thin items such as maps, or a few packet of soft plastics. The clear pvc that this pocket is made out of is crystal clear and allow for easy reading and viewing of what ever is inside.

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The top section will hold either 1 x 3700 series box or 2 x 3601 series boxes, I chose to put one of the supplied 3750 boxes up here, i use this space to hold all my leader material as well as spare spools and treble hooks.

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The front section will hold a yet another box (3610) if your still looking for more tackle storage, however I have found this pocket better used for tools, such as boga grips, pliers, cutters etc. There are two mesh pockets in here, as well as a section of elastic which is sewn in place at regular intervals  to hold down everything nice and firmly, there is also a Carabiner clip for attaching what ever your heart desires.

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The two side pockets are identical in size and layout. They are quite spacious and well padded and are suitable for more fragile items. There is an inbuilt  “shelf” which is the prefect size for a pair of sunglasses or your car keys, and the main section of the pocket is even large enough to fit in a spare reel or two.

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On the exterior, we find an expandable elastic corded pocket on back of the bag, as well as elastic tie downs located on the top.

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HYDRO- FLO BASE

The Hydro-Flo base of the bag takes up 80mm of the over all height (nearly 1/4) while this may seem like a waste of space, it does offer a few unique features.

Often boat decks become wet dirty, whether its from spray, wash, rain or fish guts, the last thing you want is your tackle bag to be sitting on the floor soaking it all up,the Hydro-Flo base raises the bottom of the bag off the floor, allowing its contents to remain dry, regardless of what its sitting on. The second feature of the Hydro-Flo- base is to allow any water that does get in the bag (via the top) to drain out via the bottom through a series of holes, these holes also allow air to circulate throughout the bag preventing mold. The third feature of the base is to act as a structural frame for the bag, the sides are sewn directly to the plastic molded base, so you dont have to worry about the bag loosing its shape.

Integrated into the corners of the base are 4 skid resistant rubber feet, these have proven to be very effective at holding the bag in place whilst traveling in both boat and vehicle.

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Rubber Molded Skid Resistant Feet

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Hydro-Flo Base – note all the drainage holes.

PORTABILITY

Having mentioned earlier, due to the size of this bag, portability does become somewhat of an issue. Its not the sort of bag, that you want to be taking with you hiking up a stream or down a river, when full my bag weighs in at around 8kgs.

The bag comes supplied with a sturdy padded adjustable shoulder strap, with plenty of length. This is very handy, for those times when you need to move the bag over any distance or need to be able to carry it hands free.

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The bag also has two integrated handles which appear to be somewhat hidden on the side pockets of the bag under the plano logos, these are  quite handy when loading or unloading this bag in a car or boat.

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Carry Handles are hidden away attractively under the side logos

DURABILITY

Having used this bag for nearly 6 months now, it looks and operates like it did the day I brought it. Plano haven’t been round for over 60 years for no reason. The quality of the construction and materials utilized in the bag are excellent. Corrosion proof materials have been used throughout this bag with the only metal parts being the pull tab and slider on the zip and the small supplied Carabiner clip. All the zips used on the bag are hidden polyester coil zippers, which while aren’t waterproof, they are definitely more water resistant than your standard zipper.

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VALUE

This bag is not cheap, you will be looking at a retail price of around $199AUD, which is a high price for a tackle bag of any sort, but you do get a lot of bag for your money. There are a lot of other tackle bags out there which cost a lot less but for the size, functionality and quality of this bag I feel the price tag to be justified.

PROS/CONS

This bags features live up to the hype, all of the included features work well and there is not much to fault on the bag itself.

Only thing that could be considered a downside is the style of the included boxes, my bag came with 5 x 3750 boxes and 2 x 3601 boxes, the 3750 boxes have a strange internal layout and aren’t really practical for storing small hard bodied lures, if you intended on storing larger lures or other items they may work better for you.

The only other downside is the high cost of ownership.

CONCLUSION

The designers of this bag should be commended on their efforts, the bag is very well thought through and nearly all aspects of this bag offer a feature of some sort to make this bag more practical and easy to use. The main target market for this bag will be for boat owners, for land based and even kayak anglers this bag is simply too large and cumbersome to be practical.While this bag wont suit everyone, for those that are looking for an all in one solution, its hard to find anything else like it.

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Published on: March 24, 2013

Filled Under: REVIEWS

Views: 9796

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