The College Angler: Packin’ It Up

Let’s be real, fly fishing is hard enough as it is, so, as a current college student, I know exactly what it is like to try and balance fly fishing with school work, life, and a limited bank account. For the next few months, I am going to be putting out articles with tips, tricks and things you can do as a college student in order to make sure that you have the perfect amount of fishing in your life without disrupting your school life or emptying your wallet. Welcome to the College Angler series.

As I enter my second year in college, I’m sitting down surrounded by piles of clothes, dorm furniture and “too much fishing gear,” according to my Mom, trying to think of the lessons that I learned about balancing fishing and everything else in my freshman year. Inspired by the sentiment of packing for school, the first tip I have for you college anglers is tackle organization.

Now, I know that as college students, some of us are not inclined to being neat and most of us don’t enjoy organizing as much as I do (yes, I love label makers). But, when it comes to managing your time, organization equals efficiency; and, the more efficient you are, the more time you can spend fishing! Sounds like a great deal to me!

So, here are a few easy, simple and helpful gear organization tips that will help you save time and keep your equipment extremely accessible:

Bins Are Your Friend:

In my opinion, all organization stems from things having a set place. In this case, using plastic bins can be one of the simplest, yet effective ways to organize, transport and store your equipment. Whether you want to be a minimalist and throw all of your fishing gear into one huge bin, or you’re like me and enjoy bins inside of bins inside of bins (bin-ception), this one act will already help you locate your gear during both storage and transport. Without having random pieces of equipment in this bag and that box, you can avoid gear getting lost or damaged while being able to just grab what you need and go!

Good Ole Sharpie and Tape:

Like I said before, I love label makers, but, just as good, is the ole sharpie and tape. Labeling things is the next step in creating a time efficient organization system. Even if you just have two boxes of gear and want to label one “Flies” and the other “Everything Else”, you’ve already saved time from potentially grabbing the wrong bin or it getting mixed up with other items. You can, of course, always take things a step further and label items within boxes, etc.  

Develop a System:

Once you get moved in, create some sort of system. The last thing you want is to have time in between classes and not be able to find a reel because you threw it on that chair that now has a pile of dirty clothes on it and now you won’t find the reel until the dead of winter (yes, whether you admit it or not, everyone has that chair). So, instead, you can start out with something as simple as having a designated “fishing corner/spot” in your dorm room. Used in conjunction with my previous two tips of using bins and labels, your equipment will have an exact spot in your room where you know it will always be—as long as you put it back where it belongs. It only takes something as simple as that to save time and stress and avoid the vortex that appears in a college dorm. Other system ideas include: creating an itemized catalog or hanging hooks on the wall where you can leave your fully assembled rods.

This is a foolproof, effective way to organize your fishing gear in college that will save you time and money—two things of which college students seem to always have very little.

Check in for the next installment of The College Angler for tips that will help you once school is in session!

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