By Pete Robbins
I bless the rains down in Africa
When we traveled into the Amazon via a flying/floating sardine can, the wife and I were limited to 44 pounds of luggage apiece. I suppose we could’ve pushed it, but I’m pretty fond of the idea of not dying in a fiery crash, so we adhered to the requirement. We’re told that for our upcoming five country trip to Africa, we can have no more than 33 pounds apiece. That includes rods, reels, tackle, clothing and toiletries for nearly three weeks of travel.
It doesn’t sound like it would be hard to stay under that limit, but each item you add to the bag (and even the bag itself) adds more weight. I know that when it comes time to pack, it is going to be a struggle. We’re going to have to make difficult choices about which things must come along (extra chatterbaits) and which are expendable (her hair dryer).
One item that won’t be left behind is a rainsuit. In 20 something years of tournament angling, the one clear truth that I’ve learned is that you need to have one any time you go anywhere. I haven’t checked the weather forecasts yet, and South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia may turn out to be the five driest countries on earth, but with my luck each of them will suffer through their own “storm of the century” during our visit. Unfortunately, the quality rainsuit that I keep in the boat and take on most excursions probably weighs about 6 or 7 pounds and would require me to go commando and without deodorant for most of the trip, two conditions that could inspire an international incident. Not an option. Fortunately, I just acquired a kickass Nano rainsuit from Stormr which is feather light. I’ve seen them on a bunch of Elite Series pros and could tell that it was exactly what I needed.
While I haven’t tested it out yet (my friendly UPS man just dropped it off today), I have full confidence in the Nano. The Stormr Strykr suit that I acquired a few years ago is the single most valuable piece of fishing clothing I’ve ever worn – it makes boat rides in frigid temperatures tolerable. There are adequate substitutes for my regular rainsuit, my flip flops and my semi-lucky sweat-soaked hat, but on a day in the teens or 20s, driving up the lake, the Strykr is a lifesaver and I would not have been able to get through the Hartwell Classic in 2015 without it. While I hope that I never have to fully test the Nano, in reality I know that’s eventually going to happen, and I’m ready for a downpour, whether it’s close to home or while floating down the Zambezi River.