Price: $69.99 + $9.99 S/H
My name is Todd Jones and I am a professional fishing guide based out of Port O'Connor, Texas, located along the Gulf Coast. As an avid angler, as well as being a fishing guide, I am always open to trying new products that may make my hobby and my job just a little easier. Sometimes the product turns out to be very useful and productive, while other times it may not. For the past several months I have been putting the test to a product made by Skin-It-Rite, called the Collapsible Wading Ring. In simple terms, this is a floating mesh bag designed to hold your catch while you are wade fishing. Seems simple enough, but the difference here is in the design and details.
Just a little background here. I have been fishing for over 30+ years, all of this along the Texas Gulf Coast in saltwater that is largely unforgiving on most all fishing equipment. The only metal component on the Skin-It-Rite ring is the stainless steel cable used to form the ring. I have used what I believe is every form of equipment designed to hold/contain your fish catch while wading, from conventional stringers, Do-Nets with the styrofoam ring, and the floating mesh bag most commonly referred to as the Fish Tamer. None of these designs have the functional performance of the Skin-It-Rite Ring, and here's why.
First, as a guide, often having four to five people on my boat, one of my main concerns is storage for everyone's gear and equipment. Since I normally provide my clients with all of their wading gear, I fine tune what works best on the water, as well as in my boat. The Skin-It-Rite ring is collapsible, meaning I can shape it to fit inside of my storage hatches. It is very stackable, and I can fit six of these bags inside of one storage compartment. For comparison, a Do-Net with the foam ring won't even fit inside a hatch, it's too wide and doesn't flex. The Fish Tamer bags will fit, since they are flexible, but they are bulky and I can only fit three of these inside the same hatch. This is a very important feature for me.
Secondly, I want a bag that is very easy to open and close, preferably with one hand since a fish would normally be in the other. The Skin-It-Rite ring has a draw string opening, that can easily be manipulated to open and close with one hand.
Durability is also important, especially when fishing a lot in the shallow saltwater. The heavy duty mesh bag is extremely tear resistant, which is important when wading over scattered shell. The heavy stainless steel cable will resist corrosion over a long period of time.
I like a bag that doesn't feel like an anchor that is dragging along behind you. The multiple cork flotation system allows the top of the bag to sit high enough in the water that you almost forget it's attached to you.
Finally, the ability to keep fish alive in the bag until reaching the boat is also very important to me. For one thing, I tournament fish a lot, and many of these tournaments have live weigh-ins with a penalty for dead fish. I need to know that if I put a fish in the bag and may not make it back to my boat for an hour or two, that it will still be alive. Also, if we happen to have a few fish that need to be culled out at the boat and released, I don't want to have any dead fish if possible. The picture included is of a recent trip I took with four guys and myself. The trout were concentrated in one small area, and all very good keeper sized fish. Since I knew we were keeping fish, and would be in the water for a few hours, I decided to test out the capacity and overall function of the bag. I spent most of my morning going back and forth between the guys putting every keeper fish they caught in the same bag. After about two hours of fishing, and having what I thought was close to a five man limit, I waded back to the boat, about a hundred yards away. In all honesty, I walked just like I had nothing attached to me. I actually looked back to make sure it was. I got back to the boat and dumped out twenty-three trout, all in the 17" - 20" range. Not a single one of these fish were dead. I could have released every single one and they all would have swam away just as healthy looking as before they were in the bag. That's what completely sold me on this bag.
This bag may be just a little more expensive than some others, but I've always been a firm beleiver in "you get what you pay for"! It's proven the case time and again with me when it comes to fishing gear. The overall performance, as well as the lifetime guarantee, will make this the last bag you will ever need to buy. Get you one and start filling it up!
The Collapsible Wading Ring is legit. The ease of adding fish to it is awesome. No fight or a need for a third hand with it and the fish stay very health. When your done it folds up for easy storage which was huge for having limited storage on my Stingray and cleans up quickly with water hose when your done. Awesome product.
I have used stringers and the old style styrofoam Donuts growing up Wade fishing my whole life, the Wading Ring has revolutionized keeping my fish alive while Wade fishing and it's easy to store I can put 5 inside of one hatch and still have plenty of room and my fish are always nice and Lively when I return to the boat whether I make a 15 minute wade or a 2 hour my fish are always alive an kicking, it has saved me many trips having to wade back to the boat immediately after catching a good fish for a tournament with the wading ring I can keep the fish in there for a good while knowing when I get to the boat that fish is going to be healthy and alive and continue fishing.