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The Definitive Guide to Travel Luggage

There’s no doubt about it– traveling is a wonderful thing. In fact, it’s one of the most rewarding activities you can do. Stimulating, affirming, and educational, the benefits of travel are unparalleled. But despite its incredible appeal, traveling can also be stressful.
So if you want to maximize the pleasures of traveling, you’ll have to eliminate some of its inherent stressors. And strange as it seems, one source of travel stress is your luggage.

Anyone who’s found themselves without the right baggage can attest to the surprising truth that the right (or wrong) luggage can make or break your trip. This luggage guide is designed to reduce your stress and let you get down to the good parts of traveling.

General Luggage Guidelines

The Definitive Guide to Travel Luggage

Before focusing on the specifics, there are a few general luggage guidelines you’ll want to consider before making your decisions. The choices out there are practically limitless, but these suggestions will go a long way toward narrowing them down.

Size matters

The last thing you want is a bag that’s too heavy to lug around or one that doesn’t have room for everything you need to bring. Depending on your budget, you might want to include suitcases of at least two different sizes in your collection. This allows for flexibility and keeps you prepared for any sort of trip.

Choose the material carefully

There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when deciding on the material your luggage is made of. The first decision you’ll need to make is between hard and soft shelled luggage. Soft bags make for a better carry-on experience and tend to handle shock better than hard-shelled bags. While obviously heavier and sometimes unwieldy, hard shell luggage does offer better protection for your belongings.

Plan ahead

Don’t wait until two weeks before your trip to South America to start shopping for luggage. This might force you into a quick decision you’ll later regret, so give yourself time to compare and shop around. Buying luggage is just like anything else– comparison is the key to satisfaction. Lastly, ordering online is just fine, but at least pay a visit to a brick and mortar store before any final decisions. This will let you test the bag in person and makes for more nuanced comparison.

Luggage Specifics

Hopefully, the guidelines above will help establish the parameters of your luggage decisions. With that accomplished, you can focus on the specific details involved in choosing the right bags.

Make sure you have a reliable carry-on bag. Traveling with only a carry-on bag is simpler, cheaper, and prevents overpacking. Importantly, carry-on bags can also serve your travel needs for much longer than you think, so they’re a must-have for your collection.

Decide how much you want (or need) to spend. The price you pay for luggage is obviously important, but finding your sweet spot can be more difficult than it seems. First, stay away from the extremes of dirt cheap, lousy luggage and ostentatious designer bags. As with most things, the middle road is best, but you also need to consider your travel needs. If you travel frequently, you’ll probably want to go with higher priced bags. They’re usually much more durable than cheaper bags and often come with a warranty as well. If you only travel once or twice a year, you can probably go with something a little cheaper.

You never know what the weather will bring, so waterproof your belongings for maximum convenience and protection. This means you should opt for water-resistant material or luggage that’s been treated with a protective sealant on the inside. Another way to protect against moisture is by lining the top and bottom of your luggage with the kind of plastic sheets that dry-cleaners use. Additionally, you might want to invest in a suitcase cover or two. They’re not super expensive and can increase the lifespan of your luggage in addition to protecting your things.

On a related matter, write up-to-date contact information (not your address) on waterproof labels and attach them to all of your bags. This allows for easy identification and gives you the best chance of retrieving a lost bag.

It’s also helpful to think about the features you want your luggage to have. Wheels are almost always a good idea, as is a telescoping handle. Multiple compartments are extremely helpful as well, especially if you’ll be rushing around during your trip and want to avoid rummaging around every time you need something. You’ll want the added security of a lockable suitcase as well. When traveling, you should always expect the unexpected and security is no longer optional.

Final Tips

  • In conclusion, here are a few quick luggage tips to help ensure the best possible travel experience:
    If you end up ordering online, make sure to leave enough time to return the luggage if you’re not satisfied.
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers you in case of lost or stolen bags.
  • Make sure you thoroughly understand the luggage weight and volume requirements of the airline you’re using. This will save time and money, as well as prevent unnecessary frustration.
  • Make sure that the luggage you take on a given trip matches up with the maneuverability challenges it’s likely to present.
  • Lastly, let the phrase ‘don’t overpack’ be your travel mantra. You always need less than you think, so if it’s not absolutely required, leave it at home. This will make any luggage you choose that much more appropriate.

Author: Pepe Gonzalez is a tour guide located in Key West Florida.

5 essential pieces of kit for novice fishermen

If you’re thinking of taking up fishing as a pastime, then you’re about to take your first step into an activity which requires a great deal of skill, finesse and accuracy. Fishing is also a hobby which can bring you a lot of joy if you’ve got the time and patience to learn. As you set out, the various techniques and pieces of equipment out there may cause you some confusion.

Below is our “idiot’s” guide to the some of the essential pieces of kit you will need to invest in if you’re thinking of taking the plunge (forgive the pun) and devoting your idle hours to the pursuit of fishing.

1 – A rod and reel set

Best Fishing Reel Cleaning KitThis is where you need to start. A good rod and reel are essential to helping you build your confidence as you start. Your rod and reel will be your trustiest friend, and you will need to be comfortable with whatever you pick. A rod and reel combo set is the best option for beginners, as it allows you to grasp the basics of fishing and begin to get a handle on your technique.

The other great advantage of rod and reel sets is that they are relatively inexpensive, meaning that if you decide fishing isn’t for you, you’re not going mad with your money.

What to look for in your first reel

  • The ideal reel needs to be about thirty centimeters longer than your height.
  • The rod needs to responsive; it’s essential you can feel the fish bite and are able to pull them out of the water.
  • Spincasting reels are the best option for absolute beginners, as the line can be cast automatically, mounted on top of the fishing rod.
  • Baitcasting reels are manually controlled, and offer greater distance, but they are perhaps more suitable for someone whose technique is more advanced.
  • It needs to have the necessary weight and lifting power that you are able to practice catching different types of fish.

2 – Fishing line

The experts say that a monofilament is your best bet for a beginner. Durability is key for fishing line; they are classified in terms of their breaking strength, which is the weight they will support. Obviously, the breaking strength of the line needs to be matched with the size and weight of the fish you are trying to catch, so you need to bear this in mind when purchasing; if you’re planning on going for bigger fishing then you will need a rod with a greater breaking strength.

3 – Fishing hooks

fishing hooksAgain, as you grow more accustomed to fishing, you will want to practice with different types of hook. It’s important to understand the size classifications of different types of hook; the higher the number, the smaller the hook. Any size classification beginning with a 1 or 2 is best for a beginner, as it’s likely you’ll be starting on smaller fish, and you will want to learn precision catching.

4 – Baits and lures

fishing luresLures and baits are both integral to learning your fish-catching technique. Lures are like decoys which, you guessed it, enable you to “lure” your fish to the bait. Fishing spoons are a popular form of lure, as they mimic the shape and behavior of prey. Meanwhile worms and insects make the most effective form of fishing bait. You will need to match the size of the bait to the size of the fish.

The types of fishing bait you use will most likely depend on what kind of water you are fishing in, and the kind of fish you are looking to catch. Weather and water conditions can of course, have an effect on the feeding patterns of the fish, which in turn will affect the kind of bait you use.

5 – Floats and sinkers

fishing floaters

Floats are used to keep bait close to the surface, allowing you to lure in fish feeding close to the surface. Sinkers provide casting weight, weighing down your bait and line so that you are successfully fishing at the level where fish are likely to be feeding.

Final words

This list of supplies is not exhaustive, but these are arguably the essential pieces of equipment for getting you comfortable with the strategies and techniques of fishing. The most important thing you need as you start out is a willingness to have fun, and the patience that comes with being a novice.


Basstastic offers fishing equipment, clothing and accessories for both beginner and professional anglers and fishermen.

Tips and Advice on Fishing

So, you want to catch the big fish?  Do you know fishing is more than just throwing the bait in the water?

It’s relaxing, fun-filled and can be a perfect thing to enjoy with family. Just chose your fishing location and start filling your fishing basket.  While catching fish seems like a piece of cake, casting the line and filling the fish basket need profound knowledge and experience. You should know the water area, the type of fish you are going to catch and the right equipment.

Since each fish is unique and comes from different parts of rivers, lakes, and bays, catching them require special tricks and skills. What works one kind of fish perhaps won’t work on another type!

Without further ado, have a look at some tips and tricks to catch the fish with precision and technique.

Choose The Right Equipment

Choose The Right Fishing Equipment

Image source

There are many fishing rods and reels available, however choosing the best spinning reel and the most suitable one is important. Choosing the right fishing rod depends on the kind of fish you want to catch. Look for the rods that offer hard grip or handle to provide firm hold when retrieving or casting a fish. Every rod has its balance and strength. While heavy rods are powerful, longer ones reach farther.

Once you are done choosing the equipment, look for the reel that matches the rod. Also, the reel and the rod should match the weight of the bait and lure. Don’t move your fishing rod much, if you have picked the plastic baits like craws, worms, and Senkos. Artificial or electronic baits may attract some fish, the shiny reflective lures can hamper the fish eyes.

Also, make sure to carry the tackle boxes for keeping things like hooks, lures, extra line and knife.

Find a good fishing Location

Location plays a very curtail role in choosing the fish. If you are fishing at:

Freshwater

Freshwater fishing means you will get the least salinity. You can go at ponds, lakes streams or even rivers to find the fresh water. For this kind of fishing:

  • Use a slip bobber: a slip bobber is nothing but a bobber that features a hollow hole passing through it. With this, you will be able to tie the knot to help you set the depth.
  • Bait: The best baits you can use in freshwater are minnows, wax worms, crayfish, and worms. You can also use frogs, leeches, and other ball type food to attract fish. Artificial baits also work best but don’t jerk much while using them.
  • Wash hands: When fishing in fresh water, wash your hands properly to remove any foul smell from the bait. Failing which, the fish will ward off, and you will end up with no fish in hands.

Fishing in fresh water

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Ice-fishing

So you want to do ice-fishing? Have a look at the tips to help you:

  • The depth of the hole: fish usually stay at a specific depth in winters making it easy to catch them. Grab the knowledge about the place and catch your favorite fish.
  • Move slowly: fish don’t like to expend much energy during winters, so don’t move the rod and bait too fast. You may end up losing the fish.
  • Keep the hole covered: if you are fishing at the shallow area, use ice-shaving to prevent light reflecting the surface. However, the light attracts small plankton and crappies, which mean you, can catch them with ease.

Lake Fishing

Lake fishing is quite tempting and is filled with tranquility. If you have plans to spend your relaxing day catching fish at the lake, have a look at some of the tips you should know:

  • Look for inlets and outlets: Fish also like living at specific temperatures. So, look for the places that are cooler as compared to another area of. The place where water enters and drain out of the lake are usually more relaxed, cooler and loved by the fish. Baitfish there and catch the one.
  • Search sunken structures: When fishing at the lake, look for the places like branches, downed trees and other habitats for fish to catch them.

Know the fish

Whether you want a large mouth fish or you are looking for a stripped one, or you have plans to catch the small mouth fish, catching them require specific knowledge and skill set. Every species is different, while some get quickly caught in the bait, some need special techniques. Fishes like crap, bluegills, Muskie, Lake Trout and many other have diverse needs of bait, fishing rod, and many other things.

Use hook with long shank for small fish

Fish like perch, scup, and sunfish have short-biting and thus use small mouth to grab the bait. They easily tear the bait from the dangled hook and move. However, to trap them in the bait, use long hooks that have a long shank and a small gap.

Also, make sure to tie the lure with the thread on the hook so that the fish will not steal it. You can use this method for catching night crawlers, squid strips and sea worms.

Know The Law

It’s important to know the rule of the country where you are heading for fishing as some countries restrict on some specific size and quality of the fish. Some states even demand of having a fishing license to catch the fish. To make sure you meet all necessary laws and conditions, do contact a fishery department before heading to the place.

Stay Awake And Prepared

Safety is the paramount thing to be considered when fishing. Some of the common yet important things to know are:

  • Do a weather-check. Be aware of the tidal situation and swell conditions.
  • Dress-properly; wear light clothes and boots. Try layers when you are not aware of the weather. If you have long hairs, tie them back.
  • If you are doing ice-fishing or rock-fishing, never go alone.
  • Ask fishing experts if you are fishing to a new place.
  • Bring outdoor safety supplies like sunscreen, dry matches, filler knife and bug spray.

Final Thoughts

So now you know all the fishing traits, fill your fish quota of the day and bring your inner chef out to prepare the hot shore dinner!

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