Gray’s Best Awards 2016

Acrylic painting of camper

ANGLING: Umpqua Tailgater Organizer

man sitting on tailgate with Umpqua Tailgater organizerMost of my serious angling friends have for years carried a Rubbermaid tub in the backs of their vehicles. These are great for holding waders, boots, fly boxes, wading socks, errant leaders, unraveled flies, and just about anything else you feel like tossing in before or after a day on the water. But after a few weeks of consistent use, they seem to become chaotic messes. Noticing this trend in gear storage, Umpqua built a companion piece for all those fishing tubs: the Tailgater ($80), which straps to any size Rubbermaid tub and provides an array of organizing pockets, pouches, slots, and sleeves to help bring order to those black holes of fishing stuff. I use the Tailgater as a base camp for gearing up before I get on the water. I keep all my tools there—forceps, nippers, spare keys, floatant, leaders, tippet post, et cetera. At the end of the day, when I’m putting my waders and boots into the container, I replace all my tools in their slots on the Tailgater, resulting in far less time spent scrambling around, wondering where I left that one thing I know I had yesterday. Some advice for those who don’t already own a tub: When you get one, drill a series of small drain holes in the bottom. Then get a Tailgater to keep things organized.