Custom Surf Bags

It was pretty cool to see 3 custom surf bag makers at the Surf Day in NJ over the weekend. All three of them have fantastic products and I found them to be really nice people. It was a pleasure to meet some of them face to face for the first time.

Sometimes people will ask what is so special about  a custom bag? Yeah, I get the customization part but cant I just pick out a bag in the retail shop and be ready to go?

Sure you can but custom bags are much more than that. First of all, for many of these makers they are labor of love instead of business. People that make them generally have other full time jobs like pilots or pharmacists. The fact that they find time to stitch these bags in their “spare” time is incredible.

Second, yes customization is very important to some us. As we make transitions over the years from bait to lures to eels or whatever is currently rocking your boat, our bag often need to reflect these changes in the way we fish. For example, I like my removable rigged eel pouch more than any other feature on my bag, waders or jacket.

Third, the quality and willingness to embrace the suggestions of customers. There are some brands out there whose bags absolutely suck and the only reason they are made is to fill a gap in the line, theirs or someone’s else. There are companies out there who make bags which are more prone to get a hook imbedded into them then Lindsay is to end up in front of the judge…again. There are bags there that fall apart on the seams after a few days in the surf. And in some cases ,this is ok. If you buy a low priced bag, you should not expect a lifetime warranty to go along with it.

Fortunately , the three custom builders at the show, MAK, Ebbpoint and Commando all make quality products that I sincerely doubt will give you any grief with their products

Here is the video we recorded with Dave Rose from MAK on Saturday. I can almost guaranty that after looking at this video, you will understand what the hype is all about and the difference between a  high end bag and mass produced one

now the only thing left is to take the bags from all three makers, stuff m-80 in each one and see which one comes out the best  🙂


21 comments on “Custom Surf Bags

  1. Mo

    I truly believe that Mak Surf Casting has amazing products. I love his Bucktail pouch. I own his original 4 tube he made 2 years ago and the bag is extremely tough; worth every penny.

    P.S – I just want to thank Surfcasters Journal once again; I received the Super Strike Lure Giveaway today. Spring 2011 can’t wait!

  2. RGugs87

    I stopped by his booth at the Marriott show and saw first hand that those bags are no joke. I made the mistake of buying cheap and can appreciate all the “little things” he integrates into his bags to make each trip hassle free.

    I hope to add some of his gear when I scrounge up enough change.

  3. Mike L

    Hi Z, I was at the show on Saturday I went their to get a 3 tub3 MAK but the 4tube was as show special and was less then the 3tube so I looked at the other 2 guys bag and was very impressed. So now I’m slill scratchihg my head trying to figure out whitch one to get, all I know is I’m not going to get another $90.00 skins bag that falls apart half way through the season,also I got a plug hung up in that bag last year and after trying to yank it out with a niddle nose wond up in the ER,Thank God my son was with me, anyhow I tryed to say Hi about 4 times but you were busy

  4. Zeno Post author

    I honestly cant see how you could go wrong with any of these bags…don’t know anything about skins, never used their bag. I like their gloves

  5. Rob

    I picked up his 12 row bucktail pouch at the Marriott show,I was looking for a new way to organize my bucktails and it seemed to fit the bill perfectly.Dave makes a quality product and he’s a hell of a nice guy to boot!

  6. CTmatt

    You can’t put a skinz bag in the same room as these bags. That is like putting a VS against a Shakespeare Encore. Different bags, different needs, different budgets. If you are in for the long haul and don’t like tossing your gear out year to year then you need to look at the big three.

    Here is what I grabbed from this video and I am sure that this puts Mak in a realm all their own.

    You see the REASON why things are constructed the way they are. You see the thought that went into engineering every darn stitch. You see the problems we all have with the “wings” that cover the sides for the main flap and they went a step further to find a way to engineer the velcro INTO THE FLAP so you fight less with the bag and more with a bluefish instead.

    Personally I think each high end bag has their merit but hearing him explain how every stitch has a reason, rationalizing the need for a double layer belt, the triple velcro pork rind holder.

    When a company goes so far as to engineer probably the LEAST significant feature of a bag (pork rind holder) into a thing of engineering and aesthetic beauty says volume about their attention to detail. I applaud their attention to the little things that piss me off with my current gear that they found a solution for.

    Don’t get me wrong I love Ebbs, I know Commando also stands behind their gear 110% but with Mak in the room I think it is going to push the capabilities of ALL 3 big buck bag manufacturers to the limit. I love the competition because in the end it keeps prices in check for consumers and it elevates the exposure of Surfcasting so other tackle/etc folks see that there is a market for hardcore durable gear that folks are waiting cash in hand to purchase.

    I know this is only one sector but this shows that this aspect of our sport is blowing up and in the next 3-5 years surfcasters are going to see some insane gear.

  7. Rich m

    im in love with all three bags, mak simplicity of no clips very seamless corners smooth nothing to catch on, ebbs removable riggy,hogy pouch,commandos new cube with eel bucket idea so many products ill probly need all three.

  8. Tony Politi

    Z, on the video he keeps mentioning the website, can you post a link, I’ve done a search and just come up with other forums.

  9. David Rose - MAK Surfcasting

    Hi Guys,

    Thank You Zeno and your team.

    I just wanted to let everyone know what MAK stands for.

    M – Maryanne, A – Abigail, K – Kyle. My three children.

    I live and work for my kids, so I named my company after them.

    David Rose
    MAK Surfcasting

  10. Bob Mirynowski

    I came to Surf Day looking for a new bag. It was great to speak with all the bag makers and compare their great product lines in one place! After speaking With Dave, he sold me on MAK. I bought both his bucktail pouch and 6 tube bag right after you shot the video. Dave is all about the details in his product such as extra stitching at stress points. I am sure these bags will give me many years of service.

  11. backlash

    Thanks for a very informative video review Z. For those of us who can’t attend these shows it almost gives us a hands on experience with these bags and the craftsman who stand behind them. I can see that these bags were designed with a lot of thought from a surf casters perspective, which is the way they should be. After going through a number of “disposable bags” it really makes sense for the dedicated surf rat to invest in a quality product. It’s an investment, but so is the quality reels, rods, and other equipment that surf casters put into thier arsenal that (when they’re committed) it will save them in the long run. Thanks for keeping us informed and on the cutting edge!

  12. CTMatt

    David is that you in the video?

    I was trying to figure out on their site how they came up with the same…mystery solved!

    Very very thoughtful product. Imagine if every tackle shop/company listened and designed gear around their customers like that.

    Not to beat a dead horse but very innovative stuff. There isn’t a square millimeter of that gear that wasn’t thoroughly planned/thought out.

    The three way surf belt, stitching, etc. Impressive impressive impressive.

  13. Tony Politi

    I found it just as I was hitting the submit button, LOL. Tried to erase it before it went through, but I didn’t make it. Great looking products.


  14. pistol pete

    Besides being a great bag, my wifes intials are MAK, and my two sons, Matthew, Andrew, K…… MAK The whole family… looks like I HAVE to buy one!!!

    (My selling point to my wife)

  15. Terry Farrell

    I looked at these at the show and was told they are making a 2 tube bag for your belt.They make a great product


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