I’ve never been the most organised angler in the world, as anybody who has fished with me will attest. What I lack in order I make up with willing though and because of this I have managed to muddle along making do with my chaos. I have learned in the last few years though that chaos and LRF kit isn’t a great mix. It was a rainy evening in West London whilst scrabbling around on my hands and knees in the mud trying to gather the hundreds of soft plastic lures, drop shot weights and jig heads that had fallen from a box in my pocket that I decided I needed to up my game.
HPA aren’t (yet) a huge name in angling in the UK, which is why I decided to opt for their Sooper Trooper Hip pack. With a burgeoning reputation abroad among saltwater big game anglers and expertise in making equipment for various national militaries I knew before the pack even arrived that what I had purchased would be of he highest possible quality. A couple of calls to a few very dedicated Bass anglers on the south coast confirmed that HPA are starting to make waves in the UK tackle industry.
Straight out of the pack the Sooper Trooper comes with both the broad fixed waist strap and a removable thigh strap. I removed the thigh strap – I’ve got legs like art straws and it just looked ridiculous. The quality of the water resistant fabric is excellent and all the clips and fittings have been very durable and positive – I have never had the main waist clip pop free which I am aware can be an issue with other brands. The first thing I looked for was any metal parts as I know these will get destroyed by salt water. I found only two and as of yet they are both still functional though the spring in the drawstring clip looks like it was taken from the Titanic last week.
Unloaded the Sooper Trooper is nice and light but feels like it could take some abuse. There are two main storage areas, the main compartment and the front pocket and I feel that for the casual light lure angler there is plenty of storage here. I can fit two Myran Boxes full of lures and weights in the main compartment and a C & F Box to store jig heads in the front compartment. There is a large pocket that runs the whole depth of the pack which I use to store my six and twelve inch artery forceps, and a number of pockets and D-Rings around the pack for storing spare line, end tackle and other essentials. The pocket on the right hand side is designed to hold a second rod when not in use but I found it perfectly stores a Snickers – kudos to the HPA design team.
Pockets are great, I’m a big fan but pockets in pockets can be a pain. My only real gripe with the Sooper Trooper is that somebody decided to stitch small pockets inside the two main compartments and these “sub-pockets” are not only too small to store anything in but they really impede sliding your lure boxes back inside the pack quickly which is a pain when you’ve got a rod tucked under your arm, a rigged hook in your mouth and an unrigged bait in your other hand. Sometimes with storage less is more!
That’s a real first world problem, the Sooper Trooper is functionally fantastic. The pedigree of HPA luggage shines through in the quality of the materials and components that have been brought together to produce this pack. If like me you’re at a loss for keeping your kit together then the £30 you’ll pay for the Sooper Trooper really is money well spent.