Gear Review: North Water Pro Throw Bags | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
The North Water Pro Throw Bags stood at the ready all week long on Ben Duchesney's canoe trip. The North Water Pro Throw Bags stood at the ready all week long on Ben Duchesney's canoe trip. Photo: Ben Duchesney

See why this whitewater essential should have a spot on every kayak fisherman's boat.

Throw bags are pretty much standard issue on all whitewater boats and rafts, but kayak fishermen should carry a throw bag too. You never know when you'll need a high-quality, floating rescue line and if you do, you're going to want it close by and ready to fly.

North Water has recently released two new pro throw lines, their SpectrA and SpectrX. The bags are lightweight and feature a full mesh front so the bag drains quickly. There is also three internal pockets so you can also include a glow stick or rope log, ideal for night rescues, which kayak fishermen may find themselves in more than any other paddler. The bag's shape make it easy to stuff the rope quickly and there's a built in clip so you can attach the bags to a bungee or your pfd for easy access. 

Still not convinced you need a throw bag? Take this story from a recent paddle I went on with a few friends. I had just come back from a week-long canoe trip in the North Woods where I tested the new throw bags and was happier than ever about their performance. Since they did so well in rapids and were so lightweight, I figured I might as well bring them along on the paddle with my friends. I clipped the bag to my canoe's stern deck bungee and didn't think about it again. Until I needed it.

A friend was paddling in a sit inside kayak down the river, relaxing and having fun. She isn't the strongest paddler and she was one of the many that I had my eye on the whole trip. Up ahead there was some swift water, with a big stretch of downed trees (what paddlers and fishermen call sweepers) right at the end. If someone were to flip at the top section of riffles, they'd surely be funneled down into the sweepers. 

I told everyone as we were paddling into the swift section to keep far river left as much as possible, to avoid the sweepers on river right. No sooner had I said that, did my friend flip, right after being pushed into one of the first downed trees. She was pinned against the tree, half out of her kayak, with the boat quickly filling up with water. Because she is not a paddler, she wasn't too worried about her situation, because she didn't know to be worried. Luckily, that made her stay calm.

As she was trying to retrieve the paddle that was stuck in the submerged branches and keep her kayak by her side, I yelled across the river for her to let go of both and look for the throw bag. I tossed the bag as she waved it off, but I yelled again for her to grab it. She let go of the gear and grabbed the rope so I could pull her to safety. With help from my other friends, we were able to retrieve the paddle and the kayak. I told her later what happens when you get pulled into a sweeper underwater. She was happy I had the throw bag at the ready. 

You never know when you'll need a throw bag. Make sure it's a bag that will always be at the ready, like North Water's new pro series. You, and your friends, won't regret it. 

For more information about North Water, or their new Pro Throw Bags, check out their website,

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