Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Clam Chair - Review

My daughter uses/tests my gear as much as I do :)
Let's be honest... I don't just ice fish as a coping strategy to get by when hunting season ends... I LOVE ice fishing.  I've has some of my followers on social media ask me about all my "gadgets" and have made statements like, "that's a pretty fancy gadget just to catch fish".  Just like hunting or any other outdoor activity, your gear can make a huge impact on your success as well as how comfortable you are.  When it comes down to it, they are right to a degree.  A chair is a chair, a pair of gloves are a pair of gloves, just like in hunting boots are just boots, and a bow is a bow.  Where they are wrong is when assume that all chairs, boots, or bows are all made equally!

This post will give you my look at the Clam Chair... yes a chair! Now before you exit out of the post because you think I'm just going to talk to you about a chair, I will let you know that the Clam Chair is MUCH more than just a chair and it can change the way you fish!

















Here is my take on this chair:

Pros:

Dual Purpose: The main reason this chair caught my attention was because the chair could fold up and double as a carrying case/backpack with two adjustable shoulder straps.  Many of the places I fish, I often snowshoe into my spot or bum a ride from someone with a snowmobile.  The Clam Chair has the capacity to easily carry all 5 of my rods (capacity says 6 rods), my 5 JawJackers, my bait, ice scoop, extra jigs, and even my lunch and some extra clothes.  I always hated pulling a sled all the way across a frozen lake in the snow or dragging my sled behind someone's snowmobile and getting snow/slush all over all my gear.  With the Clam Chair I was able to carry all of my needed gear on my back and then hold on to my auger when traveling to my fishing spot.  This feature was great for mobile fishing when I would move around the lake to many different holes trying to locate fish. 

Functionality: The functionality is huge with this product.  The rod storage provides a enclosed hard case that protects your rods from being damaged while also providing structure for the chair, The chair has 4 other zipper pouches and one Velcro mesh pouch, that provides ample amounts of storage for whatever gear you may need to bring with you out on the ice. On the back side of the chair, there are two quick access sleeves where you can store a rod for easy access or other gear as well as two Velcro straps that can be used to strap down other gear.  Another neat feature is that when the chair is folded out, there is a padded cushion that folds down as well as a fish bag mounted under the seat.  I myself use it to hold my bait or any other item I want to access without having to get out of my chair while fishing. This bag is easy to detach and can be washed if you do decide to use it as a fish bag.  I love that the Clam Chair is a full size seat with back support while fishing.  This chair is a lot more comfortable than sitting on a bucket or some other small chair that I would typically use while ice fishing.  Anyone who ice fishes knows that the less gear you have to pack makes your trip a lot more enjoyable.  Rather than sacrificing a comfortable seat, the Clam Chair allows you to transport all of your gear safely while also fishing in complete comfort.  The chair only weighs 12 pounds which is quite light considering the hard case rod storage and metal frame for the pack and chair combined. 

Simplicity: I know you think I'm dumb for saying I love how simple this chair is... for heaven's sake its a chair, what would you expect... But in all seriousness, I like how every feature of this chair is designed specifically for ice fishing.  There isn't a single part of this chair that I don't use nor is there any bells and whistles that are unnecessary.  The more I use this chair, the more I learn to love how much thought went into each pocket and pouch.












Cons: 

Top/Back Heavy: One thing I didn't like when using this chair at first was that some times I would stand up to check some of my other rods and the chair would fall over backwards when I wasn't sitting on it.  I would have some of my gear still in the pockets of the chair which would put some weight toward to top/back so when I wasn't sitting on it, it would tip over backwards.  I ended up solving this problem quite easily by making sure my chair was set up in some snow where I could pack the front legs down or by simply placing a few items in the fish bag under the seat.  By adding a little (honestly not much at all) weight to the fish bag was enough to keep the chair from tipping over when I wasn't sitting in it.

Stitching:  This one is not a serious concern because it was resolved completely through Clam but I do feel it is important to mention...  I used one of the quick access sleeves on the back of the Clam Chair to store my ice scoop, and when I was pulling it out, the top of the sleeve ripped/came un-stitched.  I have had this issue with other carrying cases, shelters, and chairs in the past from other companies and I am not sure if it's just my bad luck or what.  I contacted the customer service from Clam who informed me that they would warranty the chair completely and make it right.  With the tear, I feel it was more of operational error than anything so I am glad they will warranty it, yet I do feel (and Clam agrees) that the product should have been able to handle a bit more before ripping.  Clam warrantied the product claiming it had a weak seam that shouldn't have ripped like it did.


















My overall consensus on this product is that it really is much more than just another chair.  I love not having to organize everything into 10 different bags or buckets and then try to fit them all into my sled like I am playing Tetris in a snow storm.  Even when I use my sled, I am able to fit everything in  my clam chair, put the chair in my sled, and then place my auger on top then I'm good to go.  This chair has been great for me when I have snowshoed into a few of my more remote ice fishing spots and it has made snowmobile trips stress free not having to worry about my gear getting iced up or falling out of the sled.  I have used more Clam products this year than any other company and have quite pleased at how all of their gear functions.  I can say that what I love most about Clam is that the people working for the company know ice fishing! I have email and called Clam to talk about products and everyone I have talked to LOVES ice fishing and loves what they do to help out fellow ice fishermen.  I have yet to have a negative experience with Clam Outdoors!  You can tell a lot about a company from how they treat their customers and Clam stands behind every product they offer.

The Clam Chair was a good resting place for this 14" perch I caught
Disclaimer:
As with all reviews on Idaho Pursuit, the following review is my honest opinion. I am not a pro-staff member of, sponsored by, or associated with Clam Outdoors and am not accepting any  compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.