A while back, we published an article about how to build your own DIY survival fishing kit. One of the ideas we talked a lot about was that you can build the best fishing kit using your own materials that you’re familiar with and confident in. But it got us thinking… are any of the commercially-available survival fishing kits actually any good?
The Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit is one of the most popular and well-regarded emergency fishing kits on the market. It comes in a “Standard Version” and “Basic Version.” We bought the latter, and took a close look at its contents, and how well it really works as a survival fishing kit.
Survival Fishing Kit Contents
The Best Glide ASE Basic Survival Fishing Kit comes packaged in a metal tin that’s about the size of an Altoids tin (maybe a little deeper), and is sealed with a “vinyl tape seal,” which is essentially a strip of electrical tape. It’s good quality tape, and stays sticky even after being removed and put back on multiple times.
The lid of the tin also has an interior rubber seal, and a desiccant is included. All of this is intended to keep out and control moisture, which will extend the lifespan of the kit. The official contents of the kit are as follows:
- Fishing lures: The kit contains one curlytail grub and one Tiny Shad, each on a lead jig head, as well as one trout fly.
- Hooks and sinkers: Six J-hooks and six split-shot sinkers of various sizes are included.
- Two styrofoam bobbers or floats
- 50 feet of 12-pound test monofilament fishing line
- Four artificial salmon eggs
- One steel leader
The lures, hooks and sinkers come packaged together or separately in four small zip bags, and the salmon eggs come sealed in a small plastic tube.
Substitutions Sometimes Apply
There’s a little note on the label of the Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit that states, “minor substitutions sometimes apply.” For the most part, that means you might get a different color curlytail grub or Tiny Shad, or the specific type if trout fly might vary.
The specific kit that I received contains a small tube of what appear to be Berkley Powerbait Crappie Nibbles instead of the salmon eggs. I happen to think this is a great substitution, and feel a lot more confident that I can catch some small panfish in the crappie nibbles than on the plastic salmon eggs I was expecting to get.
Ultimately, it seems there’s no way to know exactly what you’re going to get in this kit until you open it up and look inside. Even so, the folks at Best Glide ASE seem to be pretty good at substituting items that are of equal or greater value and quality.
What Works, What Doesn’t
The big question is, if you find yourself in a true survival situation and need to catch fish to sustain yourself, how good will a kit like the Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit really be? In this case, I find that this kit includes a fairly well-rounded selection of baits and lures that should work well in most situations.
The two jig-type lures are really solid choices for catching panfish and small bass, and are great for pond and lake situations. The included trout fly (I believe it’s a size 10 Mosquito pattern fly, but the exact pattern may vary) is a perfectly adequate choice, albeit one that might prove a little large for catching wild trout in a remote stream.
The Crappie Nibbles are a great inclusion. These small dough-style baits have a natural scent and are great for attracting perch, sunfish, crappies and a variety of small fish and minnows. They’re very effective when fished beneath one of the included floats.
The hooks included in this kit are perfectly adequate, but I’d really like to have some that are a bit smaller. The ones that came in my kit would be great for bait fishing with a live crayfish or nightcrawler, but if you’re using smaller bait like grubs or maggots (or even the included Crappie Nibbles) a smaller hook would really be better.
The steel leader is a nice inclusion, and could potentially have a lot of uses in a survival scenario beyond fishing. Same goes for the tape that seals the tin, and the spool that the fishing line comes on. Any time you can get multiple uses out of one item, that’s a good thing.
Making Your Own Substitutions
I don’t think it’s an insult to say that the thing I love most about the Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit is the tin that it comes in. Once you have a good, solid, water-resistant container, you can modify the contents as needed.
Like I said when I talked about making your own survival fishing kit, if you have baits or lures you like and feel comfortable using, don’t hesitate to include them. The Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit is a great starting point that can be altered as need be. There’s also some extra room inside if you want to keep everything that comes with it while adding a few things of your own.
In my case, adding a few smaller hooks felt like an essential addition. I also beefed up my kit with a couple extra soft plastic lures similar to the ones that were already included, and tossed in a small Rooster Tail Spinner, because why not?
My advice is, open up the kit when you get it, take stock of its contents, and decide what changes you want to make. The tape should re-seal just fine, but if it doesn’t, simply wrap the edges of the tin with fresh electrical tape, and you’re good to go.
Is the Best Glide ASE Fishing Kit Worth the Money?
Most comments I’ve seen about this kit have been positive, but the few negative reviews I’ve seen have to do with the overall value. The basic version of Best Glide ASE’s Survival Fishing Kit currently goes for $14.99 on Amazon, and it’s debatable whether the contents are really with the price tag.
But here’s the thing. If you wanted to buy all the components to make this kit yourself, it would cost a lot more than $14.99. After all, you can’t buy just one curlytail grub, or a single Tiny Shad. You have to buy a whole pack of them, and that goes for most of the supplies in this fishing kit. Purchasing packs of hooks, sinkers and other tackle just to pick out a few of each for your fishing kit would start to add up to a more substantial bill.
Of course, this is all assuming that you’re starting from scratch. If you’re an avid fisherman, you might already have a lot of this stuff, and you also might not mind spending more money on full packs of hooks and lures that you know you’ll ultimately use in the long run.
This kit seems like it’s an especially good value for someone who might not be an angler or have a ton of fishing experience, but who wants to be prepared to catch fish to survive in an emergency. If you want a simple and effective survival fishing kit without having to worry too much about deciding what goes in it, I’d say the Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit is a solid choice.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.