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May 14, 2013

Electronic Armor

Safeguard your phone or tablet with a waterproof case

One of the great pleasures of fishing revolves around the idea of “getting away from it all.” These days, however, technology is ever-present in our lives, especially with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets over the past several years.

Sure, you can still fish without your phone. But it’s also nice to bring it along. Whether for taking pictures, using fishing-related apps, texting friends, sharing stories and images on social media or — go figure — actually making phone calls, these devices help us keep connected while on the water.
If you’re going to bring one of these gadgets along, however, you’d better make darn sure they’re protected. And that means investing in a good waterproof case.

Protection in Many Forms


lifeproof cell phone case
LifeProof cases make an iPhone virtually indestructible; adding a Bike & Bar accessory (above and top) makes for flexible, creative mounting.

Salt water and electronics don’t mix. That’s a stark reality that many anglers have learned the hard way, shrieking in angst as their beloved iPad slips from their hands and drops into the drink with a splash. It doesn’t have to end badly, though.

“Our HardBack Series of cases is rated ­watertight up to three feet for 30 minutes,” says Keith Swenson, marketing and advertising analyst for Pelican Products.

Renowned for its all-weather, all-purpose, go-anywhere camera cases, Pelican began creating protective solutions for phones and tablets about four years ago. While its phone cases are not waterproof, Pelican’s tablet cases are — and most important, both product lines offer incredible protection from breakage.

But hard-shelled cases aren’t the only type of protective product on the market. Soft cases, such as those made by Aquapac, offer a viable alternative. No, these cases won’t provide the physical-damage protection of a Pelican or, say, an OtterBox Armor series product, but they effectively keep water out. What’s more, their soft composition makes them pliable, allowing a user to manipulate both the material and the device for a tight, near-custom fit.

“Got your phone in a bumper case? Your iPad in a silicone wrap? That’s cool; they’ll both still fit,” says Andy MacAuley, creative director at Aquapac, noting that the soft material is a food-grade TPU, a tough urethane that contains no harmful additives. “The advantage of a soft case is that it allows you to adapt the gear going into the case — and if you buy a different phone or tablet, it may well still fit in the case.”