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  1. #1
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    Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    More and more frequently I see guys using alternative means to carry their gear rather then use the traditional Vest.

    I have been using an Orvis guide series vest for years now. It holds quite a bit of gear. I know where all my stuff is without having to dig through different pockets to find what I am looking for. I use one working fly box that holds my basic patterns that I use on a constant basis. My other boxes and I have quite a few of them, hold my patterns that a specific to hatches or conditions that may occur. I have tried to down size it. It is a hard task. I always have that ominous feeling that if I take something out of the vest and leave in my gear bag in the car. I won’t have it when I need it. I don’t want to have to walk back to the car and get it.
    I have looked at alternative gear totes. I have not been overly impressed. The chest pack I foresee a few obvious dilemmas. Having a protruding bulge on the front of you would just give the line something else to get wrapped around. I also think that it would make you sweat excessively behind the pack because of its lack of breathability. It looks like a Chest pack would hold a good amount of gear. The sling pack I don’t get; maybe it is a hipster thing. It is way too small for all the stuff that I carry. I might as well us a lanyard. When I do drift in my canoe I use my gear bag to hold my stuff. So I don not see the advantage using a chest pack or a sling pack when not wading. The big point to switch from a vest is; the vest becomes too heavy on the shoulders. It does on some occasions but for the Vests ability to shed body heat and its versatility, I think it is still the best bang for your buck.

    So you have my opinion what are yours? If you have switched to an alternative means. Tell us why. I could be wrong in my assumptions.

    Similar Threads:
    "Hatchery fish have the same colors, but they always seem muted like bad reproductions of great art." Bill Barich

  2. #2
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    I haven't been happy with anything I've tried.

    Everything has pros and cons, but the problem I often have is not wanting a bunch of stuff hanging off my front, for the reasons you mention - weight distribution and screwing with my line control - but also not wanting to have to swivel a sling pack or lumbar pack around my body every time I want to switch flies.

    This year I'm trying something different. An old school, minimalist mesh vest (like this one), that can be added to a backpack or lumbar pack on days when I need extra gear. Ideally, this will be a decent balance. Accessible, frequently used items up front (tippet, hemostats, one or two small fly boxes), and any heavy or bulky items (water bottle, rain jacket, big streamer box, etc.) on my back where this stuff belongs.


  3. #3
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    You missed one. I use a waist pack. Basically a fanny pack. It has other straps and could be used as a chest or sling but I like it as a fanny pack. The nice thing about a waist or sling pack is that you can just push them around to your back and out of the way when you dont need them. I dont carry much gear at all so space is not an issue for me.


  4. #4
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Quote Originally Posted by mudbug201 View Post
    I haven't been happy with anything I've tried.

    Everything has pros and cons, but the problem I often have is not wanting a bunch of stuff hanging off my front, for the reasons you mention - weight distribution and screwing with my line control - but also not wanting to have to swivel a sling pack or lumbar pack around my body every time I want to switch flies.

    This year I'm trying something different. An old school, minimalist mesh vest (like this one), that can be added to a backpack or lumbar pack on days when I need extra gear. Ideally, this will be a decent balance. Accessible, frequently used items up front (tippet, hemostats, one or two small fly boxes), and any heavy or bulky items (water bottle, rain jacket, big streamer box, etc.) on my back where this stuff belongs.
    I like the idea of what you're trying - let us know how it works out.

    $90 for that mesh vest though is absurd for what it is..


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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Quote Originally Posted by Thursthouse View Post

    $90 for that mesh vest though is absurd for what it is..
    Agreed. Especially since there is nothing innovative about this. I grew up fishing in something that looked like it. And the materials are far from advanced.

    I'll find a cheaper version.

    Doesn't look as cool as a SIMMS sling pack, but if this were a major concern of mine, I'd ditch fly fishing for a cooler sport.


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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Quote Originally Posted by emoussa View Post
    You missed one. I use a waist pack. Basically a fanny pack. It has other straps and could be used as a chest or sling but I like it as a fanny pack. The nice thing about a waist or sling pack is that you can just push them around to your back and out of the way when you dont need them. I dont carry much gear at all so space is not an issue for me.
    Ditto.......

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Bought a Simm's large sling last year and didn't like it. I found it was difficult to get things out of the pack and the angle against my body made it hard to look in. It was great having it out of the way when you weren't trying to access it. Sold it for a small loss. For years I've used a chest pack and was trying something different. Just picked up a Fishpond vest pack and I'll see how that works this year.


  8. #8
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Minimalist - Stick a fly box in your hip pocket. If you know where you're going and what time of year it is, one box will carry more flies than you're likely to use.


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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Minimalist - Stick a fly box in your hip pocket. If you know where you're going and what time of year it is, one box will carry more flies than you're likely to use.
    This approach works great for me when dry fly fishing a WTS in the summer. I usually carry a small box of dries, a spool of tippet, floatant and a scissor/hemostat. I wish fishing the rest of the year was that simple.


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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    I'm trying to go for a vintage look this year.

    I've got one of these on my left hip (a Czech aka-47 magazine pouch).

    It holds weight, indicators, nippers, tippet, floatant, etc.

    I've got an old camera case like this that fits 3 of the slim profile boxes perfectly.

    I wear it like a sling pack and slide it onto my back where I barely notice it.

    So far i'm really happy with the setup. I just bought a waterproof point and shoot camera that I keep in my breast pocket and my net hangs off the back of my belt.

    Lacey: Where'd you get that pistol?
    Blevins: At the gettin' place.

  11. #11
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    That's drake as hell moose

    "Angling is extremely time consuming. That's sort of the whole point." - Thomas McGuane

  12. #12
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    Re: Sling pack, Chest pack or Vest

    Quote Originally Posted by MACFLY View Post
    That's drake as hell moose
    Moose, I think it's REEM!


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