Originally Posted by dean_mt
What do you currently use and what kind of use are you looking for?
Ultimately it depends on how much you want to carry and where. The Fishpond packs that say "chest or lumbar" are really, in my opinion only lumbar, or fanny packs. I wouldn't want all that hanging from my neck and on my chest.
The highlighted bit from Dean to me is the 'key question.' How much "stuff" do you really need
for a days fishing? If you look at the majority of the 'hard core' river fishermen here in the PNW they're 'minimalists' when it comes to carting ''stuff'' around with them. One or two smallish boxes of flies, a spool or two of leader material and the odd (but useful) tools. 95% of the time its all just stuck in a pocket in the front of their waders and shirt pockets.
Personally if I'm going to be quite far from the Jeep I'll put some 'extra stuff' in a Fanny Pack (or as the rest of the world would call them: Bum Bags). They're light, don't get in your way and many have a water bottle holder or two as part of the rig (that's important!).
As for 'tools' all I carry is a 6'' long set of Forceps (they have a side cutter for leader), a large toe nail clipper (for heavy leader material and a 4'' file (the diamond kind) looped together on a 12'ish bit of heavy cord. The Forceps get clamped on the front of my shirt/coat and the other two bits just hang below. As for the rest, a couple small boxes of flies and two spools of leader material. (Do you really need
6 assorted spools of leader material on you?)
Using large flies there I'll use a regular set of fishing 'pliers' as you need to get the hook out and the Forceps may be too light for the job at hand.
But just for Jollies take all that 'stuff' you're presently carting around and put it on a table and ask yourself 'When was the last time I actually used that?' Not 'I might need that some time, but when did I actually USE that.'
You'll find your 'load' drop by 60 - 70 percent. And all that 'stuff' is just adding weight and bulk to your 'vest.'
One last thought about 'vests;' if you ever start using 2-hander rods avoid any vest that has large protruding pockets in front. When loaded they just get the hell in the way with every cast.