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Old 03-20-2011, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Vest, chest pack, or hip pack?

I think it depends on where you fish and how deep you routinely wade. I fish the driftless area spring creeks, wear waist high covertible waders and use a Simms sling pack (fits your budget at $60). The waders in waist high configuration cover 99+% of the wading I do. On the rare occaison I want to wade deeper I unzip the wader top, shorten the strap on the sling pack and I'm good to go. With the strap shortened all the way the pack rides higher than either of my vests. I suppose I could even tuck it inside the top of my waders if I really needed to, but that hasn't been an issue to date.

The primary reason I like the pack is because when not in use it rides on my low back totally out of the way. When fishing I forget it is there, it feels like just me, the rod and the trout. I tend to fill all the pockets on a vest and the bulging pockets (combined with my protruding gut) are always in the way making me hold my arms uncomfortably away from my body. The sling pack holds the same fly boxes as my vests (2 large C&F waterproof and 4 slim boxes). The biggest advantages of the vests are the back pocket for rain gear, lunch etc. and a D-ring for a net. I added a loop to the strap of the sling pack for connecting a net magnet so solved that problem as well. I'm still working on the raingear issue but I think it can be solved as well.

YMMV
Rich
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Vest, chest pack, or hip pack?

I use an REI fanny-pack (or hip pack, whatever you want to call it). It doesn't have any of the bells and whistles of a Simms pack, but it does the trick and it's durable. I just swap out the boxes depending on what/where I'm fishing, and good to go. It's just big enough that I can fit all the fishing gear I need, plus a small sandwich sized tupperware and a few granola bars, plus a bottle of water on the side (or a beer )

I don't like vests because I feel like I need to carry absolutely everything, and I can't decide if I'd like a chest pack. I think I'll stick with the hip-pack and maybe get a fishing oriented one so I can have some of those nice features like built in zingers and whatnot. The waterproof dry-creek one sounds cool, or maybe the flats pack.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Vest, chest pack, or hip pack?

Hi Ed,
I'm going to say go "old school" and roll with a vest since your just starting out.
Your going to experience the same thing almost all of us have seen and done, and guaranteed over time your going to buy many things you just cannot fish without. Your vest will become heavy with boxes, a camera, a net, gadgets, and doo-dads. And later on you will clean house and eliminate many of these same things. Going from a vest, to a pack of some sort, potentially even becoming a "minimalist" with only a lanyard and a flybox in your pocket.
This is all part of growing within our sport and finding yourself. You'll see over time many things will change.

I fish from a driftboat 90% of the time nowdays, and most of my tackle is in a boatbag, but when I walk-in and wade fish, I have my ol' reliable Simm's vest. I grab the boxes appropriate for the water I'm fishing and go. On hot Summer days I'll put a small bag of ice with a few cold beers in the large pocket on the back of the vest, or if the weather may turn ugly I'll put my rain coat in there instead.

With this said.....when I go Steelheading I carry far fewer things so I use a convertable chest/fanny pack. I've been looking at the Simm's pack shown above and think I may pick one up.
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John.

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