Fly chest packs or slings

dynaflow

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A veritable Pandora's Box this one.Do you primarily fish fresh or salt water? I'm firmly in the latter camp so require zippers that don't rust and fabric that doesn't fall apart after a few outings.Those that love bum bags (aka Fanny packs) love them,but unless they're the expensive waterproof ones they'll often get wet....with all your stuff in there.That's why I progressed to a Sling...specifically a Patagonia Atom Stealth (don't you love the military marketing here....lol) that rides high 'n dry,then swings around to enable access to the various pouches and a drop-down foam table where you can store your favourite Flies for the day and the ones you've used.
Orvis,Simms and Fishpond make a similar product.Mine goes in the washing machine on gentle wash after a trip away,then I lube the zippers before storing.
 

al_a

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I far prefer a sling pack to a chest pack. I don't want something sticking out from my chest while fishing all day. A sling pack will ride out of the way on your back, and then be slid around to the front when you need to get into it. And you can slide it high on your back if you're wading in water that's up above your waist, to keep it dry. I've been using a Patagonia for several years now. It's the right size for me, and I really like the rather spacious pockets (three of them of different sizes) on the shoulder strap, which puts those pockets in the front of my shoulder where they are handy when the rest of the pack is not.

The only drawback I've found with sling packs is that if you get too much stuff in them and they get a little heavy, the weight on my shoulder makes my back ache by the end of a long day of fishing.
 

Hayden Creek

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I have a Fishpond Bitch Creek. I like the versatility of being able to use just the chest pack or the combo with the backpack for longer days up in the mountains.IMG_20200504_114803_kindlephoto-674674110.jpg
 
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jzim

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I have a Fishpond submersible sling pack. Holds a lot of stuff. Love it.
 

caddis75

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My packs have slowly moved from a waist pack( fishpond), to a sling pack (vedavoo), to a chest/backpack( umpqua overlook 500). I like a pack that rides high as I tend to wade in deep-ish water. For a full day on the water I am very happy with the Umpqua. It fits everything I fish with in the front and in the back a rain jacket, water, and food. I was worried I wouldn't be able to see where I was walking, but so far, that isn't an issue. Plus I like having a little shelf I can work with.
 

Ard

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I have a Simms waterproof sling but seldom use it because I do 90% of my fishing using a jet boat for access. With the boat parked within a hundred yards I carry very little and it fits in the pockets of a Simms G4 jacket or my waders if it's warm. When I use the sling pack I don't overload, that makes it less likely you drop something and easier to find what you are after without digging. The water proof is stiff material but I use it late fall / early winter steelhead fishing when rain is very common so I went water proof. If you live in a more arid region Id reach for a regular fabric sling.

One great feature of a sling like Fishpond or Simms is the net holster they have. My Simms carries a Nomad Boat Net having the long handle for me.
 

proheli

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I’ve got the Orvis waterproof sling. It’s very good, kinda pricey, but they all are. The thing is, it’s actually kind of big. Besides the essentials: flies, tipping, leaders, there is plenty of room to put other stuff, water, waterproof
Jacket, sandwiches. Unless you are out for 1/2 a day, I don’t need that much space, especially in summer. So, I’ve been jonsing for the Fishpond Thunderhead chest pack but I just haven’t kicked out the money for it yet, but last week I did pick up the small one, the San Juan chest pack last week on small water fishing trip. It was perfect. Flys, leader, a tippit spool can sit to the side. Perfect for those two hour walks up the river. My point in all this is that you can be really mission specific with the sizes you get. I hate to get too much when you’re just trying to enjoy the morning or something like that.
 

Unknownflyman

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Out of those two choices sling pack, I have a fishpond and a recycled wader. I just dont like anything sticking out too far in front anywhere, vest, chest, modern vest/chest dont dig it at all. On my back away from my casting side, perfect. I couldn't imagine wading with not being able to see straight down, I`d die or swim a hell of a lot. :LOL:
 

LePetomane

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Fishpond waistpack. In it you will find 2 fly boxes, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho licenses, 4X and 5X tippet, spare leaders, floatant, spare nippers. Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all of that stuff.
 
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IdahoFlyGuy

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I’m pretty partial to my Orvis Safe Passage sling pack. Very simple, well thought out, and has plenty of room for a rain jacket, some snacks, water/coffee, tippet bar, whatever else you wanna carry. Keeps things nice and organized. What else could you want?
 

LOC

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I use a Patagonia classic hip chest pack. Although I have never worn it as a chest pack because I don't need to wade that deep.
It's a great pack and the nifty magnetic feature that I thought was going to be a novelty surprised me because it is super functional.
One of the outside loops has a magnet inside and functions as a third hand to hold a fly or your hemos or anything that can stick to a magnet.

Fishpond makes something similar in a oil cloth and if I were using a hip pack strictly for trout I would go with the Fishpond because it has fold down fly shelf on the front.

Sling packs are great as long as you keep em light or for short sessions. Not so great if you are using as a all day pack on the river. It will dig into your shoulder. I sold mine because of this.

For all day and heavy hiking. I'll combo it up. I have a Patagonia Alpine style backpack and throw my hip pack, water, jacket, food and everything I need for the outing. The Alpine pack is a true moutaineering pack so it has built in outside straps that easily carries my fly rod. I'll hike in with Alpine pack and once I'm on the water I pull my hip pack out and wear it on my front when I'm fishing...
 

clouserguyky

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I keep two packs ready at all times, an Umpqua Overlook chest pack w/back pack for most of my trout fishing on foot, and then a Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack, which is a lumbar pack with a shoulder strap, that I bring along and strap to my seat in the kayak, or I'll wear it when I'm wade fishing for smallmouth and carp locally as I don't need to bring as much stuff.

I like the Umpqua the best out of the two, as I'll often need to wade deeper, walk further and therefore carry more stuff, and that backpack is a huge help. I'll throw a couple bottles of water, some TP, and my streamer box in the back pack, then keep nymphs/dries and all the terminal stuff in the front part. I do love the Fishpond bag too, but it gets swamped often being around my waist rather than up on my chest. Also, I had one zipper issue with the fishpond, and they sent me a brand new bag no questions asked. I also LOVE the net holster on the fishpond. You have to use a magnet system with the Umpqua to carry a net.

Were I to buy a new pack, I believe I'd try one of the new Fishpond Cross Current or Thunderhead chest packs, which have the utility of the Umpqua with the nice net holster on the back. But not sure if they have a back pack option.
 

VaFisherman

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I use a Vedavoo sling and it works great for me. As a couple of others have said a chest pack blocks the view while wading and I felt like it was an accident waiting to happen when i used one, plus the weight on my chest cause lower back pain.
 

sparsegraystubble

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I keep two packs ready at all times, an Umpqua Overlook chest pack w/back pack for most of my trout fishing on foot, and then a Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack, which is a lumbar pack with a shoulder strap, that I bring along and strap to my seat in the kayak, or I'll wear it when I'm wade fishing for smallmouth and carp locally as I don't need to bring as much stuff.

I like the Umpqua the best out of the two, as I'll often need to wade deeper, walk further and therefore carry more stuff, and that backpack is a huge help. I'll throw a couple bottles of water, some TP, and my streamer box in the back pack, then keep nymphs/dries and all the terminal stuff in the front part. I do love the Fishpond bag too, but it gets swamped often being around my waist rather than up on my chest. Also, I had one zipper issue with the fishpond, and they sent me a brand new bag no questions asked. I also LOVE the net holster on the fishpond. You have to use a magnet system with the Umpqua to carry a net.

Were I to buy a new pack, I believe I'd try one of the new Fishpond Cross Current or Thunderhead chest packs, which have the utility of the Umpqua with the nice net holster on the back. But not sure if they have a back pack option.
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