Fly chest packs or slings

teledan

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I just bought a Fishpond Cross Current chest pack and I love it! I don't notice any issues with visibility in front of me. I love the net holster in the back and the magnetic closure system on the front. I am pretty sure it integrates with their backpacks too, I need to confirm that though. I almost bought the thunderhead chest pack but the waterproof zippers were pretty awkward, especially one handed. The Cross Current is big enough I can put my phone, wallet, and keys in it in addition to all of my fishing stuff so I don't need to put anything in my pant/short pockets. The pack is super comfy too, my old chest pack had a strap that went over my neck and it got really annoying.
 

Tibi

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I just bought a Fishpond Cross Current chest pack and I love it! I don't notice any issues with visibility in front of me. I love the net holster in the back and the magnetic closure system on the front. I am pretty sure it integrates with their backpacks too, I need to confirm that though. I almost bought the thunderhead chest pack but the waterproof zippers were pretty awkward, especially one handed. The Cross Current is big enough I can put my phone, wallet, and keys in it in addition to all of my fishing stuff so I don't need to put anything in my pant/short pockets. The pack is super comfy too, my old chest pack had a strap that went over my neck and it got really annoying.
What is your experience with this chest pack? How is the net holder on the back?
I just bought one, but I am not sure about the net holder. Let say: with my old landing net it feels clumsy, but that is much shorter.
My new landingnet - FP Emerger -will arrive over a few weeks, I hope that will be much better.
It feels that the loop is flat and not easy to find it with the net handle. I carry my net with the net above.
 

proheli

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I've got the smaller Fishpond chest pack. LOVE it. extra leaders, clip tippit spool to the outside, room for a med size box of flys. Chug a bottle of water at the car and I'm good for 4-5 hours on the river. Just last week i stood 4 hours in the salmon river and it was perfect for that. Now weather is a different thing. I've got a waterproof Orvis sling, and if I need sandwiches, rain gear and more water, then I can use that. Anything bigger than that is hiking and camping gear.
 

pati

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Filson Chest Pack - Discontinued for sometime. I believe it was model # 130. they come up on auction from time to time and bring top dollar. I have one.
Yes I have one too but the “standard” version. I m dreaming of ever finding one in “foul weather” version.

An incredible piece of kit, very rugged and simple yet fantastically functional (as an example, you can un lip the underarms straps to make the pack pivot around your neck and easily access the back pack, the shoulder straps can easily be adjusted very tight to allow for the deepest wading, the wide straps make the load very well positioned on the shoulders such that you really don’t feel the pack, the construction is such that the pack doesn’t obstruct casting or vision of your feet -if you don’t have too much of a beer belly - for careful wading etc), it also has loads of space and doesn’t weigh much.
I love the “vintage” kind of look too, suits very well with a modern bamboo rod ;-)

Absolutely love it
 

eastfly66

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Yes I have one too but the “standard” version. I m dreaming of ever finding one in “foul weather” version.

An incredible piece of kit, very rugged and simple yet fantastically functional (as an example, you can un lip the underarms straps to make the pack pivot around your neck and easily access the back pack, the shoulder straps can easily be adjusted very tight to allow for the deepest wading, the wide straps make the load very well positioned on the shoulders such that you really don’t feel the pack, the construction is such that the pack doesn’t obstruct casting or vision of your feet -if you don’t have too much of a beer belly - for careful wading etc), it also has loads of space and doesn’t weigh much.
I love the “vintage” kind of look too, suits very well with a modern bamboo rod ;-)

Absolutely love it
I have to agree pati, I've tried a few other modern chest packs and prefer this one by far. I'm not 100% but I don't believe Filson made the 130 in "Foul Weather". The Strap vest was made in both stand and Foul Weather and easily identified as the FW version has the back pack and the standard does not. There are a few on the auction site currently titled as FW but they are the standard version. There's aslo two models of the chest pack , an earlier model has different straps that were a little more supple/softer and narrower. Mine has the older straps and are a tad stretched out now and Filson is going to replace them for me at the end of the season. Pretty darn good service considering I bought the pack in the late 80's or early 90's.
 

pati

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I have to agree pati, I've tried a few other modern chest packs and prefer this one by far. I'm not 100% but I don't believe Filson made the 130 in "Foul Weather". The Strap vest was made in both stand and Foul Weather and easily identified as the FW version has the back pack and the standard does not. There are a few on the auction site currently titled as FW but they are the standard version. There's aslo two models of the chest pack , an earlier model has different straps that were a little more supple/softer and narrower. Mine has the older straps and are a tad stretched out now and Filson is going to replace them for me at the end of the season. Pretty darn good service considering I bought the pack in the late 80's or early 90's.
I m not sure the FW version exists actually as I have made the assumption it does based on the vest... I wonder why Filson stopped producing this one, especially now that chest packs are such a fashion.
 
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eastfly66

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I think they stopped production almost 8 years ago , maybe before the chest packs came into fashion. I think they put their chips on the hip pack they came out with which I also have but it is pretty pricey. I will say this about it , it's Filson quality thru and thru and I'm sure it's going to outlive me. As far as hips packs go it smokes the competition bar none.
 

cooutlaw

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I started with a cotton vest back in the 60's and have had numerous vests since. Today the Simms vests are the best and I've gone through three of them. I've tried all the various fanny (always got it wet), slings (I have an Orvis my wife a Patagucci, awkward and unbalanced), chest mounted (OK in the salt if it is very small). Finally I found Umpqua's well built, Nylon back packing construction style strap vest, very open and airy, a rear pocket for rain ware and sometimes a flask, ample secure front pockets for 4 fly boxes and all the ancillaries AND a built in padded lumbar belt so the weight rides on your hips not shoulders. I clip a Fishpond holstered on its side adjustment strap for a plastic water flask and a heavy duty lockable GearKeeper on the back D-ring for my net.

Nothing is prefect and an issue is it is a bit long and I frequently submerge its lower pockets. My tippet spools all have crinkly paper labels and sometimes a tiny dribble of water winds up in a supposedly gasketed fly box, that i don't like. So, when going light with just one or two boxes and the regular necessities, I've gone back to an old shorty vest, light weight, stays dry and everything is right there accusable.

What do I want and don't see? A minimalist, short, strap vest with high vertical pockets for two boxes. I've looked at a few dozen of those bicycle vests but, color aside, have not found a suitable for fishing one. Any ideas on this product, gentlemen?
Filson Strap Vest?
 

patrick62

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I've got a bunch because I am always trying to find the ideal solution. I never find it.

At the moment, I am using an Umpqua Overlook chest pack/back pack for the lengthier adventures, and a Vedavoo Beast sling for when I am scrambling around chasing brookies. I also have one of those old Filsons around somewhere.

For floating around in a pontoon chasing bass I use the Umqpua minus the backpack, which just gets in the way.

I used a Fishpond mini chestpack for years, combined with a sturdy bike messenger bag for water, lunch etc. But that really started getting to my back.

Sometimes I get a bad case of minimalism and I head out with a lanyard holding nippers, hemo, tippet and floatant, with a couple of small fly boxes in my shirt pocket.
 

cooutlaw

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I keep eye-balling the Filson's offering - but it seems to be almost identical in size to Fishponds Blue River which unless I'm small stream fishing and going minimalist is too small for my needs. I arguably pack too much stuff - but I am OCD and like everything separated and organized into easily modular units, so I can pick and choose by the trip. My largest issue is box storage- I generally keep two dry boxes (one large attractors and hoppers), a small streamer box, a double nymph box, 6 thin magnetic midge boxes, and three small compartment boxes for san juans, pats rubber legs, egg patterns, and small terrestrial beetle/ant variations.....before I add the "tools" and "accessories" or water, or a jacket, or lunch, or bear spray, or a first aid kit, a camera, or anything else, most packs are full with just my boxes.....over the years I have bounced from Vest, to tackle bags, to hip packs, to slings, to backpacks, and as opined many times they all have pluses and minuses, I still contend a creel may have been the ultimate solution all along and I await the day a compartmentalized "modern" enclosed and water resistant version appears on scene (I have many concept ideas for the design of which I have pondered for years)......until then.....the search, I believe, will always continue for the ultimate pack....which has yet to be designed.

I still have (from the late 1980's) a Wood River tackle bag that was worn on a hip with a shoulder strap, easy top opening with slots for boxes and built in front tippet dispenser pouches, side tool slots, but it is nylon, not modern in depth, and not secure in it's containment abilities.....but none the less ahead of it's time in design. I've waited 30+ years for a modern remake.....maybe with drink holders, a molded zippered "workbench" lid, a false bottom for lunch or first aid, waterproof/resistant everything, and outside accessory points and lashing straps for tools and rainwear, and molded and padded body curved shaped design for comfort fit and to retain shape and ease of access....waterproof zippers containing the whole package.......any makers listening????
 

sweetandsalt

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Like cooutlaw I've tried all manor of fly box/tool carriers. Currently my zest is for a semi-minimalist system capable of two good size boxes and the usual tippet/floatant/thermometer/eyewear capability. I looked at an interesting one yesterday at the fly shop where I was staying; a Patagonia Hybrid Pack Vest. Does anyone have experience with this model? It is very light but adequately ruggedly constructed (in China I assume). I have two concerns about its absence of tethering D-rings and the elastic cord compression system on its mini day pack rear...heaven forbid you make a horrible cast and become entangled back there!
 

teledan

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What is your experience with this chest pack? How is the net holder on the back?
I just bought one, but I am not sure about the net holder. Let say: with my old landing net it feels clumsy, but that is much shorter.
My new landingnet - FP Emerger -will arrive over a few weeks, I hope that will be much better.
It feels that the loop is flat and not easy to find it with the net handle. I carry my net with the net above.
I have noticed that it can be a little tricky getting the net back in because the holster seems to close flat but it’s not too bad. I have a Rising Brookie XL net. The flatter handle of the Fishpond may help. You’ll have to let me know how you like it with the FP Emerger, I was torn between that one and this Brookie.
 

Daggerislandreds

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I love slings. They are versatile. I hate having something on my chest, it's just in the way in my opinion. I usually somehow end up fishing deeper water so many times, so the hip pack doesn't work for me. I fish saltwater as muah as freshwater, so I need something that won't corrode and is waterproof for those days in the salt that I might have to swim across a deep got. I have an Orvis waterproof sling. It's a great sling, but both pull tabs have pulled off on both ends of the zipper. Pretty disappointing for a $250 sling. So, the shop I bought it from is sending it back in to Orvis for repair for me, but I know the same thing will happen again.

Yesterday, a couple of my friends went in together and bought one of the new Fishpond Thunderhead Slings for a another friend that has had a bad run off circumstances lately. The thunderhead is really well built. All of the handles and pull tabs are stitched and glued and had an awesome zipper. I'm thinking I'll be selling my Orvis bag when it comes back and buying a thunderhead.
 

Virgin Cork

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A small Orvis sling with a guide shirt or jacket and I'm good to go. Over the years I have used about everything. I don't like having packs and pouches in front of me or at water level to catch line drifting in the current or flipping in the wind, and I don't want to worry about clearing my line on a fast run from a hooked fish. Traditional vests feel too bulky when loaded with fly boxes and accessories. I like to travel light and a small sling handles my flies and essentials, a bottle of water, couple of energy bars and ultralight rain gear, high, dry and out of my way. A couple years ago I sold some rods and reels I wasn't using to finance the purchase of the sling pack and a Simms G3 Wading Jacket. For me, this has been the best on-water outfit I have used to date. Pricey, but deals can be had if you are patient. As a concept, slings are very functional, and there are a number of good ones being produced as evidenced in the posts.
 

afishinado

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A small Orvis sling with a guide shirt or jacket and I'm good to go. Over the years I have used about everything. I don't like having packs and pouches in front of me or at water level to catch line drifting in the current or flipping in the wind, and I don't want to worry about clearing my line on a fast run from a hooked fish. Traditional vests feel too bulky when loaded with fly boxes and accessories. I like to travel light and a small sling handles my flies and essentials, a bottle of water, couple of energy bars and ultralight rain gear, high, dry and out of my way. A couple years ago I sold some rods and reels I wasn't using to finance the purchase of the sling pack and a Simms G3 Wading Jacket. For me, this has been the best on-water outfit I have used to date. Pricey, but deals can be had if you are patient. As a concept, slings are very functional, and there are a number of good ones being produced as evidenced in the posts.
After fishing a long time with a vest, chest packs and waist packs I also landed on fishing with a sling pack. I like the Orvis Guide pack which is the same as you mentioned above, but a little larger for all day trips. But I agree there are many really good sling packs out there, so it's up to you to find one that fits best for the fishing you do.
 

PallenHawk

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I`m searching for the ideal pack from Norway and here we have fewer possibilities (no local stores sell either Fishpond or Umpqua) and in the stores, t only a few different solutions from Simms, Orvis, Patagonia ++.
I use a stripping basket for most of my flyfishing (sea trout, salmon, and brown trout) this is the reason why a normal hip pack doesn`t match (I like it without the stripping basket). I`ve tested chest pack and didn`t like it, have also tested sling without been 100% confident...
I`ve seen the Simms G4 switch backpack and I think the idea is perfect -keep everything at the back, but easy to get access to what you need. BUT the pack itself is too (35L), have anyone seen a similar design, but smaller? 20-25L totally would have been perfect, 14-18L in the backpack and 4-7L in the "switch-hippack"...
 

original cormorant

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I`m searching for the ideal pack from Norway and here we have fewer possibilities (no local stores sell either Fishpond or Umpqua) and in the stores, t only a few different solutions from Simms, Orvis, Patagonia ++.
I use a stripping basket for most of my flyfishing (sea trout, salmon, and brown trout) this is the reason why a normal hip pack doesn`t match (I like it without the stripping basket). I`ve tested chest pack and didn`t like it, have also tested sling without been 100% confident...
I`ve seen the Simms G4 switch backpack and I think the idea is perfect -keep everything at the back, but easy to get access to what you need. BUT the pack itself is too (35L), have anyone seen a similar design, but smaller? 20-25L totally would have been perfect, 14-18L in the backpack and 4-7L in the "switch-hippack"...
Have you tried any of the Vision, Guideline or other "local" offerings ?
 
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