Fly chest packs or slings

gretch6364

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Troutbitten makes a convincing case for the Simms G3 vest instead of a sling or pack. But 250 bucks is a lot of money.

Yeah...not a chance. I have been wearing a lumbar pack with a shoulder strap the last 15 years. I always have to spin it around to access and always have it around the back when fishing. I just hope the sling is the next step up and stay more dry.
 

Rabid Rider

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I am more of a waist bag guy. Can just spin it around and get what i want and it is out of the way..But it will get wet if you get very deep..
 
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SerialNumber

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I love the Umpqua Overlook ZS2 Chest Pack. I was worried at first about not being able to see down to my feet, especially since I do a lot of sneaking into hard-to-get places, climbing over rocks, etc., but found that I adjusted and have no downward vision issues. I especially like being able to take the backpack portion along if I need to, or just go with the slimmer mesh back.

I do wish it had some sewn-in loops on the insides of the compartments. There are lots on the outsides, but none inside, and I like to have things on a tether of some sort for when my inner fumbling idiot decides to make an appearance. I'm going to replace the foam fly patch, too. Flies are OK for a while there, but I've lost some when I'm in fish-fighting mode, and some brush by my arm or something knocks one loose. Lastly, the net sling on the backpack part is awkward, because it only works for those who want their net oriented in that specific way, which I imagine are a minority. It's a stiff thing, permanently sewn on to the back of the backpack. I don't get that design choice.

But these are small gripes, and overall it's a great pack for me. I like to have a decent amount of gear with me, even when I'm hiking 2 hours down a difficult trail to a river.
 

sparsegraystubble

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I love the Umpqua Overlook ZS2 Chest Pack. I was worried at first about not being able to see down to my feet, especially since I do a lot of sneaking into hard-to-get places, climbing over rocks, etc., but found that I adjusted and have no downward vision issues. I especially like being able to take the backpack portion along if I need to, or just go with the slimmer mesh back.

I do wish it had some sewn-in loops on the insides of the compartments. There are lots on the outsides, but none inside, and I like to have things on a tether of some sort for when my inner fumbling idiot decides to make an appearance. I'm going to replace the foam fly patch, too. Flies are OK for a while there, but I've lost some when I'm in fish-fighting mode, and some brush by my arm or something knocks one loose. Lastly, the net sling on the backpack part is awkward, because it only works for those who want their net oriented in that specific way, which I imagine are a minority. It's a stiff thing, permanently sewn on to the back of the backpack. I don't get that design choice.

But these are small gripes, and overall it's a great pack for me. I like to have a decent amount of gear with me, even when I'm hiking 2 hours down a difficult trail to a river.
I like that Umpqua pack quite a bit and have the newer (ZS2) and older versions as well as the smaller Rock Creek pack. I have thought about having a local seamstress install some inside loops and some inside pockets in the backpack for organization. Several things have made the pack more convenient for me.

1. Replace the foam fly patch with the small enclosed box made by C&F. It comes with a pin but I glued Velcro tape to the back and use that as an attachment.

2. The various versions of the backpack are all interchangeable. I use the older one without the net holster when carrying the net in some other way. Those older version show up both new and used on eBat fairly often.

3. I also will use a vest and the Umpqua wading belt to carry a wading staff and the net.

Yes, I have way too much invested in packs and options.

Don
 

patrick62

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^ The Overlook is what I use more often than not.

I agree about the insides, especially the pack part. Things tend to rattle around in there.

The foam patch included is not very good. Deteriorated quickly in my case. I replaced it with the C&F chest patch, which is really a small box.



(Photo lifted from Troutbitten, link to discussion: https://troutbitten.com/2018/12/16/a-fly-fishers-gift-guide-the-cf-chest-patch/)

The C&F fits in the spot where the fly patch was. Just barely. The box has a safety pin type arrangement. After that came undone once (necessitating a lengthy finger-tip search), I reinforced it by adding Velcro. That was a couple years ago and it hasn't budged.
 

SerialNumber

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I have thought about having a local seamstress install some inside loops and some inside pockets in the backpack for organization.
I agree about the insides, especially the pack part. Things tend to rattle around in there.
Good idea, and totally agreed. When I first got it and opened the backpack portion it was sort of a WTF moment. But still, fantastic pack, for anyone considering it. I've taken to using separate little zipper pouches -- random ones of differing sizes that came with other products -- just so things aren't loose. One for food, one for first aid, etc.

Thanks for the C&F box recommendation.

It's funny -- getting all the logistical stuff continually refined has been an unexpectedly enjoyable process, which I never had with a vest.
 

gretch6364

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Good idea, and totally agreed. When I first got it and opened the backpack portion it was sort of a WTF moment. But still, fantastic pack, for anyone considering it. I've taken to using separate little zipper pouches -- random ones of differing sizes that came with other products -- just so things aren't loose. One for food, one for first aid, etc.

Thanks for the C&F box recommendation.

It's funny -- getting all the logistical stuff continually refined has been an unexpectedly enjoyable process, which I never had with a vest.
The separate pouches is a good idea. Especially for things like food. I am a big backcountry elk hunter and our packs always have dry bags or other type pouches for things like food, kill kit, etc.

There are some VERY light ones out there, and it helps keep thing organized in a big pack.
 

Dances_With_Brookies

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I tried a sling this season and didn't like it. Could just be the particular model, but I got shoulder and neck fatigue from it not to mention that it kinda dug into my neck. I'm moving back to chest pack or backpack this season since both have better weight distribution and can carry more of the items I need when I'm doing a trip deep into the woods where the brookies are.
 

joelp

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Frickerdog. Hybrid from pata is my go to for spring through fall. Just did a few days on the gallatin and all bundled up it was too much. For freezing winter with 10 coats on, I’ll be looking for something along the lines of a sling or waist pack since fishing jacket has big front pockets and places to attach tools.
 

sasquatch7

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So what do you slingers do with your nets ? I use an old Adidas Gym bag with a sling slung over my shoulder .
 
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ottosmagic13

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So what do you slingers do with your nets ? I use an old Adidas Gym bag with a sling slung over my shoulder .
My sling has a d-ring just over the shoulder net hangs down behind me out of the way.

I just reach behind and grab the handle. It's connected by a magnetic keeper.

When the pack is slung around for access it hangs below the pack out of the way.

My larger steelhead net has a belt clip. I attach it opposite my rod holder on my left hip. I pull it out and place it between my knees until I have the fish in close.

My steelhead net sometimes catches the pack when I sling it around. Might have to add a keeper and carry it folded (it hinges right behind the basket) in the same place as the trout net.Screenshot_20210129-182016_YouTube.jpg

Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
 

sasquatch7

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My sling has a d-ring just over the shoulder net hangs down behind me out of the way.

I just reach behind and grab the handle. It's connected by a magnetic keeper.

When the pack is slung around for access it hangs below the pack out of the way.

My larger steelhead net has a belt clip. I attach it opposite my rod holder on my left hip. I pull it out and place it between my knees until I have the fish in close.

My steelhead net sometimes catches the pack when I sling it around. Might have to add a keeper and carry it folded (it hinges right behind the basket) in the same place as the trout net.View attachment 30937

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Thank you , thats what I thought but mine does not have one to hook to .

Edit : Mine has one now , I just sewed it on . All is good .
 

Whip

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I picked up a fishpond switchback setup last season used. I really like it. Holds just enough stuff for me and the belt gives my back way more support when wading all day. I know its closer to the water when wading but personally I dont keep to much in there that can't get wet. I used to use a sling pack but on full days found it was brutal on my back. Just my two cents anyhow.
 

moucheur2003

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Unless it's really hot weather, I tend to carry more than I really need rather than pack light, just to be ready for anything. I'm still using my trusty Orvis Super Tac-L-Pack vest for trout fishing. For the salt my go-to pack has been the JW Outfitters Deluxe Trout Chest Pack:.

Neither is still available these days, although used Orvis vests turn up regularly on eBay.

However, lately for freshwater I've been testing some waist packs and slings on the theory that they're less bulky and more convenient than an old-school vest. The Umpqua Ledges 650 seems like a nice waist pack, with a good harness system that can hold a net and swing around to the front easily when you need to get something, although it doesn't have as many organizing compartments as I'd like. The Umpqua Steamboat 1200 sling is super convenient and holds a ton of stuff. (My vest can hold even more, and organize it better, but there's an optimum trade-off among weight, sweat, and bliss, and it's different for everyone.) I haven't tried the Fishpond Flathead sling, but it looks like it might be even better than the Steamboat, at least in terms of organizing your stuff.

For the salt, on my trip to the Bahamas last year I ditched my JW pack and sprung for a Fishpond Thunderhead "submersible" sling. Because I was likely to be wading over my waist at times, I wanted a sling rather than a waist pack. I figured between frequent rainshowers and the possibility of tripping on a mangrove root, it was worth getting something waterproof, and the Thunderhead looked better than the alternatives. It was fine for that purpose, and I managed to squeeze everything I needed for a day of DIY flats wading for bonefish into it, but it was a tight fit. I don't like that it has no organizing compartments -- it's basically just a small duffel slung over your shoulder that you dump everything into -- but that was true of the other waterproof slings I looked at too.
 

sasquatch7

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I picked up a fishpond switchback setup last season used. I really like it. Holds just enough stuff for me and the belt gives my back way more support when wading all day. I know its closer to the water when wading but personally I dont keep to much in there that can't get wet. I used to use a sling pack but on full days found it was brutal on my back. Just my two cents anyhow.
I had one of those but I couldnt get my short arms to get the net in . I gave it away .
 

Acheron

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Since I just purchased a new pack a few days ago, I had been all over looking, reading on the net, and going to the shop to feel each pack. For my first bunch of years I used a vest and it worked well but found it to be hot and heavy, not in the good way.

Then I purchased a Fishpond Shooting Star, which was the large backpack plus the large chestpack combo. This has been my "go to" for everything from hiking to rafting, wade trips, small streams, big rivers, lakes, ponds, bottom of the boat, Alaskan planes, trains, and rafts, saltwater fishing, and everything and everywhere between for the last ~15 years. Simply put, the versitility of this setup has proven itself over and over and over. Guess I never noticed it blocking my footsteps, maybe I waddle like a duck and my feet are visibile. :D :D This setup is beginning to fall apart and I'll still use it for hiking but needed something for day trips.

I wanted to get the chest pack out of my way and try something new. The chest pack would sometimes pull my head forward (carrying too much stuff!) and at the end of the day I felt it. So I wanted to try a waist or sling pack.

This week I purchased a Fishpond Switchback Pro waist pack. I chose this because of the built-in net holder, the waist pack slides on a its' own belt, the shoulder strap with tool and attachment spots, and Fishpond quality.

Went with a waist pack over a sling because I don't want the weight on a single shoulder, a sling isn't big enough to replace my backpack for hiking but is too big for my typical day trips. I also really did not like how the net holders work when you need to slide the sling around, either the net was in my way, falling out, or in a place my rod or line would likely catch. In addition...I also wear waist high waders, so the odds of a waist pack getting very wet are low.

Oh yeah, and if you cast with your left arm (like me), the Fishpond Flathead Sling is almost your only option for slings, the rest I tried have the the net sliding in over your left shoulder which makes it impossible to grab with your right hand. The Flathead allowed the net to slide in over either shoulder and the strap swiveled. A GREAT reason to go to your local shop and try them on (if possible) and buy local (Fishpond prices are the same everywhere)!!
 
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patrick62

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I forgot to post this way back in this thread.

Before and after, adding a C&F box thingy to an Umqpua chest pack.

Before, with added Velcro. (Using just the pin on the C&F proved inadequate.)



After. There's just enough room.

 

Dodge

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I'm a big Filson fan and seem to use the Tin Cloth Fishing Pack more often than not...
 
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