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fly fishing vest / chest pack advice

Jayhawk Chris

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Here is the scoop. I have decided to upgrade on my fly fishing vest. The current one I have serves its purpose but just wears on the shoulders/neck wrong and becomes uncomfortable. I really try to keep to a mimimum what I take with me on a trip.....dry flies, wet flies, tippet material, camera, bottle of water along with the forceps, clipper, floatant,etc. i figure when fishing in places like Taney, if there is something that I absolutely cannot live without, the car is never too far away. So here is my dilemma; I have been looking into buying perhaps a chest pack/backpack vest from Fishpond or another reputable manufacturer but wanted to get some feedback from those on the forum. What are you preferences? pluses/minuses to each. What I have found is that If I have pockets I will invariably find someway to cram something in there "just in case" in might need it. Yet in 7 years of fly fishing that has never occured. I realize this could be like a Ford/Chevy/ Dodge debate and it may not get me anywhere. What I am really asking for is for someone to give me some hardcore reasons for why you like/dislike something.



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I have tried everything from Vests to fanny packs, to chest packs, to man bags, and now I am back to a vest and have decided to keep it that way. All the other devices just seem to not "ride" well and get in the way of my casting, landing, stooping, etc. I plan to divest myself of all but the vest. Some of the new generation vests are very light weight, and have collar that make them easy on the shoulders after a day of fishing.


Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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I personally like the Blue river Lumbar/chest pack from fishpond very light and has alot of storage I can shoe my camera extra flybox and a water with couple extra leaders the only bad thing is...Well I havent found a bad thing about it... You can find it at river run nice price, comfortable. I enjoy my new pack :)

"Its clearly Bree time baby!"

Member: 2009 U.S. Youth Fly-Fishing Team. Competed Czech Republic. 7th Place Team

Member: 2010 U.S. Youth Fly-Fishing Team. Competed Slovakia. 4th Place Team

Member: 2010 U.S. Youth Fly-Fishing Team. Competed The America Cup. 4th Place Team

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I like my vest...

although a small chest pack to put a few odds and ends in would help me out...

I like to carry an extra flashlight with me at night and a few spare batteries... well just here lately I have been blowing blubs in my light (I think its the cold weather that does it)...

so I decided to get a new pair of waders the has a few extra pocket on it..

but I have also thought of a small back pack...

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I wrote a review of a vest earlier this year here: Fusion Vest

I have had a chance to use it on 3 trips now and am still get excited to put it on. Dropping $100 on a fly vest is a pretty big decision in most cases so take the time to find one that you really like.

I went to Cabelas and tried on about every type/style of vest and pack I could get my hands on. I really liked some of the Fishpond stuff but a lot of it felt really heavy. I originally wanted one of their chest packs but I couldnt get over the feeling of having man-boobs with it on. It was a little disturbing.

Take your time and do the necessary research. A vest should definitely add to your fishing experience instead of being a source of frustration and discomfort.

This is a great place to start, there are a ton of wader reviews out on the internet, but I had a very hard time finding quality vest reviews.


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I agree with Zach the Blue River is a nice pack and it fits alot of stuff in it. One day I was in Backcountry Outfitters in Springfeild and Michael showed me the Water Dance Chest pack I liked it a lot more room and a lot more comfortable. It has a built in lumbar belt and has two water bottle holders. It has enough room in it that I can fit three of the big C&F boxes in it, my camara leaders tippet basically what ever I need. When I'm not using it I slide it around to the back and it is totally out of the way for casting. It was the best 89 dollars that I've spent on vest /chestpacks It is the best invention since sliced bread. I give it the KUDO award.

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