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Vest vs. Tech Pac

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Ok, since we kicked around the fly box issue. I am struggling with who has the best vest and/or Tech Pac.

I use a Loon Tech Pac that folds 2 flaps out holding 2 clear boxes. It's ok but am thinking I need a different setup. I was using a Columbia vest but got tired of pulling boxes out, holding onto the box, rod, trying to get a fly out, etc. Basically a lot of multi-tasking going on. I have found with my tech vest all I have to do is flip it open, pop the box open and the velcro holds the box in place. I work off of the box and don't worry about dropping my fly in the water.

Works good for me but I would like to hear others thoughts and suggestions. <_<

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Finding the "perfect" vest/pack is probably slightly easier than the pursuit of the perfect fly box. But I've been through the vest - fannypack - necklace - chest vest - chest pack - man purse phases with my last being the chest pack converted to man-purse.

All have their advantages and disadvantages, but the converted man-purse seems to suit me for several reasons:

Everything in one place (about the size of a large print bible.)

Holds a lot of stuff.

Can be moved from the front to the back. Great when you go from changing flies to casting.

Can be converted to the chest pack or even a fanny pack (if you are one of them skinny boys...)

PLUS I feel as if I'm helping set a new fashion trend...

(Now on OLN... Pimp my Fly Fisherman!!)



"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process." - Paul O’Neil

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I think I am more than qualified to answer this in that like Terry I have been through the gamet of chest packs, vests, fanny packs of every persausion which on a big boy turns into a butt pack, man bags, fly boxes stuffed in shirts and pockets. At one time I authored a thread on another forum (which I could not locate) on becoming a minimalist. But after its all said and done I find that the traditional vest meets my needs. Some vests on the market these days are extremely lightweight and are made of materials that dry quickly if wet. The problem with a chest pack for me personally is that once its stuffed with all the things one needs or doesn't need on the stream, the combination of husky bellies and the chest pack make for a dangerous melding. It is almost impossible for me to find my feet, let alone try to manuever on the river. Now you skinny boys and girls won't have that problem, you'll look sleek and fashionable. Another problem with a chest pack is trying to cast and retrieve line without getting it hung on gadgets at the most opertune time, like when hooking a big fish. The final reason that a chest pack (tech vest) is not my BAG, is where do you put all the needed necessities? Besides the boxes, leaders, nets, tippet spools, fly float, indicators, split shot...where would you put the other things you need on the stream, camera, TP, water bottle, first aid kit, gloves, a can of beanie weenies, streamside coffee pot, can of sterno, extra set of keys, fishing license, an old rotten banana left from last season, extra reels and spools, rain jacket, sunglasses, last years expired fishing license, more TP, bug dope, a can of leaky mucilin, cigarette lighter, whistle, a melted mars bar, and a not so melted granola bar, hand wipes in case you run out of TP, Led light, backup flashilight, extra batteries, and yes sir if there is just a little room left, the kitchen sink.


Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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I tend to agree with Dano. I also have tried them all. It all comes down to carrying capacity. I too am a minimalist which comes from my background as a back packer. A vest can carry an incredible variety of stuff when needed and still allow you to cast and land fish. Now here is the secret. You do not have to carry that all that stuff every day. I keep most of my pockets empty. If it warms up and I need to put a fleece jacket or rain jacket in the vest there is room. If I am going to be fishing late, there is room for my regular glasses when the sun goes down. If I will be fishing all day there is room for a trail bar or two. And if I see trash on the stream I can pack out a good bit of it. It is a comfortable way to carry a load.

John Berry


Fly Fishing For Trout




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I think I have the same pack you are talking about, is it the "Flak Jacket?" I used it for a while but ended up getting the waist pack from Loon, the "Nympher Hip Pack" found on this pageLoon Gear . After getting one of these I will never where anything that hangs from my shoulders again. Lumbar support and no weight around my upper body is priceless!


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Chest packs all the way. I used a Bucks Bag chest pack for 11 years and just traded for an Orvis pack last summer. For quick trips I use a fanny pack type. I have a regular vest with a self inflate built into it when I am out in the winter by myself on swift water with waders. You never know what will sweep your feet out from under you and I float like a rock. No matter what I use, I carry more than I need and forget something that I do.......

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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I'm a big believer in smaller packs. I found that I put so much stuff in my vest that my back would hurt after a couple hours. With the pack, I can twist it around so it sits right in my lower back. I use the fishpond and have nothing but good things to say about the quality of fishpond products. I like the idea of being able to break things down to the essentials. My ideal day is walking out along the Soda Butte with nothing but shorts, sandals, and 2 boxes in my shirt pockets. Nothing beats those August days.


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I am in love with the WilliamJoseph Gear Bag, Chest. For hike-in fishing, the WJ CS II is even slicker! But I don't do much hike-in fishing. I've also tried all sorts of vests and packs. I am interested in trying out WJ's new vest just out of curiosity. But I am pretty sold on a GOOD chest pack.

[Testing my ability to edit...please ignore.]


"How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of - and which no other people on Earth enjoy."

Thomas Jefferson

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