View Full Version : Chestpacks
02-22-2006, 01:41 PM
I have been wanting to get away from using a vest in the mountains. I always carry way more gear than I need. I want to cut down to the basics, such as just 1 fly box, an extra pack of leaders, some tippet, split shot and floatant. I have been looking at some of the Fishpond products and really like the San Juan chestpack. I was wondering if anyone has used this or any of the other Fishpond products and how do you like them? Any other suggestions on ways to downsize and carry less would also be great!
02-22-2006, 03:42 PM
I have always found that if I have empty space I will find something that I can fill it with...nature abhors a vacuum. When I only going to be out for a short trip I have found a fishing shirt with a couple of chest buttoned pockets is all I need or even try one of lanyards that are on the market. For longer trips I have gone to an LLBean chest pack that I use as a fanny pack. I like this one since it has enough room for a sandwich and a bottle of water with plenty of room left over. Vests are just too hot in the summer walking in to the backcountry.
02-22-2006, 10:43 PM
I use several items for different situations.
For Back Country is a wading vest and a small day pack to carry extra gear/ lunch etc. I usually totat a quart of water as well.
For Semi close trips I use the wading vest in winter or a lite shoulder pack. I really like the shoulder pack the best for it is light and has more than enough room . I use the Filson pack that has a front bag and a rear bag.
For real light days I use a real old Army open pouch just enough to hold the essentials.
I have looked at the fish pond products a they are simular to the Filson pack with a front and rear bag. I think you would be happy with the down sizing.
I agree wihe the above comment that by human nature we fisherman want to carry every thing we have but we can break that habbit by just carrying less.
Hope some of this jargan helps.
02-23-2006, 05:15 PM
I have experienced that different gear setups work better in different situations. Usually my two most important concerns are range of movement and equipment needed. When fishing the mountains I find a small chestpack works fine. If I'm wade fishing a new tailwater I like to have the vest. And if I'm fishing out of a drifter a lanyard works well. The problem with these setups is the cost of purchasing gear for each one or the reconfiguring and reorganizing every time I change situations. I read that some people like to carry water with them as they fish. I learned, from backpacking, that water can be very heavy, so I use an empty water bottle that has a filter in the top. This allows very low weight with an unlimited supply of water, that your companions might appreciate. But everything I wrote depends on what I believe are the most important factors for my decisions, I have found different people consider different factors more important.
02-23-2006, 06:06 PM
Ditto to all the other responses, boy can I relate! When in the park I tend to keep it light. I have a little WJ pocket vest I believe it is called. It has a zinger for forceps & nippers, and plastic bags inside that I use for indicators, split shots, some nymphs and such. It also has an attached fly patch, mesh pocket for tippet and such and folds down to provide a small work surface. It is on a neck cord so all I have to do in the summer when wet wading is rig my rod, put on my boots or sandals, and grab the pocket vest. It's so much easier than getting completley rigs up with a full vest and I have yet to lack anything I needed when using it.
02-24-2006, 11:11 AM
I have attempted to downsize in the last couple of years. My current setup is a FlyteDeck chest pack (www.flytedeck.com), which is built around a 16-compartment Okuma flybox, and a fishing shirt in which I carry two Okuma 16-compartment boxes. That's a total of 48 compartments and three foam pads (in the lids of the boxes) in which to carry flies. The FlyteDeck has a total of 6 poly cords (like the Simms retractor) to attach floatant, nippers, etc. It has a compartment for two spools of tippet. The harness also has a D-ring for a net, and the FlyteDeck comes in a small stuff bag which doubles as a back compartment and clips onto the D-ring. For hydration I carry a filtration bottle. Much lighter than carrying all of your water in and out. I also use the inside front pocket of my waders, if I'm wearing them, for additional tackle storage. The only real inconvenience is that the harness straps for the FlyteDeck interfere with the flaps of the fishing shirt pockets.
04-06-2006, 12:37 PM
On Chestpacks; I have used one for 10 years now, love'em! I have been through several at this point and settled on a Wood River pack, they may be oob by now though, their packs are well made but not as high tech as the current offerings. I have stayed away from the newer ones because they have zippers, they get alot of stress and wear out, are generally a pain in my opinion. I take it all (with me) with the exception of fly boxes, I swap out the mountain boxes for the tailwater boxes. If I try to carry just what I need (besides the boxes) I end up on the water wishing I had something! The Woodriver is a flip-top, holds two big bug boxes, two small, another comp for the leader wallet, has four tippet pockets (I usually carry 6 or 7 tippets! 2x - 7 x), another compartment for my indicator and lead box and fishing license, the last pocket on the bottom for my leader wallet. It comes with chest harness and hooks to hang on the side of canoe or drift boat. It all closes with a simple tip flap and velcro. The top flap keeps averything dry in the rain. I attached a Simms retractor to it (most durable) for nippers.
I am babbling, but the bottom line is that everything is in one place, not in a bunch of pockets with a zipper on each one! The only time it gets wet is when I fall in, which happens more than I care to admit!
Anyway that my 2 cents worth!
I have always found that if I have empty space I will find something that I can fill it with...nature abhors a vacuum. *When I only going to be out for a short trip I have found a fishing shirt with a couple of chest buttoned pockets is all I need or even try one of lanyards that are on the market. *For longer trips I have gone to an LLBean chest pack that I use as a fanny pack. *I like this one since it has enough room for a sandwich and a bottle of water with plenty of room left over. *Vests are just too hot in the summer walking in to the backcountry.
I use that same chest pack, and now I'm on the hunt for something better. My main gripe was that it stuck out so far that the line would often catch on it. But I think I may well have found a better one from Fish Pond. Never heard of it before till I was in the Little River store. The best chest I've ever seen was in the Durangler's shop in Durango CO. This was only about half the size of the L.L. Bean one, and made from Canvas or Cordura. Opened up in layers. But have never seen one since.
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