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Thread: Vest or Chest Pack

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    I use a fishing pack and a day pack on top of that if I go beyond a mile (which is rare). I refuse to get caught out in the elements without extra food, water and an emergency blanket. If I'm not in the park, I usually just go with the fishing pack.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Knoxville, TN


    Wow, what a contentious question!

    I carry a chest pack that I've rigged to pair up with a Camelbak. The backpack offsets the weight from the chest pack, making it much more comfortable (I hate having a chest pack hang on my neck all day) and I always have plenty of room for beverage, food, extra clothes in back and fishing gear up front.

    In the end, it really doesn't matter. Catch fish. Have fun. Keep the river and the Park clean. Help other people. Those are the things that really matter!
    I got no style, I'm strictly roots.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    chest pack. when you're in deep water it's a pain getting the bottom of your vest wet. I have a waterproof pack i carry my phone in it has easily twice as much storage as most vests (i carry a hydration bladder--that is by far the best investment i've made!!) and WITH a you can adjust almost every strap on it, so it's never uncomfortable. you can fit everything you need in it even when going "back of beyond (haha)"

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Alabama Gulf Coast


    I see some of you talking about your water bottles and even a hydration bladder. If you have never checked them out. I might suggest you do. I have a dozen of these around the house. The are the Sport Berkey water bottles. You can fill them up and drink nice filtered water from any water hole, no matter how nasty it is.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Rochester, NY

    Default Fishpond Lumbar

    I have a fishpond lumbar pack. I use it, but don't like a big growth on my chest while I'm trying to cast or land a fish. I've got a couple of Mayfly Lanyards that I prefer. One of these days I will eB*y the chest pack and go with the lanyards exclusively. I am a minimalist as well - rod, small box of flies, extra tippet, my forceps and I'm good to go.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Canton, Ga


    Call me a traditionalist, but I love the Brady fishing bags from England. I grew up fishing bait with my dad and he always carried a canvas creel. I found it worked great and was not very cumbersome or hot for the essentials. I used a vest for years but always longed for something like the old creel. The Brady bags are great. The one I use has a large interior pocket and two smaller pouches on the front. The most ingenious thing is the fasteners. They have leather straps but they latch over brass studs. This arrangement works great for one-hand operation! A sturdy ring is attached for the net and the large interior pocket has a rubber liner that comes out easily. I find this helps keep water out as well as it would keep fish slime and water in. I rarely keep fish, so this liner helps keep my fly boxes dry if I wade a bit deep.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    I have recently been having the same quandry it seems everyone else does. I keep going back and forth between a chest pack, vest, and fanny pack, trying to find the most comfortable. I think of myself as a minimalist, until I look at all the stuff I carry with me.

    I've take two of my own steps to see how it works out.

    First, I ordered a custom fanny pack from Recycled Waders, using my kids' old waders. I stacked up all of my stuff, figured out the volume I needed, asked them to make the fanny pack to my specs (they did), and placed the order. It's going to come back made out of Orvis Clearwaters and as soon as I get it, I'm going to seal the seams for a waterproof fanny pack. It should be the perfect size and waterproof for wading.

    The other thing I did is get a heavily pocketed fishing shirt and took it to a tailor. She's hemming it short like a wading vest, and hemming in a bungee drawstring (like our rain gear has). I've often wondered why vests weren't made similarly lightweight. I hate to cut up an $80 shirt, but if it works, I've created the perfect lightweith wading vest. I'm just afraid I'm gonna look like April Vokey in the latest tailwater fashion.

    One other option that a buddy of mine came up with. He bought four camera cases and threads his wader suspenders through the belt loops. he wears waders with two camera cases attached to the suspenders and a lanyard.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Farragut, TN is home

    Default vest or chest pack

    Filson mesh vest size large to fit over wading jacket in the winter and plenty of room in the summer. Mesh material is reasonably cool in the summer (what isn't hot?) and water proof. Vest pockets are cloth but dry fast. I am thinking of trying the Filson strap vest for summer. If you can't tell, I like Filson stuff! And now that my second pair of Orvis waders are failing I am about ready to order a replacement from Filson. Does anybody have Filson waders? Are they any good?

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    SE Tennessee

    Default vest or chest pack?

    It depends on the weather and where I am fishing. Hot weather gets the nod for the lanyard. Small fly box with enough flies selected for the day. If I'm fishing in cooler weather, I go with the vest. I don't own a chest pack. I find that I carry too much junk that I never use on the water.
    The perfect example of a minimalist is a friend of mine. He fishes with a fanny pack with a bit of tippet and leader material and a couple of plastic snuff cans with some flies. And he catches trout!

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    For multiple reasons, I was not able to get to the mountains for any fishing the entire winter, and since I couldn't fish, I compensated by buying myself a few new "toys".
    Anyway, Saturday I got out and tried out my WJ Mag series Current chest pack, as well as my waist-high gortex waders I got on clearance from LL Bean. What a difference! Especially the chest pack - didn't miss at all the several pounds of gear I left at home in the old vest.

    I think I gonna enjoy fishing a lot more this year, especially when it gets hot.


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