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soloflyfisher 05-30-2006 09:48 AM

Chest pack recommendations
Can anyone recommend a good mid-sized chest pack? I want something that is comfortable to wear (shoulder straps not neck straps), can be used in both fresh and salt water, and that can hold the following:

On Chest
One large flybox
Hook sharpener
A few leaders
Four or so tippet spools
Strike indicators
Split shot

On Back
Spare spool
Extra flybox
Car keys

I've been looking online at the LL Bean SwitchPack and several of the William Joseph products (ultra light, creel, and coastal II), but haven't seen them "in-person" yet, so it's hard to judge how useful they are.

juro 05-30-2006 10:00 AM

What type of fishing? It matters... for instance from a pontoon boat, with a stripping basket, Spey casting, etc.

soloflyfisher 05-30-2006 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by juro
What type of fishing? It matters... for instance from a pontoon boat, with a stripping basket, Spey casting, etc.

Juro . . . I'll be using it mostly for wading in streams for trout, but I also occasionally fish for stripers from the beach or from rocks (usually with a stripping basket) and I do spey cast for salmon/steelhead. It would be nice to have one pack for all three purposes, but maybe that's not possible. (I use a gear bag when I fish from boats/canoes.)

juro 05-30-2006 10:43 PM

Big packs in front are a pain when using stripping baskets because they get in the way; two compartments ala mae west drive me crazy when rowing because they hinder arm motion when rowing; and I like a traditional vest when Spey casting to spread the stuff out wide and thin (provided I don't stuff it) besides it's typically not too hot while steelheading.

That being said my favorite was a "riversmith" chest pack with removable bakpack that was poly impregnated nylon with multiple compartments smartly designed. I think the company went out of business unfortunately or I'd buy another in a minute.

I use the Patagonia double haul sling chestpack a lot especially when the water bladder is important (tropics, etc). I prefer the two-shoulder river smith strap system over the one-shoulder sling of the double haul which puts more pressure on one shoulder while the other spreads the load.

I don't like the styling to look too fancy so that rules out some brands mentioned by others for me.

Spock 05-31-2006 09:15 AM

chest pack
fishpond makes all types you should check them out. i use the windwalker chest pack and it works great.

juro 05-31-2006 09:36 AM

I thought that had a neck strap?

They have some new stuff for 2006 I saw at the show.

BigDave 05-31-2006 09:41 AM

For trout I like a vest.

Simms recently discontinued the Vertical Master vest which is short, lightweight and will hold all of that stuff and then some.

I have seen them on sale for a song. Might be worth checking is an excellent product.

soloflyfisher 05-31-2006 01:51 PM

Has anyone used the This looks much too small for saltwater, but it might be great for trout and spey casting. No room for a water bottle, but I could hook one up to my wader belt. The Flytedeck seems to be very low profile, which is a huge advantage over most other chest packs. It doesn't hold much, but probably enough for most trout/steelhead fishing.

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chromer 05-31-2006 11:18 PM

with all due respect, I can't see the point of a fly box on a harness

soloflyfisher 06-01-2006 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by chromer
with all due respect, I can't see the point of a fly box on a harness

Seems to me that it's similar to the lanyard approach--just a different strap system, which might hold a bit more weight a bit more tightly to the chest.

FishHawk 06-03-2006 09:15 AM

I'm leaning towards the Pack Vest by Patagonia. It has a mesh vest attached to a 1700 cubic inch pack which can both be used separately. The reason for a large pack is that I dress in layers and my small Orvis pack cannot hold the extra clothing. However, as Jim Simms told me don't get it or you'll fill it up. :hihi: I will then need a pack mule to haul my gear. FishHawk

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