Fly vest or Fly back/chest pack? Your opinons

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Peter Pancho, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. Peter Pancho Active Member

    Posts: 1,748
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Hey guys, I was wondering would be better for me, a fly vest or chest pack? This is the normal gear I carry and wear in my "jammed" vest:
    -2 5x7 fly boxes
    -4 rolls of tippet
    -1 bottled water and filter pump system for the long days
    -SOSpenders PFD(on person)
    -1 extra LA Litespeed spool
    -"Pencil style" hook sharpener
    -floatantant powder
    -2 small kitchen plastic bags(take home Hatchery-only fish)
    -line cutter/nailknot/zinger
    -shooting head mesh pouch(8 internal leader/line compartments)
    -small 1"x1" container of various split shot fly weights
    -1 150ft spool of leader
    -bag of maybe 4 bagels and 3-4 granola bars
    -Cell phone
    -automatic waterproof camera
    ..and on occassion I carry a small backpack with rig gear,more food and sometimes an inflatable thermarest for those "Power Naps".
    Seems like alot of stuff? I've looked at those chest/back fly packs and they look really versitile and have just enough room, or do they?
    What do you guys use and why or why not a vest or chest/back pack?
    Thanks for your opinions!

    "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
    Matthew 4:19
  2. Whitey Active Member

    Posts: 991
    Far side of the moon
    Ratings: +185 / 0
    Thats pretty much everything I would carry. I have been trying out a fishing fanny pack from LL bean. It can carry most of what you have. I also wear a inflatable vest for safety. I try to keep a minimal amount of stuff in the vest or it gets to bulky. this system works well for wading creeks and rivers. Hey skycries, post some more of your cool pictures. they are always fun to look at. love the rod in your mouth! I've never ever seen anybody else do that. are you trying to not set your rod down for photos? I'm going to have to try it sometime. :BIGSMILE YT
  3. shorty New Member

    Posts: 10
    Bellingham, WA, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    A while back I asked that same question on this forum, and got a great response. You should read some of the feedback on that thread. It's called FLY VEST VS. CHEST PACK, on pg 5 or 6 of the archives. I too was looking seriously at chest/backpacks as opposed to vests, particularly the WilliamJoseph Gearchest and Coastal packs. Ultimately I decided to save a few bucks and try out the Cabelas chest/back pack, because it was a hell of a lot cheaper than the WJ stuff and I wasn't sure yet if the chest pack was my type of thing.

    Let me tell you, regardless of which one you pick, they are pretty nice!! If I could go back, I would probably have spent the 80 bucks and gotten the WJ gearchest - better construction, and more thought put into the overall layout than the Cabela's one. The WJ Coastal has a ton of cargo space, similar to the Cabelas pack that I got - but its about $120...pretty pricey...still, it's probably the most thought out chest/back pack on the market - if you're serious you should check it out.

  4. Whitey Active Member

    Posts: 991
    Far side of the moon
    Ratings: +185 / 0
    again with the great photo's, keep em coming. That makes a lot of sense about the rod in the mouth thingy, I never thought about it as a form of measurement. To cool! If your ever want to go the NF Stilly or sky, let me know, It would be fun! :LOVEIT YT
  5. alessis New Member

    Posts: 34
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Be sure to check if you can wear your SOSpenders with a chest pack. I can't wear mine (by Sterns) with my Cabela's chest pack.
  6. Great white hunter New Member

    Posts: 125
    ellensburg, wa, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    As I replied on the other thread.Before you buy,go to Xstream Flyfishing products and check his stuff out.He makes both vests and chest packs and I havent seen better quality anywhere especially for the price.He is located in Tukwila Phone # 206 762 6170 I think,he has a link for webpage under the boats categorie on the front page of this website
  7. Peter Pancho Active Member

    Posts: 1,748
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I've been to the NF at that stone cottage thing and had no luck. I figured it was fished out by everyone including their great-grandma using buckskin-flies, since it is only 100ft from the freeway! I also went to Fartson's Hole, beautiful cliff view looking down at the school of BIG Steelhead, didn't notice the 20 people elbow to elbow til I got down to the river. Reminded me of Blue Creek at the Cowlitz on first week of the Winter Run Steelies: a "Battle Zone!". Does the Stilly have a big winter run of Steelies? I only know of the 2 places there. The Stilly is a LONG drive for me from Tacoma, at least 2 1/2 hrs, and then the Seattle traffic back, eck!

    "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
    Matthew 4:19
  8. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    I have a WJ chest pack and like it alot, but in retrospect think I could have spent the money better.

    It has a front section and a rear section and includes some bungee straps on back for carrying your rain jacket (i've even used it to secure a second rod while I fished).

    It has more than enough pockets (I streamline much more than the original post - but this pack should hold all of that too).

    It aslo converts into a 'hand bag' and can be rigged up like a shoulder bag.

    Like others, I've had problems with the straps slipping off my shoulders. I feel like a woman constantly adjusting my bra straps...

    But it is tough, functional, and most imortantly, it looks cool :THUMBSUP
  9. Luv2Spey Member

    Posts: 177
    Sammamish, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Chest packs are really great, and I have a very nice one. However, I only use it when I'm fishing for steely wannabes (e.g., on the Yak or the Snoqualmie forks). Not only can I carry more stuff conveniently (I change flies more frequently), but the chest packs don't get in the way of overhand casting.

    However, when I fish for steelhead, I use a spey rod. For this style of casting the chest pack is completely unusable (the packs get in the way of the spey arm movements). Luckily, I don't change flies as often when I'm steelheading, so I can carry everything I need on a simple lanyard and a single flybox.


  10. Skunk Butt New Member

    Posts: 16
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My wife bought me the WJ Coastal pack for my birthday while we were out in Sun Valley and I spent the week testing it on the Big Wood and Silver Creek. It is awesome. I did find it a little less on the storage capacity than my old Orvis vest, but when I whittled down to the true necessities for the day, the vest really works well. The hydration system kept me drinking, the pockets, straps, and coils all worked seamlessly. The only thing I noticed, was the chest pockets stick out more than my vest... almost like having a pair of breasts... and I was looping my line over them the first few days. I also spent some time adjusting all the straps, but once I got everything where it had to be, I was very pleased. I would recommend it, but advise anyone to try it on at a fly shop first to make sure they can fit in it well and that the pocket system works for them.
  11. MontanaFlyGuy New Member

    Posts: 22
    Issaquah, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I just bought the SAFE PASSAGE TROUT WAIST PACK set up from Orvis and love it's versatility. It has a detachable chest pack that is compact and can strap around your neck or wast or both. The waist pack holds 2 water bottles that come with it. I load it up with the same things you listed, but like the fact I can take the waist pack off on the beach when wading out into the salt, and still have the necessities in the chest pack. It seems to be good quality and was only $69 bucks. I would recommend at least checking it out.

  12. Peter Pancho Active Member

    Posts: 1,748
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Thanks dudes for the advice, I'm sure it will help me!
    As far as the me biting the flyrod thingy, I do it because it gives people looking at the pic an idea on how "long" the fish is, comparing the fish to the length of the rod. Also reason being, is the last time I put down my rod to grad a fish out of the excitement, myself and my buddy almost stepped on it and broke it. Well aside from almost stepping on it, I noticed when I threw it down I also put a "dent" in the metal of my Litespeed, which the warranty does not cover. I'm sorry maybe I get tooo excited, I love the adrenaline rush!
    Here is a pic from a week or so ago. Its taken with my waterproof camera. Its a pic of the Hatchery fish I caught and kept. I've always wanted to do this!

    "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
    Matthew 4:19
  13. Peter Pancho Active Member

    Posts: 1,748
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
    Matthew 4:19