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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm pretty excited to find this forum. I'm in the market for a new fly-fishing vest, and I'm wondering what do you all use? What do you like about your vest? What don't you like about your vest? Right now I'm leaning towards an Orvis Tackle-Pack...anybody have one of those?

Any input you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Tight Lines,

--Matt
 

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Welcome Matt,

If I was to do it over, I'd go for some kind of pack that would hold at least 4 large boxes and a big gizmo full of shooting heads. But my vest from Columbia works good enough to hold flies and clippers and the pouch in the back holds my shooting heads. I've upgraded my wardrobe in the last couple months and I'm here to tell ya, fish don't give a rip what you wear, as long as it works out on the water.

Matt

Matt"Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go fishing...is one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
 

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Exactly....some may think I look like a techno gear head...but I tell you what; I have everything I need on the water and I am extremely comfortable no matter what the conditions.

On a suggestion I bought the William Joseph Coastal backpack/chest pack and it rocks. I can carry 100oz of water, though I usually just carry a bottle, and it will hold lunch, and tons of room for fly gear. A little spendy but it is worth it. I never need to go back to the car and in some waters this is a huge bonus. Like everything, it comes down to what your looking for and what comfortable is to you.

my .02 :professor

~Patrick ><>
 

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I have a Cabelas chest pack that has large "backpack" compartment. They just started selling them last year. Price is great and quality is too. Gave a couple to friends for Christmas and they like them as well.
Mike
 

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previously micro brew
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The Xstream vests are interesting. Unfortunately, I had just purchased a new vest when I saw them. Not cheap, but Filson has some nice vests and chest type units. Check out their light weight FF shirts.
 
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You didn't mention what kind of fishing you will be doing or what your needs are but to me chest packs have some definate advantages over vest-type units. I have used a chest pack since back in the '80s and other than replacing one zipper it is still going strong. Chest units are cool in the summer and fit over bulky clothing when it gets colder. A new model by Cabela's called the Advanced Anglers Chest Vest looks particularly interesting because the rear backpack can be zipped off when you don't need the extra capacity. This would be especially good for float tubers-it lets you lean against the backrest without gear gouging you in the back. After many,many years of back packing and mountaineering I'm convinced that taking less is better than taking more so I make every attempt to take only what I need. If you do any brush beating to get to the good fishing you want something that is as snag free as possible without zingers and things hanging out that will catch on limbs and be ripped off. Finally, on those beautiful summer days when you are walking a freestone stream and fishing dries-don't even bother with a vest. Get a good sunscreen fishing shirt with bellows pockets and just carry flies, tippet and nippers. Water and lunch can be carried in a fanny pack. Happy shopping, Ive
 

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I wouldn't go too cheap, only to have to purchase a good one some years down the road. Also, safety is the number one concern here, much more important than carrying capacity, personal comfort, etc. I paid about $150.00 to Orvis so that I could get a vest with a CO2 inflater and before I leave the car, I always check to see where the rip cord is and feel it with my hand. I don't want any confusion at zero hour.
I am told you can get one at "Vests Are Us," or whatever the name is of that cheap outfit over on the east side of the sound for about $100.00.
I had to have an Orvis vest because I fish an old bamboo rod made by Orvis. I have to have my gear brand co-ordinated or I can't catch anything.:thumb
 
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When I was younger and worked on the crab boats in Alaska I always wore a Stormy Seas jacket with the Co2. Its a nice feeling to know that its there. In cold weather I wear the jacket under my Orvis mesh vest. The mesh is versatile for all weather, especially those hot days. Its also easier to see whats in your pockets through the mesh. I have to admit its kinda cool having the Orvis logo too. I got it for $25 new on E-bay and love it. Plus the mesh kinda reminds me of the 80's with the mesh shirts, not that I ever wore one... well, maybe just once... a week. The vest matches my Orvis Rocky Mountain reel so Bob's not the only vain one around. :thumb
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

Maybe thats why I can't catch anything. I have a St Croix Rod,Redington Reel,Rio Line,Hodgman waders,and Hodgman wading shoes.And I tie my own flies.

Jim
 

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I have owned a number of "portable fishing storage systems", ha ha. I spend the whole summer in a boat so I have now gone to bulk fly boxes and a lanyard. That way I don't have carry weight on my shoulders when I row.
However I do wade fish on my own occasionaly and when I do I have found chest packs to be the best. My "nasty" old chest pack was retired by my wife when she got me a new William and Joseph pack for our anniversary. I was hesitant to let that old pack go, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the new one. It's funny, I always thought that if I did spring for a new pack it would be a William and Joseph, I think they have one the best systems going for my fishing and they look refined. I never told my wife, but as great wives do they often read our minds. Good Luck in your search. Take the boxes you use with you to try in the new product, it becomes very evident which will work and which one will be a pain to use after you see how your gear will fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello All,

Thanks for all of the input guys. I really appreciate it. I have considered a CO2 vest, but I have a very nice (and cofortable) Life vest that I don't mind wearing at all. I wear it quite often under my current vest (a $2o cheapo) when I'm wading swift, deep, or very cold water. So far it hasn't proved too bulky that way, so I'm planning on doing the same thing with my new vest.

I mainly do small stream fly fishing, although I do like to steelhead fish in the East and North fork of the Lewis...so I need a vest that can hold my big Steelhead boxes, and possibly a spare spool. I'm usually not a deep wader unless I'm in real slow water, so I don't think I need a shorty. My main problem is enough pocket to hold all of my stuff comfortably. That's why I'm leaning towards the Orvis Super-Tacle-Pack Vest.

I tend not to worry about coordinating my outfits too much, my wife normally dresses me, but I'm on my own when I go fishing so...I'm usually pretty mismatched :p

One thing I have wondered with mesh vests is...do you have a problem hanging them up on stuff? I see all those littel holes and think about bushwacking up to the stream and having to un-hang myself every few steps.

Thanks again for the input. BTW if any of you are in the Portland, Vancouver area and are looking for someone to fish with...drop me a line (no pun intended)!

Tight Lines,
--------------------------------
Matthew T. Williams
[email protected]
360-883-8946
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I have the Filson Strap vest in the waxed cotton water resistant version. I only wear a vest sometimes but this fits the bill nicely when I do. It is adjustable so it is comfortable in any situation. The two pocket backpack is ample to carry all the extras and the two big pockets in front (with their sub-pockets) will carry the ready-at-hand essentials. It should last more than one generation. Most modern vests ride too high for me. This one can be adjusted to ride high but I keep it long so that access to the pockets seems more natural.

Randy
 

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Oncorhynchus clarki clarki
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This is off topic but Jim I was wondering what St Croix you have. Is it the SCV, SCIV, SCIII or SCII, and do you like it. I have built a couple SCIV from the blanks and I was just wondering what one you had and what you thought about it. I built a 9' 8wt SCIV for salmon and steelhead and a 8'6" 5wt SCIV for my girlfriend for Chirstmas, she loves it. Well thanks, that is all I was wondering
 

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Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
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RiverFishing

Re: I have to have my gear brand co-ordinated or I can't catch anything.:thumb

Thank you, thank you for giving me yet another creative excuse for failing to catch as many fish as I think I should. May I have your permission to borrow this one? You know, once it's out there, it's public domain, right?

Mike ;-)
 

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I second the Cabelas pack. I use it for Saltwater fishing on the east coast, it hold big boes of large flat wing striper flies, and enough other stuff for an entire day or night of fishing.

Mike l
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

It was made from a Avid blank. I had it made by mtlhead. I wouldn't know how to build one from anything so I had him make one for me. It is a 9'6" 8wt in which I throw a Rio versitip around with it. Funny thing when I first used it I couldn't do anything with it,in fact I almost threw it in the river I so mad at it. But now I don't have any problems with it.:thumb

Jim

Edit: I'm not to sure what blank it's made from but I think that it's a SCIII
 

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You know, when it comes down to it, go to a store and try some on. Get a feel for them, bring your gear you want to load into them. Check it out. Because a vest that fits one person perfect won't be the right vest for someone else.

I have one vest that I've used for quite along time. It's a first generation Cabela's shorty vest. It's my all time favorite vest and plan to keep using it. BUT, it's my gear vest. Not favorable for fly boxes. Can't put my steelhead/salmon boxes into it. It's great if I have multiple gear and can throw a box of flies in back of the vest with other extra gear. But when it comes to "tradition", when I'm using gear, I have a vest on. Just a "niche" thing for me. Now, onto fly fishing. I used a few vests. My problem is, I need one that has an individual pocket for the boxes, not one big compartment. I had two different strap vests, and they were great when I was rowing, but sucked when it came to organization. I had to cram too much into my main pockets. I had little tippet pockets, but couldn't fit my maxima spools into it. So, as for now, I use my goretex rainjacket as my fly "vest" so to speak....UNTIL I get my vest of choice. I have narrowed it down to the extremely functional (but DAMNED expensive) Coastal Pack. Has two big storage pockets in front with room for tippets. Plus can add the water bladder in back (which I drink alot of water) in back with my lunch/extras. Here's a word of advice too if you like the coastal pack. I just looked in my Orvis catalog and they have a vest VERY similar WITH bladder (about a liters worth I do believe) for about $50 LESS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to check one out first. But if they are as functional and nice as the W. Joseph Coastal Pack, I'm buying myself one instead.

Only time will tell.
 

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Brian Perry
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Have you ever thought about a lanyard? Once I realized how much "junk" I was bringing out with me each time I'd go fishing, I decided to clean house..... I narrowed everyghing down to a lanyard... I will never go back! Everything you need it RIGHT there, but I am a minimalist so if you have lots of gear, it would not be a good way to go.... though I did build a beauty for about 10 bucks!

~B
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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The best vest I have ever used is the Simms Guide Vest. I guide with that, or a Patagonia Chest pack, and the Simms is very helpful for longer trips and hiking stuff a long ways for larger groups.The chest packs are very good for lighter work, hike and wade stuff, saltwater wadeing etc.But you do feel the strap on your neck sometimes. The newer Patagonia chest and hip pack looks like a big step up in comfort and utility. With that and a good GoreTex jacket I can be anywhere, within reason, for a day, or even a few days.I especially liked the Simms Guide vest for Alaska and Russia, where I had guests who required allot of support, flies, etc.
 
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