There was a time when the Fly Fishing Vest was the fly fishing gear carry-all of choice. And, why not? It was a pretty good design and seemed to get the job done for almost everyone. However, in the last decade there has been a full on assault on the poor fly fishing vest and it is now only one of many options for packing your fly fishing equipment for a day on your favorite water.
Take for example the Seeker Series Sling Pack. The purpose may be the same but the system is quite a bit different than the good old fly fishing vest. A fly fishing sling pack has several distinct advantages over the vest. Space is probably the biggest improvement. A sling pack holds at least as much and usually more stuff, including fly boxes, tippet, tapered leader, and tools as any fly fishing vest. However, it is all located on your back rather than in bulging pockets in the front. Comfort is another advantage. A loaded vest can pull down and rub on your neck or chafe under the arms whereas a sling pack with a nice wide, padded shoulder strap can be worn all day.
Honestly, either will work just fine and in the end it comes down to what you prefer and how it works with the style of fly fishing that you pursue most. Here are a list of pros and cons for both the traditional fly fishing vest and the more recent fly fishing sling pack.
While we certainly don't have anything against a fly fishing vest, we don't actually carry any of these at the time of this writing. There is a reason for that. We believe that a sling pack or even a backpack style fly fishing organizer is simple better. That said, it is a very personal decision and one that each angler should make for themselves. If you are considering a sling pack, we recommend that you check out the Seeker Series Fly Fishing Sling Pack. We use it for all of our day trips and think its one of the best options available on the market for the money.
See you on the water!