A fly fishing vest isn’t the only option you have for carrying around your gear if you’re wading in the water and can’t carry your flies and everything you need in your khakis.
One of the best fly fishing options is wearing a fly fishing sling pack. Most fishermen prefer a sling pack over all other packs and fishing vests and for good reason.
The benefits of switching to a sling bag are many. Over the years, innovation in fishing gear has been conservative. Not much has changed – except when it comes to gear organization. We’re going to learn all about fly fishing sling packs today and what you should look for when buying one.
Benefits of Using a Fly Fishing Sling Pack
There are so many reasons to buy a fly fishing sling pack. We’re attached to ours and we take them with us every time we head out to fly fish. If you’re questioning whether you should switch to a sling bag, this is the section to read.
- Spacious: There is plenty of space for your flies and other fishing gear in a fishing sling pack. You never have to worry if you’re going to have enough room for something important. After all, space is the most important factor for any fly fishing pack or vest. If it doesn’t have enough space, it’s a pointless accessory. Usually, a fly fishing sling gives you a large main compartment and multiple pockets for everything from your water bottle to the smallest pieces of fly fishing gear.
- Easy Access: When you’re fishing, you don’t want to fumble around to get to your pack. You want easy access, right when you need it. The great thing about sling packs is that they’re easy to rotate. They sling over your shoulder and sit against your back, completely out of the way. But as soon as you need something, you can rotate the bag around to your chest. And they sit high enough to make your life even easier. The ergonomic design creates easy access and prevents discomfort and any zippered pockets or attachment points are easy to work with.
- Lightweight: The majority of fly fishing sling packs are lightweight. A lightweight pack is always a bonus.You’re on your feet all day. We don’t know about you but we prefer to carry something lightweight, avoiding any extra weight than we already have to deal with carrying around everything.
- Organization: As we all know, a bag with a lot of space is great to fit all the gear you need. But it doesn’t promise any organization. There’s no point in having all that space if you can’t find what you need when you need it. You can’t just throw everything in a large main compartment. That’s why a fly fishing sling bag has more than storage. They have pockets that make organizing your gear simple. These pockets are also easy to open and get to when you need something.
What to Look for in a Fly Fishing Sling Pack
There are so many factors to consider when you shop for a fly fishing sling pack as well as so many designs and brands. To make picking out a sling pack easier for you, we made a list of these important factors.
Comfort is key to any fishing pack you have to carry around. Comfort is subjective but there are a few universal features that keep you comfortable.
First, there should be a padded shoulder strap. After hours of carrying around any pack, the shoulder strap is going to dig into your shoulder. A padded shoulder strap can prevent this.
An adjustable sling pack strap also helps with comfort. It allows you to adjust to what feels right for you. If it’s not adjustable, you’re stuck with it. If it’s uncomfortable, you’re going to be uncomfortable all day. Keep in mind, it can take a few trips to get used to a brand new sling pack.
Durability is always important. You need a fishing sling pack that’s going to stand up against currents and nature. The fabric of the sling pack determines how durable it is. Most sling packs are made from nylon, polyester, or canvas.
These fabrics also determine the quality of the pack. A quality sling pack will last longer. The denier determines the thickness of the fabric which is also important. The thicker fabric is, the tougher it’s going to be. Pay attention to both of these attributes when checking out the durability of a pack.
Does the sling pack have enough pockets for everything you need? As we said earlier, you need space but you need organization as well.
This is where pockets come into play. Pockets allow you to organize your flies and gear. There should be a pocket for everything plus a large compartment for tackle boxes. Some sling packs even have dividers that you can adjust as you need to.
Now, you shouldn’t get a waterproof sling pack just because you’ll be wading in water. There are a few things to consider before you make this decision.
Waterproof sling packs keep all your gear dry. Since you’re in water most of the day, this can be a benefit. But it can also be a hindrance.
First, since the sling pack is waterproof, a lot of companies offer fewer pockets. Not all your gear will be as accessible.
Second, you’ll have to avoid getting the inside of the pack wet. Since it’s waterproof, it takes longer to dry. This can lead to a musty wet smell and possibly mildew over a long period of time. A water resistant pack may be better for you.
That said, if you don’t use a lot of gear, fewer pockets might not be a big deal for you in the first place so you’ll have no problem with these waterproof options.
Check out a sling pack before you consider any other type of bag for fly fishing or if you’re ready to try something other than a waist pack or fly fishing vest. A fly fishing sling pack is a popular choice for a reason. Always pick out a sling pack that’s right for you. You’re the one that’s going to be using it so you need to find one to suit your needs.