How To Select A Fly Fishing Vest – Fly Fishing Tips And Key Considerations

How to Select a Fly Fishing Vest – Fly Fishing Tips and Key Considerations

Fly fishing vests have fallen out of favor in the fly fishing world and we don’t know why because we always have one on when we’re in the mood for fly fishing. It’s so much easier to wear a fishing vest than to carry around a tackle box or bag with your gear all day long.

But we know you’re a traditionalist and you like simplicity. Which is why you’re on this page, reading this. So, we’re going to tell you why you need a fly fishing vest and share what we look for when we go to buy a new vest.

Why You Need a Fly Fishing Vest

So, why do you need a fly fishing vest while you’re out there fishing? There are a few valid reasons to invest in one, including.

  • Plenty of Room: They say looks can be deceiving. A fly fishing vest has room for almost anything you could need and you can even organize your flies and other fishing gear.
  • Easier Casting: One of the biggest benefits of a fly fishing vest is that it doesn’t get in your way while casting. Any pro fly fisher will tell you that. As long as it’s weighed down a bit by your gear, you won’t have any trouble at all.
  • Comfort: A lot of fishing tackle bags require you to carry the weight on your back or chest. This is even more painful if you already have back problems. Fly fishing vests put that weight on your shoulders instead, making it much more manageable.

Fly Fishing Tips and Key Considerations

Fly Fishing Tips And Key Considerations



Fly fishing vests are either made from mesh or they’re not.

Mesh vests are perfect for hot weather and summer fishing. They’re breathable so they don’t trap moisture and sweat and they can allow air to come through. They’re also lightweight and a breeze to wear.

The downside is that mesh isn’t the most durable material in the world. These vests can tear with one wrong swing of the arm while casting.

Non-mesh vests are made from a variety of other materials. These vests are tougher and last longer. They’re often made from polyester and cotton so they can be heavy and warm enough to wear in cold weather.


You should determine how many pockets you need on your fly fishing vest based on how much you plan to carry around. For most fishermen, this means around ten to fifteen pockets. Not too many pockets and not too little. You may want a vest with tons of pockets but that gets confusing real quick. You won’t be able to find the gear you need when you have too many pockets.

Let’s not forget to check out the size of the pockets. They should be big enough to hold what you need. But if they are too big, it might be hard to find all the little items you need to get to. A big pocket or two comes in handy for carrying fly boxes but choose one with some medium and small-sized pockets, too.



More expensive vests have pockets that fold down so you can grab what you need without the hassle. That said, depending on your needs and budget, you might not want any fancy pockets. A standard pocket can work just as well.

Some of these pockets have zippers and buckles to make sure they keep everything in your pocket at all times. That said, both zippers and buckles can wear relatively soon if you’re not careful.

Other fishing vests have Velcro to close the pockets. They don’t wear out as fast but you want to avoid getting them wet.


How comfortable a fly fishing vest feels varies from person to person but finding a comfortable vest for you is important when you spend hours and hours fishing.

We mentioned earlier that fishing vests are more comfortable than lugging around bag. But that doesn’t mean every fishing vest is comfortable. It depends on the brand, price, and what feels good to you.

There are a few universal features to look at when it comes to comfort, though. For instance, thin straps can dig into your shoulders after wearing a vest for hours. If there are straps or buckles, they can rub against your skin and make the pain worse.



A fishing vest shouldn’t be too heavy for you, either. Find one that doesn’t weigh you down even with loaded up with flies and other fishing gear.

The vest needs to fit you. Everyone is of different height, weight, and build. Ideally, you want a fishing vest that goes down to your waist, though some find it more comfortable when it sits higher.nIf you’re tall, it can be difficult to find the right fit. If you’re short, the vest might hang too low.

Avoid fishing vests that are too tight as they might dig into your skin and hinder your movement. Casting will also be uncomfortable in a tight vest.

When a fishing vest is too big, it gets in your way when you wade. You don’t want to stumble over your vest when you’re trying to fish.


We’re happy that fly fishing vests have a chance to rise out of the dark ages.  Nowadays, fishing vests are easier to use, have more features, and are much more comfortable. Don’t be afraid to try out different fishing vests until you find the right one for you. There are plenty out there to choose from.

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Roy Ericson

Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing.