Category Archives: Packs & Gear Bags

Orvis Sling Pack 2

Product Spotlight: The Orvis Guide Sling Pack

A good day fishing means that I need to be prepared for a majority of situations and have the right gear. That probably means that I need some snacks, a light jacket, some form of lunch, multiple waters, and my flies/leaders/tippet/misc ect. Finding the right pack for this type of job has been difficult for me to say the least.

A majority of the time a pack was either too cumbersome or bursting at the seams to fish with for the day. This meant that a majority of the time I found myself hiking back to my car at some point during the day to retrieve something that I had to leave behind.

Sling PackThis all changed when I was introduced to the Orvis Guide Sling Pack. This pack allows me to spend a whole day fishing either solo or playing Sherpa for friends without feeling weighed down. This pack has plenty of room. The sweetest thing about this pack is the simplicity and layout of the pack. The pack has three areas of storage. The largest zippered pocket can easily hold plenty of gear/provisions for the day.

On any given day you can find my pack filled with 4-5 boxes chalked full of flies ranging from a large C&F design streamer box to others containing various nymphs and dry fly offerings. Couple that with a couple, some snacks & lunch and 95 % of the time I am set for the day.

Sling Pack The two other storage areas on this pack are much smaller but are perfect for the smaller essentials like Leaders, Indicators, Split Shot and Dry Shake just to name a few. Of course this pack can be configured to suit the needs of any angler and the configuration of my pack will vary from outing to outing based on where and what species I may be targeting that particular day.

The great part of the pack is that gear access is a piece of cake. Simply undo the removable third strap around the chest and swing the main strap around your chest and all your gear is at your fingertips. Using the simple two straps and provided tippet holder keeps your entire tippet arsenal neat and tidy out of the way. The cherry on top is the main torso strap features a magnetic hemo holster and it also has many places for other accessories and tools.

Sling-InstructionsThe minimalist fisherman will not like this pack and it doesn’t have much in terms of organization. Just three simple pockets for all the gear needed for a day. Also some anglers may find a problem with the fact that this pack can only be worn over the right shoulder. Some may argue that the main strap may hinder the casting stroke. Being a left handed caster I cannot comment on whether or not this argument has validity.

With that being said, I feel this pack is the right tool for angler in any situation. To covering ground looking Pike & Musky to wading for trout this pack truly does it all! Don’t take my word for it though. Check it out by clicking HERE.

SIF84HW12FO_lg

Product Spotlight: The Improved Simms Headwaters ½ Day Pack

blogpho2
Ample Gear Storage

The Headwaters ½ day pack quickly became a shop favorite when it was released in 2012 and believe they have struck a home run with the 2014 model. The original was nice for short day trips, light and sleek, had a good amount of room for boxes, a light rain jacket, and the hydration bladder. Had an additional pocket for the smaller accessories and if you needed a little more room the hip and chest packs could be attached with Simms’s Catch and Release system. The only issue with the original, some days you wished the main compartment was just a little larger. Although you could fit a good amount into it, everything fitted into it tightly, requiring you to remove everything in the bag to reach items that may have slipped to the bottom.

DSCN0516
In Use (Looking For Bass)

The 2014 model of the Simms Headwaters ½ day pack is still lightweight and continues with most of the original features, hydration pouch, the Catch and Release Magnet system (on the front), and the breathable back panel, the main improvements are the larger main compartment and the DWR treated fabric. The larger 15 liter (915 cubic in) main compartment with stretch mesh dividers gives you a little more room and organization for all your gear, minimalizing the frustration of removing everything in order to reach items in the bottom of the bag.

The smaller compartment on the back has also been altered; they have made it larger in order to fit more accessories. They have used 420 Denier abrasion resistant fabric that’s treated with DWR for more water resistance and 630 Denier abrasion resistant fabric on the bottom for extra protection from wear. The designers also added magnetized tool ports on the shoulder straps which I found to be my favorite feature, nothing more annoying than consistently losing your hemostats or pliers because they weren’t as secure as you’d hoped or having to reach inside a pocket to get them.

The only thing I wished they continued with would be keeping the Catch and Release magnet system on the back of the bag, this was a nice feature when you were utilizing the hip or chest pack and throwing streamers, you had the extra room you needed and it was out of your way when stripping the fly. The larger secondary pocket makes up for this but it’s always nice to have the ability to add more room when needed.

SIF84HW12FO_lgAll in all this is still a sweet pack, fits well, has plenty of room for your short day trips, and distributes the weight superbly, this has been my go-to pack since it came out and will be for many days to come.

Check out the pack by clicking HERE

Confluence Pack

Product Review: William Joseph Confluence Chest Pack

Please pay attention to the next five words that you read…….William Joseph Confluence Chest Pack. I really shouldn’t say anything else and keep you all in suspense. However; I will continue to ramble on about this innovative product that everyone needs to add to their fly fishing arsenal.

Confluence Chest PackOut of the box, the pack seems small and you begin to doubt the capability of it holding all your necessities, but once you begin to transfer your gear from your outdated fishing vest you start to realize that this pack is roomy and strategically designed to keep proper things in proper order. This pack is equipped with (2) built-in zingers in which you can attach a variety of accessories. There are (2) side-zip pockets on the front that will allow you to keep sunglasses, magnifiers or other items closely secure and easily accessible. There are (3) zippered compartments on the back pack part of this chest pack. The larger compartment will easily carry a packable rain jacket, extra fly boxes or a day’s lunch plus a drink. The adjustable AirTrack Suspension keeps the weight well balanced and evenly distributed. The comfort is unbelievable and there are no pressure points whatsoever.

Now that I have your attention, let me get to the selling point of the “Willie J” Confluence Chest Pack….. “No-Zip Magnetic Closure System!” I know you’re shaking your head and saying “huh??” Yep, you heard me, (2) magnetic closure front pouch pockets. This is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

042The magnetic force is quite strong and keeps your gear in place. Yet with one simple pull, you can open these pockets and access your needs. The larger magnetic closure pocket has a removable foam Fly-Pad. This pocket will also hold a couple small fly boxes and there are several mesh compartments within this pocket that will secure other essential items that you may need. The smaller magnetic pocket boasts the “Willie J TCS”, Tippet Control System. This system allows you to connect your various size tippets securely inside this magnetic pocket. There is also ample room for weights, floatant and other must-haves. The bottom of this Chest pack has (2) built-in compression straps that you can cinch up a jacket or whatever you need.

I know that I probably forgot (50) or so additional selling points of William Joseph Confluence Chest Pack, but please keep in mind, I am simply sharing my review and opinion of this product. I do not work for William Joseph and I have nothing to gain. Yet I honestly feel that you will gain a lot by giving this pack a looksee. Oh, did I mention that it comes with a lifetime warranty from William Joseph? Well it does!!

UMF80LD50MO_s

Product Review: Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

 

Ledges 500 Moss

Up until this spring I have had the same fishpond Waterdance Guide Waistpack for close to five years without a single complaint. My waist pack was the only exception to my constantly changing fly fishing gear that I use on a regular basis. So when I was told one of the Umpqua Ledges 500 packs was going to show up here at the shop for me to use, I was skeptical.

My intentions were to load the pack up and use it once to learn about and then let the other employees at the shop here use it to learn about the product.  I was less skeptical after I had emptied my much larger fishpond pack into this pack completely. After fishing the pack on the day trip that I planned to be its only trip out with me, I quickly made the decision that I was selfishly keeping this pack for myself.

I wouldn’t venture to say that the Umpqua Ledges 500 is a better product that the fishpond Waterdance, However I would say it is a better fit for me. The reason is that the Ledges 500 is a smaller pack that forces me simplify what I bring with me, but for a medium sized waist pack it holds a serious amount of gear though. It comfortably holds 4 fly boxes in the main compartment along with a sandwich and granola bar, two water bottles, and a flat pocket for leaders etc.

Likes

  • Well planned medium size
  • Internal frame for support and ventilation
  • large main compartment

Dislikes

  • Shoulder strap slides requiring frequent adjusting
  • Mesh material on bottle holders gets flies stuck in it easily

If you are on the fence about medium sized waist packs and have thought about carrying less or wanting a smaller pack the Ledges 500 is definitely worth looking at.

Click Here to learn more and shop for the Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

Simms Taco Bag - Closed

Product Review: Simms Taco Bag

The Simms Taco Bag can really be described in one word. Simplicity.  The bag can be unzipped and laid on the ground in a large circle (a proverbial wader bag  tortilla) to provide an excellent place to stand when getting in your waders at the beginning of the day. When the time has come to call it quits the design of the taco bag keeps your wet boots and waders from dripping into the interior of your car.

Pros:

  • The mesh vents at the top of the bag help to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • The 40”x 20” dimensions are large enough to hold at least two sets of waders and boots
  • Price: At 29.95 this bag is an affordable solution for anglers looking for inexpensive wader storage.

Cons:

  • Since the bag has no sections it is hard to keep dry gear separated from wet gear.
  • Once zipped up the inside of the bag tends to get quite dirty from the waders themselves. However if you are diligent in cleaning your gear this does not really make a difference.

Overall this bag cannot be beat for anglers who are looking for a simple and practical way for storing waders and other wet gear.  This is just another example of why Simms is considered one of the best when it comes to fly fishing equipment.

Product Review: Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch

The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is simply a glorified zip-lock bag…or is it???  This little bag is made of durable waterproof material and includes features like a zip-lock AND roll-top closure to insure that the belongings inside stay dry.   The cord allows it to be worn around your neck or tethered to a larger bag (or boat, etc).

The nature of the sport we love is that we are around water.   It doesn’t matter where you fish…high elevation trout, Pacific Northwest steelhead or tropical saltwater destinations.  You can and will get wet.  We also carry expensive electronics, ie- smart phones, GPS units, etc.  The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is a simple and cost-effective way to protect these items while still being able to keep them with you while you fish.

When traveling abroad, I keep three things with me at all times; my money clip, my cell phone and my passport.  These are not items that I am going to be leaving in my hotel room or anywhere else.  On a recent bonefishing trip, we had an incredible amount of rain.  It rained almost every day.  Using the Tech Pouch, I was able to take those items out on the flats and not once have to worry about them getting wet.  The items in the pouch may be the only things that weren’t wet at the end of the day!

Pros:

  • Very light and travels well.
  • Clear screen allows you to see whats inside.
  • Touch screen on phones will work through the clear screen.

Cons:

  • Neck strap provides little to no padding, but it isn’t too heavy anyway.

The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is a seemingly simple product, but is packed with features and functionality…making it worth its weight in gold.