View Full Version : Vest packs for flats?

11-28-2007, 09:45 AM
Any recommendations on vest packs with bladders? I had the William Joseph flats hip pack that literally fell apart after 2 years..all the zippers corroded too. (Ok, I'll admit I didnt wash it down all the time but still..) Now I'm thinking about something over the shoulder. Please advise...Thanks all.

11-28-2007, 10:20 AM
Would a vest type pack get a little hot on the flats?? Just asking.

11-28-2007, 02:20 PM
I just was on a search to find a flats pack and the one I chose was the WJ Creel pack. I liked the amount of storage it has and the fold down work surface for changing flies is great. Over the shoulder, it allows a right handed caster a lot of freedom and it rides high enough that it should stay out of the water unless you get caught by a rising tide.

Have not had it long enough to describe durability, but it seems like a great deal for $40.

Best regards,


12-03-2007, 04:24 PM
Not sure what type of fishing you will be doing w this, if your talking flats fishing for Bones etc. then a chest pack w a bladder is not the way to go, Way to hot.

Flats fishing for Bones, well there are a number of Fanny Packs out there, the main thing is to get one that has a bottle of water holder. They come in various sizes and will carry most everything. I tend to keep mine on the small side, with one bottle of water and tippet and two boxes of flies and pliers. The guide will carry the rest.

As far as an over the shoulder bag, the best one on the market is the Fishpond Chest / Fannypack bag. Been using the same one for ten years in the salt for Stripers. Best designed bag on the market. Just WD40 th3 zippers once in a while.

12-03-2007, 05:03 PM
I think choosing the correct pack is one of the most overlooked things in flats fishing. The big thing to remember is keep it as small as you possibly can. Big vest style flats packs get very hot and I have found can get in the way of casting. Fanny packs are nice, but you have to be careful with those too. If you get one that is too bulky, it is easy to get the fly line tangled around it and it makes substantial noise. If you have one thats not big enough, then you cant be as prepared as you would like. Always look for water bottle holders, as is mentioned in a previous post. My favorite choice would have to be the new fishpond model that has 2 water bottle holders. It is compact, yet quite spacious and doesnt have a million pockets, which is a good thing.

12-04-2007, 07:30 PM
As said, a vest pack will be too warm--and it will get in your way. I've used hip and waist packs and found them OK, but if I wear them with the storage pack in front, it interferes with my line handling, and if I wear it behind me, it's a pain to pull it around front every time I need something. I also tried an over-one-shoulder sling bag that was comfortable and stayed out of my way slung behind my back--but again you have to pull it around front whenever you need something inside. My favorite these days--and for about 10 years now--is a small chest pack that holds 1 or 2 water bottles, a small fly box, sunblock, spare leaders, tippet, nippers or pliers, and my wallet and passport. It has two straps that cross diagonally on my back and it rides very comfortably--I've fished in it all day for several days back to back. Most important, it never gets in the way of my casting or strip-striking, and my stuff is always right in front of me where it's easy to get to fast. It's also high enough that I can carry a small camera in it without splashing salt spray on it when wading a little deep. And unlike most of the other styles, it doesn't grab my fly line on windy days.

Dick Brown

12-04-2007, 09:03 PM
just a heads up with the wj gear and tyheir company.....it's been my experience that they stand behind what they offer and I'd be suprised if you contact them your pack may be replaced...I've yet to have one fall apart but I did have other isssues and the company responded to me asap and took good care of me


12-06-2007, 01:51 PM
Hi guys...
Is this the Fishpond model you refer to? I was just by my local flyshop to check it out. Seems very nice indeed, and I consider to buy one. A bit pricey in Denmark thou (~ 200 USD)

Waterdance Guide Pack


12-06-2007, 02:36 PM
I too have used a variety of hip and chest packs and, though I concur in general that smaller is better, I carry camera equipment in addition to a pair of fly boxes (C&F waterproof designs), tippet spools, lip balm, etc. My DSLR, extra lens and flash need to stay above the water line even if I am kneeling to facilitate a low profile or relase a fish. I have found Orvis's "Lightweight Original Safe PassageŽ Chest Pack" to work very well. Simple but durable in construction the vertical pockets are backed with mesh to avoid traping heat against your body, it can be adjusted to ride high on your chest and features a mini back pack for a water bottle and a lens in a water protecting bag. It carries more gear more conveniently than any hip or cross-shoulder bag which makes it work for my special reqirments and, perhaps, yours.


12-06-2007, 05:42 PM
That is the fishpond pack I was referring to. Don't pay that much for it, $200 is absurd. Go to a US website and have it shipped. It should cost you no more than US$90 with shipping. Try www.kman.com (Kauffman's Streamborn) or www.flyfishusa.com or any others, they should all ship if you want them to.

Piscat Guide
12-07-2007, 12:41 PM
Give the guys a call at Willie J ---they guarantee all their stuff for life and will replace it free of charge ---- they have several nice chest and fanny packs out this year ---www.williamjoseph.net

12-10-2007, 09:32 AM
thanks for the tip SpexnReds...
I think I'll see if I can get along with my old Lumber/fanny pack.
Otherwise I'll buy one in Miami in February and spend the savings on some other stuff --127-3-


12-10-2007, 10:28 AM
FWIW I just got an on sale email from the maker that the chest pack I mentioned above that the Versi-Pack I mentioned in the earlier posting which normally sells for $79 is on sale for $49.



12-10-2007, 12:49 PM
Thanks all. FWIW I went with this: