If you’re into fly fishing, you know how important a sling pack is. It allows you to gain quick access to your fishing accessories, it is comfortable and has excellent volume.
Today, I'll show you the best fly fishing sling pack, what you should look for when buying one, and a couple of things you didn't even know you wanted to know.
Quick Top 5 Fly Fishing Sling Packs:
*Keep reading for the fulling buying guide or jump straight to the reviews!
How to Wear a Fishing Sling Pack
Yes, there can be a wrong way of wearing such a pack. You probably had no idea about it. “Do what thou wilt,” however, can have some repercussions.
No matter if you are a lefty or not, the sling pack always goes on the right shoulder. If you’re a lefty, it would be a good idea to look for sling packs made specifically for you, even though there’s no insurance you’re going to find them.
By keeping it on your right shoulder, you can bring it on your lap without using your right hand, subsequently without having anything to do with the rod.
It might take some getting used to at first because you’ll be tempted to immediately put your right hand on the strap and loosen it. After a few sessions, though, this instinct will disappear.
Wearing it on the left shoulder means that:
You won’t be able to get to it with only one hand
You will have to let the fishing rod down, potentially losing the capture
You'll lose more time on something you could have done in a matter of seconds
As you can see here, there are plenty of ways of wearing the sling pack wrong. Take a look and make sure you’re not using any of those methods.
There’s also some explaining in there, so pay attention to what he’s got to say.
How to Choose a Fitting Sling Pack
Fortunately, nowadays, you have a large array of fly fishing sling packs to choose from. However, there are a lot of factors you must take into consideration when you shop for such a product.
Keep in mind that many sling packs look very tempting when they’re everything you wouldn’t wish for. You can prevent this exercise of self-sabotage by taking the time to see if the desired sling pack has the following:
Waterproof material: Having some water splashed on the pack is not a big deal, even when it’s not waterproof. Dropping it into the lake/river, on the other hand, is entirely different. Being waterproof is a requirement, not an option.
The number of pockets: This depends on how many accessories you’re usually taking with you when you go fishing. If you’ve got an entire arsenal on your hands, you want the number of pockets to be as high as possible.
Type: There is sling, chest, and waist fishing packs. You wouldn’t want to end up with a waist-type one when you wanted it to be a sling. Yes, it can happen, especially when you’re a rookie fisherman.
Size: The sling pack has to accommodate all your gear, but it does not have to be too corpulent. This will lead to difficulties in using it efficiently. Of course, this can make the difference between a good catch and go home empty-handed.
Durability: Needless to say, your sling pack should be made with sturdy materials. You don’t want it to tear after just one week of use. The best materials that go into making top notch sling packs are canvas and leather.
Water bottle-holder: Fishing makes you thirsty, and that’s a fact. Ideally, your sling pack will have a pocket for a water bottle. If it does not, you’ll have to put it in the boat or hold it in your hand, which isn’t all that feasible.
Shape: Fly fishing sling packs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes nowadays. We have no recommendation here because it all boils down to your personal preference. Just make sure you won’t purchase something you will be dissatisfied with after a short period.
Price: Do not buy cheap sling packs. Yes, initially it’s a fantastic deal, but in the long run, it will be a useless expense you could have easily prevented. Cheap ones are of extremely low quality. Even those that cost a lot can have tons of issues. Always check the rapport between quality and price and, if possible, testimonials and reviews from other customers.
You can consult this source for more vital information concerning the quality and the essential characteristics of what construes as the best fly fishing sling pack.
You should not purchase something because someone tells you to. What’s best for someone might be sub-par for you.
Take each of these factors and strike them through as you progress. In the end, you will get the best product.
Why the Color of the Sling Pack Matters
You wouldn’t think that even the color of the best fly fishing sling pack is a matter of concern, but it is.
The one on the exterior is not as important as the one on the inside, but it’s highly recommended that it has some camouflage aesthetic.
As far as the inside color goes, you want it to be as light as possible. If it has a combination of more than one color, you should get it.
Now, to answer the big question of why you should care for that. Let’s listen to this man, who is an expert fly fisherman and has a very strong point
When you have a sling pack that’s all dark inside, it will take you a while to find the accessories you need.
A light color, by contrast, facilitates the process. Items will “stick out,” so to speak. Remember that sometimes, you need those accessories as quickly as humanly possible.
Wasting a few minutes to find what you need may give enough time for your fish to escape.
Is a Sling Pack Better than a Chest or Waist One?
The answer is a resounding “Yes.” Primarily because it does not put any pressure at all on your neck. A fishing bag can be quite heavy, depending on what’s inside of it.
A chest one is usually strapped around one’s neck. Getting pain from it after a while is nothing out of the ordinary. Moreover, having a bulky pack in your lap is everything but comfortable.
In respect with the waist one, things are not in a more favorable light either. Anything that’s in your front or on the side will eventually prevent you from doing your job.
Maybe you like chest packs or waist ones, but beginner fisherman should opt for sling packs, at least until they’ve gained a little experience in the field.
You’ll see after a while that you made your fishing a lot more difficult than it was supposed to be, due to a serious lack of mobility while on waters.
Thanks to the fact that the sling pack sits comfortably on your back, you won’t need to reposition it once every 10 minutes. Of course, you will also be able to use your rod a lot more efficiently.
The sling pack is better because it enables you to launch your rod to longer distances. Neither the chest nor the waist one has this perk.
Again, the distance you’re fishing at can influence whether you’ll be eating fresh fish for dinner or not. There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a fisherman than to go home without even as much as a tiny fish after hours spent on the water.
Here are all the benefits of the sling pack in a nutshell:
- It’s a lot more comfortable
- It's more spacious (due to sitting on your back, where it doesn’t interfere with your hand movements)
- It confers a certain degree of camouflage
- It gives matter-of-seconds access to all accessories
- Trustworthy Brands of Fly Fishing Sling Packs
There is no ultimate brand of sling pack available on the market. And even if there were, people would still buy the ones they’ve grown accustomed to.
But in spite of this, and maybe better put yet, there are brands superior to others. This applies to the quality of their products, the materials they’re made of, etc.
Personal preference is and most important. You could show a sling pack that can make pancakes to a veteran fisherman, and he would still go with this tattered bag.
That’s something they would never get out of their systems, and there’s not one single thing wrong with that. In the end, it’s your personal comfort that matters the most.
Some of the good brands that manufacture state-of-the-art sling packs are Allen Company, Maxcatch, Fibling, Piscifun, and Orvis.
These are among the best-rated companies in this field. In the remainder of this guide, we will see 1 product per manufacturer and of course, we will review them for you.
We’ve chosen their greatest representatives, so whenever you feel like changing your sling pack, you won’t need to spend a few hours doing research.
The Best Fly Fishing Sling Pack
This model is as stylish as it is handy. A recurring problem with most sling packs is that they have small frontal openings.
You’ve got to lose precious time to insert your hand in them and take whatever it is you want. In this respect, the Cedar Creek is a winner, because it has a gaping mouth.
The large, zipped opening provides immediate access to your tools. Moreover, there are dints in the strap that you can use to keep the accessories you use more often.
The volume is quite generous, and the pack has plenty of pockets, as well as a holder for your water bottle. The inside is high-viz., which means you’ll be able to see your equipment quickly.
- It has the perfect size
- Quality-price ratio is balanced
- Ideal for a medium-sized fishing rig
- Some may find it a little too small
Although this is not a sling pack per se, it can be used as such. This particular model is the peak of Maxcatch’s craftsmanship.
First of all, the vest keeps you warm. Both the vest and the pack are 100% water resistant.
Regarding space, the pack is equipped with three inner compartments and two outer ones. They are expandable and can hold an impressive amount of equipment.
The vest/pack is multifunctional, as well. Therefore, it can be used for a variety of activities besides fishing. This makes its price and feasibility greater still.
- Made out of synthetic, washable fabric
- Once it’s strapped, it stays that way
- Organized pockets
- The zipper is on the left side
A product slightly more somber than the previous two, in the sense that it’s black with red lining.
This is without a doubt one of the cheapest sling packs ever, but here’s the deal: quality is not compromised in the least.
It is quite amazing to have such a high-quality product for such a low financial damage. It has no less than ten inner compartments.
There’s a water holder, plus a few other pockets on the outside. The strap is adjustable, so you can lengthen or shorten it as you please.
Since we’ve talked about being a lefty (and the restriction it poses), you should be happy to know that its strap can be exchanged from shoulder to shoulder.
- Incredible quality for the money
- Large and with plenty of pockets
- Beautiful design
- It is not waterproof
Piscifun’s product is the smallest on this list, so it can serve only those who don’t need an awful lot of equipment.
The good thing about it is that it is waterproof. To some extent, this is more of a pack for holding your phone and other trinkets than for fishing paraphernalia.
The inside pockets, however, make it easy for you to store boxes with flies and hooks. All of them are mesh and equipped with zippers.
One piece of advice: purchase this if you’re fishing from the banks rather than on the river because you can’t carry too many accessories with you.
Another advantage is that the pack is quite sturdy regarding the durability of the material, and can last you for years, no problem.
- Nice design
- It can accommodate a lot of tiny accessories
- It’s a bit pricey for the size
- It can only be used for casual fishing
Orvis has provided some cool pieces of fishing equipment, and this is the perfect proof. This is the upgraded version of an older Orvis item.
There are two available sizes for this product. The larger one can hold quite a few accessories, so you’re all set. It has a place for a water bottle as well.
The opening is big, so you won’t need to spend too much time retrieving your accessories. The pack itself is spacious, and some fishermen could not believe it suited everything they needed.
That’s the definition of the best fly fishing sling pack, isn’t it? It must have a space for every one of your tools. Luckily, the Orvis Safe Passage has that quality.
- It’s very spacious
- It has a fair price
- Nice color and overall design
- None, as far as we are concerned
Whichever fly fishing sling pack you end up going with, make sure it's waterproof, durable and has enough pockets to fit all the accessories you tend to fish with.
Which did you think was the best fly fishing sling pack? Do you have any questions about choosing one? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.