Back in the day, anglers would rely on a traditional wading vest to carry around all their gear. With new technology and design trends, a more comfortable option is now available, a sling pack. Being able to carry your essential equipment with you in one bag is a godsend to any fisherman. You no longer have to wear a bulky, uncomfortable wading vest, not having enough space and falling apart due to poor material. A decent sling pack gives you a comfortable, durable, and more practical alternative.
Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs Comparison Chart
Orvis Safe Passage Guide Sling Pack
FishPond Summit Sling
Fly Fishing Pack
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag
K&E Outfitters Seeker Series Fly Fishing Sling Pack
What is a Fly Fishing Pack?
A fishing pack is a convenient option for anglers rather than using a traditional wading vest. They can be bought for different parts of the body such as chest packs, hip packs, and slings and are beneficial for many reasons, the main one being their ability to provide a durable and comfortable way of storing boxes, forceps, and leaders.
Anglers no longer have to put up with the uncomfortable feeling of overflowing pockets and low-quality material. The best part about using a fishing sling is that you can easily rotate it from front to back, and it is high enough on your body that it won’t get wet during wading.
How to Choose a Fly Fishing Sling Pack
Choosing the best fly fishing sling isn’t an easy task unless you know what you are looking for through a ton of research. We have compiled the qualities you should be looking for which can be the make-or-break between a bad sling and a quality one.
These qualities include the pack’s storage capabilities, if it's waterproof or not, (which can be a game changer for the obvious reason being a water-based activity), its durability, and comfort.
Great Storage and Attachment Capabilities
Having the right amount of space for all the essentials is important to all fishermen, which means you have to choose the right size sling for the type of fishing you’re planning on doing.
If you can’t find a bag that’s comfortable in addition to being large enough, you could always opt for using a smaller sling with many attachment points; most bags come in sizes between 8 and 30 liters.
Find One That's Waterproof
A person’s first thought, when given the option of waterproof or not, is to go with the former option as like we said. Fishing is a water-based activity, after all. Yet, going for the waterproof option isn’t as great a choice you think. Most waterproof sling packs face the same problem of having a limited number of pockets. This means anything wet, like small hand towels to clean your hands, won’t dry out in the bag due to it being air-tight.
Only in certain conditions can the waterproof feature be useful, like if you prefer fishing in the rain and don’t need many pockets within the pack. If you are still keen to buy a waterproof pack, ensure that the zipper has interlocking teeth to ensure it is 100% waterproof.
Consider The Material Used
The quality of the material is one of the first considerations you need to look at when trying to pick the best pack possible. Most sling packs are made from either nylon, polyester, or canvas and the quality follows that order.
If you want a pack that is durable and is going to last the test of time, along with some brutal fishing trips, you want to find one with a high denier measurement, with most quality packs being 600-700 denier. Denier measurements refer to the fiber thickness of the individual threads used in a product. Canvas packs aren’t awful; they just aren’t going to survive as long as nylon or polyester.
Make Sure It's Comfortable
Comfort is another key, essential feature, no one wants to be fishing for hours on end with a sore back, friction marks on his or her neck, and so on. Your pack should be designed for comfort and should include things like a padded shoulder strap, a breathable back to limit perspiration, and even an additional support waist sling.
Aspects to Consider When Buying a Fly Fishing Sling Pack
As well as analyzing the particular features of each product, it's important to take into consideration other factors that can be overlooked but are equally as important as the main features. Other aspects to consider include:
What Gear You Will be Carrying?
It's important to remember that you might need a different size sling for different types of fishing, such as requiring a pack big enough for a net or enough food for a full day of fishing. This should be considered as larger packs will often come at the sacrifice of comfort.
What Type of Fishing You Will be Doing?
As you know, there are more ways to go about fishing than just standing at the water's edge casting a line. This is a question you will need to ask yourself when looking for a sling. If you prefer to fish during the rain or in deep wading, then you will need a waterproof pack and something that fits perfectly so it doesn’t slide into the water.
What Do You Feel Most Comfortable In?
If you are shopping around and can’t seem to pick, remember to think about what you feel you’d be most comfortable in. This is something you need to ask yourself constantly, would you rather carry a sling bag or wear a wading vest? Many times people do prefer the more traditional wading vest.
Pick based on how you feel about the product from the point of view, would you feel comfortable wearing it?
Review of the Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs
After highlighting the importance of each feature and things to consider, we can now dive deeply into reviewing the five best fly fishing sling packs. Try to keep in mind everything we have spoken about above when reading the following reviews.
Starting off with a bang, this sling was made to be both comfortable and durable. The impressive 410 level nylon pack has a ventilated panel on the back to keep your back cool during hot weather or when trekking long distances, a huge problem for the traditional backpack or extra layer of a wading vest. It also comes with a padded strap that restricts chaffing.
The pack also gives you plenty of space for the essentials necessary for a full day of fishing. The tool attachment system allows you to easily access any tools you need and includes internal pockets and dividers, a bottle holder, as well as a patch for fly drying on the very top. One of the best things about this sling is that it doesn’t restrict your movement.
This is a great start to the review, a solid contender for the best sling pack. It does provide great space for all your essentials without being bulky to get in the way. This pack is also waterproof and surprisingly designed well enough that doesn’t sacrifice space for this added feature, it does add the problem of wet clothes not drying properly as the pack’s material is airtight. A robust, durable pack made from nylon is what any angler is looking for.
The inside of the bag has plenty of room for your gear, food, and clothes; the only downside is that there is a lack of separate compartments which can leave you slightly disorganized when carrying equipment, but this flaw can be rectified with the many external accessory points dotted around the bag.
This sling does provide you with a bottle holder but is placed in quite an awkward position to access.This sling has waterproof zippers, but the recycled fabric isn’t completely waterproof. It should be fine with light rain, just don’t submerge it under water. The fact they use recycled fishing nets is great but can mean the pack isn’t as strong as its nylon or polyester counterparts.
This bag has a great storage capacity for those that are only taking the essentials like food, a jacket, and few pieces of equipment. If you like being organized this sling might need a few adjustments as there aren’t many dividers provided which can be solved with the addition of an accessory piece using the bag’s many attachment points.It does give you great comfort, which is an important factor but isn’t suitable in heavy rain or bad weather due to the low quality recycled fabric.
This Maxcatch pack is known for its many spacious compartments that should be able to fit all of your essentials, plus many extras. Lacking in outer attachment space, you might need to carry larger pieces of gear like nets by hand, which can become a burden if you have more than one item to carry.
However, it does come with lash tabs on the side that can help transport your fishing rod. The lightweight, but strong, polyester material, along with the padded shoulder strap, and additional waist strap support allows for a comfortable angling experience; however, the downside to this would be the lack of waterproof material which could limit you to sunny days, fishing close to the shore.
A strong, durable pack for sure, it does, however, limit you to dry days fishing close to the shoreline. This pack isn’t for anyone that wants to wade deep into the water. With plenty of space for your equipment and much more, the several compartments will keep you organized the entire trip with two additional lash tabs on the outside to accommodate fishing rods. These were added on the back due to customer feedback, and it’s good to know the manufacturers are willing to listen and change their product to suit the consumer.
If you are looking for a small sling bag that can carry the essentials for the day without any strain, you’ll want to take a look at this Piscifun tackle bag. This bag is waterproof with a denier strength of 1000. Made from nylon, this bag is incredibly strong and durable during those days of heavy rain or when walking through the forest to get to your fishing spot.
This small, heavy-duty pack has three inside compartments, along with three zipper pockets on the outside, and other smaller pockets dotted around the bag to give you added space to fit as much gear as possible. You’ll find that if you do buy this pack, you get most of your fishing tackle into the smallest two compartments inside the bag with the largest being available for other items.
This bag, with its military camo design, looks and feels fit for battle. The compact design allows you to bring equipment for a good day of fishing, but you might need to prioritize what you bring as it is fairly small. This small, basic pack is built to last for years after you buy it.
The last pack on our list is manufactured by a family run business of experienced anglers. The sling pack provides you with three large compartments that give you plenty of space for your equipment whilst retaining a lightweight feel when carrying it. The separate compartments help you get organized, give you more time fishing on the water, and require less time fishing for gear.
Another positive about this pack is that they also send you a few accessories like a hemostat, tippet holder, nippers, and re-tractor zinger. This pack is best used for fly fishing. The material used isn’t stated in the description but doesn't feel like it is of the best quality. If it gets wet it does dry very fast but isn’t waterproof so it won’t last submersion in water.
The K&E pack is an average-sized sling that holds the same amount of gear and extras as the previous pack, the only difference being the latter is smaller and more compact with higher quality fabric.
This pack does come with some extras and is comfortable to carry. The material is cheap feeling and there isn’t much information about what material is used and how strong its supposed to be. This is certainly one of the more basic slings reviewed on this list.
To conclude, there are many sling packs to choose from, some of them are great and some of them are not so great. Keep in mind the main features that we discussed at the beginning, as well as questions you might want to ask yourself.
The most important thing to ask yourself is whether it will fit your needs. Go with what we have told you and hopefully, you’ll be trying out your first sling in the next few months.