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Discussion Starter #1
As I am very new to the Spey casting scene so you'll have to forgive me if this sounds like a silly question. I am now in the market for a new fly vest and was wondering what most people perfer, a vest or a shoulder pack. Also any advice on a decent fly vest for around $100.00-$150.00 Canadian.
 

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My favorite

I own five vests now....my favorite by a long stretch is the Bucks Bag chest pack...It allows for deep wading as it is infinitely adjustable....also for adding heavy outter wear. It is cool in summer and warm in winter, as I can add bulky fleece under it just by adjusting the straps...It holds the larger fly boxes better than most vests,,,has tippet dispensers at the front, I dont need to open a pocket to do so. It has a nice rear compartment for lunch, thermos and camera, and carry straps for a jacket that I may need to shed later in the day.

What I like the best is that it seems to be less restrictive when casting.

I like mine quite a bit and have not used my other vests for some time now.

Anyone interested in a couple of nice Columbia vests........

My two cents worth

Best regards......Jake
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Norseman,
I did a Google search and looked at the chest pack that you use, looks interesting. You mentioned in your last post that you may be parting with one of your old vests, what size is it? I may be interested.

Cheers, Wannafish
 

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Hey, wannafish! I just started fishing with Springbrook's Ghillie Deluxe Chest Pack, and I absolutely love it. It should retail for around $150 - 160. I've never been one to like wearing vests or chest packs, but had to try this one after a buddy made the purchase. I promptly dropped the coin, with no regrets. They have different models available too, so one of them should suit your style.
 

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Vest versus chest packs

I also really like the Buck's Bag Utility model chest packs. I've been using one for 3 yrs. They are a simple design, not to big but plenty big enough with large pockets, very light weight, and they don't cost a lot. I personally will never go back to a vest. My back has thanked me a million times.
 

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I gave up on regular vests for all the good reasons that Norseman states plus the chest pack necessitates that I carry only the essentials on the river. Man, back in the days when I used to gear fish, that big old vest could sometimes weigh 15-20lbs! Even my fly vests, though smaller, had an uncanny knack for gathering stuff - the "Tit-Vest" eliminates the possibilities - now my only worry for possible weight gain - is me!

I am on my 2nd Bagmaker Chest Pack and I will not go back!

Here is a shot of it - with an appropriate friend - of course!
 

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I recently purchased the William Joseph Bandolier that is a sling over the shoulder with a small pack in front and larger pack in the rear - it is very comfortable and packs enough gear though not like my old vest - the vests are quite restrictive when spey casting and I was leaving my vest in the boat and just carrying a few essentials until I got this chest pack
 

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The tightwad's perspective:

Whichever variety of gear-caddy you prefer (I favor vests, usually), this is one item where you can save money, unless your're captive to pride-of-ownership lust for some brand name. There's just no need to pay $150 for a perfectly adequate vest or chest-pack. My steelhead/salmon vest cost $25, my trout vest $19.95. They're loaded with features I want, even though they were assembled on the other side of the world, , probably by industrial peasants who wouldn't know fly fishing from interpretive dance.
Haunt the discount sporting goods stores. You can afford several bargain vests (such as a size larger for wear over winter clothes). If my vests wear out a year sooner than this year's big-ticket model, so what?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good point Nooksac Mac, Now I'm totally torn, I was leaning toward a vest until some of the others expressed how much they like their chest packs, I just looked at the Bagmaker sb305c and it looks good , it looks like it should plenty of the essentials. Oh well guess this calls for a trip to M&Y fly shop.:p
 

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Had to laugh when I saw this post ... not because of the question at all.

Like far too many I'm a fly box junkie. Even zip lock baggies stuffed in the front pocket of waders. And possibly like 'Kush' my greatest fear is getting dumped into deep water; I'd probably sink like a stone. :D And I think I will put the darned thing on a scale to see just how much 'extra weight' I'm lugging around.

General question though for the group. I was under the impression that a chest pack type of "vest" would really get in your way if you were Spey Casting. Wrong impression?

Off on another tanget though .... yesterdays mail brought Joan her new "Tilley" products catalog. You either LOVE their stuff or it's a 'so what?' (Actually, there stuff is very well made) But what caught my attention (and the :D :D :D :D :D ) was one of their new "products." They're now pushing what is esentionally (sp?) their version of a fishing/photo vest: at $280!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a pop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course they grarantee it for life, but at that price I've only got two questions: whose life? and why not?
fae
 

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Even zip lock baggies stuffed in the front pocket of waders.
Yes this is not a bad way to go which I use sometimes. I am ready to discard the whole vest and just go with some zip loc bags of my favorite flies, sink tips, leaders, and put them in my wind breaker pockets, and top of waders. Maybe one back up reel or spool and my license, thats it.

Forget all that other stuff I have in my my vest and never use.

Keep it simple, can always go back to the car for the other 200 flies, etc..

Plus I may float when if I should take a dunking.

PM Out
 

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Plus I may float when if I should take a dunking. ""

Hal, it's an Atty. thing ... so full of xxxx, what's to sink?
:devil:
fae

Sorry Hal, that was a soft inside pitch that I just couldn't pass up.
;)
 

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I have not taken a dunking in 20 years (knock on wood or whatever) and don't plan on one any time soon.

Don't worry I will float and swim for it if needed, plus our rivers are nothing like the slippery boulder death walks you PNW fellows have to deal with it. :D

I do not take the wading risks I did in my youth either, thats what they call FF wisdom.

BTW, what does xxxx mean ? :chuckle" Shoot me a PM on that offline.

PM Out
 

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"I feel your pain."

You got it right Hal; "hydrolics" scare the crap out of me. If I'm up to my knees in flowing water I'm questioning my .....

Rivers/streams have gotten a whisker close to killing me three times in my youth. "The Salt" almost got me twice. Another reason I like Spey rods ...... knee deep is enough.
fae

A post script for 'the younger' guys. Water doesn't care; screw up and you're history.
fae
 

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Fred,

I've been wearing the chest pack for probably 7 or 8 years and I've never felt it was "in the way" while speycasting. In fact, the additional freedom of movement afforded by the lack of binding under the arms or across the back - even while bundled right up - makes for even less restriction while casting than with a vest.

A couple of my friends have discarded their vests completely and carry one fly box a couple of leader spools and a hook sharpener in the pockets of their Gortex fishing coats. That is minimalist, but it works for them.
 

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And I'll ask the question again....

What about the old creels of my youth? Room enough to carry a couple of boxes of flies, did not interfere with the cast, form-fitting (not like the new "reproductions", and easy to rest the
casting arm on while fishing, they also were quick to "ditch" if you had to shed one in a hurry. Yeah, I often wish I had my old one yet. (It proudly graces my daughter's "antique collection", along with my old bamboo rod, the old "nameless" reel and silk line!)

But it made a lot of sense. Now the guys spend big bucks to get a so-called "chest pack" that makes 'em look pregnant, or "busty", and get in the way.

BTW, Fred, you're right about having respect for water - I grew up fishing one stream in particular that you planned on taking at least 3 spills a day in (but the fishing was GREAT). Large slabs of slate, slippery as ice, regardless of what you wore - the moss and algae were so thick, that even studs wouldn't hold in places! So I learned at an early age to play it safe, and wade shallow. (Besides, I see most guys standing where they should be fishing!)

Hal - don't brag about not taking a spill - it's not nice to tempt mother nature and the evil fishing spirits!

BobK
 

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What about the old creels of my youth? Room enough to carry a couple of boxes of flies, did not interfere with the cast, form-fitting (not like the new "reproductions", and easy to rest the casting arm on while fishing, they also were quick to "ditch" if you had to shed one in a hurry. Yeah, I often wish I had my old one yet. (It proudly graces my daughter's "antique collection", along with my old bamboo rod, the old "nameless" reel and silk line!)
I cannot remember back that far Bob ? Thats before my FF time, by a generation I think. :chuckle:

I am not bragging, "it is better to be lucky than good".

Pm Out
 

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Wannafish

Flipped you a PM re the vests.

I still stand by my choice of the chest pack. I and I fully agree with Kush...they tend to keep the clutter down.

They are typically NOT as expensive as vests either. If you are in Canada they typically sell for $74 Cdn....I was going to mention the place...but I think they should be sponsoring this board? Am I right?

I was lucky and got mine at a store that had the chest pack a while and wanted to turn his stock over...he gave it to me for $60.

One other feature that the Bucks Chest pack has is a front zipper, so you can get out through the front. Or either left or right side with the adjustable straps and buckles.

regards....jake
 

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I have a strong prefrence for the Coastal Pack by William Joseph...it offers a large backpack to store a camera, water bottle extra fly boxes etc. etc. etc. and two front packs on each side that offer fly driers, retractors, pockets for flyboxes and shooting head wallets etc. etc. etc.

It is the first vest/pack I have foudn to actually like as it is the first one that I have found to allow me full of freedom of movement without being constricting and it gives me storage then I ever need.

They are a little pricey...at $120 but they do offer a limetime warranty!

A pack to seriously consider!!
 

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