Let’s face it.
When it comes to fly fishing, there can often be a lot to carry.
And fishermen and fisherwomen are never short of trinkets or the endless list of “what ifs” we like to carry around with us.
The solution: fly fishing sling packs.
When you’re out there trying to land a good fish, you want everything you need easily and quickly accessible to you.
And boy, are these nifty sling packs just great at storing everything you need, right at your disposal.
When taking a look at some fly fishing packs the other day, I decided to search for and make a list of the 10 best fly fishing sling packs in 2021, including some great backpacks.
So why not take a look at the list and maybe you’ll find exactly what you need to keep organized on the water.
After all, better organization often leads to better focus.
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Table of Contents
- TOP 10 Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks 2021
- Allen Company Cedar Creek Sling Pack
- KastKing Sling Fishing Bag
- Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack
- Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag
- Fiblink Single Shoulder Fishing Tackle Bag
- Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Storage Bag
- Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Sling Pack
- Fishpond Summit Sling Pack
- SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack
- Blisswill Fishing Backpack Tackle Bag
- Fly Fishing Sling Pack Buyers Guide
TOP 10 Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks 2021
Has a sling pack or backpack stood out to you?
Well, let’s take a closer look at the criteria for choosing the perfect sling pack or backpack, and then you can decide what will suit you best.
Fly Fishing Sling Pack Buyers Guide
What size sling pack are you wanting?
This is a good place to start and this question ties in with figuring out the purpose of your sling pack.
Yes, of course, it’s for fly fishing right, but for what type of fly fishing?
Do you want one for a whole day trip, or are you looking for a smaller sling pack that you can grab at the spur of the moment for a quick fish? If you’re focusing on nymphing or fishing with dry flies and streamers, this will also determine your storage space.
It boils down to preference. Are you a minimalistic fly fisherman or do you like to pack prepared for all the possible eventualities? Will you need room for wet weather fishing gear?
Once you know this, you can move on to the next important criteria to look for in a sling pack.
Pockets and Compartments
Where the real fun begins:
Figuring out what size and number of pockets and attachments you prefer.
The features and structure of the sling pack should meet your fly fishing needs and preferences.
It’s good to find a sling pack that has one or two main compartments, with a selection of smaller exterior pockets or compartments. This will help you organize your tackle more effectively.
It’s also about the placement of the pockets and whether or not they are easily accessible.
If you think about it, better organization and better accessibility, really does lead to better fly fishing. No joke!
The exterior features of a sling pack are equally important.
A great sling pack will generally come with D-rings, mole straps, and sheaths, which are great for attaching fishnets, rain gear, or whatever you may need. Velcro patches are equally very useful when you’re deep in water or the bush and need an immediate workstation in front of you.
If you’d like to have the option of having your hands free, then having an exterior rod holder is a useful addition. Especially if you’re expecting to do a long walk to your fishing destination.
Additionally, I prefer having an exterior water bottle pouch. This frees up the main compartment of my sling pack to hold other necessities, such as my fly boxes and fly line and keeps my bottle more easily accessible on the outside of the bag.
What’s more, is that I like having an elasticized water pouch. This enables me to carry both small and large bottles of water.
After all, you need to keep yourself hydrated for those longer excursions.
Fabric and Denier
The quality of the fabric must be top-notch.
It should be able to protect all of your accessories, while also lasting without any major tears or damages. Try to invest in a sling pack with about 600-700D nylon or similar grades of polyester, so that it can be used over many years, without needing to be replaced.
You can also use packs made of TPU welded plastic and DWR treatment with zippers to last longer.
Strength and Durability
While the fabric needs to be of sound quality, there are other parts of the sling pack that needs to be strong too, including the zippers and stitching.
You want to go for non-corrosive zippers so that when they are exposed to the water, they won’t go rusty and hard. Your best are YKK zippers with plastic teeth.
If you fly fish in seawater, you will need to find a sling bag without metal teeth, or unzipping that bag, later on, might become a very difficult task!
Comfort is easier said than done.
When wading out on a river or standing for long lengths of time on a riverbank, the last thing you want to worry about is your sore shoulders or tired back.
You want to choose a sling pack that keeps you comfortable for the longest length of time.
With that in mind, it’s always best to find a sling pack that has a wide and padded shoulder strap. This will distribute the weight of the bag more evenly and keep your shoulders happier for longer.
Then there’s the back of the sling pack.
A molded back pad or sling pack that comes with a mesh fabric is always a winning combination for comfort and in keeping your back cool.
Usually, a waterproof or water-resistant sling pack is the way to go. However, non-waterproof sling packs also have their advantages.
If you are fly fishing with items that need protection from water, such as a mobile phone or a camera, then you will want to go for a waterproof sling pack.
The more zippers, pockets, attachments, and compartments, the more challenging it becomes to ensure a waterproof seal. So waterproof bags will generally come with fewer pockets and compartments.
Water-resistant sling packs usually offer a greater variety of compartments and add-on features.
So you will just need to determine what characteristics are important to you, and what type of bag will suit you the best.
You might find the best fly fishing sling pack, but what if you can’t afford it?
On the bright side, there is a wide variety of sling packs available today, at a range of different prices. While quality is important, you can also find many great sling packs out there, at some affordable prices.
And sometimes, the best fly fishing sling packs, are not necessarily the most expensive.
If you have more money to spend, then you want to make sure you buy a sling pack that provides all the features you want, and that delivers on the quality.
Fly fishing vest vs sling pack – what is the best?
It’s all down to personal preference. A fly fishing vest allows you to store everything you need right in front of you. This means that everything is easily accessible to you.
On the other hand, a fly fishing sling pack offers greater storage capacity compared to a fishing vest. This does however depend on the size, as you can get some large vests. A sling pack also opens up more space in front of you, if that is something you prefer.
If you are right-handed, and a sling pack is designed to sit higher up the right side of your back, this could limit or strain your casting arm. On the other hand, a vest will place all the weight in front of you.
Fly fishing backpack vs sling pack – what is the best?
It can be tricky deciding whether to go for a fly fishing backpack or a sling pack, as both offer great features.
If you’re looking for a bag better kitted for longer fly fishing trips, then it might be best to go for a fishing backpack.
Most backpacks offer a variety of storage compartments and add-ons, which is perfect if you like to organize your tackle better. However, sling packs can also offer many storage compartments and unique pockets to organize your goodies.
It all comes down to the size of the main compartment. Often fly fishing backpacks provide bigger main storage compartments.
Depending on the design, sling packs are usually better at accessibility, as you can swing it around your front quickly to access a pocket. While a backpack will need to be taken off and the buckles rearranged, to shift it into the desired position.
What should you pack into the fishing sling pack?
It’s all about what you want out of a sling pack.
Check out this video to give you an idea of the essential items to pack into your sling pack:
What should you pack into a fishing backpack?
We can sometimes get carried away a little, carrying way more than we need to.
Here’s a guy who prefers backpacks and shows us what he’s got in it – get ready for a hoot:
So there you have it, folks.
I hope you found what you were looking for from our list of the best fly fishing sling packs in 2021?
Sling packs are often the most practical, comfortable, and waterproof method of storing and carrying your tackle.
Why not take another good look at our list of the best fly fishing sling packs and choose one that suits your needs and budget the most?
After all, it’s about finding what works best for you and about optimizing your time on the water.
Keeping your tackle well organized and easily accessible is often the best way to do that.
If you have any comments or experiences to share with us, let us know in the comments section below.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Happy fly fishing!
If you are looking for a new fly rod, you'll undoubtedly have found that there is plenty of choices out there. Some might say that there is too much choice! The good news is that there will be the...
Right, so you’ve got your beautiful new kayak, and you’re excited for all the adventurous possibilities it offers. But how do you keep it looking and performing in tip-top condition? Well,...