TOP 10 Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs Reviewed + Essential Buyer’s Guide for 2020


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 2020, 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.

TOP 10 Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks 2020

Allen Company Cedar Creek Sling Pack

After sifting through many lists of the top-rated fly fishing sling packs, we found this version by Allen, to being one of the best choices.

This sling pack offers a wide opening, allowing you easy access to all your main items. You can also store a wide range of tackle boxes. It comes with a comfortable shoulder strap organizer, with a neat storage compartment.

When you need something in a hurry, you can sling it around quickly to access anything with ease. The bag is also light and easy to maneuver, with the main compartment able to store a wide range of fly boxes.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Exterior water bottle pocket.
  • Multiple D-rings for accessories.
  • Heavy-duty zipper.
  • Padded sling strap.

Cons

  • Offers limited storage space.

Takeaway

This bag might not look very fancy, but if you’re looking for something simple and able to carry your absolute necessities in a lightweight bag, this bag will be a great choice for you.

KastKing Sling Fishing Bag

This is one of the best sling bags for fly fishing when you’re looking for something with a bit more storage, with dimensions of 9.25″ x 11.5″ x 5”.

It is made from tough, water-resistant, 600D polyester material and includes multiple pockets to arrange all your gear. You can store up to two, 3600 size lure boxes in the main compartment, providing ample space for your fishing lures, and other tackle.

The front zippered pocket comes with inner elastic, meshed pockets, and a key chain. Now that makes for some organized storage.

Pros

  • Padded back pad, allowing for better breathability.
  • Integrated mole straps to secure gear on the outside.
  • Outside water bottle strap.
  • Adjustable straps for both right and left shoulder.

Cons

  • A little smaller than some would like.

Takeaway

While the bag offers some great storage compartments, some prefer it a little bigger. However, if you’re able to take exactly what you need and no more, then this is an ideal bag for the more economic packers.

Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

This fly fishing sling bag by Orvis sure is a neat pick, if you’re keen for a less complicated bag.

It’s made from 410D nylon and coated with PU on the bottom. It consists of one main zippered compartment, two zippered front pockets, one sheath, and a selection of internal storage pockets.

You can store your water bottle on the outside, at the bottom of the sling bag.

The material is light and breathable and just perfect for a good day of fly fishing.

Pros

  • User-friendly zippers.
  • Lightweight and breathable material.
  • A bit expensive.

Cons

  • Not waterproof.
  • May be small for some fisherman.
  • Difficult to access water bottle from the bottom.

Takeaway

Easy and simple to use for all fly fishermen. It’s a smaller bag than most, but if that’s what you need, this sling pack by Orvis is a winner.

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

Looking for a larger, more versatile fly fishing backpack?

This has two left/right exchangeable and adjustable shoulder straps, enabling you to use it as a sling shoulder bag, a backpack, a chest bag, or a traveling bag. The choice is yours.

The backpack itself consists of water-resistant 1000D high-density nylon fabric. Including strong KAM buckles and full-length double zippers (SBS).

It isn’t short of storage either- offering 3 main storage compartments and 3 zippered external pockets. Enabling you to store everything you need, including a wallet, phone, iPad, camera, and even a book.

It also comes in a range of sizes and colors for you to choose from.

Pros

  • Higher storage volume.
  • Versatile usage.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Sometimes the dangly bits can get in the way.

Takeaway

If you’re one of those outdoor, nature enthusiasts, often found with a fly rod in hand, then this versatile fly fishing backpack can offer you some great storage options.

Fiblink Single Shoulder Fishing Tackle Bag

Now here’s a goodie!

If you’re trying to find a durable fly fishing backpack, built for withstanding most of nature’s elements, then this bag from Fiblink could have you covered.

This fly fishing pack is neatly designed of high quality, 1000D heavy-duty nylon fabric, and covered with a waterproof coating. The outer high-density ribbon also keeps it safe from tearing or any other external damage.

It offers a great deal of storage, with a large main compartment and three zippered outer pockets. You might also love the outer pocket on the back of the bag, providing another convenient storage spot.

What’s more, is that it has a fully adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.

Now I like the sound of that.

Pros

  • Back of pack lined with breathable mesh.
  • Comfortable wide shoulder strap.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Outer cords can get tangled.

Takeaway

For all those who enjoy taking longer fishing trips, this might just be the best fly fishing backpack for you to get your hands on.

Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

Ghosthorn designs a very user-friendly and versatile fly fishing backpack in this version.

This bag comes with comfortable, padded shoulder pads, that can easily be adjusted from a shoulder bag to a backpack – just unzip the single strap and there you go.

It can also be adjusted to suit the occasion, either as a chest bag, fishing tackle bag, hand-bag, or a traveling bag.

You can easily store your fly fishing tools or tackle box in the main compartment, and any additional items in the side pocket for quick, easy access.

The carefully designed outer storage is also very useful with front molle straps for holding items while your hands are busy, such as fishing pliers, clippers, or hooks.

Pros

  • Water-resistant and durable fabric.
  • Two-rod belts on the bottom and side for holding rods.

Cons

  • Could do with a larger water bottle holder.

Takeaway

This is a very useful bag for fly fishermen if you’re not concerned about storage size. It is also a very cleverly designed bag in terms of layout.

Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Sling Pack

Here’s a great choice for the serious fly fisherman or women.

This 18L Simms sling pack offers a great deal of comfort and ease when you’re out on a river and need quick access to your tackle. It has four zippers that provide access to the main compartment, either from the top or side of the bag.

And it really is ambidextrous:

It’s designed in such a way that you can carry it comfortably on either the right or left shoulder and the vertical net carry system can also be accessed on both sides.

It’s made of nylon fabric, so it comes water-resistant too.

The adjustable front panel provides a useful loop field for storing wet flies, including a secure tippet holder and coated webbing daisy chain. You can also use the front shoulder strap and docking station to keep your rod in place while fishing.

Pros

  • User-friendly, ambidextrous design.
  • Easy access to the main compartment.
  • It’s larger than it looks.

Cons

  • A little bit pricier than other bags.

Takeaway

While it is more expensive than other bags, it looks like a great value for money. If you’re keen on trying a sling bag that looks and feels great, this bag might just be your new best piece of gear.

Fishpond Summit Sling Pack

Fishpond designs one of the best fly fishing sling packs when looking for comfort.

This version of the Fishpond sling bag not only has a padded and slender shoulder strap but it also offers a shoulder pad work station, with Velcro and Hypalon attachment points.

This smaller bag isn’t short of smartly designed compartments either.

It comes with hooks and loops on the exterior, including integrated net sleeves on the back panel, and a stretchy bottom compartment for storing a water bottle.

It also has a robust 3D outer pocket, with strong zippers, net sleeves, and lash tabs, as well as an outer Velcro pad for attaching flies.

Pros

  • Their signature molded drop-down fly bench.
  • Flexible TPE lash tabs for rod tubes.
  • An integrated net sleeve on the back panel.
  • Multiple storage compartments.

Cons

  • Might be a tight fit for those needing to carry more gear.
  • Difficult to access water bottle.
  • Not comfortable for left-handed people.
  • On the expensive side.

Takeaway

This fly fishing sling bag offers some great storage compartments and is best suited for those not wanting to carry a lot of gear.

SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack

When looking for a comfy, lighter, and streamlined fly fishing sling pack, SpiderWire provides a great version of this type of design.

It consists of durable, polyester fabric and has an adjustable strap for use on both shoulders.

It might look small, but offers a spacious main compartment and multiple zippered pockets on the outside for additional storage. The one exterior pocket is padded with fleece lining and is designed specifically for holding sunglasses.

The interior section of the bag is zippered and waterproof, allowing you to keep everything well organized and dry.

Pros

  • Comes with a free, medium-sized tackle box.
  • Spider design on the front.

Cons

  • Only comes in one color.
  • No rod holder.
  • No water bottle holder on the outside.

Takeaway

While some functions are lacking in this bag, it sure makes for a very useful and good all-rounder bag.

Blisswill Fishing Backpack Tackle Bag

Now here’s a user-friendly, adjustable fly fishing backpack that is perfect to use for a long day out on the water, providing three adjustable straps.

After adjusting the straps, you can turn it into a sling bag, handbag, cross-body bag, or backpack.

It’s made of high quality, 1000D water-resistant nylon fabric, and extra firm stitching. This bag also comes with multiple storage compartments and exterior features for holding your rod, water bottle, and other accessories.

Pros

  • Affordable product.
  • Unique, triangle strap, for relieving stress on shoulders.

Cons

  • Could offer bigger storage.

Takeaway

The more experienced anglers out there might find this bag a little small, however, it sure is a good option for those looking for a more budget sling pack, that still provides the quality.

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.

fisherman wearing sling pack and fly-fishing in mountain river

Fly Fishing Sling Pack Buyers Guide

Storage Space

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!

Attachments

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.

fisherman wearing fishing vest and fly fishing in river

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

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.

Water Resistance

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.

Price

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 fisherman trout fishing with backpack and rain jacket in the mountains

FAQs

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:

Summary

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 2020?

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!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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